Before I put up some high-larious photos with me and Andrea’s parents, I need to put up a couple photos from when my parents were here last week. Right before we did some shopping at the market, we noticed a bunch of funny-looking pigs in a scuzzy barred-up studio downtown. As you probably know, these are painted replicas of Rachel, the famous bronze piggy bank, to commemorate 100 years of Pike Place Market. They’ve been all over town since 2001, much like the freakishly popular Peanuts on Parade program that littered Snoopy’s all over St. Paul years back.

We got a few veggie items at Pike’s Place, but I had already hit the [superior] U-district farmer’s market the day before and got a real spring chicken among other things. I did the chicken with some lavender and thyme at the market and roasted it with fennel, asparagus, garlic ramps, onions, and carrots. (it was good) I also splurged and gave asked the folks at Estrella to give pick out $15-20 of cheese, we got the four varieties seen on the right.

That was a good meal with some good Oregon wine (and some good company!), so I was inspired to try a similar concoction with a duck last week that Adam and Andrea snacked on. Same kind of thing, only this time I roasted some garlic in the cooking pan and smeared the cloves (and some honey) all over the bird about ten minutes before it was done. I stuffed the duck with its neck, a little rosemary, and an orange. The flavor was pretty great, but I need more practice on ducks. I had trouble telling when it was done since it was the first duck I ever cooked and my meat thermometer conked out. Tonight, Andrea’s mom special-requested Paella, based on a picture and recipe on my old site. Pressure’s on!