Thursday, August 30, 2012

Over the past few years the focus has shifted in my life and in my art
and my blogging should reflect that. This was started mainly to record my musical adventures, anecdotes and updates from that part of my life. Over those years, Farmers Markets have become my favorite gig. There were many shows at the  Noe Valley Farmers Market in San Francisco, where the neighborhood organised to create their own market when a beloved local grocer closed its doors; they insisted on a strictly acoustic music policy that fit my style and musical agenda to a T.
The El Cerrito Farmers Market, just a few blocks from our home when we lived in Albany, California. where I first met Captain Mike Hudson and his wife Yvette, who introduced us to the world of wild salmon by dropping gigantic red steaks in my guitar case and saying "You're going to have to invite some people over to help you finish them".
We did - our friends Mike and 'Steena Glendinning came over and we shared a meal together. Both of the "Mike's" in this little story play guitar more than a little, Glen'dizzle being the highly combustible father of Grunge Jazz while Captain Mike and his band Superboogie tear down the walls at the Boom Boom Room with house rocking blues.
Since our move to Oregon, I've been playing Farmers Markets from Forest Grove to Gresham. During this same time, I've been making a greater effort to eat better, to avoid overly processed food. To stop eating meat from the factory conditions of CAFO and battery.
A chronic hip condition lead me to consult with an Orthopedic Surgeon, who - among other things - recommended that I read Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Possibly the best prescription ever - the pain relief I've experienced from the effects of changing what we eat are greater than the effects of  anti-inflammatory shots into the joint - and those worked like magic.
This year, I'd like to start including notes from my kitchen in this blog from my music studio. Visits to Farmers Markets while I'm not performing, where I'm weighing and squeezing and selecting from the beautiful Oregon seasonal vegetables. Some recipes, some notes on what I've learned. We're coming to the end of the magical spring and summer bounty of greens and fruits, unbelievably fragrant mild onions that carried me back to fresh broken earth smells from childhood, basket upon basket of uneven, bursting tomatoes with a smell to them, real, ripe tomatoes that had never been gassed, tomatoes too nice to do anything to except cut them up and eat them with a little drizzle of olive oil and vinegar, a little salt.
Pots of minestrone, a rich vegetable soup full of seasonal vegetables that has been reflecting those seasons, year after year, all the way back to ancient times. Pots of even more exotic things - this week I made  Curry Goat,  a recipe I was taught by a Jamaican friend in London during the days of "Mad Cow Disease". For the first time, I discarded the instruction to use Halal goat , using instead a cut from Fairview Farm, from their table at the Beaverton Farmers Market.
This was rich and flavorful meat, with a snowy layer of fat and marrowful bone. I went easier than usual on the curry spices. This goat was not particularly gamey and had savory flavor that I didn't want to cover up with powdery turmeric and cumin. I made a 5 quart pot full on Monday and we've been eating it with brown rice and roasted peppers (Big bag of assorted peppers! A Bargain! Same Farmers Market!). Don't know what next week will bring.

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