Week 20 – Timbers

#136 Portland Timbers vs. New York FC

15 May 2016 // Portland, Oregon

We got to witness at least one goal on our side of things, which meant the ceremonial tree slicing. I also had a chance to see some of my favorite players in live action, namely the Argentine, Diego Valeri. And since food is a pretty big deal to me no matter where I end up going, it’s worth noting that the stadium fare included Tillamook grilled cheese sandwiches, buffalo wing wraps, and some Argentine empanadas (that were double the size of any you’d find in Argentina and about ten times the price.)

The fan bases may be smaller than many other sports, but they make up for it with extremely colorful fan cultures. Plus it’s a great way to get into the rest of the sport with many big names taking up more and more MLS stints.

It always feels good to be a part of a collective something, and a fan group is no exception.

Baseball, football, and basketball are all alive and well in the U.S., but for those of us who long to be a part of its golden era, it seems that it’s too late. The golden era of soccer is approaching, however, and it’ll be a fun one to participate in.

#137 After One Adventure

16 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I’m an adventure lover, that part of my personality tends to be straightforward.

After a good weekend spent mountain climbing or city exploring, though, I find myself easily content wherever I am. If these things are meant to be refreshing, they definitely have that effect on me.

#138 Chicken Adobo

17 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This is kind of surprising, but this is the first time I’ve ever tried my hand at chicken adobo, and… I love cooking this stuff! I totally get why this is the one thing my mom will make again and again even though overall she’s never been too fond of cooking.

It’s a pretty easy recipe, but one that can get even better the more and more you get used to it, and it’s also a crowd pleaser. Plus you can swap out different ingredients each time to experiment with new things.

For my first attempt, I consulted two sources. My mom, obvi. And my Auntie Ella too. They both have different styles, but I took the gist of what they told me to do and kind of merged their two methods into one.

#139 Eat My Globe

18 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“Ten of us sat around the table and ate, drank, and talked for over five hours, until the small hours of the early morning. We talked mainly about food and how things should be done properly, and how so many young people now took shortcuts. Everyone shook their heads mournfully. I felt totally at home.”

–Simon Majumdar

I just finished this book, and I read it fairly slowly considering I couldn’t read such a food centric book on an empty stomach.

This book reads like a food and travel show plays out, transcribed right into a paperback. Simon’s demanding taste buds get irritating at some points, but his British sense of humor grows on you after a while. It’s a food memoir. It’s a travel memoir. I’m a pretty easy audience when those two things come together.

#140 Roasted Brussel Sprouts

19 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Growing up, brussel sprouts were always used as a go-to example of a food most kids thought were nasty. Brussel sprouts and squid. I actually liked squid as a kid, but I understood why people disliked brussel sprouts. I wasn’t repulsed by them, but I also wasn’t terribly fond of the sometimes-metallic taste.

Turns out, much like cilantro, there’s a genetic reason why some people can’t stomach brussel sprouts. TAS2R38, if you happen to care. And I figured making an unpopular veggie into a good side dish might be a worthwhile challenge.

My attempt included crushed walnuts, bacon bits, and olive oil, three things that can improve many a dish. And it turned out good enough for Thursday’s dinner with some chicken quarters.

#141 Timbers Spirit

20 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Much love for the birthday present Deanna got for me, a Timbers jersey. I’ve wanted one for a while but they don’t come cheap.

If they were cheaper, I’d probably try and get away with having a wardrobe consist almost entirely of soccer jerseys. Beyond fandom, they’re the most comfortable thing to wear.

#142 Pancakes & Blackberry Syrup

21 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Saturday morning. A full day ahead and pretty much no plans at all. What’s the best companion for a day like that? Pancakes. A full, fat stack of them.

Deanna’s often the one to get the pancakes going around home but I decided to try mixing things up by trying out a new recipe. Buttermilk. And a pairing of blackberry syrup to go with it, since we try to be good Northwesterners.

Oh, and my favorite thing to do with pancake batter is to sprinkle it on the griddle to make really tiny pancakes. They’re called niblets and they’re awesome. One day I’ll figure out how to package a bunch of these in plastic and market them as wonderful snacks, cause that’s what they are.