iron chef story in register-guard!

My story on the Iron Chef competition appeared in the Register-Guard today.  See the lovely photo of all four chef-competitors here, and be ready to support your favorite chef.  Any bets on who will win?  Eugene Eats is conducting a Facebook poll, and they’ve asked twitterers to twitter the event.

See you at the festival!

(P.S. For those of you interested in the pressure canning gauge testing, I’ve amended the information a bit.  See previous post.)



soup glorious soup: new article in chow

I’m pleased to share with you my latest article for Eugene Weekly‘s Chow, a daring exposé of unusual local soups.  OK, that may be stretching it, but the article includes a recipe (of sorts) by Chef Gabriel Gil of Rabbit Bistro.  (See I love this glimpse into the mind of a master soup maker.  The recipe doesn’t provide a basic soup recipe; rather, it exposes his method for anyone who knows the basics of soupmaking and wants to refine and inspire their own technique.  I’m sure some will be unhappy about the lack of specifics, but there are so many basic soup recipes for those who have never forayed into this important part of cooking, I’d advise you to experiment with anything you find that appeals, then come back to Gil’s method.

The ingredients in the soup bowl above (image by Trask Bedortha of the Eugene Weekly) exemplify Gil’s creativity, and I’m sad we didn’t get the details in a caption.  But I can tell you now: turnip, pork, and licorice.  It’s a turnip purée with a porky broth, garnished with pieces of soft black licorice candy (!!), maybe pimentón pepper? and chervil?, and chicharrones.  The soup is infused with a hint of licorice that beautifully perks up the turnip, and as you’re musing on that, the pepper tingles your tongue.  Using real licorice, instead of aniseed or Pernod or licorice root, is the whimsical surprise, and it really worked.  And I’m not just saying this as a licorice lover.  Or a turnip soup lover.  Or a pork…well, you get the picture.

I’m only sad it’s gone.

Be sure to check out the fab article on the Food for Thought radio program with Boris Wiedenfeld and Ryan Dawe-Stotz.  I’m very glad Vanessa Salvia’s article on the Food Justice Conference made it in, as well.  I couldn’t write about it because of conflict of interest (although I’m not sure why a free event would conflict anyone), and am glad she did it food justice.

survey for Register-Guard features sections

I mentioned a few days ago that our local daily newspaper, The Register-Guard, is running a survey.  If you respond to it by February 11, either in the paper or online via this link, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for Café Zenon.

Let the powers that be know that you want more coverage of local, sustainable food!

Although I’d love to write regularly about food preservation, I can’t promise that I’d be doing that coverage.  But if folks express a demand for articles on local farms and restaurants, and the culinary shift that’s been happening toward eating local, food preservation skills, and reviving old-fashioned traditions, I’m sure that they will increase the space dedicated to these things in the paper.

Thank you!

comfy confit article in the R-G!

Check out my latest article for the Eugene Register-Guard, an exploration of making confit on a budget at home.  It features my faux-confit chicken drummettes (which are a version of the recent NYT less-fat duck confit recipe), my adaptation for chicken drumsticks of Married…with Dinner’s wonderful, authentic duck confit recipe, and a recipe for a delicious, simple salad with shredded duck confit from Brendan Mahaney of Belly. The picture above is my own frisée salad with the faux-confit chicken drums, blue cheese, hazelnuts and pickled beets.

If you get the paper version of the newspaper, please fill out the survey in the Living section to show your support for more local cooking articles!  I’d love to do regular features on food preservation, but without your support, I’m not sure that it’s understood that this is a major trend in local cooking across America. You can also take the survey online, but I don’t have the link right now.  I’ll post it later!

Yum yum!

second-best blog!


Thank you to everyone who voted for me for the Eugene Weekly’s Best Blog award.  I came in second!  The EW! Blog came in first and a ‘zine with which I was unfamiliar, Urinal Gum, came in third.  I like the idea of being between EW! and a urinal.  That might make me the urinal cake.

I also wanted to put the shout out (again) to Best Restaurant, Belly, and Best New Restaurant, Off the Waffle.  I did the write-ups for these guys, and I’m so pleased that they won, because I really do feel that they represent the best our little town has to offer in yumyums.

One more delight I feel I should share is in the Best of the Ballots category:


Fix the fucking bike lanes before somebody gets killed. Also, a Lebanese deli would be rather sweet.

Now, there’s a man/woman after my own heart.  My husband bikes to school, and I worry about him more, now that the rain is here and leaves are piling up in the bike lanes.  By the way, I’ve been hearing good things about the falafel at Mommy’s Pastrami and Falafel.  Not a Lebanese deli, but it might take the edge off.


what is black and white and purple all over?


Check out my article on Oregon blackberries, which appears today in the Eugene Register-Guard.  I discuss types of blackberries and blackberry-raspberry crosses, and what we’ve been doing in Oregon to breed better berries.

Then I focus on the crisis at hand: what can you do with too many fresh blackberries?  I provide three yummy recipes: a dark, boozy, fresh blackberry coulis (sauce), a light and spongy blackberry pudding, soaked in juice, and a fresh blackberry pie that is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.

If you’d like to see some more of my berry concoctions or debate the finer points of blackberry tasting with me, stop by the Lane County Fair Master Food Preserver presentation today.  I’m giving a talk on “Blackberries Gone Wild” at 2:00.  We’re in the Auditorium.

Check out the MFP booth, too, and all the award-winning preserved foods and baked goods judged in the fair.  I’m always amazed by how beautiful and delicious it all looks.  We’ll have information about new classes and fall events, and we’ll be happy to talk to you about your questions about cooking and preserving food safely.   Stop by and say hello — we’d love to have your support for this and other OSU Extension-Lane County programs!