To the Market

On a day when the forecast over Portland called for dark clouds and sliding rain, I was determined to attend the day's Farmers Market down at Portland State University. Yes, there are myriad famers markets around the Rose City, but today's PSU market had a little something extra that I was looking for: chef demos. Hosted by local food writer Michael Zusman, the chef demos at the farmers market offer an up close and personal hour with a well-known Portland chef.

I headed out of the condo and into the cloudy, but surprisingly warm outdoors. The clouds were breaking in some areas, but I grabbed my jacket and stuck it in the back seat, nevertheless, and was off. Being a fan of taking Max into the city as opposed to driving in and searching endlessly for parking at a decent price, I drove north the the Sunset Transit station to park the Jetta. By this time the clouds seemed to disappear so the coat was left to lay low in the backseat while I hopped on the Blue Line toward the city.
Arriving into downtown, I was pleasantly greeted by blue skies, warm weather and a city that seemed to welcome all of it's patrons out to play in the day's unexpectedly great weather. I made the trek five blocks south and was in the middle of dowtown heaven. Between the trees that surrounded the park blocks were rays of sunlight shining down on what seemed to be all of Portland out and about, talking with local food vendors, tasting the freshest Oregon strawberries and eating lunch from the row of food carts serving up dishes of delicious eats.

I saw the chef stage crew setting up for the next act. I missed the first two, but was in time for the demo with chef Tommy Habetz, formerly of Meriwether's on NW Vaughn. Realizing that I had a few minutes I decided I was hungry enough to grab a falafal sandwich at Basha's Middle Eastern cart at the south end of the market. The line was enormous, but well worth the wait. Fresh falafal, tahini sauce, fresh tomatoes and lettuce wrapped in pita bread can be such a perfect treat.

And, I was just in time to snag a spot on a little step adjacent to the stage as the show began. Picture a live Food Network cooking show with commentary and banter back and forth between the chef and the emcee and you've got the day's famers market chef demo. Chef Habetz prepared before us onlookers everything cooked on the grill, including: steak, asparagas and lettuce. He then chopped them all up and put them in a dish to serve the audience. I was able to give a quick hello to Michael and which point he actually gave me a pint of his Oregon strawberries. Lucky girl, I am! Then I was off to my second mission of the day: buying starts for the patio garden!

Chef Tommy Habetz removing romaine lettuce from the grill

Conveniently located directly behind the stage was a beautiful array of fresh herbs and tomatoes from West Wind Farms. The task was, at first, overwhelming, but I quickly focused on a few staples. I was excited to walk away fresh French Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram and Roma Tomatoes; the official start to the patio garden!

The first patio garden babies!

Be sure to get down to the Portland Farmers Market - or any famers market in your area - for a fun day out amongst the fresh, local produce and smiling faces!


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...