Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home sweet home, Sundays at Orenco

Couldn't have had a better day at the crepe booth. We had good food and good people all coming together. Yesterday I served at a slower event downtown, so waking up to do the morning hustle of crepe prep at Orenco was like a homecoming. For some reason, the flavors speak to my neighbors as much as to me. I got a few people asking me if I knew of this or that crepe place (most of the places yes; I'm obsessed!) and some chit-chat about the motherland of food (France).

Best of all, we got to play around with a new flavor: lavender. I'm excited to serve this one at Mountainside farms in July so I decided to get the concept started a little early. I added lavender syrup to the whipped cream today (I'll add more next time! It was almost undetectable!) and some ground up lavender buds to sugar. Here's the shot from our menu:

Flavor is comprised of taste and smell, and I love getting a full nose of flavor before I take a bite. In fact, this is one of the best parts of making fresh lemon curd in the morning at Orenco. The sharp lemon zest scent even carries across a parking space to where the Gyro people set up. Cooking anything you get hit with these full flavors, as strong as they can be. Think of the power of raw onions. The trick is taming down the noise of the food and presenting it in the best form for the eater. For lavender, I think we nailed it. Sweet and light, this crepe had a delicate punch like you get from smelling uncut, fresh lavender under the hot sun (from a few inches back!)

What ingredient flavors do you like to smell when you're cooking? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Hey Ellen, I looked you up on facebook and found this blog link there, and I had to laugh when I saw how into cooking and cycling you seem to be. My own passions these days are essentially bicycle touring and outdoor gourmet cuisine. I made a honey oat bread and a fantastic stirfry on an open fire in the woods just a few hours ago. I'm riding my bike to B.C. later this week, hoping to leave on Wednesday, and I'm not planning on coming back. It feels right to give you a shout while I'm saying goodbye to everything and everyone I know. Take care, or shorah, or whatever the kids are saying these days.

  2. Unless you moved to Alberta, that's going to be one hell of a bike ride. Sounds like you've become quite skilled in the woods, so you'll fit right in in BC. Feel free to drop me a line anytime. That's insane to hear that your hobbies are all aligned with mine.

  3. The Olympic mountains and the pacific coast are pretty much the backdrop that my life was missing. I live in Victoria now and everything has fallen into place. I wanted to let you know that I made it alive, and was kinda disappointed when I ran out of continent, to tell the truth. Thinkin' Mexico next summer, but everything's up in the air now. Hope all is well with you.

  4. Congratulations! I was actually wondering if you made it before the weather got bad. While you're in Victoria you should try out the Midnight Mystery Ride. It happens every 2nd Friday 10pm at Centennial Square and you'll meet lots of young hippie types. If Triane and Will from Recyclistas are still involved, it'll be the most fun you've ever had on a bike. You should totally try for Mexico next.