Portland, a love affair

Yesterday, I visited some of Portland's wonderful spaces and places, the first being Nomad Piercing Studio where I finally treated myself to some of his hand-carved earrings.
My new earrings are a slightly smaller version of the blue-green one at the bottom center. He stains the wood while it's growing with elderberry and other natural berry dyes. I just realized that my girl Cascade is featured on the website in these fabulous earring that he stained with beet juice (she's the one who referred me to this place).
I also went to Ink and Peat so that my friend Amy could buy some earrings of her own. It's one of those lovely little shops where you just want to buy everything and walk out with dozens of ideas for sewing and decorating, including making adorable applique dishtowels, pillows, and aprons.

I had a beer at Eat, and I bought chile peppers, lemongrass, and more marigolds and nasturtiums at Livingscape.

Later, I helped Brian brew some beer. It was a crash course in the art and science of brewing. He converted his own mash tun from a cooler and has a pump and cooling plate. The coolest part is that he grandfathers the yeast from batch to batch. I've made some good homemade yogurt and sour cream, but that's nothing to this homebrew process.

Which reminds me that the next huge stage of this whole crazy gardening process (after a few weeks of mulching, feeding, and weeding) is food preservation. Since I'm afflicted with bibliophiliomania, I found this great reference for books on canning, preserving, fermenting, and dehydrating food. My library has been notified: I'm going to start from the top with Wild Fermentation and How to Store Your Garden Produce.

Yesterday's dinner included two courses from my garden. A big salad with endive frisee, kale, green leaf lettuce, lemon balm, spring onion, and spinach. Plus, I unearthed some new potatoes that I didn't realize I'd planted, so I sauteed them with spring onion and sprinkled chives and sea salt on them. (The potatoes were so delicious and so easy to grow, I've decided to go for it and grow some more.) We ate these with steaks from Afton Field Farm.

I'm currently trying to get my girl Laura to Lilith Fair. As I write, I'm listening to the talented voices of Portland vocalists and musicians hoping to go to Lilith this summer. You can listen and vote as well. I recommend Laura Ivancie!!!

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