PickleTalk now available for pre-order!

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Pickle Talk: The first four years…

by Gracie S.  Perkins

The wit and wisdom of Gracie “The Pickle” Perkins

Pickle: “Daddy, say “Ahhh”
Me: “Ahhh”
Pickle: (peering in my mouth) “Wow, daddy. There’s a lot of room in there!”

Pickle: “Daddy, I need to listen to my heart.”
Me: “And what is your heart telling you?”
Pickle: “That I need peanut butter toast.”

Me: “Do not thwart me!”
Pickle: “But Daddy, I like to thwart you!”
Me: “Thwart means to cause trouble.”
Pickle: “Yeah, I know.”

Gracie: “Daddy…”
Me: “Yes, Pickle?”
Gracie: “I wanna be a princess!”
Me: “Okay.”
Gracie: “Yeah. I wanna kiss a frog or somethin’…”
Me: “Ooookay…”

We are now taking pre-orders for the soon-to-be-released, “PickleTalk: The First Four Years”.

At this date, Pre-Orders are the ONLY orders that I can guarantee will arrive in time for Christmas. You can place your order at the following link, and you DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to use this secure system.

Thanks all…you’re going to love it!


-Gracie’s Daddy

I want to be the FIRST IRON FOODIE…and you can help!

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I want to be the FIRST IRON FOODIE!

…and you can help!

As you know, I recently entered the First Iron Foodie contest over at Marx Foods. You can see the original post about the contest here, the ingredients I had at my disposal, here, and my recipe – Potlatch Salmon with Umami Risotto, here. I’ve added the recipe below, as well.

Now…I need your votes!

The poll goes live this morning (Dec. 7th) at 6AM PST at: http://marxfood.com/marx-foods-iron-foodie-2010/

The contest will only run until midnight 12/15, so PLEASE vote now.

You can only vote once per IP address (but you CAN vote from both your work and home computer, wink wink! LOL)

If you’re on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, or Reddit, please share this post by using the “Share this” link, below. If you Facebook, please consider posting a link to this blog post as well! Here’s a short URL to help: http://ht.ly/3lhDY

Here’s the recipe, and how I developed it again:

Please don’t forget to vote!


The original post:

Okay peeps,

Here’s my official entry recipe for Foodie Blogroll & Marx Foods’ “First Iron Foodie Contest.”

After being accepted, and receiving my ingredients, my instructions were as follows:

Post your Marx Foods ingredients signature dish on your blog by December 3, 2010.

Contestants will have until December 3, 2010 to create, photograph and post their recipes on their blogs. We will then set up a poll for FBR members to vote for their favorite! Include the Iron Foodie badge in your post.

They should tell us why they picked the ingredients that they did to work into a signature recipe, and why that recipe really speaks to their cooking style and philosophy.

Here we go…

A modern potlatch ceremony

Native tribes here in the Pacific Northwest believed that salmon were a gift from the benevolent salmon king. In honor of the gift, Indians treated the annual arrival of the salmon, in the spring, with great reverence and, often, with a ceremony known as the potlatch. At potlatch gatherings, a family or hereditary leader would host guests in their family’s house and hold a feast for those guests.

A good host was expected to provide more food than his guests could possibly eat.

One of the centerpieces of the potlatch was, of course, the salmon, roasted with local herbs and ingredients. Cranberries, pine nuts, sea salt, wild rice, seaweed, maple sugar, mushrooms are all ingredients that were used by the Chinook Indian tribes. Salmon, of course, was a primary food source.

In fact, the Chinook species is named for the Tsinuk tribe of the Columbia River region.

Given the history and unparalleled quality of our local salmon, my fondness for hosting feasts (as well as cooking too much food), and my own aboriginal heredity, it was easy to pick the entrée, and with my secret ingredients including Marx Food’s Aji Panca Chile, Porcini Mushrooms, Dulse Seaweed, Smoked Sea Salt, and Maple Sugar, a Northwest dry rub came quickly to mind, giving me a chance to prepare my dish using my favorite cooking method, live-fire grilling on my La Caja China.

Risotto, my accompanying recipe, is an ancient class of Italian dishes, originating are in northern Italy, of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. Italian is another major branch in my family tree.

A word about umami it’s usually said that the human tongue can detect only four basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter and salty, and that all tastes are combinations of these. In recent years, some have added a fifth taste to the other four: Umami. Both the word and the concept are of ancient Japanese origin. Umami is hard to translate, but words such as savory, essence, pungent, deliciousness, earthy, and ironically…indescribable are sometimes used.

It’s often associated with a feeling of perfect quality in a taste, and with foods such meats, cheeses, and mushrooms.

I believe in the importance of cooking with local, sustainable ingredients. I also believe that localized recipes, created and perfected over centuries by the indigenous people of an area, are almost impossible to improve on. The additional of an occasional sprinkling of foreign spice, or a touch of unusual herbs might bring out an interesting, even exciting underlying flavor, but no ingredients marry so well as those that have drank the same water, breathed the same air, and shared the same soil for eons.

Two cultures that epitomize this concept are Italian, and Native American. So, with a fusion of these ancient civilizations and culinary heritages, I give you Potlatch Salmon with Umami Risotto.



Potlatch Salmon

2 Tbs maple sugar
1 Tbs smoked sea salt
1 Tbs ground Tellicherry peppercorns, ground coarse.
1 tsp ground Aji Panca Chile, ground fine.
1 tsp granulated garlic
4 – 1/2-pound center-cut Chinook salmon steaks, skinned.

Combine the first 5 ingredients. Gently rub both sides of each salmon steak with spice mix, reserving 1/2 tsp per steak for later. Allow to rest 1 hour.

Prepare grill or turn on broiler. Arrange fish on grill or broiler pan. Grill or broil (500f) 5 inches from heat source 4-5 minutes per side, or until fish is opaque throughout. Don’t over-cook.

On each of 4 plates arrange salmon on a bed of wild rice risotto. Sprinkle each steak with 1/2 tsp reserved rub.

Recommendations: Serve with a salad of fresh wild greens, wild rice, and an Oregon Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

Umami Risotto

(Wild Rice and Porcini Mushroom Risotto)

2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup cranberries, dried
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 T. dried dulse seaweed, finely diced
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup butter

In a bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over porcini mushrooms. Let stand until water is cool enough to touch, about 20 minutes. Squeeze mushrooms gently to release grit, then lift from water. Finely chop mushrooms. Carefully pour 3/4 C of the soaking liquid, through cheesecloth, into another container, leaving grit behind.

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine onions, dulse, and 3/4 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. Stir often over high heat until onions begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add remaining soaking liquid, butter, mushrooms, broth, and wild rice.

Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender to bite and beginning to split (about 1 hour.) After rice has cooked for 30 minutes, stir in celery and quickly re-cover. Cook remaining 30 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in cranberries and pine nuts. Season dressing with salt to taste.

Yield: makes about 4 servings.

Okay, one last time…PLEASE don’t forget to vote!

Iron Foodie 2010 | Here's Why that will be me:
MarxFoods.com -- Fine Bulk Foods The Foodie BlogRoll

MEAT • FIRE • GOOD – Now Taking Pre-Orders!

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Heyya Foodies,

Burnin’ Love BBQ is excited to announce that we’re now taking pre-orders for our soon-to-be-released cookbook, “MEAT • FIRE • GOOD” and all pre-orders are guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas!


ISBN: 1453657258
Page Count: 150
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 7″ x 10″
Language: English

A collection of mouth-watering barbeque and grilling recipes by the boys at Burnin’ Love BBQ.

Back cover:

Shortly after man discovered fire, he discovered that if you threw a chunk of meat on the coals, let it blacken, and then dug it out of the ashes…it tasted freakin’ awesome!

Since that evolutionary milestone, man has taken barbeque (or grilling, or smoking, or whatever you want to call it,) to the four corners of the world, and adapted it to the local ingredients he found there.

If it walked, swam, slithered, or flew, early man found a way to cook it over fire…and God bless him for it!

“MEAT FIRE GOOD” takes you on a gastronomic tour of the globe, from classic Cuban and Indonesian dishes, to traditional Texas and Carolina BBQ, to the crisp, fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest.

Burnin’ Love BBQ’s pitmasters, Perry Perkins, Terry Ramsey, and Christopher Renner, include their most popular grill-top recipes, slow-smoked pit favorites, amazing side dishes; and dozens of step-by-step crowd-pleasers with full-color photographs.

Favorites like:

~ True Texas Brisket
~ Pacific Northwest Salmon
~ Southern Roast Turkey
~ Carolina Pork Ribs
~ Memphis Whole Pickin’ Pig

“Barbeque – it’s not a skill…it’s our superpower.” – Burnin’ Love BBQ

Click on this thumbnail for a sample recipe:

We’ve set up a PayPal link for credit card orders. (You do not have to be a PayPal member to use this link.)

If you would rather pay by check, please print this page, include your name and shipping address, and remit with $19.95 + $2.50 shipping for the first copy (for additional copies shipping = $1.00 each) to the address below.

Thank you!




Name………………………………………………… Copies @ $19.95 = ………


City…………………………………………………… S&H: + 2.50*

State………………………………. Zip………………….

Total Enclosed ………………

Please make checks payable to Perry P. Perkins, and mail to:

Elk Mountain Books
PO Box 21
Wilsonville, OR 97070

Paperback, 7″ x 10″. 150 pp., retail $19.95. Please add the following for shipping: USA US $2.50 for the first book*, US$1.00 per each additional copy. Canada US$5.00 for the first book, US$2.00 per each additional copy. For all other countries please add US$8.00 for the first book, US$3.00 per each additional copy. For orders outside the U.S.A., credit card payments only.

Oregon State Fair 2010

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Ninibugs – handmade children’s apparel

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Okay parents,

It’s summer time and, of course, nothing the Pickle wore LAST year comes close to fitting.

I’ve been doing some looking around and was pleasantly surprised to find that an old buddy of mine, Stephanie Collins, has opened her own boutique of custom designed and manufactured children’s clothes, called Ninibugs!

These are seriously cute (and affordable), one-of-a-kind clothes for baby, toddlers, and kids of all ages. Stephanie is one of those peeps who is just plain gifted…doesn’t matter if it’s homemade truffles, or hand-sewn baby dresses, it’s going to turn out awesome.

Ninibugs specialize in quality handmade boutique children’s apparel and accessories in a variety of styles and sizes. Check out their photo albums for more examples!

Feel free to contact Stephanie for sizing and prices.

Take a look – http://ninibugs.blogspot.com/

You can also find Ninibugs on Facebook!

– Gracie’s Daddy

Church Camp 2010

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Camp was, as always, awesome! Great friends, great food, great fun…with beautiful weather tossed in to make it extra perfect.

Highlights – The impromptu pizza potluck, 7am sandbox date with Gracie, Van’s boccie tourney, the pig (of course), the best hotdogs in Estacada, playing 10,000 with my sweetie, and watching my Goddaughter get baptized.

Enjoy the pics…see ya’all there again next year!

-Gracie’s Daddy

3rd Annual Princess Gracie Luau

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Well, it was a hot one again this year, but our 3rd Annual Princess Gracie Luau was another huge success!

As you can see in the slide-show, Lt. Zallee marked off the Boccie field and got the tournament going, while the talented Shores girls manned the face-painting station.

I arrived early and fired up La Caja China to roast the Kahlua pork shoulders, while baking the Pineapple Upside-down Spam cake (see my bbq blog for more on that!) Friends and family went all out, loading down the table with salads and sides.

A special kudos goes out to Terry for his AWESOME home-made cream pies and Hawaiian rolls…as always, wow.

Gracie loved being the star of the show (shocker!), as well as her chocolate cupcake, and lots of nice presents! Her new “Crabby” pool is a big hit, though we haven’t gotten any water in it yet, lol.

Thanks again to everyone who came out and helped up celebrate 3 years with our princess!


-Gracie’s Daddy

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