Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Beautiful Afternoon in Portland: Brunch with Old Friends, Marcella Hazan at Powell's, and a Stroll in The Pearl

not our house
Glorious fall weather was in store for Portland this weekend. And fall activities filled Saturday: a trip to Gales Creek to pick up a load of wood for the fireplace, cleaning up Giardino Vicola (our garden in the alley), raking leaves, and raking more leaves. Two hundred thousand down, a million to go! Many in our neighborhood take Halloween very seriously and the houses are sprouting decorations like political yard signs. Only some decorations are big, puffy, and they move, like the black cat and the pirate in the treasure chest in the movie!

Sunday brunch found us at Meriwether's in NW Portland for a great meal with Aunt Anne of the Basement, our good friends Chris and Nancy from Corvallis, and their son, Bryan, who lives in Portland. The food was great and we lingered and laughed. Pictured to the left is Aunt Anne of the Basement's corned beef hash with poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

The restaurant has their own garden and we each left with a bag of red and yellow peppers and baby eggplant, gratis.

Nancy, Aunt Anne of the Basement, and I then headed to Powell's for an appearance by Marcella Hazan, the renowned Italian chef and author. She's now 84 and lives in Longboat Key, near Sarasota, but she's charming and had some interesting stories to tell. She offered two pieces of great advice: don't cook with too many ingredients; and the first time, follow the recipe exactly, the next time start making it your own recipe. Nancy stood in line and now I have an autographed page in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking--the olive oil and butter splattered page with the recipe for Chicken Fricassee! Here's her describing trying to cook while Victor, her husband and recipe scribe, tries to get the detail we all expect in recipes. The problem was, they were working on two different recipes!


griffiskc said...

Sounds lovely. Did you get to sit outside? Also, who is Aunt Anne of the basement??

Ronna said...

Sound fab! Wish I was there with you guys...