Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Farmers Market Dinner

I've been going to the farmers market again, something that inspires me to be more creative about cooking. There's always some live music, usually the fiddle type. There's food to eat there, and food to take home. I go to the East Bank market on Thursdays. (They're all packing up at the end of the day in the photo.)

The folks who managed it previously moved away, and now Portland Farmers Market manages it. I've liked the Thursday market because it's not so busy and hectic as some of the other ones. At first didn't seem to be as homey as it was last year. The band was amplified, but now the small 2-3 person bluegrass type band is back, the sort of band that just plain asks for the cute 4 year olds to dance close and twirl.

A few weeks back I discovered something they call a Mediterranean squash. You can treat it like zucchini or yellow squash. It is light green with a lighter striation. I sauteed it with some white pepper.

Yesterday, I grilled it. I went all out and made a nice dinner for my sweetie and his sweetie. I had a bag of salad greens from the market, blueberries, shallots, orange tomatoes. I had free bread. We can never eat a whole loaf of hearty bread before it gets moldy. The market was closing, and I approached the Great Harvest booth, asking what they'd charge for the pieces left from their sample loaves. They just gave them to me, and tried to give me all of it, more than a whole loaf. I thought I'd make a blueberry salad dressing if I could, so I googled a bit, and found several versions of a savory blueberry sauce recommended for chicken.

Poking my head in the freezer, I found a package of veat, my favorite substitute for chicken in recipes. So I decided to go ahead and grill it as well as bake my Worthington Dinner Roast. I turned the grill down fairly low to bake the roast that way rather than heat up the house. An old school veggie meat, this is still my favorite to replace turkey at Thanksgiving. As far as I know the only place you can get this in Portland is the Daily Grind. That store is also old school vegetarian, it's original owners being Seventh Day Adventists. Different owners now, but they still carry the products.

I had fresh thyme (that I still need to plant) from the market, as well as rosemary for the savory blueberry sauce. I was taking a bold step, trying something I was sure none of us had encountered before, but fairly certain we'd like it. I used a nicer wine than one usually would for cooking, but we would drink the rest at dinner. I made some garlic butter for the bread, which I wrapped in foil and put in the grill. I also cut up an almost stale french baguette for croutons...a little oil, salt, some leftover garlic butter, tossed in a little foil bowl that also went on the little upper shelf in the grill.

Somehow it all came together and all the food was done just as Krissy arrived. Then I fussed over them and worried it would get cold while they lingered over the salad. Krissy's rather active in the zine world and is gearing up for the Zine Symposium. I told her I was thinking I would try to put one together, gathering together some writings I've done on my poly and Buddhist path. She was all for it, and we three spent a good amount of time talking about what it means to be poly and how it works well. She's looked around and around for information that spoke to her situation, but a lot of what she's found is aimed toward couples opening up their relationships. Nothing for someone who'd formerly thought of herself as monogamous, but then finds herself involved with a non-monogamous man. Krissy has a friend who has always considered herself polyamorous, but circumstances put her in a dyad. She really liked the way her friend expressed an inherent flexibility, "It depends on who you're with."

We had some more wine. Drove to Dairy Queen just in time before it closed, and all three of us had chocolate dipped cones. It was a very fine evening with my family.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Enji! A the blog smells of food preparation... ! Totally cool, the making of a loving meal. And you used lots that was at hand. I love making meals like that, especially when my wife says "we have nothing here," and I go and make her something to wow her just with what is there. : ) Sounded good in all respects Enji, but in particular in the loving attention, the exploration, the sensuousness of the evening, and the care. Thanks!

All the best to you and your family!