Portland Paradise

Baby Artichokes at the Portland Farmer's Market

Some people come home from faraway places with T-shirts and postcards; I bring porcini mushrooms, freshly harvested garlic, and tiny little artichokes. As Tony Soprano would say, whataya gonna do? I'm hopeless.

I'm totally smitten with the city of Portland, as I knew I would be. Just a few minutes after arriving, I got the feeling the place was like the lovechild of San Francisco and Madison - all tattooed and double-latteed but with a small town Midwestern feel.

Superlative local food, great bookstores, a temperate climate and acres of my most favorite wine grape, pinot noir. I could pitch a tent in any one of the numerous parks, and live very happily. (And people do just that, apparently - there's a sizable homeless population).

I'd been going on and on to T about how perfectly the place appealed to me, and he just nodded his head. But after we walked a few blocks to the farmer's market on Saturday morning, I knew I had him. It's high cherry season in Oregon right now, and for my husband the sight of endless crates of just-picked cherries puts him over the edge. It's like baiting Cookie Monster with a lifetime pass to the Mrs. Fields factory.

We restrained ourselves, and carefully packed a few pounds to tote home on the plane. We have at least one kid who devours ripe fruit until her belly distends.

I'll get back to you with the results of tonight's dinner - I need to cook up those mushrooms and artichokes!

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Erin said...

What a perfectly lovely trip. I have travel envy. Gorgeous photos!

Karen said...

Erin, you would love it...it's the best inspiration for cooking.

Vanessa said...

I love these photos...great job. I also love your description of Portland as the love child of Madison and SF...so true!

Deborah Dowd said...

Great pictures! and those cherries have me salivating! Thanks for letting us go along on this little trip to Portland!

deeluna said...

Karen - make sure you add Local Harvest Grocery to your list of places to shop - owned and operated by Patrick Horine and Jenny Ryan - the masterminds behind Tower Grove Farmer's Market (and my sister & brother in law...). Their goal is to have 50% of their offerings come from within 150 miles of St. Louis.
It's tiny - but it's going to be a great little place - they already have regulars! And they already have heavenly tomatoes!
See ya!

Susan said...

I share your passion for Portland. My husband and I visited once and fell in love with the farmers' market and the amazing number of high-quality markets and restaurants. It's easy to become enchanted with its charms.

Karen said...

Susan, I'm now concocting reasons to return to Portland for a more extended look-see...it's no wonder you love it too.

Lisa said...

Oh, how wonderful. The artichokes!!!