Monday, December 22, 2008

The Olden Days

In 1996 I started keeping a food journal. It was a spiral bound book, with a heavy craft cardboard cover and a wood-cut of 2 chickens. It's a little corny, but then again this was in 1996. At the time I was journaling a lot, mostly while drunk, but this was designated to be my 'food only' journal. It was a short lived stint, which is a shame because I've done a lot of cooking in the 12 years in between then and now, and I'm not likely to remember much of it. I still don't own a digital camera!

So I thought I would open up this old notebook and see what I was up to back in 1996:

Sept 15, 1996

Brooke, Bob Read and myself were up in Seattle visiting Heather Larimer and Jud.
Sunday we walked down to the Pike Place Market. Bought about 2 1/2 lbs fresh Copper-Something-Salmon (sic) which they filleted there. We also bought small (not baby)
artichokes, white-rose potatoes and chanterelle mushrooms. And thyme and
elephant garlic. I had this idea of stuffing the whole salmon with a mixture of
wild mushrooms, garlic and breadcrumbs, and then steaming it. In retrospect I
don't think that would have worked so well as the stuffing would have probably
just sogged up. In the end I wasn't so happy with the fish because I went too heavy on the stuffing and it was weird and it would have been nicer with some fish fume and also
there were no lemons. The potatoes were perfect and the artichokes not bad.
In the future that mushroom breadcrumb mixture would make a nice stuffing
for artichokes. Bob was really wonderful and appreciative of the whole thing.
Mike Kinney was there too, he just drank cabernet and grew tiresome.
Later we went and saw Buffalo Daughter and Butter 08 at Satyricon.

Many interesting things (to me) about this passage. First of all, I had barely lived in Portland a year and didn't yet know about Copper River Salmon, but then again I wasn't buying it in season. That I referred to fish fume as an on-hand ingredient reminds me that I was, for a time, making fish stocks regularly. And I'm glad that I tried stuffing a fish with breadcrumbs once in my life because I have never again since. I went to college with Bob, Brooke and Heather. Brooke and I were living together, Bob was living in Boulder but in love with Heather. Mike was a co-worker of Brooke's from the Willamette Week, a lovable fuckup who Brooke and I, oddly enough, both dated. He OD'd on methadone a year later.

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