Saturday, July 11, 2009

Welcome to Foodlandia

I am initiating this blog mostly as a favor to my Facebook friends... the ones who couldn't care less about my new clafouti recipe or the bumper crop of snow peas in the back yard, much less where New Sammy's Cowboy Bistro gets their olive oil. Anybody who does care about that stuff is invited to join me here. I do love company and there's nothing I'd rather talk about.

My plan is to use this forum to share my idiosyncratic (but not totally baseless) opinions on all things food-related: recipes, restaurants, and growing your own. I'm located in southern Oregon and frankly I don't get out much, so there will be a distinctly local flavor.

The title Foodlandia came to me in a dream last week; since this was the first time anything has ever come to me in a dream, I figured I ought to use it. I dreamed about Fordlandia - the community Henry Ford built in the jungles of South America so he could grow his own rubber trees for tires - except in the dream the rubber trees were giant plants growing heirloom tomatoes made of shiny precious metals. When I woke up I thought about how when we first moved to southern Oregon in 1991, I desperately missed the gourmet delights of Berkeley and Los Angeles. Once I had to call eight grocery stores and never did find one that sold prosciutto, and you couldn't get a cup of espresso anywhere in the Rogue Valley to save your life. So out of necessity we started growing our own herbs and I learned to make Chinese har gau and Ethiopian wats. Our own little Foodlandia.

The dining situation has improved dramatically in our community since then. Henry Ford's plantation actually turned out to be a disaster, but at my house the garden still gets bigger every summer. My geeky quest for new, better, and more authentic recipes is eternal. And I'm always on the lookout for a good new place to eat out when I need to take a break.

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