Thursday, October 29, 2009

Livin' in the Blurbs: The Gift of Good Food

DIY, as in Do It Yourself, has been the new black here in the Northwest since waaaaaaay before the current economic climate had folks putting up preserves and sewing their own clothes (though that does account for the odd costumes I've seen out and about lately…yikes!). One of the first on the bandwagon was Luan Schooler at Foster & Dobbs, who started a DIY Cheesemaking Group at her store a couple of years ago. Yes, I said cheesemaking, as in people getting it from somewhere other than the dairy case at the store. The group is meeting again on Nov. 4 and will feature Gayle Starbuck, who will demonstrate basic soft fresh cheesemaking techniques using direct set cultures. She’ll discuss equipment, sources, and using herbs and flowers to decorate and flavor fresh cheeses, along with using cultures to make Fromage Blanc, crème fraiche, Fromagina, mascarpone and more. Can you say the perfect holiday hostess gift?

Details: DIY Cheesemaking Group meeting. Wed., Nov. 4, 6:30 pm; free. Foster & Dobbs Authentic Foods, 2518 NE 15th Ave. Phone 503-284-1157.

* * *

Pie is one of those simple pleasures of life that scares the daylights out of people. Maybe your mother was a terrific pie baker and you'll know you'll never measure up. Maybe you tried once and had a leathery, leaden mess on your hands. But now's your chance to change all that just in time for the holidays. Culinary Artistry, the catering wing of well-reviewed Lincoln Restaurant, is starting a series of small, affordable cooking classes, beginning with Pie Dough 101. In the one-hour class you'll learn to make dough by hand and with a machine, plus you'll take home the dough you make and recipes on how to use it. Everyone at your holiday table (not to mention at the family dinner table) will be so glad you did!

Details: Pie Dough 101. Sun., Nov. 8, 11 am; $60, reservations required. Culinary Artistry, 3808 N Williams, #128. 503-232-4675.

* * *

Everyone knows they can subscribe to magazines. More people are finding out about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions. But subscribing to a bagel service? Such an innovative, some might say crazy-ass idea could only come from the mind of baker-cum-mad scientist Mark Doxtader, farmers' market brick-oven maven and owner of Tastebud Farm. With a minimum order of two dozen (in increments of six) and a choice of mouthwatering selections like poppy, sesame or plain, plus salt, pepper and whatever nutty combo Mark decides to offer, you can go in with friends and neighbors or your co-workers. Cream cheese and sandwich platter options are also available. And if you've got a bagel addict on your holiday gift list, what could be more perfect?

Details: Bagel Subscriptions from Tastebud Farm. E-mail for more information or download the subscription form here.

No comments: