Monday, March 15, 2010

A bit about me

So I thought I'd take a minute to tell you a bit about me, so all my faithful readers can know and love me, like my friends do.

Since moving from Philly to Portland almost 8 years ago, I've really gotten more aware of where our food comes from, and even more interested in making my own.   I'm fanatical about my new hobbies of curing meat, pickling, drinking great wine, and generally living the sweet life on 20th Ave.

This is me.. Timberline at Mt. Hood.. catching some air on my 40th bday this past Jan ( I know it doesn't look like a lot of air, but my friend Jdub caught me coming down from what was a pretty sick jump for an old man)
This is my Wife, Amy, my Daughter, Ella and I. ( Wildlife Safari in Roseburg, OR Aug 2009.)

This my raison d'etre.. my little nugget, Ella.   She's almost 4, and tons of fun.  This year she started skiing, and it's all downhill from here ( insert drum beat ).

This is the Chocolate Bacon Love Cake my good friend and neighbor Caprial made for me ( I think John helped a little too ). All I can say is "Wow"

Here is my urban farm. I converted half my front yard into 4 raised bed containers, and have been growing quite a bit of produce year round.  Most of the produce is either eaten immediately, shared with my great neighbors, or pickled.    I'll be discussing Pickling in more detail in the future, but for now I just wanted to show you where the great pickles you may have heard about ( or tasted ) come from.

The next photo shows the infamous "Wall of Pickles".   This is an old French wine cupboard that is now used to hold my treasure trove of pickled goodness.  Typically, I make blueberry/rasperry preserves, balsamic onion Jam, Hot ( and not so hot ) kosher dill pickles, pickled beets, salsas, chutney, italian style tomatoes.. and something new this year "Garden Mix" - Basically, I pick from the garden, and whatever is ripe, get's pickled ( beets, radishes, cukes, squash, zuchini, eggplant, beans ).. it's really good and recieves rave reviews.


  1. I've really enjoyed your blog thus far and was wondering if you had any interest in sharing a bit of your charcuterie knowledge. I just moved here to portland (also a PA transplant) and have some free time on my hands. I would love to delve into some charcuterie, pickling, etc. but don't have the space to do so right now. I would love some advice on how to get started up. Give me a shout at if you're interested. Thanks.

  2. Hi Jamie.. thanks for reading.

    As you can see, I'm no pro.. and charcuterie and pickling can be done with little or no extra space... just like they've been doing in italy for hundreds of years.

    If you're looking for some specific advice on how to get started, I suggest you try the lonzino recipe I found at

    It's super easy, and you can hang it anywhere in portland, now that's its relatively cool and very humid ( maybe alternate days between the fridge and an open window? )

    good luck, and feel free to ask any questions.

  3. Hey Todd! Thanks for the info. It's kinda nice to know a little bit about the people you enjoy online from time to time. Nice to find similarities and differences, reasons, inspirations and support just as much as how you pickle your cucumbers! Cheers!


  4. Hey Todd,

    Love your urban garden - just realized my wife and I walk our dogs past your place regularly! Question - what is it that you have growing in the intricate trellis system to the right on the picture you took?


  5. Hi Nate:

    Stop by and say hi next time you're walking by and see me outside. ( should be more frequently as the weather improves) Once the sun comes out, most of our neigbhors can be found in front of one of our houses drinking wine or beer, and watching the kids play and speeders speed by.

    The trellis is an espalliered Asian Pear tree.. it's producing a good amount after 2 years and should produce enough to preserve this year .


  6. Very cool - espalier was a term I had not encountered before: WIkipedia was enlightening!

    2 years and going to be producing enough fruit to preserve? That's excellent. We have a pink pearl apple tree in our backyard that we may attempt to do some preserving with this year - it makes neon pink applesauce, which is pretty stunning.

    And I'll say hi next time I see ya!