Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike gets his hands all up in the cinammony apples.

Wishing you all a terrific day, from the Erin and Mike in the Sellwood Kitchen.

The end result -- no, I can't have it yet! Waaahhh!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

18.0 The Wild Brunch

Starring Erin & Mike and Adam & Josh
Filmed on Location in Beautiful Downtown Sellwood
Soundtrack: blinking lights by eels

“A little wonder goes a long, long way”

Sunday morning, Fall. Chilly, but the Sun’s punched holes in the clouds. A charity run warms the pavement on SE Linn (I passed them going for a coffee earlier). Even before that, Erin and I drove to the Reed neighborhood Trader Joe’s for the ingredients for today’s recipe, stopping in to Limbo’s next door for pineapple, sweet potatoes, a couple plantains (why not?) and one nutmeg. I’d never seen the nutmeg in its unsullied state. Kind of looks like a malted ball. Before today, I might’ve guessed it was shaped like a Joshua tree. Speaking of…

Josh and Adam are due here at noon for brunch, although noon’s sort of a trigger for lunch. It’s a post-lunch brunch. Hey, it’s America and I’m one of the liberal elite media, so I can do what I want! I shan’t begin campaigning here, but you’d have to be either a first-time reader or one with scant comprehensive skills to not know my political leanings. But just to make it obtusely clear – I HOPE that on the morning of November 5th, I am eating an Obamalette, and not an Egg McNuthin’. Hopefully, we can get beyond the Palin. (Boy, I hope this article doesn’t end up becoming my “Dewey Defeats Truman.”)

Dewey? Truman? If I get any more obscure and outdated, I might be tapped as McCain’s speechwriter.

That’s President McCain!

Yikes! [Sniff] Hey, what’s that delightful aroma? Fried plantains! Have you tried them? They’re muy delicioso! I had them a few years ago in a Puerto Rican cafĂ© in Kingston, NY. (I sound like Anthony Bourdain.) This is what I love about brunch – anything goes!

And so begins the kitchen cacophony, which I hear from the couch, close to the stereo. I’m focusing on the Rolf and Joachim Kuhn Quartet as the ingredients for “Passive-aggressive Coffee Cake” are mixed (it’s just gluten-free coffee cake baked with barely-restrained intolerance by two half-asleep cooks).
Concurrently, the Brown Sugar Bacon is sizzling. Mmm, brown sugar! How come it tastes so good? Brown sugar!

And now, the first ever Sellwood Scramble is, uh, scrambled! Sweet potatoes, peppers, onions! Erin’s alchemy sets the aromatic mood! Next, she assembles the fruit cups – starring pineapple and strawberries, their cool geometry suspended in vanilla yogurt. Adam steals a piece of bacon (it was cooling on the windowsill).

Just as I’m throwing on Side 2 of Jackie by Jackie DeShannon, I’m summoned to the kitchen. I am to make the mimosas!

I make the mimosas. Back to the stereo.

The plates are already set on the coffee table (where we eat every meal – there’s something delightfully Pan-Asian about it). A plated brunch is photographed in the filtered noon light. The Boys had taped (yes, taped!) Saturday Night Live, so we ate, almost laughed, ate, grimaced, groaned then licked the plates clean (well, to be honest, that was just me).

While the remnants of our meal hardened on their unrinsed plates in the sink, we took a walk down 13th, crossing to Sellwood Boulevard and continuing toward the park. I saw the salamander leaves reddening to autumn’s camouflage. It’s magic! It’s science (same thing)! That brunch served quite efficiently as fuel. I didn’t even get tired on the teeter totter!

I peered over the cliff where Oaks Park comes into view. It’s a dreamy scene; a ghost carnival, the hazy circus colors (maybe it was the mimosas). But the fall is a crisp season – eat the apples and snap the stalks from the pumpkins. My other senses seem to be sharper this time of the year.

I see microcosms everywhere – I see America in Sellwood, just as Georgians see America in Athens, etc. And I see the breakfast in the brunch. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to say, or do: let this dog catch his tail. Or tale. As the days grow colder, we huddle together for warmth and comfort. But what do we huddle besides our bodies? Well, our ideas and dreams; our obsessions and fears. And our recipes, our how-to’s: “How to design a better brunch” or “How to build a better country.”

How do you do that?

Huh? I don’t know. But I’m sure it begins with a good breakfast. Or, for those of you lazy like us, a brunch.


3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch cubes
2 red peppers, diced
2 green peppers, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Montreal Steak Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss ingredients together in large bowl to coat. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Roast potatoes in a 450 degree oven for 1/2 hour or until browned, turning once half way.



Strawberries and pineapples cut into bite size pieces.
Mix fruit and place in 4 trifle cups. Set aside.
In a small bowl:
Add two cups vanilla yogurt
2 Tbs cinnamon
Mix together

Drizzle cinnamon yogurt down over the fruit and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The “In the Sellwood Kitchen” cast and crew can be contacted at: