What a happy life it would be only to cultivate raspberries.
– Alice B. Toklas
Welcome to my food blog, which I maintained from 2008-2015, reporting on gastronomical adventures in Oregon and beyond from my base in the Willamette Valley. Our valley, with Eugene at its south end and Portland in the north, was the promised land at the end of the Oregon Trail, and it’s still one of the richest growing regions in the country. We’re at the forefront of big changes in farming, cooking, and preserving in the U.S.
I believe in Oregon and I believe in growing your own food and learning how to cook and make food last through the seasons. I am no fan of elimination diets, even those that involve eating local, however. These types of food philosophies (unless medically necessary, of course) are akin to an eating disorder to me; plus, it’s ignoring the globally interdependent world in which we live. I think food can and should encourage community and hospitality and conviviality, that food should bring people together, not drive them apart over a ham sandwich with a heaping side of self-righteousness. I seek my tribe: omnivores, preservationists, milkmaids, eggmen, butchers, cooks, fisherpeople, grillers, wine-collectors, meat-salters, fermenters, pie-makers, gardeners, farmers, composters, caramelizers, and whippers of concupiscent curds.
I teach food studies and pickling, sometimes at the same time, and I write articles on local and seasonal food for numerous print publications. I’m always up to something: reviewing cookbooks or works of literature involving food, interviewing authors, farmers, and other interesting food folks, or just figuring out how to cook something new. Some of my happiest moments were my roles in local productions: as a radio co-host on food news and interview show on our NPR affiliate, as a judge and MC at our Iron Chef competition, and as the head of an academic food research working group, which hosted nationally prominent speakers and encouraged faculty communion over our food studies research projects.
Read more about some of my work here:
- An Oregon Quarterly article on a collaborative humanities/science colloquium I taught with four scientists for the UO Clark Honors College, written by Bonnie Henderson;
- One of my “Eat, Drink, Think” quarterly columns, in which I interview local farmers or wildcrafters, on Turnip the Beet Farm in Eugene Magazine;
- A description of a UO Special Collections exhibition I co-curated on 600 years of recipes, from early medical concoctions to molecular gastronomy;
- A feature on Florence, Oregon, for AAA’s Via magazine; and
- A feature on colonial pickling in Amsterdam for NPR’s The Salt.
Feel free to contact me at wellsuited at gmail dot com if you’d like to republish something I’ve created or to discuss freelance work. I’d be happy to hear from you!
© Jennifer Burns Bright, 2008-2105.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.