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Food Stories!

Connecting people, food, and stories. Care to share? 

This page is dedicated to postings that celebrate community culture through food. 

New Foodways Program: Che Figata! and a small group of food enthusiasts organize events that celebrate the foods of different cultures, ethnicities, and regions through presentations, hands-on classes, tours and other activities.  Currently, the program serves members of local Villages.


A personal tale: random postings of personal-and that of friends-food stories.  Care to share? 

Che Figata! and Friends:  Workshop on Preserving Cabbage

Food expert, Charlene Murdock of Foodways at Nana Cardoon was the guest lecturer. Participants learned about the value of food preservation through fermentation. Class participants learned how to make sauerkraut. 

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Che Figata! and Friends:  Raised Garden Bed Building Workshop

This hands-on workshop was held at the Rose City United Methodist Church (NE Village office location). Workshop participants constructed tall raised beds, designed to enable older adults to more easily garden. 

"I have 2 (raised garden beds) at home fillled with onions, shallots, pickling cucumbers and tomatoes, I am here to help others learn."   


"I am a liason with Rose City United Methodist Church and part of the collective which includes NE Village. This is an opportunity for  the neighborhood to garden together in a safe environment, an opportunity for  people walking by to be educated about the Village (purpose)." 

"I was part of the Village five years ago for services, now I am a volunteer in the Village." 

"As a kid I helped my dad with apartment maintenance, those skills enable me now to serve as a volunteer handyman for Village projects."

"I like volunteering and gardening, I just joined the Village (as a volunteer), I like helping the community."


Foodways: Introduction to Millets

Although quite prevalent in many other countries, a lesser-known grain in the U.S. are millets. There are over 6,000 varieties of millets in the world! Millets are highly nutritious and easy to grow in drought conditions. To raise support for millets, the United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of the Millets.

Guest speaker Joni Kindwall-Moore, co-founder of the North American Millets Alliance and owner of Snacktivist Foods will be presenting a virtual talk introducing us to the world of millets. She will address the origin story of millets, why they are important to our diets, their role in the climate crisis and some pro-tips for cooking with them.

Foodways: Cooking with Ancient Grains

This demo class will teach participants how to prepare a variety of ancient grains including farro, barley, amaranth, quinoa, and soy/ tempeh. The instructor will also discuss how these grains offer added nutrition, flavor and diversity to our diets.

Ingredient samples and recipes will be available to registrants. 

The class will be taught by Maureen Quinn of the Oregon Extension Agency and a two-county family

nutrition program.

Foodways: Foraging Walk 

Intro to Foraging, a 2-hour foraging walk led by Erika Ironwood, founder of Craft & Cauldron.  She introduced participants to a variety of wild edible and medicinal plants that grow in our back yards.

Erika has been a forager and herbalist for 17 years and has been teaching publicly for five years. She is committed to demystifying foraging and to encouraging stewardship of wild places in the Pacific NW.

Note: see Event Gallery for photos!

Holiday Sweet Traditions

Valentine's Day cookies

Judee: Some years ago, I was a partner in a small, full-service bakery. I loved preparing for the holidays, making the cases look incredible with the beautiful creations of our bakers and decorators! Valentine’s Day was a favorite. I accumulated a huge collection of cookie cutters from those years, many Valentine themed, but my husband of 20+ years has been adamant about “no white flour, no sugar”, so my fun baking days and cookie cutters collected were a thing of the past.

  In the last ten years I’ve been delighted with healthy options for baked goods-not the kind that taste like sandpaper, but the great options like monk fruit and other alternative sweeteners and the development of seriously good gluten free baking supplies that just keep getting better.

  Now with healthier options, I can break out the Valentines’ cookie cutters while providing a treat for the “no white flour, no sugar” guy.

  My way of showing love has always been to provide delicious treats for friends and loved ones, while a healthy, yummy home cooked meal is the best gift I can offer my spouse.   Some nights a basic meal like fish, steamed vegetables and yams with a green salad make him completely happy, but I love variety. So when I have time…obscure Asian or Middle Eastern grocery visits, then I pop out the cookbooks and have a blast. He’s the happy recipient.

  People ask me “Doesn’t he cook?” Nope, not really. And I’m fine with the “traditional” role in this area. By the way, he cleans the gutters, mows the lawn, fixes the fences. I provide love with food!

Valentine’s Cookie Recipe 

Ingredients:  1 cup butter, softened

                     2/3 cup sugar (I used monk fruit)

                     1/2 tsp salt

                     1 egg

                     1 tablespoon vanilla extract

                     2 cups flour (I used gluten free)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy, then add sugar and salt, beat till combined.

Then beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, beat till combined.


Use a parchment liner for the pans. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are slightly brown.

(I find it rolls out nicely to cut cookies— or you could just do drop cookies——or use it as a base for other cookie combinations)


Kransekake for Christmas

Krista: A Norwegian kransekake, it’s like a macaroon - made of egg whites, almond flour and powdered sugar. 


Klienas Christmas Cookies

Shannon: My maternal grandmother was Danish. There are a few Scandinavian countries that are know for their fried cookies and Denmark is one of them. We  have always referred to these Christmas cookies as Klienas. My grandmother made them, my mom used to make them and I have carried on the tradition.
Glædelig jul!

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