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Fire

When in Rome

August 5th, 2013 / cat / 1 comment

Salmon! Straight from the coastal rivers. Just about as local, fresh, and full of love as you can get. Never frozen, never farmed, never sealed in frozen plastic. Delicious as it is—no need for seasoning or even salt—the river’s bounty is packed with flavor. The taste is pure art from Mother Nature.

What a beautiful gift — spend a whole day catching, preparing, smoking, and admiring this vibrant fish. Taking the time and attention to turn, check progress, stoke the fire, and WAIT…watching, and tending. This is when my choice to live by the coast in search of fresh, seasonal, local, homegrown tasty food gets REAL. I am in Oregon for the summer – land of salmon, seeds, homegrown fruit and veggies galore, and great wine…pure and incredible local nourishment!

I can’t help but be totally amazed and thrilled to see so much abundance and so much fruit! Most days I glean the hood for berries, figs, plums, apples, stone fruit, and whatever presents itself – even purslane. Zucchini—green, yellow, Asian, whew!— is everywhere! Walk down my street and a neighbor is bound to offer you zucchini straight from the soil. As I walk along an urban street, fresh zucchini share in hand, the bees buzzing around the front yard, vegetable gardens abound, and I hear chickens in at least every second yard – it’s beyond inspiring and enlivening. I imagine this blissful scene of urban nature and homegrown food in every neighborhood – big farms will become a thing of the past if you support local food.

The abundance of local food means I get to pair my fresh, delicious salmon with local goat cheese from two miles away, homegrown figs from next door, and—surprise!— zucchini from two doors down. From my own back yard, I pull onions, garlic, peppers, and of course greens, greens, and more greens. (I have so many greens that I have to share them with every neighbor on the block, more than once this week!)

Now it’s graze time. I add to my delicious, fresh caught, slow-smoked salmon these lovingly local goodies:
Grilled zucchini wraps – cut half inch thick, grilled, wrapped around goat’s cheese, held together with a toothpick (If you are into flavor, then grilling zucchini is unbelievably good!)
Greens galore – picked, washed, torn and tossed straight onto the plate – a touch of your own favorite oil and wha-la no tomato needed!

With an awesome dual dip and dressing:

Garlic-balsamic reduction – smashed garlic added to the balsamic, and reduced down on the stove, stirred until thick…oh the DIVINE smell and taste!
A touch of olive oil (from Greece – OK, not local, but sometimes you have to get the real deal from where they do it right!)

Dinner in all its glory, and local love, shared with friends, chewed slowly while sipping local wine from five miles away. ANYONE can have this. If there is a garden near you, look and you will find the great bounty of nature. You will never, ever find this bliss at Costco – nope, no garlic pulled from organic soil at just the right time from there!
There is so much to learn, and see, and ENJOY. Flavor is in the air! Slow, homegrown foods seriously fuel and heal the body. To me, this is what food is for.

Why else eat? Well, taste for one. Do you ever nourish your body and soul with food straight from the river or the garden bed? Is your food full of love? The second you taste it, you just know its healing power.

I encourage you to seek out what grows in your neighborhood. I miss my loquats from Florida, but figs are IN here in Oregon – so am I! I am loving all that the earth provides at its PEAK!

Have a delicious day!
Your foodie friend,
Susan Huff

One Response to “When in Rome”

  1. Enjoy reading your blog, thanks for sharing your love of food!

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