Be sure to check out the FOODday section in today's Oregonian. I began my externship in the test kitchen at the paper a little over a week ago. On my first day, I was thrown into the middle of preparing fruit compote and measure out ingredients of some fabulous smoothies for a photoshoot. I have to admit, it's fun for me to see shots of both on the cover of today's edition!
Try the oatmeal, it truly is wonderful. I just finished my own bowl of re-heated steel-oats moments ago. I take the already prepared oatmeal out of my refrigerator and add 1/2 cup of it to a pot with 1/4 cup water and bring it to a simmer. For a little added flavor I add about one teaspoon of vanilla, and since I don't have anymore fruit compote left, I've been chopping up two dried figs and two dried apricots to throw into the pot at the end. The fruit adds such a nice texture and those figs are to die for. They add just the right amount of sweetness to the bowl.
Of the smoothies, I really enjoyed the Blackberry-Ginger-Green Tea as I'm a regular fan of both ginger and green tea-combined or not. The Peach Cobbler was a favorite of the taste-testers that day as well. Oh, and I did arrange the strawberries and sliced bananas in the blender for the photo on FD2! One of my favorite things during culinary school was plating and presentation, so working with food styling and being involved in food photography will be a fun part of the job.
Coming from a journalism background in school, I'll also say that it's exciting to be in the middle of all that's going on in a newsy environment. The test kitchen is located on the fourth floor of The Oregonian building on SW Broadway. When I ride up the elevator I usually take a right, then a left past the executive offices. Down the hall and another left and I'm in the middle of the FOODday section, where I first see Editorial Assistant Kate Leeper, then Assistant Editor, Katherine Miller and Copy Editor, Danielle Centoni. Across and diagonally to the left from Katherine is Editor, Martha Holmberg. No, she doesn't have an office, but rather a 10 x 10 desk space with low-standing walls just as the rest of the staff does. It's an incredibly friendly group of experts that really know their stuff and aren't afraid to voice their concerns when there's not enough salt or the soup isn't creamy enough or they can't taste the parsnips in the parsnip muffins (yes, parsnip muffins, and they are delicious!).
I was browsing through the latest edition of MIX magazine on Friday. I had already read the edition, but wanted to buzz through again to get some reminders of new venues to try over the weekend. It blew me away when I began reading the names of the contributing writers and photographers. Hey, I know all these people now, I thought! I'm working among the likes of Leslie Cole, Mike Davis, Freddie Joe, and John Foyston and see them on a regular basis as Leslie often stops into the test kitchen to taste, critique, and offer her opinions on perfecting the recipes that go alongside her stories, and Mike enters the kitchen to get a feel for what he'll shoot for the day.
I'm very excited to have the opportunity and will continue to share more of the adventures and a behind-the-scenes look from the Test Kitchen.
By now you should have had your oatmeal, so go get your smoothie ready for your afternoon snack!