I realize it’s been a long time since I posted. But between moving to a new city and starting residency, I think I’m finally getting to a time where I’m comfortable. Also, I had to hunt down my Lamblefamily password. Fortunately, I only use about 30 different combinations of 2 different passwords so it didn’t take too long.
There are many neat and unique reasons to love Portland. One of those things is The Farmers Market. I realize all cities have some sort of variation of a Farmers Market, but Portland really prides itself in its markets. There are seven main rotating Farmers Markets, which means there is a market every day of the week. The big one is the Saturday Farmers Market, which can be found in a stretch of parks near the center of the city which is also part of the Portland State University campus. Any vendor that’s anybody is at this market. Fresh produce, flowers, fish, beef, bread, nuts, honey, the list goes on forever. There are also coffee stands and vendors that serve hot meals. There are live bands, magicians, and a guys that plays the didgeridoo.
Nina and I share domestic duties. Routinely, one of us will be on a more strenuous rotation than the other, so the other will pick up the slack. To this end, I’ve been really trying hard to cook. I had the previous weekend off and Nina was stuck at work so I thought I’d surprise her by cooking. Previously, my cooking started off slow with easy recipes, like salmon or chili. So in the same difficult-for-me-to-ruin vein I decided I’d make some spaghetti, largely from 100% farmers market scratch.
As a side note, my mom’s spaghetti was always a hit at the Lamble house but, to no fault of my mom, spaghetti never grew on me. This is largely because I never grew out of my childhood “I hate tomatoes” phase. I would usually plead with my mom to just give me noodles with ground beef on top, which she would occasionally oblige. Despite my lack of love for spaghetti, Nina really has a pasta tooth. Therefore, tomatoes and I put aside our differences and worked together to make her something nice.
I didn’t get to the market until late so unfortunately the pasta guy was out of fresh spaghetti so I had to get that from the grocery store. Otherwise, the mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes were from the market. The meat was also from the market. In my never ending quest to painfully prevent my own heart disease, I decided I needed a leaner meat than beef. There is a well known meat stand at the market that sells exotic meats (exotic at least to a midwesterner, i.e. rabbit and duck) so I went and discussed with them my spaghetti plans and they recommended ground yak. I was already going organic so I thought I might as well go full Portland and try something new.
I proceeded to wash, julienne, dice, and stir the next four hours of my life away but the end result really didn’t taste too bad. The yak didn’t taste too “yakky” as I feared but tasted just like beef. I also couldn’t resist going easy on the tomato sauce to spare my inner child. Nina swears she loves it but she also has a vested interest in keeping me cooking. I ended up doubling all the ingredients so we’d have plenty of leftovers so maybe I’ll ask her again how she feels about it after 32 more servings.