Ginger Magic

Today a piece I wrote on pickled ginger ran in the Register Guard - you can read it here

Which has me thinking about what else people want to learn how to make, and what I should be sending out in terms of pitches. If only I had like, Grace Helbig-level followers. I could post on Tumblr hey, what do you want to read about? And people would answer. 

Maybe I should just email Grace Helbig. Now there’s an idea.

Some say it ain’t easy being green. I say it ain’t always easy being a freelance food writer. Case in point - articles like the one posted on First We Feast: 20 things everything thinks about the food world (but nobody will say). Followed by a post on the same website that deals with 20 most annoying things servers do. 

It became painfully clear that the person putting together the server article had never set foot in the back of the house. 

But, this is food writing. Where have all the Ruth Reichls gone. 

Tags: Food Ginger DIY

Yikes, it’s September! 
Since I last posted anything original, I’ve celebrated a birthday, had a bash, went to see the always amazing and entertaining Michael Franti, went camping, made new friends and picked up loads of freelance work. I’ve been so busy it’s been wonderful. 
Here are a few things I’ve written in the past few weeks:
For Poor Taste: 
An ode to sweet summer corn, how to pickle green beans, and how to fail at making saltwater taffy. 

For the Eugene Weekly: 
A run down of the music lineups for the annual Eugene Celebration and a preview for the Mavis Staples show coming to Eugene with Bonnie Raitt. 

For the Register Guard: 
A feature on Ginger Kesey, the graphic designer behind original artwork for Kesey Enterprises and the McDonald Theater, Cuthbert Amphitheater and Eugene Celebration. 

And, I think that’s all for now. There’s a ton of stuff in the works, possibly a new job opportunity and an upcoming Minnesota vacation. I think I’ll like September. 
What about you? 

Yikes, it’s September! 

Since I last posted anything original, I’ve celebrated a birthday, had a bash, went to see the always amazing and entertaining Michael Franti, went camping, made new friends and picked up loads of freelance work. I’ve been so busy it’s been wonderful. 

Here are a few things I’ve written in the past few weeks:

For Poor Taste: 

An ode to sweet summer corn, how to pickle green beans, and how to fail at making saltwater taffy

For the Eugene Weekly: 

A run down of the music lineups for the annual Eugene Celebration and a preview for the Mavis Staples show coming to Eugene with Bonnie Raitt. 

For the Register Guard: 

A feature on Ginger Kesey, the graphic designer behind original artwork for Kesey Enterprises and the McDonald Theater, Cuthbert Amphitheater and Eugene Celebration. 

And, I think that’s all for now. There’s a ton of stuff in the works, possibly a new job opportunity and an upcoming Minnesota vacation. I think I’ll like September. 

What about you? 

It keeps getting hotter here in Eugene - but I’m not complaining. I love summer, and I especially love summer berries. This past week I’ve published two articles with berries as the star - 
#1: Honey Preserved Berries for my On the Make column at Poor Taste. The process is super simple, and ends with berries swimming in a light, sweet syrup. Perfect Christmas gifts.  
#2 Sweet and Silly Desserts for the Register Guard. This piece focuses on summer desserts packed with berries and silly names like sonker, slump, grunt, fool, and clafoutis. I’ve got history + recipes, my favorite food feature combination. 
#3 (and nothing to do with berries) is a piece about blues musician Jonny Lang. He’s coming to Eugene August 14 with Buddy Guy and I just happened to have gone to middle school with him. We talked for the first time in almost 20 years, and he said it was the first time anyone he knew had interviewed him. He’s a great guy and a very distinctive musician. 
That’s all in the writing world of See Jack Write land this week. Next week will be all about Australia, Eugene Celebration, and green beans. 
Have a great day, I’m off the float the river. 

It keeps getting hotter here in Eugene - but I’m not complaining. I love summer, and I especially love summer berries. This past week I’ve published two articles with berries as the star - 

#1: Honey Preserved Berries for my On the Make column at Poor Taste. The process is super simple, and ends with berries swimming in a light, sweet syrup. Perfect Christmas gifts.  

#2 Sweet and Silly Desserts for the Register Guard. This piece focuses on summer desserts packed with berries and silly names like sonker, slump, grunt, fool, and clafoutis. I’ve got history + recipes, my favorite food feature combination. 

#3 (and nothing to do with berries) is a piece about blues musician Jonny Lang. He’s coming to Eugene August 14 with Buddy Guy and I just happened to have gone to middle school with him. We talked for the first time in almost 20 years, and he said it was the first time anyone he knew had interviewed him. He’s a great guy and a very distinctive musician. 

That’s all in the writing world of See Jack Write land this week. Next week will be all about Australia, Eugene Celebration, and green beans. 

Have a great day, I’m off the float the river. 

Hello everyone!
I feel as if lately I find myself doing more scrolling through Tumblr hearting and reblogging things than actually posting, which kind of sucks. Here I am again, lamenting the fact I don’t blog more often… in a blog post. Hmmm.
In addition to checking out Matchbook, that AMAZING Tumblr that pairs book covers with bikinis, here are a few things I’m hoping you’ll consider reading this week: 
Before we begin, yes… this is shameless promotion, as all these articles were written by me. 
1: Discovering delectable summer relishes - perfect toppings for any grilled meat. A recent column for Poor Taste
2: How to turn a regular old piece of salmon into cured gravlax. In two days. It’s pretty awesome and delicious. I’m sorry if you don’t live in the PNW and your salmon runs more than $10 a pound. 
3: Turn three different kinds of fruit into delicious pickles - pickle cherries, strawberries, and watermelon rind. Not only do I tell you how to do it, but I offer suggestions for what to eat with your tangy pickles. One of my cookbook hero’s Karen Solomon retweeted my tweet about this, and I almost peed my pants I was so excited. I did this piece for Culinate. 
4: Now for something I really hope you read: Nicki Maxwell’s RAFT Garden in Eugene.
Did you know that living in Oregon means I also live in Salmon Nation? A few years ago a man named Gary Nabhan divided our nation into different food nations depending on the heirloom foods that are native to each region. My parents, living in North Dakota live in Bison Nation, and when I lived in Tahoe I lived in Pinola Nut Nation. 
I’m fascinated about this - and what it means for us. See, RAFT stands for Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and that’s what Maxwell’s garden is all about. She discovered Nabhan’s book and researched the endangered foods of Salmon Nation. For the past few years she’s been growing the endangered foods in her RAFT garden for the purpose of saving and spreading the seeds. 
Bottom line - our biodiversity has been lost, and we are approaching a precipice. Now is the time to embrace our separate Nation’s specialties and help nurture them back from extinction. Screw Monsanto. Read Nicki’s journey - and maybe get inspired to take RAFT into your one life. 
I think that’s all for now. Next week I’ll be back with tales of silly summer dessert, picnic tips, and more. 

Hello everyone!

I feel as if lately I find myself doing more scrolling through Tumblr hearting and reblogging things than actually posting, which kind of sucks. Here I am again, lamenting the fact I don’t blog more often… in a blog post. Hmmm.

In addition to checking out Matchbook, that AMAZING Tumblr that pairs book covers with bikinis, here are a few things I’m hoping you’ll consider reading this week: 

Before we begin, yes… this is shameless promotion, as all these articles were written by me. 

1: Discovering delectable summer relishes - perfect toppings for any grilled meat. A recent column for Poor Taste

2: How to turn a regular old piece of salmon into cured gravlax. In two days. It’s pretty awesome and delicious. I’m sorry if you don’t live in the PNW and your salmon runs more than $10 a pound. 

3: Turn three different kinds of fruit into delicious pickles - pickle cherries, strawberries, and watermelon rind. Not only do I tell you how to do it, but I offer suggestions for what to eat with your tangy pickles. One of my cookbook hero’s Karen Solomon retweeted my tweet about this, and I almost peed my pants I was so excited. I did this piece for Culinate. 

4: Now for something I really hope you read: Nicki Maxwell’s RAFT Garden in Eugene.

Did you know that living in Oregon means I also live in Salmon Nation? A few years ago a man named Gary Nabhan divided our nation into different food nations depending on the heirloom foods that are native to each region. My parents, living in North Dakota live in Bison Nation, and when I lived in Tahoe I lived in Pinola Nut Nation. 

I’m fascinated about this - and what it means for us. See, RAFT stands for Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and that’s what Maxwell’s garden is all about. She discovered Nabhan’s book and researched the endangered foods of Salmon Nation. For the past few years she’s been growing the endangered foods in her RAFT garden for the purpose of saving and spreading the seeds. 

Bottom line - our biodiversity has been lost, and we are approaching a precipice. Now is the time to embrace our separate Nation’s specialties and help nurture them back from extinction. Screw Monsanto. Read Nicki’s journey - and maybe get inspired to take RAFT into your one life. 

I think that’s all for now. Next week I’ll be back with tales of silly summer dessert, picnic tips, and more. 

What I’ve Been Doing

Life has been busy in good old Eugene. We had Father’s Day and the UO graduation at the restaurant, and I had a ton of writing assignments to turn in. That means eight straight days of waitressing while putting together seven or so articles. 

The fruits of my labor? Well, rent is paid and my upcoming trip to Belize is half funded. 

Oh, and the writing? 

Read all about how to make fabulous iced tea from Josh Chamberlain of J-Tea in last week’s Register Guard here

Check out how to be your own ice cream man in my Poor Taste column here.

I’ve got three pieces going up at the amazing design website Of a Kind in a week or so, a feature running Wednesday in the Guard on s’mores, and a piece on local Eugene street performers running Thursday in the Weekly. 

It’s gonna be an exciting week!

Hopefully it’s summer where you live. Here? Not so much. 

“Do you want me to remove your carrot tops?” asked the woman checking my groceries. I looked at her a bit confused, admitting no one had ever asked me that before. She offered again to simply twist them off and throw them away, but I quickly answered “Thank you, but no.”
I was like a kid who didn’t want a toy until someone else picked it up. I wanted those carrot tops! After getting home, I unpacked my purchases and pondered my tops. It didn’t feel right just to chuck them, after I had made such a stand at the store. The plan for dinner was a slow roasted porketta with carrots and rutabaga. I had also grabbed a bundle of skinny asparagus, and I now eyed them carefully. Carrot tops were going to fit in somewhere, I could feel the idea brewing.
I grabbed my processor and threw a big handful of pine nuts in the toaster oven. In the processor went three cloves of garlic, a rough chop of all the tops, a few sprigs of fresh mint and a few leaves of thyme, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil. After the pine nuts finished toasting, I threw them in and tasted my creation. It was what the color green should taste like – herbal with a slight bite, a zing of bitterness with a wallop of garlic. Carrot top pesto?
I have a giant jar of preserved lemons in my fridge I’ve been holding on to for over a year. I sliced one and preheated a cast iron skillet. In went a little oil, some sliced brown mushrooms, the preserved lemon, and the asparagus. On top went a healthy spoonful of carrot top pesto, mixing with all the flavors.
This was the best surprise sauce I’ve made in a while. Not only did I slather more on my asparagus, I heaped it on slices of porketta, using it as a sort of chimichurri. Today I mixed it into my homemade salad dressing, tossing it with romaine and grilled chicken. I even contemplated using it as dip for crudité.
If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s this:
Never throw away carrot tops again! 

“Do you want me to remove your carrot tops?” asked the woman checking my groceries. I looked at her a bit confused, admitting no one had ever asked me that before. She offered again to simply twist them off and throw them away, but I quickly answered “Thank you, but no.”

I was like a kid who didn’t want a toy until someone else picked it up. I wanted those carrot tops! After getting home, I unpacked my purchases and pondered my tops. It didn’t feel right just to chuck them, after I had made such a stand at the store. The plan for dinner was a slow roasted porketta with carrots and rutabaga. I had also grabbed a bundle of skinny asparagus, and I now eyed them carefully. Carrot tops were going to fit in somewhere, I could feel the idea brewing.

I grabbed my processor and threw a big handful of pine nuts in the toaster oven. In the processor went three cloves of garlic, a rough chop of all the tops, a few sprigs of fresh mint and a few leaves of thyme, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil. After the pine nuts finished toasting, I threw them in and tasted my creation. It was what the color green should taste like – herbal with a slight bite, a zing of bitterness with a wallop of garlic. Carrot top pesto?

I have a giant jar of preserved lemons in my fridge I’ve been holding on to for over a year. I sliced one and preheated a cast iron skillet. In went a little oil, some sliced brown mushrooms, the preserved lemon, and the asparagus. On top went a healthy spoonful of carrot top pesto, mixing with all the flavors.

This was the best surprise sauce I’ve made in a while. Not only did I slather more on my asparagus, I heaped it on slices of porketta, using it as a sort of chimichurri. Today I mixed it into my homemade salad dressing, tossing it with romaine and grilled chicken. I even contemplated using it as dip for crudité.

If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s this:

Never throw away carrot tops again! 

Ok, I haven’t posted for a while. and there are many things I could blame. The beautiful weather, the recent sunburn I acquired (making typing slightly uncomfortable), the strange urge I’ve had to take midday naps… the list could go on. 
But - one thing I should tell you about is my cracker adventure last week for Poor Taste. I made wheat thins, Cheeze-It’s, and water crackers FROM SCRATCH. Those beauties above are my wheat thins. The didn’t last through the night. 
You should probably check it out. Recipes (and fab column) here. 

Ok, I haven’t posted for a while. and there are many things I could blame. The beautiful weather, the recent sunburn I acquired (making typing slightly uncomfortable), the strange urge I’ve had to take midday naps… the list could go on. 

But - one thing I should tell you about is my cracker adventure last week for Poor Taste. I made wheat thins, Cheeze-It’s, and water crackers FROM SCRATCH. Those beauties above are my wheat thins. The didn’t last through the night. 

You should probably check it out. Recipes (and fab column) here

What doesn’t photograph well but tastes delicious? If you answered Nutella, you are right!!
This week for my Poor Taste column I whipped up the amazing chocolate/hazelnut spread. I find it strange that it has been marketed as part of a healthy breakfast since the ’40s to everyone in Europe (and Australia), yet we are the ones with obesity problems. 
Maybe you shouldn’t eat half the jar with a spoon? 
Anyway… check out the recipe here. 

What doesn’t photograph well but tastes delicious? If you answered Nutella, you are right!!

This week for my Poor Taste column I whipped up the amazing chocolate/hazelnut spread. I find it strange that it has been marketed as part of a healthy breakfast since the ’40s to everyone in Europe (and Australia), yet we are the ones with obesity problems. 

Maybe you shouldn’t eat half the jar with a spoon? 

Anyway… check out the recipe here

This week for On the Make my column is titled “Curry Wishes and Garam Masala Dreams: DIY Indian Spice Cupboard.” I like to think of the title as my tribute to Robin Leach, former host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. 
In order to write the column I held my friend Kavitha hostage until she spilled the secrets of Indian cooking. Spending an entire afternoon cooking? worth it. Smelling like curry for the rest of the day? worth it. Eating leftover curry for a week? worth it. Jacket still smelling like curry almost two weeks later? worth it. 
I love that Indian cooking is all about sight and smell - hardly any tasting goes on, and measuring? Oh, hell no. 
Read all about it here - and become a curry master!

This week for On the Make my column is titled “Curry Wishes and Garam Masala Dreams: DIY Indian Spice Cupboard.” I like to think of the title as my tribute to Robin Leach, former host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. 

In order to write the column I held my friend Kavitha hostage until she spilled the secrets of Indian cooking. Spending an entire afternoon cooking? worth it. Smelling like curry for the rest of the day? worth it. Eating leftover curry for a week? worth it. Jacket still smelling like curry almost two weeks later? worth it. 

I love that Indian cooking is all about sight and smell - hardly any tasting goes on, and measuring? Oh, hell no. 

Read all about it here - and become a curry master!

Look at my new kitchen toy and what we produced!!!

I’ve made pasta before, but this time I think I really hit my stride. I might be addicted. 

Read about my latest On the Make adventure for Poor Taste and get tips and a recipe to make your own fresh pasta - here.