Portland Trip

August 18, 2008

 We just returned late last night from five days in Portland, Oregon with Kevin’s immediate family. I’ve never been before and I was so impressed. They were having a BIG BAD heat wave but still…Portland is a lovely city and we had some really fun experiences there and most of them, yes, were culinary.
NOW…getting there and back was a bit rough. First off, I have to fly…which is never a good thing but I do it because well, I like to go places. Second, the “Boogie” has to fly. This turned out to be (surprise! ha!) not so great either. I mean…we really should swing for a SEAT next time. Yeah! He really was pretty good for the flight there but coming back I swear I thought he was going to kill himself riggling and screaming and trying to get away from us during things like…landing! and taking off! and turbulence and well, the whole dang flight except when he passed out due to exhaustion from crying for about an HOUR of the 4.5 we were in the air. I should really rush right home and hug him again…was really hard on the little guy:(. Major guilt, frankly.

And …could air travel in this country suck just a little bit more? I MEAN REALLY! I cannot begin to tell you how $1600 went down the metaphorical customer service toilet that is…well, any airline I’ve flown lately. I still like Delta. I tend to be ok on Delta. It might be out of some sort of weird southern denial thingy feelings though. I admit that as a possibility. And, well, I’m good with all international airlines except “Air Chance” (note: at least Air France serves real food and decent wine without charging! I will certainly give them that!). Anyway…our airline companies, as a giant GUILTYSUCKY group, are being SHAMED by such airlines as Air CANADA! That is right. Canadians are kicking our dumb rears. I will never for get the time I flew Air Canada and seriously thought I’d accidentally stumbled into First Class. It was NICE, people ( you know…the 5 people possibly reading this..;).

Yeah, so our “flying experience” sucked, ya know. Cramped. Crappy food. barely water to drink. TSA confiscated the thingy keeping the baby’s milk cold (really. because the baby was going to make a WMD out of a cooler insert and the silicone nipple on his bottle after having his milk. idjiots!%*&)… we had a stewardess on each flight that clearly hated all families with small children and said so in so many words… One really core thing is that if you are taking milk that needs to be cooled, you best take ICE in a plastic baggie with that instead of those cooler insert things cause otherwise, yeah, curdle city (The TSA was under the impression that airlines are making milk available to toddlers by the by… WRONG!). 

Well that is enough of complaining:)! On to the most important thing…the food. Of course wine and berries were EVERYWHERE and in very fine condition but I had NO IDEA how amazing the BEER is in Portland. Of the samplings, this was my fave:


SO tasty. We also, of course had lovely wine while there. We had a classic pinot noir (like ya doo) from a vineyard called A to Z that was great and affordable. We also had a nice voignier with our big “family meal” on Saturday night.

Saturday morning we hit the big Portland farmer’s market as a family and bought/ate our way through it. The prepared food stands are to DIE yum. Boogie and I shared a big buttermilk biscuit. He was in the Ergo on my chest and kept moving my hand from my mouth to his so he could have MY bites as well as his own! Was funny:)! I had some yummy sausage made by a farm that was making “whole breakfasts” as well as selling sausages to take home and cook on the side…yum again. There was a good coffee stand and well, a lot more and then…everything else. I’ll be mentioning one of my purchases in a few days as it is a surprise for Wednesday’s “Ladies who dine” but Kevin and I purchased some lovely corn, breads from a booth by Pearl Bakery (an excellent local bakery), the “mystery purchase”, blueberries for snacking and strawberries for snacking. Our evening meal included grilled corn, the breads, grilled peaches over ice cream, grilled squash, eggplant and fennel, green salad, brats (which we purchased from a LOVELY German specialty store called Edelweiss that was hard to find but worth the trip. Get the smoke roasted chickens as a nice picnic treat!) and:

Grilled Sockeye Salmon
– one five-ish pound sockey salmon (head off, tail on, skin on, cut for stuffing)
– lemon and orange slices
– copious amounts of fennel fronds

Sprinkle inside with sea salt and then layer orange and lemon slices and then fennel fronds inside fish. Roast on grill on medium low heat. After turning, cover with extra fennel fronds if desired. enjoy…