Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Of Love and Poultry

After a restless night dreaming about blogging (how weird is that?), I woke up at 5:30 this morning and sat up in bed. Rosey, who was sleeping soundly beside me, opened one eye and looked at me as though to say, "You can't be serious. It's still dark outside!" The reason for my wakefulness, not to mention the sudden shift to personal confessional?

This is the day that my first full-length feature article appears in the Oregonian's FoodDay section. Titled "Love, Chickens and Living a Farmer's Life," it's the story of Chrissie and Koorosh Zaerpoor and their transition from engineers at Intel to organic farmers at their own Kookoolan Farms in Yamhill.

Their story is an ode to following your heart and finding your life's passion, and I couldn't have asked for a better subject for my first print feature. And far from being reticent subjects, they were both open and funny and the story practically wrote itself as I stood interviewing them at their kitchen counter.

There are also recipes for Chrissie's chicken liver pate and her chicken Stoltzfus, as well as Zuni roast chicken with bread salad, adapted from "The Zuni Cafe Cookbook." And I'd be remiss if I didn't thank my editor at FoodDay, Martha Holmberg, for her support and for shockingly little editing to the original story.

So check it out online and let me know what you think!

22 comments:

kim said...

KB: It's a terrific story. Congrats heaped on kudos! I bought a chicken from Kookoolan on Sunday, and we gobbled it up last night. Next time: Rabbit.

Cheers!

Shelby Wood said...

Kathleen:

What a great story about the Zaerpoors. I write an environment/green living blog for The Oregonian. Each morning I pick the best stories from the paper and online (of those with a "green" angle) and dress them up a bit. Here's your story on PDXgreen (it's the top post at the moment):
http://blog.oregonlive.com/pdxgreen/

Thanks again for the great piece.

--Shelby Wood/The Oregonian

Loo said...

kab, I remember when you got the idea for your blog and we wondered where it would lead... now we know! I am so happy for you, it's a wonderful article, full of heart.

Looking forward to many, many more! I might actually have to (gasp) subscribe to the Oregonian at long last!

Anonymous said...

The story was really enjoyable and even uplifting. Good for the Kookkoolan Farms! I have a question about "hand washing the eggs...." I was always told to never, ever WASH eggs but to simply sand them. This was because the shells are porous and bacteria can seep from the outer shell to inner egg. So - do the Zaerpoors really WASH them??? GREAT ARTICLE, ALL IN ALL!

kab said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. It's sort of overwhelming to see something you wrote in print, especially when it's in your own community.

And it couldn't have happened at all without all of you reading the blog in the first place and supporting me in my endeavors!

Anonymous said...

My grandfather raised chickens as layers and fryers. To dispatch a chicken, or any animal, is not a pleasant task. I thought you handled the description with compassion for the animal and the farmer. It brought back many memories, not all about killing, about what it takes to raise and grow food.

Rick said...

Such a big brava, Kathleen! A good story so well told. Makes one rethink the term "chicken hearted". How truly wonderful to read this good stuff from home!

kab said...

You are too kind. Like I said, Chrissie and Koorosh made it an easy story to tell. Glad it reminded you of home!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your story about Kookoolan Farms. I truly enjoyed it. Never having heard of them before I look forward to seeking them out at the market.
I also read your piece in the Market Watch segment about Pimientos de Padrón. I first tried them about a year ago at the only authentic Spanish restaurant in town called Patanegra and loved them. I was very surprised that the restaurant was not mentioned in your article. Ricardo has been serving the peppers, buying them directly from Viridian Farms, when no one knew what they were. Friends of mine also tell me he was serving them years ago at Tapeo, getting the peppers from California. So I was surprised to see no mention of Patanegra but instead a plug for Toro Bravo that just recently opened.

kab said...

Glad you liked the story! And remember that, because these chickens are leaner than the ones you buy at the market, they need to be cooked at lower heat in a moist environment like a clay pot or Le Creuset-type vessel.

The mention of a specific restaurant was not in my original copy and was added at the Oregonian, probably to give readers a place to try them out. Thanks for mentioning Patanegra!

Lisa said...

Kathleen:

I am totally impressed. We enjoyed reading every bit of your article and can't believe how famous you have become!

kab said...

Maybe not famous. Maybe just lucky. And I certainly do feel I've been fortunate!

Anonymous said...

Kathleen: whoa, well written, charming, fact-filled. Great piece! Many congratulations. jeanie

kab said...

That's a huge compliment coming from a real writer like yourself! As for charming, informative, well-written? You were there waaaaaaay ahead of me, my dear.

Katherine Gray said...

CONGRATS!! I loved the story. And I can't wait to get my hands on some of those chickens! Tell me, did you pitch the whole package--sidebars and recipes included--or was that FoodDay? I'm brewing an idea and I'm trying to decide how far to take it. Shoot for the moon?

Ann said...

Nice article on the Kookoolan folk. I just learned about them while searching for a local food source for chicken. I checked out your blog as a result, seeing it at the bottom of the online article. Any chance you'll be covering other local food info/people/sources?

kab said...

Katherine, I say go for it! And yes, I pitched the idea to FoodDay as a package, but they're the ones that took the risk on a brand-new wannabe writer with only one article to her credit (for Culinate.com). And I can't thank them enough!

kab said...

Hi Ann. Thanks for following the link to the blog! And yes, I've got a couple of assignments for FoodDay as well as Edible Portland, so there's more to come. Woo hoo!

Martha A. said...

Mr. A congratulates you for a great lead (the hardest part) and says it pulled him into the story. Ms. Martha says, "Well done! You're a natural storyteller whose style works well both aloud and in print!"

kab said...

You guuuuuuuuuuys! So nice of you (both) to say such lovely things, and I'm so glad you liked it!

Trista said...

I really enjoyed your article! It is such great news that people are following their hearts & doing what they really love & what brings them joy.

I wish you luck in your writing career & also hope that more farmers like this couple will join in the farming business. It will be a healthier world for all of us if they do!

Thank you!

kab said...

I couldn't agree with you more...and thanks!