Category Archives: tours

Thanksgiving Menu 2012

There’s always that moment each November when I finally commit to the Thanksgiving menu. This is often in the middle of NaNoWriMo, quince frenzy, and other such autumnal insanities.

We’re hosting a small crew this year, which is just the way I like it. My preferred approach to Thanksgiving is more like Foodie Holiday All Day where I can just be in the kitchen making stuff I really like. Hence, no mashed potatoes on this menu. If people want mashed potatoes, they can bring that themselves! I’m not completely anti-tradition, but for me, this holiday is about cooking and eating. And if I’m doing the hosting, then I’m only going to prepare what I actually like and can eat. So here it is:

Thanksgiving Menu 2012

As you can see, we’ll have a vegetarian, a diabetic, and someone who doesn’t drink or eat sweets (including honey). Then there’s me, straight-up crazy with the food, so this menu has to be SCD-legal. Seems like the American way these days to have eaters all over the map, which is fine by me. I enjoy accommodating people’s needs, especially for the holidays when food is such A Thing.

A lot of the items on this menu I’ve already made, like the quince liqueur (made with honey. yea!), limoncello (The Man made this, actually, and with honey, double-yea!), membrillo (made with honey, for the win!), and I’m making the bread tonight from Kendall Conrad’s cookbook. She has an excellent cashew bread recipe. It’s great for making stuffing, too. Yum.

And today we went and picked up the turkey from Champoeg Farm. Here’s a pic of their chickens eating pumpkins (the turkeys were, ahem, indisposed already):

chickens eating pumpkins

Looking forward to it!

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Forktown Food Tours

I went on a really fantastic food tour last week with my volunteer group, led by Jessica K. of Forktown Food Tours. We hit several spots in the Nob Hill/NW neighborhood of Portland, which is truly a food paradise. I didn’t realize they now have a farmers market at NW 23rd/Savier on Thursdays from 3-7 through Sept. 30th, so that was a real treat. I’ll have to go back: Rogue Creamery was there selling FRESH BUTTER. Wow. Besides the market, we also hit some of my other favorite places: Besaw’s, Kenny & Zuke’s, City Market, Two Tarts (gluten-free macarons!), and Wildwood.

One thing I really appreciated about the tour was that Jessica asked during the reservation process if anyone had any food allergies, and that she would do her best to accommodate them if at all possible. Now that is service!! It turned out there were two celiacs on the tour and the places we visited were extremely kind in offering us gluten-free options. I LOVE when restaurants go the extra mile. It makes a huge impression on me and I’m sure other GF people as well (we tend to tell all our friends). So THANKS especially to Two Tarts bakery for the gluten-free blackberry macarons and Kenny & Zuke’s pastrami “sandwich,” sans bread. Other tasty highlights included:

  • An awesome blackberry kir royale at Besaw’s. I’m definitely going back soon just to have another one.
  • The albacore fingerling potato salad at BBQ on the Patio at Wildwood (basically their version of happy hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
  • The d’Arles sausage of Olympic Provisions, my current favorite sausage of theirs. The Man prefers Alsace.
  • The crabapple single-fruit Wickson cider from Wandering Aengus Ciderworks. Wow. Interesting.

Jessica was great at providing a little Portland city history mixed in with its culinary history as well, and she kept up the pace so we didn’t linger too long in any one spot. I think it’s a super tour for both locals and visitors alike. She also offers a food tour of North Portland, which sounds intriguing, as well as a beer tour.

As an aside, Laurelhurst Market just got ranked as one of the top ten U.S. restaurants by Bon Appetit. Awesome!

Here are some photos from the food tour:

Olympic Provisions booth at farmers market

Eli and Tyler showing off their sausages.

Assorted sausages on display

Droolsville.

Wandering Aengus booth at farmers market

I'll take a bottle of each, please.

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