My very proper, midwestern, middle-class parents were both in their early forties when I was born. My dad decided to open his own business within a few months of my arrival, and he needed my mother’s help to do the bookkeeping and such. Suddenly in need of a steady babysitter, she did the only thing she could think of – she asked her older sister Marie to move to Portland from Alaska to take care of me. This is how I ended up with two moms. Sure, they were sisters, but totally, completely polar opposites in the child-raising arena. My for-real mom said “Grace” at all three meals every single day, ironed our pillowcases, and took me downtown to see the Cinnamon Bear at Christmastime. Marie-mom, with no kids of her own and five failed marriages in her wake, taught me to count by letting me play Blackjack with her and her friends, praised me when I could finally shuffle-ball-change without falling off the piano, and took me to get my ears pierced instead of driving me to Sunday school like she was supposed to. I feel so lucky to have been influenced by both these fabulous ladies, the church-goer and the hell-raiser. I sang my dolls to sleep with both lullabyes and sea chanteys. When I was chosen valedictorian, I couldn’t wait to tell my mom; when I lost my virginity, I couldn’t wait to tell Marie.
It should come as no surprise that I have a nice side and a naughty side to this very day. My naughty side buys way too many shoes. My nice side pays the Visa bill in full every month. My nice side studies nutrition labels and has hissy fits over trans-fats. My naughty side has cake and champagne for breakfast. You should ask my two children how I insist on them eating a “hot and nourishing” meal three times a day…and then I’ll tell you my personal theory about how to make food taste good: add plenty of butter and/or booze.
Speaking of booze, though, there was one thing my moms always agreed on: their Sunday morning Bloody Mary. It always seemed to bring a certain harmony to our crazy household. I think you’ll like it too, no matter how nice you feel on any given summer afternoon, or how naughty you’ve been the night before. In fact, it made me appreciate Bloody Marys so much, I’ve written a whole book about them. It’s called Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations. It tells you how to make a killer Bloody Mary for pretty near any occasion you can think of. Not only that, it contains play lists, fashion tips, sex advice, and lots of other tidbits. Ask your server how you can pick up a copy.
Oregon Strawberry, Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad
with toasted local hazelnuts & poppy seed vinaigrette
Bratwurst & Sauerkraut
slow-cooked bratwurst in beer & onions, grilled & served with white wine-braised sauerkraut & smashed red potatoes
simple, yet perfect. fresh egg pasta tossed in a parmigiano-reggiano cream sauce
Parmesan & Parsley-Crusted Cod
pan-seared, served with slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, orzo pasta & sautéed spinach in a parmesan nage (sauce)
Angel Food Cake with Berries
light sponge cake topped with local berries, served with house made green tea ice cream
red wine macerated with limes, oranges, peaches & berries, served on the rocks