My Daughter: My Muse

From the time Lisa was pretty small she made her opinion known about…well, everything.  In regards to food and flavor, her earliest wonderful contribution was to suggest a change in the banana bread recipe I had gotten from a co-worker in 1976. “Remove those raisins!”, she demanded at age 3. “And definitely add chocolate chips!”  We renamed the new recipe “Banana Bread a la Lisa” and enjoy it that way to this day.

age 4 ribs on trip to Vermont
A good eater, even at age 4!

Always willing to try new foods, she encouraged her younger brother on a trip to France when he was 11-years-old that trying escargot was worth it. My budget on the trip became strained as he decided that yes, garlic butter sauce makes everything worth trying and those snails just are not anything like the imagination tried to fool him.

Lisa has become quite an outdoor enthusiast. In the past 10 years she has trekked through New Zealand, Australia and parts of Indonesia. Over to Southeast Asia on another journey she and Josh traveled throughout Myanmar and Cambodia. She’s been to parts of Europe and I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the wonderful places she has seen. Closer to home, she has trekked the John Muir Trail in California, throughout Utah and the Canyonlands and they are planning the Washington leg of the Pacific Coast trail this summer.

Canyonlands
Canyonlands

As I began to explore dehydrating food for Can-Do I kept in mind the way Lisa and Josh need to cook. Most of their food is dehydrated because it is lightweight and condensed. They have to carry their water for drinking and cooking and washing, so I try to keep in mind recipes that do not need too much water. They also must carry fuel because wood fires are not permitted. The risk of wildfire is just too great. So, recipes need to be able to be prepared with minimal fuel usage also.

Once, visiting me with her sibs, we served the Can-Do Real Food Loaded Pasta Sauce and the discussion evolved into the quality of commercially prepared hiking foods. Most have considerable additives and of course, the flavor may be a disappointment.  So, Lisa often prepares the food they bring but the gauntlet was thrown down: I needed to prepare a dehydrated pasta sauce.

Gabrielle and Steven
Gabrielle Keeler and Steven Berger

My Can-Do farm partners have come to my house for a Tasting Supper several years. The last one was the tasting for 3 versions of the dehydrated sauce.

  1. We sliced and dehydrated the tomatoes hard, the better to grind them to powder.
  2. We roasted the sliced tomatoes and then dehydrated them hard for grinding, and
  3. We cut up the tomatoes, macerated them overnight in red wine, then oven roasted them etc etc.
  4. And for fun, we also served our canned Loaded Pasta Sauce.

Each recipe was essentially similar, using the same herbs and surplus carrots and zucchini as the canned version.  The only difference was how the tomatoes were prepared.

We did not tell our taste testers about the difference in the 4 recipes. And we are pretty formal with these efforts, with no talking allowed until after everyone writes down their thoughtful critique and overall rating for the recipe. tasting grid

Perhaps it is no surprise to you that the version that was most enjoyed was the one with the wine. It provided the most complex, deep and enjoyable flavor.

So, there we had the test and next was to wait for the tomatoes. Last summer we prepared what we thought was a significant amount but it still surprises me how condensed dehydrated food becomes when processed.closeup

I have set aside plenty for Lisa and Josh to enjoy on their trek next month, but we now have eight packages of Oven Roasted Double Loaded Pasta Sauce available for you. Each container has one cup of powder which, when mixed with 4 cups of water, makes 5 cups of sauce. Add more or less water depending on how dry or wet you prefer your sauce.  This is enough to feed 3-5 people, depending on serving sizes. double loaded pasta sauce

Excellent with our Forksize Zoodles which take next to no time nor water when mixed into the sauce to rehydrate!  Or enjoy with your favorite pasta.

 

 

 

Center of My World

I felt it when I first started visiting this area to consider it as a place for us to move upon retirement. I feel it again each time someone from elsewhere in the world stops to chat at the Can-Do Real Food booth at the McMinnville downtown farmers’ market. McMinnville is a world class destination.

No, there are not world class art museums, but we have a pretty amazing air and space museum that includes the Spruce Goose and stealth bombers. Image result for evergreen air and space

No, we are not on a major hiking trail system but the town has glorious parks and we are close to the Coastal Range with its national forests offering outdoor recreational opportunities including trail running and mushroom hunting. Image may contain: 1 person, plant, tree, outdoor and nature

No, we don’t have restaurants with prices that match your monthly housing cost, but we have an amazing cross section of restaurants in all price ranges, many of which use local food for their menu. Photo of Community Plate - McMinnville, OR, United States. Kale chopped salad (refreshing lemon vinaigrette) $8, scoop of tuna salad

And why would they use local food? Because they can!!! Withing 15 miles of McMinnville we have food producers that not only offer produce and protein, but also wheat and  milled flour, olive oil, cheese, honey, and so much more.

And should we mention the beer, the cider, the mead, the saki. Mashing in on the new system

And finally, truly world class, the wine. 

Each week at the farmers’ market I meet people who are not only from other places in Oregon, but people who have travelled here from all over the United Sates and foreign visitors from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

People who care about the amazing things the earth can produce come to McMinnville.

Can-Do Real Food is very proud to be part of this community, offering amazing canned and dehydrated foods from local farms. We CAN eat locally for almost all we need. Lucky us. The pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail knew this is a special area.