Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend ABC's - B is for Berries & Burgerville

Growing up in San Diego had a lot of things going for it--the beach, the weather, flip flops as sanctioned daily footwear.  It was a great place to be a kid.  I learned about the world through the famous San Diego Zoo and Sea World or the effect humans have on the oceans through organizations like Surfrider.  I even joined the stable where I kept my horse in a fight against developers who wanted to put a freeway through one of San Diego's canyons (we won, woo hoo!).  The one thing I NEVER thought about, was food.

Food came to us plastic wrapped from Vons, the local grocery store.  Apples were piled up in the produce section next to dry oranges.  Tuna was from a can ... usually dented and marked down to a quarter (my mom's way of saving money).  It was tasteless, something we ate because we had to, not because we necessarily WANTED to.  The word seasonal in San Diego just meant the jacaranda trees were blooming, it didn't mean that berries would only be around for a few weeks or that fall would burst on the scene screaming orange and red just in time for Halloween.

And then I tasted a peach.

It was not the first time I had EATEN a peach.  But it was the first time I TASTED a PEACH.  

Spleen's mom bought a few from a local farm stand up in the Central Valley of California.  They had been picked that morning, fresh from an Oakdale tree and the look on my face when I bit into it?  Well, Spleen and Mrs. H thought something might have been wrong with me.  Sweet, juicy, tender and I swear it had been smothered in honey.  Food changed for me that day and I have been looking to recreate that experience ever since.  

When I moved to the 'burbs of Portland, it was not so I could have access to farm fresh produce.  It was so I could be close to my old office (can we say WORKAHOLIC?).  I was sick of battling the freeways and wanted to have a short commute.  I had NO idea what an "Urban Growth Boundary" was or what "Sustainable Agriculture" was until I got in my car one day, drove a mile away from my house and was SMACK DAB in the middle of farm land.


It took me 10 minutes to get to downtown Portland, two minutes to get to a local farm and within another minute I was at two wineries.

"PORTLAND? IS PERFECT!" I screamed to no one in particular and almost ran off the road into an apple orchard.

Long ago, and long story short, blah, blah, blah fights and blah, blah, blah legislature and blah, blah, blah bills and other shite SSG has no idea about, Portland essentially drew a large circle around itself and said "nothing gets developed outside of here."  Portland is a stud.

What this means for SSG (because this is what we all really care about, right?).  She can DRIVE (sorry Portland) two miles and pick raspberries, strawberries and flowers herself.  And bonus?  She gets to cross one more item off her Summer to Do List.  And when she wonders why she gave all the berries to her Little Sister (through Big Brothers & Little Sisters) and didn't keep any for herself, Portland saves the day again with a little place called Burgerville.

Burgerville is a Northwest burger joint.  They only use locally grown beef and Tillamook cheese, have seasonal specials like Walla Walla Onion Rings from our Washington neighbors and they have MILKSHAKES.  Seasonal MILKSHAKES that have local RASPBERRIES in them.

And when SSG saw that?  She peeled into Burgerville's parking lot faster than you can say "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard."

Dear Burgerville (slurp), YOUR milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (sluuuurrrp). SSG would like to say THANK YOU (sluuuuuurrrrrrrrp) and could you possibly look into a peach milkshake for her to have this fall?  

Hope your weekends were just as sweet ... and if they were juicy?  DO TELL!


Lys said...

No juicy, can say that much. However, give me two weeks and I'll have lots of scoop for ya *LOL*

That's so cool that you are right smack dab around such great produce. Orlando - notsomuch. Sure we have citrus and stuff - but the crops suck this year. :::sigh::: However, when I went to Philly's Italian Market, I acted a fool it was so overwhelming. Definitely a spot to frequent when I'm in town.

Big Hair Envy said...

Sounds fantastic! We have wild blackberries growing all along our driveway. The deer usually get them before we do :)

"...I could teach you, but I'd have to charge....."

Anonymous said...

Such juicy details! YUM! I can almost taste the berries, and the milk shake and the raspberries! Great descriptions, SSG!