About This Blog

What a happy life it would be only to cultivate raspberries.

– Alice B. Toklas

dscf1077.jpgHi, I’m Jennifer Burns Bright, food and travel writer.  Welcome to my food blog, established in 2008, 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.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

48 thoughts on “About This Blog

  1. alainbriongloid 28 January 2008 / 10:56 am

    Brilliant… :) I will be here frequently>

    Like

  2. kaywatson 29 January 2008 / 7:13 am

    Good job! Love your new blog. Your passion for the subject shines through your words.

    Like

  3. Michelle 11 February 2008 / 11:26 am

    Yay! Finally another food blogger in Eugene! After Jocelyn left me (Brownie Points), I was feeling quite alone, so I’m so glad you’re here! And another graduate student, no less. Do you work at the school (we do!)? I’m guessing you live in South Eugene based on some of the comments you’ve made (we do too!)?

    Like

  4. Gillian 20 March 2008 / 11:06 am

    Eugenia, so many posts about local food in such a short time. Cheers to that and keep up the great posts!

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  5. Hannah 30 May 2008 / 1:24 am

    Hi Eugenia,

    Herewith a message from Holland
    I came across your site while searching for the Germany culinaria. I collect the Dutch version of the series.
    Should you have any questions about Dutch recipes, just let me know!

    ciao
    Hannah

    Like

  6. Eugenia 30 May 2008 / 8:29 am

    Thanks to everyone who has commented with such nice things to say.

    Hannah, thanks for the offer! My post on the Culinaria cookbooks series (https://culinariaeugenius.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/culinaria-cookbooks/ )is by far my most popular post on the search tracker that comes with WordPress blogs. There’s not enough press for these terrific books, in my opinion! I hope you’re enjoying them as much as I am. I wonder when they’ll be coming out with a Culinaria Netherlands cookbook?

    Like

  7. Eva 4 November 2008 / 12:46 pm

    I just learned something new today! I had no idea there was such a thing as a certified Master Food Preserver. I’ve been looking at becoming a Master Gardener, but I had no idea!

    Great blog. I’ll be back. :)

    Like

  8. elisfoods 8 December 2008 / 2:29 pm

    I love your blog and will be back soon. I am interested in the Master Food Preserver you mention. Is that a local thing or a national program? I love food!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Eli

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  9. Eugenia 9 December 2008 / 7:50 am

    Eva and Eli, thanks!

    The Master Food Preserver program is part of the Extension Service offered by public universities across the nation. About a hundred years ago, there was a bill in Congress that established federal matching funds for mainly rural colleges with agricultural programs to extend their services throughout each state. They did this by establishing “Extension Service Offices” in every county that they could. Some of the services these Extension offices provide in your county may include 4-H programs, commercial crop and home gardening advice from certified volunteers, homemaking education and nutrition education for schoolkids and seniors. And, of course, the Master Food Preserver program.

    It all depends on your area, though. Many counties have eliminated Extension altogether, since it relies on federal, state and county-level funding, so if the county is broke, the programming can’t continue. That’s what’s happening in my county, Lane County. We’re in the midst of a big fundraising campaign to keep Extension alive and well in Lane County. We’ve raised $30,000 in the past few months to keep our doors open until June.

    If you’re in Lane County, you might consider taking the Master Food Preserver certification training in 2009, which starts in April (check out the link to the right for more information). You receive 40-plus hours of training, take a certification test, then volunteer 40-plus hours to complete the program. I’d strongly recommend taking it this year, just because funding issues are likely to continue and the training may not be offered in the future.

    If you’re in another county or state, you may or may not have a MFP program. Other counties and states do training differently — check with your local Extension office to see if you have a MFP program and how to volunteer.

    And good luck! The MFP program has been such a wonderful, life-changing experience for me. Don’t hesitate to become involved.

    Like

  10. Robin 16 January 2009 / 11:52 am

    Thanks for the link to the Eugene Friendly Neighborhood Farmer’s group!

    Like

  11. Bruce 10 February 2009 / 8:16 pm

    Eugenia,

    Thanks for your nice words about my blog. I was impressed by Culinaria Eugenius, and pleased to discover another blogger is interested in both Korean and Hungarian cuisine. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  12. Winnie 14 February 2009 / 5:42 pm

    Hi Eugenia –
    Actually not sure how I found you except that you and I live in Eugene and are both Master Food Preservers. I haven’t been involved in MFP for about 5 or 6 years and am really missing it. Hoping to come back and help out this year. My daughter-in-law and I will be at the bread-making classes next Fri/Sat and then again for the last one. Thanks for all you are doing to get people more involved in eating locally. And I love those beans!
    Sharon

    Like

  13. Raychel 25 March 2009 / 4:18 pm

    I’m new to your blog (and love it), so please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see any postings about eating in at Long’s Meat Market.

    If you haven’t yet tried eating there, you must! They have the most delish BBQ brisket sandwiches on delicate ciabatta rolls, potato salad, mac and cheese, and baked beans that are to die for.

    They also do a “braise of the day.” When I was last there, it was braised oxtail, which was amazingly tasty. They have all kinds of meaty treats (and beverages)…and you can get them to go or eat them at the butcher shop–which is a cultural experience in itself!

    Like

  14. Eugenia 26 March 2009 / 10:18 am

    Bruce, Sharon and Raychel, thanks!

    Raychel: thanks for spreading the news about Long’s take-out items. Long’s is linked to my blog as one of the only stores in Eugene you can buy local meat. I didn’t know they did a braise-of-the-day, though. I’ll check it out!

    Like

  15. Jeff 1 April 2009 / 5:31 pm

    As a fellow Californian (Pleasanton in the East Bay) transplanted to Eugene (for school at the U of O) and also an aspiring foodie, I stumbled across your blog and really enjoy it! Keep up the great work!!!

    Like

  16. Carrie 19 April 2009 / 9:04 pm

    Hello,

    Happy to have found your blog. I hope that the Buffalonians treated you well, as I was born and raised there. I, too, moved here from California. I am now proud to call Eugene “home.”

    My husband and I helped to start Eugene Local Foods (www.eugenelocalfoods.com). Check it out and let us know what you think!

    Cheers,
    Carrie

    Like

  17. Stephen Wooten 1 July 2009 / 10:38 am

    awesome blog! thanks for doing it!

    Like

  18. corey wisun 10 July 2009 / 1:11 pm

    hi eugenia, i like your blog. you tell it like it is and show it’s ok to have high standards for our local food and restaurants. we just want good quality food, good service, and a fair price.

    that said, if you haven’t check us out yet, i encourage you to. i own Field to Table, we’re a full service catering company and also have a booth at the farmer’s market on tuesdays and saturdays. we prepare food on-site and keep it local, seasonal, and organic (as much as possible). i invite you to come down for breakfast, lunch, or brunch and check out what we’re doing. you’ll dig our weekly changing chalkboard menu too. cheers!

    Like

  19. Jaculynn Peterson 16 July 2009 / 8:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I am trying to contact you offline…would like to connect. Please advise.

    Like

  20. Eugenia 17 July 2009 / 5:46 am

    Carrie: great service — what a wonderful idea. Thanks for stopping by!

    Corey: I’ve seen your delicious menus at the Saturday market. I’ll stop by and say hello next time I’m there.

    Jaculynn: There’s contact info in the last paragraph of my post if you’d like to send me an email. Cheers!

    Like

  21. Eugenia 29 July 2009 / 8:10 am

    Hi everyone: I’m not sure I’d like the “About This Blog” to be a free space for advertising. This isn’t a community bulletin board. I don’t mind a mention of a local business or product, especially if it is from a customer, but I’m not a big fan of drive-by marketing. If you’d like to introduce me to a product or service, please feel free to send me an email. The address is listed in the last paragraph of this post.

    Like

  22. andierempel 5 August 2009 / 9:49 pm

    Hi Eugenia! I love your blog! It’s a wonderful inspiration for my own blog-in-the-making (about spatial design, experience, & performance, including windsurfers as well as buildings). I’m also looking forward to your November class! And, I think it’s so cool that you have another name too. I’m in the process of changing mine, as you can see. Thanks for all the great writing & best of luck!

    Like

  23. Rodney A. Butler 29 August 2009 / 12:02 pm

    All I can say is, “THANK YOU!!”

    Like

  24. anisettechef 27 September 2009 / 2:28 pm

    Wanted to Hello. I’m a fellow Eugeneite transplant from Ca. It seems we have a mutual friend, more on that later. She said I should stop by your blog and check it out. Nice Place you got here. You are invited to Saturday brunch at One Cup Cafe @ 298 Blair Blvd. from 10 am to 2 pm. We serve a small plate ala carte menu revolving around wilds and seasons. Please come by. Be sure to introduce yourself. I promise you’ll have some fun. – Jonathon

    Like

  25. NOBRAINER 1 October 2009 / 9:32 pm

    I love how everyone POSTS ALL THERE GOOD STUFF–>—-what a great way to stay informed about all the good food out there!

    Like

  26. CashReynolds 7 October 2009 / 10:07 pm

    Just found you via networked blogs on facebook. Glad I found you. apple cider donuts? Oh my goodness! I’ll be back. -Cash

    Like

  27. Amy I. 22 October 2009 / 2:37 pm

    Hi Eugenia! I just came across your blog (it was a recommended feed in my Google Reader). Looks like we have a lot in common! I’m also a food blogger living in Eugene, came from LA and was raised in the midwest. I’m glad I found another local foodie, and I’m looking forward to reading along.

    Like

  28. Scott/Mink 29 October 2009 / 8:55 am

    Hi,

    Congratulations on the ‘Best of Eugene’ mention! Very cool. It’s how I found your blog.

    Anyway, I’m a total foodie who has been transplanted to Eugene from from Portland. I have been madly searching for good nibbling spots in the area ever since my arrival, so I’m very excited to be reading your words. Please keep up the stellar work.

    If you are ever need a partner in mischief for a food adventure, please let me know. Dinner is on me.

    Thanks. Again, congrats.

    ~mink~

    Like

  29. corey wisun 17 November 2009 / 8:36 am

    hi Eugenia, forgive me for leaving a post but, i can not find your email address anywhere in this blog. my eyes are probably just deceiving me. could you please email me or something? i’d like to get you some info about the farm dinners at nib. and thanks for stopping by our booth a couple weeks ago and trying our vittles, sorry i missed you. take care~

    Like

  30. Eugenia 17 November 2009 / 9:42 am

    Hi Corey, no problem. The email address is in the last paragraph of the post (I don’t list it in a readable-to-spambot format for obvious reasons).

    Like

  31. eateugene 23 June 2010 / 9:02 am

    I really enjoy your blog and the great pictures!! You seem to have a great eye for food, and I’m glad to read about a fellow foodie at the UO.

    Like

  32. Charlotte Senn 8 November 2010 / 11:08 am

    Looking forward to reading your blog regularly

    Like

  33. Jennie Dornbusch 5 January 2011 / 10:39 am

    I stumbled on your Blogg when doing research on Étienne Brûlé. I come from a very small Historical group in Carroll Township and was looking for information on Étienne Brûlé’s discovery of our own Toussaint River. Any thing that you share with me would be wonderful for us to have in our Old Town Hall which serves as a mini museum.

    Like

  34. Carmen 23 March 2011 / 6:38 am

    I am so tickled to find your blog. I am moving to Eugene in June (from the middle of nowhere in WA state) and am so. incredibly. excited. to be back in civilization and my love fooooooooood….access to locally grown…. restaurants that don’t solely use deep fryers…spending time with others who love…

    Thanks!

    Carmen

    Like

  35. Eugenia 26 March 2011 / 6:27 am

    Hi Carmen, and welcome to Eugene! You’ll find plenty of deep fryers here, but the situation is getting better.

    Like

  36. Donna 29 April 2011 / 11:42 am

    Hi Eugenia,

    So happy to have found your blog. I will be relocating to Eugene within the month and will, for sure, be a frequent bloggee.

    Thank you for “culinariaeugenius”

    Like

  37. Holly Kurzhal 10 May 2011 / 10:33 am

    Just wanted to say Thank You! Thank you for enjoying My husband and my pickles, Kurzhal Family Kicken’ Pickles! We are working on getting a licensed kitchen built this year and plan to keep producing and making our own pickles, this years’ garden is much bigger than last year..and hopefully we’ll keep it up for the years to come! Pickling is a great fun, and hope to pass the tradition to our kiddos.

    Like

  38. Jeff & Tina Frison 10 May 2011 / 6:19 pm

    We are great friends with the Kurzhal family and are HUGE fans of their pickles.. They are by far the best around! And especially the bread and butter! They also make fantastic spicy pickled asparagus! We suggest that you make it a must to try all varieties they make,I promise you wont be left with anything less than satisfied and a carving for more.

    Like

  39. Lanna 7 August 2011 / 4:49 pm

    Hi, I have an off the wall question for you. Last year my husband and I canned up some Oregon albacore tuna, and oh yum. I was wondering if you know of any really great fish-mongers up in the Portland area that have tuna for a good deal. I live a state away, so I have to plan ahead and have things ready for my hubby to go pick up, and pretty much no time to poke around and shop around.

    Like

  40. Eugenia 7 August 2011 / 10:52 pm

    Hi Lanna, I’m sorry, but I don’t know fish shopping in PDX. We’re about two hours south and I don’t shop for fish up there! Why don’t you post the question on my facebook page — I’m sure someone can help.

    Like

  41. Sharon Doak 29 October 2011 / 1:00 pm

    Kurzhal Pickles ARE the best. Spicy, sweet (depending on what you eat). Can’t get enough of them. SOOO good. Can’t wait for them to be in our local deli’s and restaurants.

    Like

  42. Jessica 12 November 2011 / 8:04 am

    Hi Eugenia,
    I just recently found your blog through the Eugene Weekly “Best Of Eugene”. Very excited to read your blog regularly. Very informative, and wonderfully written. Thanks!

    Like

  43. Graciela Garlitz 15 November 2011 / 4:23 pm

    Very good site thank you so much for your time in writing the posts for all of us to learn about.

    Like

  44. Gretchen Getsinger 26 October 2013 / 10:08 am

    Found your blog through a google search for fermented green tomato relish. Will be following because I like your ‘curmudgeonly’ attitude and common sense approach to food.

    Like

  45. Mandy Shellhart 14 May 2014 / 8:51 pm

    Really enjoyed having you in the MFP class into day. Thank you for the 2 week Kimchi! Excited to get mine going!

    Like

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