Resources For Eating Local in SE Portland, Oregon
The PSU Farmers Market is now open every Saturday from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM with a full array of vendors. You can find everything from pasture raised chicken to mozzarella cheese to dried cherries to to pickles to hazelnut oil along with lots of produce and even fresh flowers!
There has never been a better time to begin or expand eating local. Maybe start small and just commit to eating a few meals each week with only local ingredients. Or decide to buy certain foods from local farmers.
I find that planning is key to purchasing most of my food directly from the farmer at a farmers market rather than a grocery store. I use the PSU Farmers Market Product Search to determine if what I need to buy is available and from whom. The PSU Market is pretty big so I also check out the Interactive Map to figure out where the booths I need to visit are located.
Popcorn can be an all Oregon snack with organic Amish Butter popcorn from Ayers Creek Farm popped in grapeseed oil from the southern Oregon Seed Oil Company and seasoned with salt from Jacobsen Salt Company. I really like the mild flavor the grapeseed oil adds to the popcorn. Ayers Creek Farm will be back at Hillsdale farmers market in July 2013. Jacobsen Salt Company is available at New Seasons and Pastaworks as well as a number of other locations. The grapeseed oil can be ordered from the Seed Oil Company online store.
Or pick up some popcorn on the cob from Sungold Farms and pop it in a paper bag in the microwave. I rubbed a little bit of Jacobs Creamery butter on the cob first. Just one cob made a plenty of popcorn for my husband and I to share. This was the first time I had made popcorn in a paper bag – so easy and very tasty! Sungold Farms and Jacobs Creamery are both at PSU farmers markets.
A few other farms sell popcorn grown in Oregon as well including Groundwork Organics which puts their popcorn in glass jars and Sunny Tuesday Farms which sells black popcorn. You can find Groundwork Organics at the PSU farmers market and Sunny Tuesday Farms at the Corvallis farmers market.
I knew that popcorn was high in fiber, but was surprised to learn recently that it had higher levels of antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables.
Studies have shown that eating seafood twice a week significantly reduces the risk of heart problems. Research also suggests that seafood consumption may prevent or relieve stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions. I feel so fortunate that there is such an abundance of local seafood available at farmers markets in the Portland area!
I often buy my seafood from Linda Brand Crab and Seafood. They fish dungeness crabs off the Oregon and Washington coast and also act as a collective with other fishers and local clam and oyster farmers in the area. They sell at many local farmers markets in the Portland area as well as having a retail store in Chinook, WA. You can even order through the retail store and then pick up the order at the farmers market. Their crab can also be found at New Seasons Markets. I especially appreciate that their seafood is local and sustainably harvested!
I purchased a dozen oysters from them at the Hollywood Farmers Market this past weekend. They were delicious cooked on the grill that evening! Oysters provide a host of health benefits,including high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and brain. They are low in fat, high in protein, and a good source of essential nutrients such as zinc, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium.
I found a pignoli cookie recipe in A Kitchen Takes Root which is a great blog with inspiring recipes emphasizing local ingredients. I thought it would be interesting to make three versions of this cookie using different combinations of nuts.
My first version used hazelnuts to give the recipe an Oregon twist. I followed the recipe exactly, just substituting Freddy Guys dry roasted hazelnuts for both the almonds and the pine nuts. They turned out delicious, very light and airy. This was my favorite version with all that great hazelnut flavor.
Homemade hazelnut extract instead of almond extract would also be good to try the next time I bake this cookie.
In my next version, I used Barbee Orchards almonds from Zilla, Washington for the batter and Freddy Guys dry roasted hazelnuts for the coating. I was surprised and delighted to find almonds being grown in Washington! It was very easy to blanch and remove the skins from the almonds before processing them. I like the almond and hazelnut combination very much, but preferred the all hazelnut one.
If you are looking for other hazelnut recipes, I would recommend the new Oregon Hazelnut Country cookbook by Oregon food columnist and cookbook author Jan Roberts-Dominguez.
My third version followed the recipe and I used pignoli nuts (pine nuts) from PineNut/Goods From The Woods which are harvested in Nevada or Utah. It was great to find pine nuts from a nearby state rather than a distant country! You can also take a fall road trip to the Great Basin and harvest your own pine nuts. The Barbee Orchards almonds were used for the batter as above. These pignoli cookies turned out great using the locally sourced, traditional ingredients.
I came across several discussions and warnings about pine mouth while looking into pine nuts. It sounds pretty awful. One more reason to buy pine nuts from US sources!
I appreciate the winter farmers market so much. They are crucial to making it possible to eat locally year round. I am continually amazed at the diversity of food that is available. This past Saturday I stopped by Hollywood Farmers Market to pick up a few items.
Gales Meadow Farm had early spring salad greens which was great as I really prefer the tender leaves. They also had a variety of hot sauces to chose from and the late season pepper one that I got is perfect – spicy and full of flavor. We talked about their duck eggs and I was surprised to learn they are often preferred for baking. I plan to pick some up at the next market along with their delicious looking dry beans. There were small containers of dried oregano and other herbs as well as fresh thyme. I was very happy to be able to purchase the oregano from Gales Meadow Farm rather than at a grocery store. It will make my spaghetti sauce this week taste great!
Hollywood Farmers Market is the first and third Saturday of the month through April, 9 AM – 1 PM. You will be able to find apples, beef, beets, bread, chard, cheese, fish, kale, leeks, onions, pastries, pears, potatoes, poultry, winter squash and much more!
Looking for Oregon Grains bread? NatureBake and Dave’s Killer Bread merged and all NatureBake products were discontinued effective January 1st, 2013. Thank you, thank you Daves Killer Bread for continuing to produce Oregon Grains bread after the merger!
The website notes that the biggest change is substituting organic dried cane syrup for locally sourced honey which was done to eliminate animal products from the bread. While I personally would have preferred they continued to use locally sourced honey, an impressive 80% of ingredients are sourced from within 100 miles of the the Dave’s Killer Bread headquarters.
Dave’s Killer Bread is widely available at many locations in Oregon, although I have found Oregon Grains often sold out. I always buy two loaves if I see it and freeze one. Another idea is to head to The Healthy Bread Store where they offer fresh imperfects, day old, and frozen at a reduced cost. The store is located at 5209 SE International Way, Milwaukie, OR 97222 M – F 7:30am – 6pm, Sat. 8am – 5pm, Sun. 9am – 5pm. You can call ahead if you want to check on what breads are available. (503) 335-8077 X 2
I find I am doing a lot more cooking at home as I try to eat more local as that is the best way to know what ingredients are in my food and who grew them. Sometimes I need a piece of kitchen equipment that I don’t own. I always hesitate to purchase more appliances or gadgets because I already own quite a few and, like most folks, don’t use many of them as often as I expected.
Kitchen Share SE has a great solution! For a small one time fee, you can borrow the tool you need for a week from their lending library . Their inventory includes everything from a pasta maker to a bottle capper to ice cream makers. If you need it, they probably have it. What a wonderful idea to have a way to share kitchen tools! My thanks to all who made it possible.
Kitchen Share SE is located at 2800 SE Harrison Street, Portland, OR in the in the main corridor of the St. David of Wales Episcopal Church. They are open Tuesdays 5pm to 8pm.
I signed up and borrowed a bread machine to try out. I can’t wait to bake some bread and make some pizza dough!
They also accept donations so think of them first if you have a kitchen appliance or tool that you plan to get rid of. Be sure to take a look at their wish list of highly desired items.
If you would like to borrow home and garden tools, check out the SE Portland Tool Library.