I don't know about you, but my kitchens are almost always full of love. At home, 90% of the time I spend actually making food in the kitchen is spent baking goodies for my friends. The kitchens I've worked in were places for camaraderie and, sometimes, flirting. And I enjoy cooking and baking with close friends, family, or even a partner, because it gives me a chance to notice all those cool little things about them that make 'em who they are.
With all that said, here's a list of delicious and wonderful things I LOVE that I would like to share with you for Valentine's (and Palentine's and Galentine's) Day.
This is one of the most loved baking books I have, and you can tell by all of its grease spots, brown sugar grit and other miscellaneous stains. When I moved to Portland, I had a roommate that was allergic to everything, and it killed me that she couldn't enjoy the baked goods I enjoyed for all of my life because I have a pastry-chef for a mother. So I learned to bake safe goodies for her, and it turns out that they're just as good–if not BETTER–than your standard baked goods. I highly recommend this book!
One day I decided I wanted to be a butcher, so I went online and found out about the Portland Meat Collective. Founded by Camas Davis, the Portland Meat Collective is a "network of Portland citizens who are looking for a cost-effective way to buy meat directly from Oregon’s small ranchers and farmers" (from the website). It's also a traveling butchery school! So far I've taken the pig head butchery class, the whole hog butchery class, and a sausage making class. I like that, through these classes, butchery is demystified–if you're going to be a carnivore, you should know where your meat comes from and how to prepare it.
Check out the schedule of butchery classes to sign up!
I have a major art crush on Lisa Hanawalt. She's got a brand new column in Lucky Peach, starting in volume two of the Cooks & Chefs issue. For this issue, she got to follow Wylie Dufresne around his kitchen at wd-50 and illustrate about it. She's basically the coolest person ever, so check out her work and follow her on Twitter.
FGFS is a blog devoted to body-positive, food-positive humans. What's also cool is that it serves as a blog network; squad leaders from around the world represent FGFS in their corner of the earth. So far, FGFS is represented in Australia, Denver, Hamilton, LA, Minneapolis, NYC, Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg. Want to be a squad leader for your city? Check out their website!
This is my FAVORITE food cart. Whether you live in Portland or you're just visiting, I highly recommend visiting this little spot at SE 32nd and Hawthorne. Chef/owner Jessie Aron is lovely, and makes the most wonderful and unique dishes from seasonal ingredients.
So what kind of food is it? From the website: "Carte Blanche is a french term meaning the freedom to do whatever one likes. We chose this name because of our disdain for boring food situations and our love for genius cooking experiments, secret ingredients, and mouth epiphanies. The style of cooking you’ll find here is completely our own."
And whenever the pan-fried cornbread is on the dessert menu, GET IT.
And with that, HAPPY GALENTINE'S DAY!
Gabi de León