warm weather food & cucumber lemon water

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oh my lord it has been hot in portland. high 80s all week. i supposed that is pretty tame based on the beating from the sun the rest of the world is getting, but here in the pacific northwest we’re not used to the heat.

growing up in alaska didn’t set me up well for the heat either. i’m proud of myself when i wear pants in 70 degree weather, something i used to make fun of tourists for doing when i was growing up. when anything over 65 means beach weather, surviving in 90 degree heat is quite an accomplishment.

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i went to the grocery store this morning and we went about our usual ritual of trying to figure out what the hell we were going to eat. the only criteria for about the past month has been that any food we make cannot require time in the oven. anything requiring the stove top is carefully considered whether it will be worth it or not.

so what to eat? what old favorite to put a new spin on? i know often food bloggers are never satisfied with a classic recipe. plain latkes become zucchini potato latkes and chocolate ice cream becomes malted chocolate ice cream with sea salt caramel truffles and a goat cheese swirl. (that actually sounds so good now that i type it.) the point being: we’re not often satisfied with the usual.

while i am definitely one to throw in crazy twists from time to time this hot weather has me flocking back to some classics that i don’t think need any improving. Continue reading

tofu bánh mì and bubble tea

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i have finally perfected one of my favorite meals and am so excited to share it with you! i work in a part of portland where there is are myriad asian restaurants and grocery stores. at least once a week i make the short trek with co-workers to best baguette for a sandwich and some bubble tea. i will leave that job with a healthy (?) addiction to bubble tea and after about five attempts making it in my kitchen and i think i’ve nailed it.

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when i first heard of bánh mì i was very skeptical. asian food on a baguette. what?! how can those two foods be put together and make sense? but the origins offer an obvious explanation; vietnam was colonized by the french. for over a century france is there shoving its moral and religious values on the native people, taxing them, profiting from opium and alcohol trading, and eventually exploiting the natural resources of the area. only to leave once they’ve created the conditions that will lead to the vietnam war and the arguable genocide of a people.

this sandwich, like many others, is a legacy of colonialism. it makes me wonder what a free exchange of cultures would look like rather than the dominant culture appropriating things (and selling things like the “navajo hipster panty”). this sandwich is also so damn good. it’s a bit conflicting when prefaced with that history. Continue reading

chocolate peanut butter smoothie & RIP trayvon

IMG_1162i had a post almost all ready to go challenging the low fat culture in society (as well as in the blogosphere) but then something much more important came up. george zimmerman was aquitted in florida. george zimmerman kills a child and gets away with it because trayvon martin was black. this is a tragedy.

however, my feed of food blogs has been completely silent on the issue. i realize i’m just now publishing this post but i’ve been a little busy organizing a rally calling for justice for trayvon that drew almost 1000 people. (more national and portland coverage here.) while i shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of response from food bloggers, i am still disappointed. after the shooting at sandy hook or the tornado in oklahoma i couldn’t escape post after post praying for the victims and expressing condolences. what makes this different is that it wasn’t a white child that was hurt or killed, it was a black child whose lives are not valued in the media and whose families apparently don’t warrant those same sentiments of support and sympathy. Continue reading

shaved asparagus flatbread and some announcements

asparagus flatbread

so it seems my new posting ritual has been whittled down to a monthly and when i do post they sometimes come all at the same time. i’m becoming ok with that (i have a real job for now and a pretty busy life even outside that) and while my goal is going to be posting weekly, i’m ok if even that doesn’t happen. sorry to disappoint my many fans (hi mom! hi karen!). this is tied in with announcement number one: i’m only posting the most incredibly wonderful recipes i create/come across. even if that lentil soup for lunch was pretty good, if it’s not awesome there is no place for it here. this means i have to make something at least twice at home before i feel comfortable throwing it on the interwebs so i can guarantee i have the recipe down and the first delicious time wasn’t a fluke. while i wanted to bend my rules and get this asparagus flatbread on here pronto, i stuck with it and enjoyed it a second time before passing it along.

the second announcement isn’t food related, but is blog content related. initially when i created this piece of the internet i wanted to share recipes for the awesome food i make all the time. with that comes a bit of personal sharing… why i was craving mac and cheese, where the recipe comes from, etc. when other blogs strayed from the personal to the political (the personal is political, silly) it bugged me, but mostly because the political i see on most blogs talks about individual solutions for societal problems (hello, climate change), blindly mourns tragedy rather than critically analyzes it, or throws around jingoism around any holiday they can get.

marxist, leninist, feminist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, pro-palestinian, environmental, pro-lgbtqqa rights with your food, anyone? Continue reading

adventures in gardening

our second harvest

last year the boyfriend and i decided to put a raised bed in our backyard. we never got the soil we needed and ended up with a shoddily constructed wood frame filled with weeds.

this year we did it right. we bought plants before we built the raised bed to put the fire under our asses, borrowed a circular saw from the neighbors to cut some nice wood, and filled it up with dirt. then we threw some plants in the soil and continued in our experiment.

we’ve had two harvests so far, one being a giant bag of snap peas, the next being a huge bowl of butter lettuce, some fat short carrots, and a few stalks of rhubarb. thus far we’ve learned: snap peas take over gardens but can live in the shade well, lettuce will keep on growing upward as long as you pick leaves from the bottom, and carrots are damn hard to grow. Continue reading