Seasonal and regional cooking ideas to get you through the cold months
For too many of us, autumn and winter are seen as the 'lean seasons': gone are the fresh strawberries of summer, the crisp asparagus of spring is just a memory, and most local farm stands have packed it in for the year. It's no wonder people get depressed around this time: short, rainy days are difficult enough even without having to contemplate five months of peaches-from-the-tin or mealy tomatoes from Florida.
Of course, we wouldn't be writing this if we didn't have an easy antidote to the 'winter-food blues';. Our advice: instead of resigning yourself to living without for half a year, hustle to the nearest bookstore and check out some of the Northwest's other natural resources: cookbook authors! This region is full of delicious fruits and vegetables that thrive in the cold season (you can find more details on exactly what's out there with Seasonal Cornucopia or Epicurious), and local cookbooks are a great way to find recipes that show them off.
Over the next few weeks, Step Up to the Plate will be running a series of posts that will introduce you to some of the best that the local culinary landscape has to offer. If we do our job right, you'll never lack for warm, satisfying, local-and-scrumptious goodies to fill your table throughout the entire course of winter.
So, away with your canned goods! Break out the oven mitts! Discover just how tasty and abundant these winter months can be!
Visit Portland’s Sustainable Food website for more information about the closing dates, hours of operation and locations of these Portland hold-outs. And in the meantime, check out these videos from farmers markets in Hood River and Astoria–there's so much more to markets than just great food...
Ask anyone in Portland about their favorite lunch place, and it’s even odds that they’ll name one of the hundreds of food carts that populate the street corners and parking lots of our fair city. Well, clearly they’re on to something: US News & World Report just ranked PDX number one in its list of the World’s Best Street Food. Edging past formidable (and mouth-watering) competition that included Paris, Morocco, and Istanbul, Portland was awarded this culinary crown based on the “diversity, quality, and affordability” of our city's street cuisine, as well as the friendliness with which its served.
So go celebrate another win for Portland! With almost 700 licensed carts to choose from, you're bound to find an award-winning lunch.
Applications for the Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council are being accepted through October 21, 2011.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County seek interested community members to serve two-year terms on the Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council. Those interested in being considered for a January 2012 appointment should complete an application and submit it by October 21.
The Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council provides policy advice to local governments on food-related matters that impact land use, health, the environment, jobs, access, and other relevant issues.
Priorities for 2012 are expected to include:
the availability of healthy, affordable food to all residents;
urban food production and distribution/land use policies;
expanding the networking role of the Council;
the capacity of local communities to engage in healthy food practices; and