start spreading the news! two illustrious guests on food for thought today

Great show today on KLCC’s Food for Thought with yours truly and Ryan!  We’ll be discussing my recent trip to New York,  downtown revitalization with Brendan Mahaney of Belly, and the recent Oregon visit by author and former New York Times food columnist Molly O’Neill, who came to Eugene last month as part of her One Big Table project.

Listen in at noon to 1:00 on KLCC (89.7) and all its sister stations south of PortlandLivestreaming is here.  I’ll post a link to archives when they’re available.

ETA:  Fun show!  An .mp3 archive of today’s show is now available for downloading for free on the KLCC site.

niblets: september song edition

This tomato is absolutely tired of the heat.  Hear me complain about it, and myriad other issues, on my first co-hosting gig on KLCC’s Food for Thought, this Sunday, September 11, at noon.  We’ve got a great show planned with a special guest from a local pizzeria (who also co-founded a prominent organic pasta company — any guesses?).

If you’re longing for East Coast summers at the shore, stroll over to PartyCart for their tarragon-shrimp roll (above).  It’s an interpretation of a lobster roll, and I daresay better than most lobster rolls out there with homemade grilled, buttered bread rigged out like a hotdog roll.  Plus, fresh-as-can-be Oregon bay shrimp.  And you don’t have to fight a hurricane to get it!

I ran into my friend Richard there, co-proprietor of the almost-famous Indy Pop soda company, who told me over a watermelon-ginger green soda that they’re working hard to roll out soda syrups for restaurant set-ups.  Soon, they’ll be bigger than Coke!  And speaking of cola, a new raspberry cola flavor is in the works. Great article on Indy Pop in the Eugene Weekly Chow! section recently, too.

On the other side of the lot, business was booming for Red Wagon Creamery.  Eugene’s new cult ice cream!  I watched them sell out every flavor by 8 p.m.  Co-owner and wit Stuart shared his growing experience with making natural bases and what goes in to other ice creams.  All I can say is check your labels, folks –yuck!  I was particularly pleased to see that their Buttered Corn ice cream will still be around for the near future.  It’s delicious, a buttery, icy version of kettle corn made with local Bodacious sweet corn and organic butter.

Yeah, that stuff.  Mmmm….

In other news, the Willamette Farm & Food Coalition is at it again, with a series of fundraising dinners with local restaurants.  Upcoming WFFC dinners include Marché, The Davis, and Ratatouille Bistro.  Next up, a delicious partnership with The Rabbit Bistro (update your web menu for cryin’ out loud, Rabbits!).  I’m a huge Rabbit fan, and would strongly suggest you set aside your inhibitions and try this set menu dinner, featuring some of our best local food:

On Tuesday September 20th Chef Gabriel Gil of the Rabbit Bistro will offer a 5-course dinner showcasing foods from Creative Growers and Boondockers’ Farm, with wine pairings from Willamette Valley vineyards.

Tickets are $80 (50% of which benefits WFFC) and can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets. Doors open at 6pm.

This event will be limited to the first 40 folks who sign up, so if you are a fan of Chef Gil’s at the Rabbit, don’t hesitate, order your tickets now!

Over at the Lane County farmers market, harvest is underway.  I was pleased and delighted to see that Mountain View Farm out of Junction City had not only red and green okra, but local sweet potatoes, too. That’s what I like about the South (Willamette Valley)!

Ross Penhallegon of Lane County Extension, for those of you who don’t know him, is a fabulous resource for what’s happening locally with our major crops.  Read all of his informative, timely, haiku-like field reports on the OSU Garden Hints Forum on Facebook.  This one was posted on Wednesday:

Apples ripening nicely.
Asian pears – about ready.
Peaches – nice but nearing end.
Plums – near ripe but small crop.
Veggies – very good.
Tomatoes – coming on full scale.
Few insects still.
Enjoy the weather.

As we venture into tomato canning and salsa season, I’d like to remind you that tomatoes are one of those risky foods to can if you don’t use an approved recipe.  There’s much more variance in acidity than there used to be in tomatoes, so it’s essential to waterbath-can with lemon juice or pressure-can. Try the Extension recipes in the downloadable .pdf files, “Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products” and “Salsa Recipes for Canning.” I’d suggest the recipe for chile salsa, if you like hot peppers, or tomato paste salsa if you like it thick.  Too many green tomatoes?  Clicky here!

There are also fall strawberries and raspberries, summer’s last hurrah.  Not the best for jams, but pick up a flat to freeze, or dry the strawberries with your Gravenstein apples, now ready for preserving at a number of local farms.

And don’t forget the fish for a simple grilled outdoor supper! Fisherman’s Market reports this morning:

Fresh fish in today: Blue Marlin, Sashimi Ahi Tuna, Oregon Albacore Tuna, True Cod, and Snapper! Also fresh Columbia River Chinook, Alaskan Halibut, and Ling Cod! Or get some fresh shellfish: Live Oregon Bay Crab, Main Lobster, Coos Bay Oysters, Savory Clams, Blue Mussels, Sea Scallops, and for a limited time Bay Scallops from Mexico!

fresh crab on klcc’s food for thought: new co-host!

A wise man once said:

They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don’t give you any choice
’cause they think that it’s treason.
So you had better do as you are told.
You better listen to the radio.

The voices of reason long fled for the coast, I’d advise you to listen to me, instead!  Starting September 11, I’ll be serving up sounds of local food as one of the new co-hosts on KLCC’s Food for Thought.  Today, we’ll bid a semi-goodbye to Boris Wiedenfeld, who will be semi-retiring as co-host (see his announcement on the Food for Thought Facebook page for more info).

We’ve decided to do rotating hosting duties, several of us sitting in once a month, either with Ryan or Boris.  You’ll hear not only me, but also radio veterans Anni Katz of Humble Beagle, Laura McCandlish of Corvallis food writing and radio fame, occasionally Brian Hebb of Red Agave, and possibly Leslie Hildreth of KLCC, who will be mainly focusing on produced pieces.  I’m the radio neophyte in this group, so you’re welcome to laugh at what will certainly be a series of flubs.  Everyone else is already a pro.  I’m particularly impressed that Anni and Brian are willing to donate their time, both being extremely busy restaurateurs and parents.  With so many of us participating, you’ll be sure to hear a wide range of perspectives on wining and dining in Oregon and beyond.

The radio program is on our local NPR affiliate, 89.7 FM, and is aired on Sundays from noon to 1 p.m.  I’ll be headed over to the station today to shadow Boris and Ryan and learn the trade, so maybe you’ll hear me scuttling around this afternoon, too.

And if you haven’t voted yet, please vote for my blog as Best Blog in Eugene in the annual Eugene Weekly reader poll.  Let’s make it two years running!  If you like KLCC’s Food for Thought, vote for us, too!  We could use the support during this transition, and we love bringing you local food coverage.  The station, unlike my blog, needs to cater to its audience, so letting them know you support this local program means much more than just good feelings — it allows us to continue with the show.

As I mentioned last week, to vote, you’ll need to register for free but they won’t sell your email to advertisers.  Vote in at least 10 categories for your ballot to count.  Thank you so much!

Even if you choose not to vote, I’d love to hear from you in comments here or on Facebook (Culinaria Eugenius is here, FFT on KLCC is here) or by calling in to the show at 1-800-922-3682 or 541-463-KLCC.  Do you like what we’re doing at Culinaria Eugenius or KLCC’s Food for Thought or do you have a question that might be of interest to other readers/listeners?  Interactivity is great and brings more breadth to the forum, so fire away!

my guest appearance on klcc’s food for thought

I had a wonderful time today with hosts Ryan and Boris on KLCC’s new food show, Food for Thought.  We talked about food preservation and the closure of OSU Extension’s Lane County office.  The real stars of the show were the Lane County Fair award-winning salsas made by my fellow Master Food Preserver Polly Wilson and her husband Dan!

You can hear an archived MP3 of the broadcast on the KLCC website.