The wonders of the Internet…you know, when people from your deep, dark past contact you out of the blue and shock you so hard you lose your breath? Yep, I just had one of those moments.

But it’s a HAPPY moment! (thank goodness…hoooooo, have I heard some sto-ries!) This person, we’ll call him George, completely blew my mind and actually sent along a fantastically fun photo to jog my memory (this was over twenty years ago, people!) I had a great laugh (with him, not at him). He really made me reminisce in the best possible way. I was so glad to hear about some very old pals and to know that they are alive and well in the world. Sigh…

Stargaze Greyhound, FMT Style

2 parts Absolut vodka

4-5 parts grapefruit juice


  1. Pour ingredients into a fabulous glass mug from the 1970s, the kind your mom still has at the back of her cupboard somewhere…or is maybe even still using actually.
  2. Crank up the Bronski Beat soundtrack and rock out a little bit whilst kicking back several of these. It’s Saturday night, baby!
  3. Lose track of time and space.
  4. Drink so many that you have to walk around your suburban neighborhood with your pals to keep the spins away, and maybe run through the park sprinklers and play a little game involving a certain pegasus/water fountain statue and a huge bottle of industrial strength dishwashing liquid.
  5. Maybe fall asleep at some point. Or not.
  6. Tiptoe over the sleeping body of your best friend and stagger downstairs at 6 a.m. to watch Charles Kurault’s Sunday Morning with your mom, who drinks coffee, watches TV, and does the crossword while humming a Willie Nelson tune. Feel that homey feeling.
  7. Eat several packages of Saltine crackers and later that day hang out at Lake Elizabeth with your pals, feeding the ducks.
  8. Come home and overhear your older sister CJ telling your mom about enormous clouds of bubbles floating across a certain main street.
  9. Twenty years later, remember all of this very fondly.

Thanks for the memories, George!

A very famous statue in my hometown

A very famous statue in my hometown featuring a pegasus being pelted by streams of water

Note from SE on the back of the above photo regarding a late-night prank on said statue (after too many greyhounds).

Note from SE on the back of the above photo regarding a late-night prank on the poor pegasus (after too many greyhounds)


Strawberry Ice Cream

Did I wake up this morning and it’s already September 1st? How is that possible? And yet, already I feel those strange cool breezes and notice the sun acting funny, setting a lot earlier than it should. Alas, I have a mere twenty-one days of summer left to enjoy.

Thankfully, the weather actually seems to be cooperating here for once. We’ve had some beautiful days of eighty-degree weather. I’m hoping it holds so that my newly planted collards, kales, and greens get a decent start before The Rain begins. Also, it’s nice to use my stovetop again finally. I’m making a soup right now from my old Fields of Greens cookbook. Mmmm!

If I must bid summer adieu, what better way to do it than to post my strawberry ice cream recipe? This is the recipe we served at El Puerco this year, so for those of you in attendance, you’ll (hopefully) remember it fondly. Somehow, sadly, I forgot to take a picture of it, so I have included a photo of the menu instead.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 can coconut milk
2 c chopped strawberries
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c agave syrup

Macerate the strawberries in the sugar for 30-60 mins. Put the coconut milk, agave syrup, and macerated strawberries into a blender and blend. Pour this mix into your ice cream maker and proceed according to mfr’s instructions. I think it’s especially good to top the finished product with more macerated strawberries, as we did at El Puerco.

Every time I post one of these coconut milk ice cream recipes I feel obligated to say my disclaimer, which is: forget about dairy-based homemade ice creams. Using coconut milk is the BEST. You don’t have to make it up ahead of time and it freezes way better than homemade dairy ice cream. Take a leap of faith for me on this, and let me know how it turns out if you try it.

El Puerco Menu next to the Declaration of Independence
El Puerco Menu next to the Declaration of Independence

Oh yeah, and I also updated my Flickr feed. One day on my way to volunteering at the Travel Portland Visitor Information Center, I took some photos along the way, mostly to entice my friends and family to visit me. You should be able to click on that in the right sidebar. Enjoy!

Oh yeah yeah, I also finally created http://afoodiesfallfromgrace.wordpress.com. Everything should be working fine, but pardon some of the inevitable glitches while I figure things out.

Just when you thought it was safe to eat outside your own kitchen, here comes the gluten-free backlash. Did you catch the article on Slate suggesting that the gluten-free diet is a…fad? I’m sooooo glad Celiac.com decided to post Dr. Hoggan’s very fine correction to the Slate article. It’s too bad most Slate readers likely won’t know about it.

Urgh! As if it’s not painful enough to go through life with a crazy food allergy that prevents one from eating an entire category of food, now we have to deal with people just thinking we’re trying to be trendy? Not to mention how long it took some of us to get a diagnosis. Really, it’s outrageous.

It seems like the writer is trying to distinguish between diagnosed celiacs and people who feel better when they don’t eat gluten. That distinction is lost on me. Do I now need to show the test results confirming I have celiac disease for people to take me seriously? Should people who feel better when they don’t eat gluten, but are not technically celiacs, be judged as diet faddists? Methinks not.

Oh well. Now back to my kitchen.

Apricot Moonshine

Okay, okay, okay. WHY have I not posted in a week? I’m blaming it on two things: photographs and my idiotically s-l-o-w laptop. I have now written this very post twice because my laptop keeps crapping out on me. I mean, I think when it’s taken me fifteen minutes just to check my e-mail…Houston, we have a problem. I bought my laptop in like…2003? The Dark Ages! Needless to say, it’s time to upgrade. I’ll get right on that as soon as dollar bills rain from the sky.

And as for photos, well, they just take FOREVER to download, edit, and then upload. If I could take a photo and then immediately post it, or if I wrote a blog that did not require photos at all, well then, I’d be a regular spew-er of blog posts!

But who cares about that?!

Here’s what’s cooking in the AFFFG kitchen: fruit liqueurs. MMMMM! One gets a little tired of jamming in the heat of August, so this is a nice alternative for what to do with all your summer fruit. Also, this ensures that I WILL be having a great autumn this year. Glug, glug!

Apricot Liqueur

2 lbs (1 kilo) fresh apricots, halved, pits discarded

3 1/4 c (750 ml) vodka (I use Monopolowa, spud moonshine, but my guru prefers 80 proof Smirnoff)

probably 3 c (750 ml) of agave syrup, but we’ll be adding that in a month

Mix the apricots and vodka together. Store in a cool dark place for one month.

My guru says not to add the sweetener until the fruit and vodka have had a chance to mingle for a month. So that’s what I’m doing. Last year I added everything at once and that seemed to work fine, but I figure the guru must know what he’s doing, so I’m giving his method a shot.

We’ll check back on this in a month. That’ll keep you on the edge of your culinary seats, right?

Apricot Liqueur

Apricot Liqueur

At work the other day, a fellow food lover brought in his brick pizza oven. Only it wasn’t like any pizza oven I’ve ever seen before. It was a do-it-yourself brick pizza oven made out of an old barbecue grill. I think a picture here will be helpful (more pics available in the Flickr feed – click on the sidebar widget):

Do It Yourself Portable Brick Pizza Oven

Do It Yourself Portable Brick Pizza Oven

Basically, he took an old barbecue grill and outfitted it with a little metal shelf on which to place the bricks. The shelf gets the bricks up and away from the gas element in the bottom of the grill pan. Then he also put two more bricks on the upper warming tray of the grill.

This thing was totally awesome. It combined my nerdy technical side with my love-to-eat side. Yea!

It is so bloody hot here my eyes feel hot when I blink. Last I checked it was 104F at 7:30 p.m. That’s evening time, folks. 104F. 7:30 pee emm.

My apologies for not posting in so long again. Alas, I have been galavanting all over the state of Oregon enjoying the fine (hot) weather while doing the following:

  • swimming in swimming holes along Fall Creek
  • camping at Eight Mile Creek on the backside of Mt. Hood
  • bringing the temp of our hot tub down to a cool 90F for refreshing soaks
  • not using the stove or oven at all
  • enjoying sips of a pinot gris from my visit to Montinore
  • helping The Man with his amazing chili for DCh’s chili cookoff
  • ordering a meal in Spanish at Cinco de Mayo (get your Oaxacan on!) in Woodburn
  • and all manner of other summertime activities.

Oh yeah, and somewhere in there The Man and I got gnarly cases of food poisoning and spent a day in bed with fevers…did I mention it’s July?! And really super hot?! Fevers!!! Sweaty, hallucinatory fevers!

The good news is that I’ve been rather pleased with my garden this year, if I do say so myself. Lettuce, peas, herbs, lemon cukes, and cherries, oh my! I had a good laugh when our new roomie, NS, pulled “weeds” for me one day while I was at work. She was so proud until I told her that she’d pulled up all my arugula.

My goal is to post the recipes from El Puerco before the end of summer. I’m going to have to blame that on The Man. He’s been too busy (I’m grateful — he’s a contractor) to sit down and tell me his GF mac-n-cheese and pulled pork secret recipes. But that will give you readers something to look forward to.

Until then, here is a lovely photo of this year’s montorency cherry crop. My, but they’re beauties!

Cherries from our montmorency tree

Cherries from our montmorency tree


Ohhhhhhh...I licked way too many plates this year.