Aaron and I took a trip back to Portland for a very special wedding and important re-relocation fact finding. What’s funny is that when we lived in Portland 6 years ago we were flat broke, living in a trailer on 82nd Avenue and eating Hamburger Helper like it was a delicacy so whenever we return for a visit we immediately return to a cash poor mindset. I wonder if I’ll ever have the courage to really pay homage to all the awesome PDX restaurants that I read about? For now I am content to keep it cheap and simple while dreaming of the CSA boxes in my near future.
First stop, the food carts. We went looking for the Perogie Lady who is a cornerstone and landmark of my first impoverished summer with Aaron. Where is she?!? We settled on the highly regarded “Tabor” cart. I spent several months is Prague several years ago and I never saw a ciabatta “snitzelwich”. This was great, will eat again.
Aaron and I have an unspoken deal, when we travel together I will tag along with him to countless thrift stores if he will accompany me when I visit a locally run coffee shop. We spent several hours combing through various stores and Aaron finally found a second hand goretex jacket, later that morning I finally found a bread pudding muffin.
The wedding was lovely. Aaron’s mother was beautiful and happy, mission accomplished. The cake looked great, but I didn’t try any. . .I have no idea why. The morning after the wedding we headed to Seaside, a sleepy beach town where James Beard spent is summers as a child. I was thrilled to see this place and even more thrilled to experience a staple of Aaron’s summers in Seaside, the Pig and Pancake Diner.
We took the afternoon to walk off the breakfast and wedding stress on the beach.
I met Aaron’s Aunt Peggy on our last night in town. We drove to her house outside of Portland and I discovered that Aaron did not, in fact, sprout full grown out from the muddy banks of the Columbia River. He has RELATIVES y’all. Living, breathing, kin’ folk! Aunt Peggy has a calendar for Sunday suppers. Everyone knows when they will happen and everyone shows up. There is a large television in the living room, a fridge filled with soda, and Uncle Doug’s wolf prowls the backyard. There are a ton of similarities between what I’ve come to know as Southern “country cooking” and what Aunt Peggy calls NorthWestern “farm cooking”. Both are hearty, feature seasonal and local produce, and involve dairy and pork the majority of the time. Aunt Peggy placed four huge pats of margarine on the fresh green beans. Ha. Not only in the South.