Back Page 285 Jan Roberts-Dominguez, Oregon Hazelnut Country

>>> Hello, and welcome again to “Back Page.” I’m Jody Seay, and today we’re visiting with Jan Roberts Dominguez, who’s written this book, which is an excellent book, it’s called “Oregon Hazelnut Country — The Food, The Drink, The Spirit.” So welcome to the program >> Thank you, Jody >> And thank you for creating such a wonderful cookbook You’re the third cookbook author we’ve had on this show >> Wow I’m honored >> So we’ve had Tiffany Haugen, and Jean Johnson Jean wrote a book called “Cooking Beyond Measure,” and Tiffany Haugen did the “Power of Flour” and all that >> Yes Wow Thank you >> Tell me about this for you Shoot >> I will Well, first of all, it came to be in a more kind of a different route You know, mostly, you know this as well as I do, the typical route for a nonfiction book is you get an idea, you write a proposal, you ship it off to your agent and if you’re lucky enough to have one, she shops it around for you in all the grown-up publishing houses, and then gets you a contract And then you write your book And I’ve done that And I will continue to do that But for this book, the whole concept came through an email from Polly Owen at the hazelnut marketing board And I got this email in the summer of 2009 and she said, “jan, what would you think about writing a cookbook on Hazelnuts for us?” And I said “wowie!” Because I love Hazelnuts, and she knew I love Hazelnuts, because that is what I write about whenever the hazelnut harvest comes in So that was kind of the beginning But then it became clear to me while we’re working out all the details on who does what, they wanted this book out in a year, from the summer of 2009, they wanted it out in time for harvest in 2010 >> And harvest comes up in the fall? >> Exactly Yeah So in just about a year they wanted a full cookbook And typically the process, normal route is you have about a year to write a book, then the publisher, you turn it all over to them, which is very hard to do Your baby goes off — >> your baby, I know It’s like dressing your child up for the talent show And she’s starched and it’s so beautiful, and you push her out like that and wait for people to go — Huh No! Don’t say that! >> Exactly That’s not what I meant! So you let go of the process at that point And so with this book, so you have a year to do it You ship it off, and then they have typically about a year, nine months to a year to produce the book So a little bit of a two-year process But they wanted it in a year So I said, you know, what if you guys become the publisher? And we eliminate that part of it, and you do it, and I can help with that because I’ve done enough books to know the process So, you know, long story short, they realized they had enough financing to do it that way, so with the financing in place, with an agency like the hazelnut marketing boards, they said, find the team So I went out, I knew the food photographer right off the bat was going to be Karl Maasdam, who I worked with forever, and is a fantastic, talented, local photographer And then I needed to find a book designer and an Ed Stohr, and we would ultimately need to find a printer And so the editor was no problem I sleep with him every night >> OK And how many people can say that? You know? I sleep with my editor >> It’s my husband Steve, he’s my first read, he is the best at what he does So he was going to be the editor He’d be paid to do it for once And we still needed to find a book designer And so at this point I’m trying to still be very careful about the topic around Oregon I didn’t want some other food writer to get a hint of what I was doing It’s a very competitive field And I didn’t want anybody changing their mind about using me >> How did you do that? >> I just — Well, with Joanne McLennan, she was the interview She was a book designer, she founded edge design, it’s an advertising firm in Corvallis And she had sold the agency and retired, but she’s just so good

and so talented, so I lured her to a local restaurant for coffee to talk about a project I told her right up front, you aren’t going to know for a few months unless you accept right here today, but here are the nuts and bolts of it >> So did you give her a glasses with the big nose and mustache to wear while we’re talk about this? >> You know, people kind of walk around like that She was very intrigued And she was intrigued — She said, well, it is animal, mineral — I go, well, it is food OK Pears? You know, and I go, Joanne, I’m not going to tell you But she — When I told her Karl Maasdam was going to be the photographer, that helped So she agreed And I then told her the project And she made a bid for it, and we were off and running So that’s how it came to be >> Wow Well, that’s a better story than just, well, I worked on it really hard, sent it to my publish — My agent, yeah >> It was insane And then whey — I started writing November of And I had to turn my manuscript in to my very impatient husband by the following may, ideally April And that meant creating recipes, and testing all of those, and writing all the text, and getting those to him And meanwhile, Joanne’s waiting for art, because I was going to do all the art in the book, wherever it was needed So it was an insane give and take back and forth, and culminated with food, food shots, days of shooting food with Karl and Joanne and Steve and their whole team, my husband Steve, and the best year of my life It was just crazy Crazy good >> You know, one of the things I really — I like the recipes, because I was reading the recipes going oh, man I could make this >> Yes >> I bet I couldn’t make it as good as Margaret, but could I probably make it, you snow that’s our friend Margaret over here in the peanut gallery, or the hazelnut gallery >> She’s good >> What I really enjoyed beyond that was the history There’s a lot of — There’s a lot of stuff in this book that you just wouldn’t know of the history of the hazelnut industry in — George Dorris was his name >> Right >> He was the guy with the big idea >> 1904, ’05, somewhere in there >> So how did you research all that? How did you find all this out? >> There’s a lot of people that like to talk about filberts, which is what they really are The growers say they grow filberts, and they sell Hazelnuts When I first started being a food writer, in the ’80s, it was, “please call them filberts.” The whole agency said, we want to be filberts, not Hazelnuts, which is how the whole world sees them So we wrote about filberts And then they suddenly realized as an industry on the world market they couldn’t sell filberts, so they had to go back to hazelnut So when they market the book, I mean the Hazelnuts, it’s as Hazelnuts But they still grow filberts >> I know Well, filbert’s not a very attractive name, you know? >> Unless you grow them But there were plenty of people around to get directed towards the stories There were so many I could have — That book could have been twice as big as that >> Really? >> Just with all the wonderful lore, and the love, and the sharing that goes on in the research and in how to grow them, the propagation You know, they’re always trying to make a better nut >> So are they peculiar to the Willamette Valley? Do they grow other places? >> Yes No, I mean, they started in other places as well, they have a certain climate they like, but in the U.S., the Willamette Valley produces 99.9% of the domestic crop, right here >> I mean, really >> Yeah I know >> That’s kind of exciting >> a little up in Washington, but this is where it is And it’s thanks in great part to the research that goes on at Oregon state, because they are always working towards making a nut that’s resistant to certain blights that have wiped out the production in other parts of the country And other parts — Well, mostly our country We’re the third largest producer You’ve got turkey that’s the giant, and then Italy, and then us >> Well, see, that’s what Eric was telling me this morning That turkey produces more — >> yeah, but they’re little >> Little Hazelnuts? Hardly worth mentioning then But turkey also produces the largest olive and olive oil production >> Really? I didn’t know that >> I didn’t know that either I was talking to a guy from turkey and he’s the one who told me that Would I have guessed Greece or Italy for that one >> Or France, even >> So you also did all the artwork that’s in here, which is lovely stuff

So you’re a watercolor artist? >> I am >> How did that — How long have you been doing that? >> Parallel track, and it started, again, in the — In the — I’ve always painted, but in the ’80s when I started a column for “The Oregonian,” called “fresh approach,” my editor at the time, Ginger Johnston, she wanted to use the column on the front of the section, so she said, well, I’d been doing line drawings until then She said, could produce color so we can use you on the front? So I started doing food art, and that’s how all the food art started >> Wow You know, there’s a tattoo artist in Portland, I don’t know her name, but all she does is fruits and vegetables >> Really? >> That’s all she does >> Gosh >> And it’s beautiful work But if you don’t want a salad or a cornucopia coming out of your armpit, she’s not the one to talk, to because that’s what you’re going to get >> Do you have one? >> No, no No, no >> Maybe when we’re 90 One of those last things >> Yeah So what’s happening with the book now? You’re promoting it all over the place? >> I still promote It has its own life And I think it will be very long-lived, because the industry embraces it and they’ll keep it going So it’s just out there And it’s — Costco has just picked it up, so — Again, the book’s been out since 2010, and now they’re getting in the — So it will always be there >> How does that come about? How did that get negotiated? >> They called the publisher, the Wilsonville store had enough requests for it and asked, you know F. the publisher would be interested And so they just negotiated that There’s a middle person, a middle company that does all the distribution >> Well, that’s like a big deal The other thing is, like the food network is huge right now, you know? >> Right >> I mean, I love watching “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” because — >> that’s a good one >> It is a good one >> Some of them drive me nuts I mean, I think that the food industry has gotten a little extreme, and just like everything else with reality shows, and such, they’re trying — My effort as a food writer is to demystify food, and I also like some of my mentors, like Julia child and James beavered, I don’t like food to have a snob attached to it And it is still is, you know Food should be fun And delicious >> You know, I was watching an old tape of Julia child, and she was making omelets one day And she’s like, oh, I’m going to make a liver omelet, because my mother-in-law loves liver and I love my mother-in-law [impersonating Julia child] She’s got two things going and she’s flipping the eggs, and she just wanted food to be easy, you know? >> She did >> And she did it so well >> She was magical I got to meet her personally did a — One of these with her for about 40 minutes >> Wow When was that? >> It was when our national association came to town And I was up in Portland And so they were able to schedule me an interview, and when it started I had all these — All these ice breaker things that I could maybe do Because I was worried that I’d just be tongue-tied And so the very first thing I said to her, after we sat down, and she said, “hello, Jan.” You know “call me Julia.” So I go, of course I will She did And I said, “I have something to thank you for.” “do you?” “yes.” And this is a story that was true And it was with a previous book I had out called “The Mustard Book.” And I said, “a long time ago you held up a book of mine on “Good Morning America.” It was when you and London — ” what’s her name? >> Joan >> “joan London were doing your annual Christmas thing And you held up my book, “The Mustard Book”” she says “a marvelous little book!” And I go,es” that what you said!” And so we were off and running We talked about food, and her philosophies, and all about publishing She said “always have a good index Make them pay for a good index.” And so in this book we did And my husband was the indexer >> He’s kind of an all-purpose guy >> Yes, and he’s good with tools >> We won’t go there >> And he publishes my art, all of my art >> That’s great >> He does the printing and — Yeah >> If you’re just tuning in, lucky for you, because I’m Jody Seay and this is “Back Page,” and we’re visiting with Jan Roberts Dominguez today about her book, and this is a great cookbook It’s called “Oregon Hazelnut Country — The Food, The Drink,

The Spirit.” >> And it is a general cookbook That’s the thing I was really determined to make it a full-service book Not just a book where every recipe has a nut in it And so some of the recipes don’t have nuts Some of them are just sauces or beurre blancs like the traditional French with a twist of Asian And using all of the regional — Well, see, when I first started writing it, it was a friend of mine, and he said, “jan, if you’re gonna write a book about nuts, you better make it sexy.” And I — He just thought it would need that And so I thought, how much more appealing could it be than if you associate it with some of the other really beloved foods of the region And that’s wine, and craft beer, and then of course all the other seasonal ingredients And so I kind of took that approach >> So when you — What out of this do you make on a regular basis? >> Oh Well, see, that’s the thing about having this book around now I put a lot of my favorite things that I’ve been using in my column that I would have to dig for Like the Yukon gold mashed potatoes The beurre blanc sauces that if you go to the fish section — So you’re grilling albacore and while it’s grilling you just whip up some of these simple sauces that have a bit of a WANG to them, and they have wine and butter, and maybe mustard and ponzu sauce, which is like an Asian SOY sauce with lemon in it And these all come together in minutes And then you have a base of a sauce, you have a simple grilled fish, and then what I learned about Hazelnuts is when you toast them, and use them as a final garnish on steaks and chops and fish, it’s like a bridge between some of the other components And it’s really good So if you have them in your freezer, Hazelnuts, because they have a shorter shelf life than other nuts So you want to process them how you’re gonna use them, like for roasting, then stick ’em in your freezer so they don’t — You know, they’ll last longer >> Well, you know, I’ll buy pecans, I’m from the south, so we like pecans >> yes, and they’re good >> But I always just toast them like in a dry skillet >> Yes >> Just as soon as I get home >> More flavor >> It makes them more flavorful, and there’s — Unless you burn it, which I’ve done many times, where I forget and walk out of the room But pecans will burn up like that >> Yes So do Hazelnuts >> Do they? >> Yeah I think it’s the oil content >> That’s good to know So talk to me about your painting and — When you went to college, did you go here at Oregon state? >> I got my masters here I did my undergraduate in California, San Luis Obispo Cal Poly Which has become such a good school that they would never accept me now >> Well, that’s where the brainy kids go, right? Cal Poly? >> It was a good school It was another land grant University, like here, so I already had that, and I did my undergraduate in home economics education, came up here, and got my masters in food nutrition concentration in home EC >> So were you gonna teach >> I was And then turned into a writer >> Wow Well good for you >> Yeah >> I mean — >> so the art, it’s always been a part of that And I just think — You know, I think it starts because anybody who’s trying to break into writing right now, especially in the newspaper industry, and in nonfiction kind of stuff, like foods or whatever in that genre It helped at the time that I was starting to be a writer, a columnist, it helped if you could bring something else to the table that put you apart from the others that were trying to do that And for me it was the art I was a package When I first tried to get syndicated around the Northwest, my husband and I hit the road and I had my column samples that showed that I did line drawings along with it So the editors didn’t have to scramble to fill out the page They had my art to go along with the column If you’re a photographer you could include photographerH photography And really that’s the direction now >> Do you do photography yourself, food photography? >> Not enough I do the food styling So I worked with Karl and did the food styling I started that way, way, way back in the olden days when you went to a studio and it was a full day process that you didn’t even necessarily know how it was going to turn out Because you shot — I worked with — In San Francisco one of the most premier food photographers of his time, Elmer moss And big, huge cameras where the image is there upside down, and all the fantastic lighting, and me as a food stylist on the side And a boss who was telling me what to do

We’d make it pretty and he would shoot it, and it was gorgeous But nowadays, as you probably know, it’s all digital And so this was a fun experience shooting this book For example, the cover We didn’t have a cover, and we were I think less than 10 days away from going to press on the book >> Oh, boy >> It was getting scary But all of the food shots we’d done, whey done, both Joanne and I, the designer and I had agreed they really didn’t work with the cover For what we wanted to be just impactful and dynamic And I called Polly, the — Polly the hazelnut marketing board director, guy, “we don’t have a cover yet.” She goes, “jan, whatever it takes, do it Hire Karl again, get him back in the studio.” Because we need a good cover So I got Karl scheduled, I got Joanne scheduled, I spent a full day gathering all of this produce And this is how amazing this region is On that one day in September — >> you got all this stuff — >> figs, raspberries, pears, Hazelnuts, peppers, garlic, chanterelle mushrooms >> And onion >> And onions And apples >> And grapes >> And grapes Yes! And so those were all available I pulled together all these boxes, plopped ’em all down, we shot, and then what do you with digital is you have a computer screen, so say that would be the screen Woe shoot an image and we all look at the screen and we all looked at each other and said “we have a cover.” It was very exciting >> Somebody told me one time in food shots, food photo shots they will take a — Pam, and spray it on there so the food — The cooked food is nice and shiny Do you do that? >> Sometimes I’ll use glycerin and water There’s lots of tricks you can do, but you don’t always need to do that A lot of times it’s better to just let the food shine through, and if you’re working with a good photographer who knows his camera and knows his lighting, it shines You don’t need to do that >> OK So tell the story about the mirror and the toffee Wherever that is >> This is really cute It would be towards the back The joke was that we — Anything — Any time I said this is going to be a really difficult shot, it turned out to be one of the easy ones But I said it anyway with this “OK, you guys, this is going to be hard.” JoAnne looked at Karl and she goes, “don’t you have a mirror in the dressing room?” And he goes, “yeah.” And she goes, “why don’t we bring it out here.” She put the toffee out, plopped it on the mirror, Karl instantly got it, what she was going for, click, and it was — And I feel stupid again >> So now, there are a number of recipes in here called river brownies >> Yes >> Tell me about that >> River brownies are what you have when you’re going on an adventure And they’re going to be chock full of everything to give you strength to carry on, pretty much So I’ve been — I’d collected a whole lot of different river brownies And so some of these of course have Hazelnuts in them, and some of them don’t But that’s the whole idea of a river brownie It’s something that you just carver off as you’re starving and you can hold it with one hand while you’re maybe pulling yourself up a mountain with the other, or holding an OAR >> There are a lot of assumptions there >> One that — >> pardon me I’ve got to finish my brownie before I can help >> Then also river brownies are designed to go with an evening scotch if you’ve thought to pack that along So there’s that >> Hey, if you’re just tuning in, and if you like fun, interesting, and beautiful cookbooks, this one is a great one This is the “Oregon hazelnut country” cookbook, it’s by Jan Roberts Dominguez And where can people get this if they want it? >> They can get it on my website, janrd.com, if they can’t find it, it’s now in Costco regionally If you Google it, you’re going to find it in quite a few bookstores Here in Corvallis, all around town And others, too >> Do you have a favorite independent bookstore? >> Grassroots here in town, you bet >> We always like to plug the independent book sellers, because they want them to stay in business >> We do Yeah >> So do you have Hazelnuts all the time? >> I have them around all the time I still have some wonderful growers that make sure I’m supplied So — And they are a year-round crop I mean, you harvest them in the fall, and then you can shell them They’ll keep really well in the shell too But you can shell them and freeze them, and then you have them to handle anything from something raw, like there’s some

sauces in here that use them in a ground — There’s a heavenly sauce in there that is what the Yumm Bowl — A heavenly bowl, it’s based on the Yumm Bowl from Cafe Yumm! And it’s really good >> Well, I just really enjoyed it The other thing I really enjoyed, I liked reading about the whole process of — I mean, like little — I forgot what it’s called >> The outer coating? Yeah OH! Because we came up with a way to remove it? >> Yeah I mean, it’s just — It’s amazing the whole process — You could go through the whole process of the Buds, the tiny red Buds — >> that’s the whole — It’s a backward process Most plants pollinate themselves in the spring, but the hazelnut tree is pollinated in the winter It’s a goofy thing You have — In the middle of the winter you have the stark trees, they’re bare, and very beautiful You see their bones, you know And that’s when the growers are out there pruning them, because they can see what’s happening to them But along the sides, down through it are all of these catkins >> Catkins, that’s the word >> Catkins Which I painted one in here And the joke is, amongst the growers, that they look — They look more like hops I think they’re darn good >> They look like Wisteria in a way >> They do look like that They’re very bright yellow and when the light is on them they’re that So anyway, the catkins have the pollen, and then if you look really close at the tree, you have to get very close, farther down on the branches there’s these tiny little red flowers And that’s where the pollen has to get in order to, you know — >> produce the nuts >> Yes Exactly And not the pollen from that tree You use a different tree You have what are called pollinators in the orchard So you have the variety that you’re growing, say Barcelona, and then another variety that you only plant a few of those I don’t know fits one for every five regular trees And that’s the pollinator And they’ve figured out how many you need around these trees >> Well, it’s amazing to me, and they’re giving me the high sign so we’re going to have to go away, but thank you for joining us >> Thank you so much >> If you want to pick up a great cookbook, this is “Oregon Hazelnut Country” by Jan Roberts Dominguez I’m Jody Seay, this is “Back Page.” Join us again next time as we take another peek at the back page Remember, we’re all in this together More the same than different Do your best