Sunday, July 27, 2008

to can or not to can...

My dear friend Spencer said to me last Saturday on our way home from the lustrous Saturday Farmers Market: "you are going to can the whole city of Portland aren't you?!!" His comment followed my fifteen minute babble on all the things at the market I thought I could fit into a jar. To tell you the truth, if I thought Portland would fit, I wouldn't mind taking a piece of it home with me (which that's a whole other blog!).

I had my first lesson in the art of preserving - given to me by another brilliant friend of mine, Sarah. You see, preserving is having a renaissance here in Portland, people are returning to gardening and want to use the products of their labor all year long and share with friends beyond the growing season. It is so inspiring to see my generation immerse themselves in this culture of preserving food and taking control of what is going into their bodies. Sarah was a great teacher and the lesson went so well we successfully canned an amazing blueberry-lime and a separate batch of blackberry. All I could think of was how great those would taste on homemade biscuits one cold stormy winter morning in Maine! The next weekend I ventured out on my own and made a batch of raspberry-marionberry which I am looking forward to using in a chocolate layer cake already...just tart enough to offset the most bittersweet of chocolates. It's prime pickin' time here in Oregon, and I don't want to waist a minute of it. Next on my list: pickles, peach conserve, and if I'm feelin' frisky I just might go all the way with a chutney! (Nervous Nelly eat my dust!)

Here we are enjoying the fruits of our labor with a little local brew.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

we are on our way.....

Squash Blossom Bakery coming soon.......That's correct folks, you heard right!....After five years, three months, 22 days, and six hours I will be returning to my great home state o' Maine. Our ETA will be sometime in late September, just in time for pumpkin pies and applesauce! You will all have a chance to get acquainted with the man in my life, Dave Mac, and begin to indulge in some yummy goodies I will set to bake upon arrival... I will be writing regularly to keep you all updated and posting tasty treats I am baking right now at Tastebud in Portland, OR.

A bit of what we are about.... I think it is safe to say that we are completely and utterly in love with food. Sweet, savory, hot, cold, fancy, simple, and the list goes on. Avid supporters of the Slow Food movement (see link) and conscious living, we live to eat and find great purpose in helping to spread the word about local, fair, and sustainable goods. We are also dedicated outdoor....."enthusiasts(?)"....Dave Mac has been in the back-country for the past two months in Washington and Oregon, rafting, paddling, hiking, biking, summiting, beach camping, and well, pretty much anything that involves the outdoors. (Although he is loving every minute I must admit, I am ready for him to come home!). This is only the beginning. We are looking forward to reconnecting with everyone back home and hope to contribute as much as we can to our new community. Until then keep checking in and learn a little about the great things happening in Portland, OR!!