Playlist #15: Springtime!

Playlist #15: Springtime!

Posted by:

Jacobsen Salt Co.

Posted on:

Mar 18, 2024

Is it us, or did winter’s frigid chill just crack open and bring hope for the spring we’ve been dreaming about under our fleece blankets?

Even though we’re enjoying soup season, we’re ready to pull ourselves out of our cold-weather routine and take in the fragrant scent of cherry blossoms blooming, linger in the produce aisle admiring pea tendrils and rainbow chard, and yes, even eat on a patio. So, in anticipation of these magical days, we compiled a playlist to celebrate the soft symphony of springtime.

By: Kourtney Paranteau


1. Hometown Hero 

While it’s rare we meet a pastry we can resist, Marisa Kroes’ plant-based patisserie Orange & Blossom located in Northeast Portland has us saving our sweet tooth until we’re on that side of town. With fillings and flavors featuring miso paste, ginger, rye, and passionfruit (our undoing every time), their menu winks at nostalgic classics with the more nuanced palate of adulthood. Be sure to watch for them on Saturdays at the PSU Farmers Market for a little pick-me-up as you shop.

2. Long Distance Crush

How are we coping while we wait for Season 3 of The Bear,” you ask? Besides watching every award show to get a glimpse of Ayo’s gowns, we’ve been drool-scrolling Instagram for Chicago-based food things we imagine Carmie and Co. would frequent. Not to be tempted by FOMO, we’re also thinking that Chicago might be the place for our spring travel plans, namely because of the aforementioned Chicago-based food things. Our first stop: Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House for a dozen freshly-shucked oysters, butter-poached lobster rolls, and, of course, frog legs - an offering we rarely see in the PNW.

3. Beverage Pairing

As we ease out of red wine season, we’re sipping on glasses of crisp whites like Gail Wine’s Chenin Blanc from California’s Sonoma Valley. Inspired by the quaffable whites of the Loire Valley, this Chenin packs a bright acidity not unlike a green apple. Ideal alongside a tinned fish picnic, zippy-yet-creamy cabbage coleslaw, or hearty chicken salad, this bottle remains a no-brainer with any springtime al fresco meal.

4. Pantry Pal

Ever venture outside of your kitchen comfort zone only to realize you’ve forgotten a few necessary things? Or maybe you’re just like us and hate peeling garlic. Well, when we’re aiming for Vietnamese or Southeast Asian-leaning dishes, we’ve found a shortcut to flavor via VanVan’s collection of single-origin ingredients, like their Northern Mountain Garlic, Coastal Purple Shallot, Delta Lemongrass, and Sparrow Ginger. While spring is a celebration of fresh alliums, their dehydrated counterparts are perfect for stocking in your pantry year-round until you’re ready to use them.

Hot Tip: the garlic and shallot crown the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce in Dro’s Banh Xeo recipe.

5. Reading Material

Koreaworld: A Cookbook is a follow-up to Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard’s beloved (and in my case, a very dog-eared copy of) Koreatown. This time, they peek their heads out further than the Korean neighborhoods of America and into dozens of Korean-owned restaurants around the globe to discover and uncover dishes less recognized in the Korean food scene. We'll be making their Cold Broccoli Salad with Ssamjang Mayo and Kkaennip (perrila leaf) Pesto all spring long.

6. Equipment

Cooking with more in-season vegetables inevitably means more onion skins, carrot tops, and other compostable goods we hate to just toss if we’re not reusing them in stocks or (carrot top) pesto. To keep the cycle of growing going, we welcome Bamboozle’s Bamboo Compost Bin to our countertop in anticipation of the herb and wildflower garden we’ll be happily planting once the overnight frosts melt away for good.

7. Entertainment

Although we spend hours in the kitchen every week, we struggle to find food-centric podcasts to keep our brains entertained while we’re chopping and stirring. But thanks to the team at Gastropod, we’re able to wean ourselves off of true crime stories for an hour each week as hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley explore gastronomic ponderings and under-told legends, like who invented the stuffed-crust pizza, how ramen conquered the soup world, and our personal favorite, a meditation on the polarizing reputation of black licorice.

8. Food Merch

We’ve been dutifully searching for the bucket hat that truly “gets” us and we’re thrilled to announce that the wait is finally over. Beepy Bella’s Berry Bucket Hat takes “looking like a snack” to a literal level and it’s as fun to say as it is cute. It also gets bonus points for protecting our heads from the sun as we go fruit foraging these upcoming months.

9. One of Our Own

It’s time to toot our own horn with our not-so-basic pantry essentials, especially after all of that spring cleaning. Our Netarts Bay Bundle features the must-haves: our signature Pure Flake for finishing eye-catching dishes, our workhorse Kosher for seasoning *everything* that comes out of our kitchen, and our so-cute-it's-bound-to-be-coveted Slide Tin for all of the times someone else’s food needs that extra boost. Your food will never be under-seasoned again.