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Portland, a love story (part two)

Disclosure: Travel Oregon covered my expenses for this trip. I have not, however, received any compensation for writing about it.

Day two of Full On Oregon dawned bright, sunny and warm, cuz you know that's how it totally is every day in Portland. Isn't it? Anyway, the first portion of the day for me and my cohorts was to head up to glorious Mt. Hood, to meet John Kallas of Wild Food Adventures, who would  take us around the shores of Trillium Lake seeking wild edibles. 

John Kallas of Wild Food Adventures

Hot, sunny September is actually not the optimal time to go foraging. The best time is, actually, um, NOW, after the winter and spring rains have passed and the sun breaks through. But there were still enough things out there worth checking out, like smooth yellow violet, whose edible heart-shaped leaves have veins that branch out; its poisonous analogs' veins reconvene toward the point or are yellow. Fireweed's asparagus-like shoots and its flowers are edible, with a peppery flavor reminiscent of arugula with a little more astringency. Delicate thimbleberries have a rich, winey flavor.

Foraged foods

Some wild plants have non-edible uses, like the vanilla plant. Just crush a leaf and keep it in your pocket for several minutes. The aroma from the leaf is an effective insect repellent. 

Vanilla leaf

And there was more, including the third (baneberry) and first (water hemlock) most poisonous plants in the US. Delish!

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Portland, a love story (part one)


A little while ago … ok, a big while ago … ok eight months ago I had the pleasure of going to Portland, Oregon, courtesy of Travel Oregon along with a cadre of other bloggers.  This fandango, called Full On Oregon, was designed to showcase the best food-driven experiences Oregon has to offer. (Disclosure: Yes, this means Travel Oregon covered my expenses for this trip. I did not, however, accept any compensation for writing about it.)

Why did I wait this long to write about it? Well, I could give you some line about how I wanted to tantalize you at the appropriate time of year to consider traveling to Portland (which it is), or how it's taken me this long to lovingly craft the eloquent prose it deserves (which it does), but the truth is I immediately got super busy with work stuff after returning home, and, well, yeah. But what's important is that I'm here, telling you about this, now. So read on. 

I've been to Portland before. Dear friends of ours used to live there, and DPaul and I took a visit back about six or seven years ago. And we liked it! But it was in the fall, and the typical Northwestern drizzle pervaded through the weekend. It didn't prohibit us from eating and drinking our way through town, but it certainly was more conducive to cuddling up in front of the fire than getting intrepid. Not this time, baby! By the time I arrived in PDX, the town was already scorching, and it would stay in the 80s through the entire visit. 

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