I love the predicted 20-degree drop in temperatures for tomorrow. Until then, let’s talk hot stuff.
- Inspired by a trip to the coast and gorgeous albacore tuna troll-caught just off the Newport coast, I documented the OSU Extension tuna canning class at the beginning of the week. I hope to have a blog post up soon that provides notes and annotations for our tested recipe. I’m under pressure (get it?) to finish an article for school right now.
- Or, perhaps, you’ll hear me talk about canning tuna fish on the upcoming hot new radio show, Food For Thought on KLCC (89.7 FM), our NPR affiliate. This week’s theme is preservation, and I’ve been invited to share my experiences. Listen from noon – 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 29. I’d love to hear your questions and comments via phone or email!
- New restaurant alert, and this one is almost too good to be true. Run, don’t walk, to Noodle & Thai, 553 Main St., Springfield. I don’t even know where to begin. They make their own noodles — that’s a great place to start:
fresh rice noodle rolls
drunken noodles with fat slices of beef
homemade red curry over fresh thin rice noodles
And they make their own curry pastes. Order ‘medium’ for very spicy. The chef says he strives to shop organically and locally. I haven’t had Thai food this good in a very, very long time. And the prices are Springfield, not Eugene. Right now, there’s a healthy lunch crowd, since the place is near City Hall, but they’ve only just opened for dinner. The restaurant appears to be a remodeled diner with a semi-open kitchen, and its small storefront belies the larger, pleasantly redecorated space inside.
Since I’ve been gone for most of the summer, I’ve missed…not much in terms of produce. Since everything’s so late, I am pleased to see all the mid-summer produce ready and willing to be put up. Here are some of the hot finds I saw in markets this week:
- Bodacious corn at Thistledown Farm on River Road. I haven’t seen such a nice corn season since I’ve lived in Oregon. Boo on the California tomatoes at the farm, though. (But I understand. Not hot: too-early heirloom slicers at the farmer’s market. Ick. Mealy.)
- A new blackberry variety called ‘Diamond Jim,’ or so they said (could be ‘Black Diamond’?) at Lone Pine Farm on River Road.
- Crabapples and gorgeous Chester blackberries at Hentze Farm, a couple miles farther north on River Road. I made pie and a long-cooked, French-style jam from the latter. Hentze is one of my favorite farms in the area. They have a small processing equipment facility (with machines purchased from the once-ubiquitous processing plants in our valley) so you can buy freshly cut corn and beans in bulk for canning.
- Beans look great everywhere. Plums and peppers are just beginning, they tell me.
- Veteran and Suncrest peaches at River Bend Farm off Highway 58 southeast of Eugene. Annette reports that Veterans are easy to can, being a true freestone, with skins that slip off easily. Donna in the OSU Extension Master Food Preserver office likes to can Suncrests because of the flavor. She says that the Elbertas also make great canning peaches, so look for them in the coming weeks. The hottest preservation gig in town is Annette’s jam classes, by the way. The next one is full, but you can still sign up (if you hurry) for the following: Thursday, 9/14 from 6:30-8:30 pm, or Saturday, 9/18 from 2-4:00 pm. The classes are held at the farm, and cost $30. For this low price, you’ll learn jam-making basics and receive 12 half-pints of assorted jams made in class. More information through the link above.
- Speaking of the Extension MFP office, the hotline will be leaving Lane County on Sept. 2, when the office closes. For the rest of September, you can still use the statewide hotline, as we will be handling calls from the Douglas County Extension office. But if you need to drop by the Lane County office with your food safety or gardening questions, do so before Sept. 2.
- If you enjoy Marché’s monthly regional French dinners, you will be excited to hear about the regional Italian menus served by its sister restaurant, Osteria Sfizio. The first monthly dinner will feature the foods of Puglia, and will be held on August 29. Cost is $40. Read more here. Sfizio has an excellent bar menu and some enlightened options for supper, both small plates and large. Personally, I can’t wait for the Fruili menu in November!
- Again with the noodles! Chef June at Café AriRang on Broadway is serving a summer special — spicy noodle and vegetable salad. Perfect for these hot days.
- Did you see the numbers for the canned food drive held at the Lane County Fair? 23,919 pounds of food within two hours. Now that’s hot. You rock, Eugene.
- Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to vote in Eugene Weekly’s annual Best of Eugene. You need to register at this website first to help combat ballot-stuffing (don’t worry, they won’t spam you). If you can support my blog for “best blog,” I’d appreciate it! Vote for at least 10 categories for the ballot to count.