Quote of the Week

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” 

Dr. Seuss

 

 

Miso Garlic Mushrooms

December 11th, 2018 No Comments

  My sister sent this link to me and it sounded delicious so I gave it a try at Thanksgiving. And whaddayaknow…it WAS DELICIOUS! These are great as a side dish, or skewered with adorable bamboo skewers on a holiday hors d’ oeuvres table. I go in phases of perusing others’ food ideas, whether it be blogs, books, or restaurants. Sometimes all we need is the one ingredient used in a new way to give inspiration or delight. This recipe

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Winter Arugula Salad

December 5th, 2018 4 Comments

    Lately the visits to my father often include some kind of looking-through-things session, a show-and-tell of his life and history that he seems to enjoy sharing. Not long ago he dug out his carving tools and pocket knives, many of which he had altered dramatically to suit his carving needs. A few were left alone as true pocket or belt-holster tools but you can spot the three carvers. Geez, I wonder where I inherited an appreciation for a

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Skordalia

November 28th, 2018 No Comments

  This sounded so Scandinavian to me, but that’s because I live in a Norski kind of town. Skordalia is a Greek garlic-potato-nut mash that is so tasty and easy I have no idea why it isn’t made everywhere. It would be a great little addition to a Holiday party, or part of a hearty supper in the early darkness of these winter months. Naturally there are oodles of variations on this—some use dried bread instead of potato, some have

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Green Tea Crème Brûlée

November 20th, 2018 1 Comment

  Last spring I came across the recipe of a peach-leaf infused Crème Brûlée featured at Chez Panisse and I thought it sounded divine and vowed to try it sometime in the summer. In our region of the Upper Midwest few peach trees can survive but I had heard rumors of one or two that were tucked away in protected spaces and I had hopes of trimming a few leaves for this project. Alas, after asking around, I now think these

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Thanksgiving Ideas

November 14th, 2018 6 Comments

  Union Stations, across the country they are some of the grandest of gathering halls still standing. Palatial and elaborate, they hail from an era when trains were the luxurious way to travel and give us a glimpse into the past.   Technically the term Union Station means a station where two or more railroad companies converge and share tracks and passengers can connect easily. To me they are a hub of intersecting lives and journeys, people traveling within a

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Butternut Squash Fritters

November 6th, 2018 2 Comments

  So many veggies to fritter, so little time. Shred them up, add eggs, seasonings, and something floury, then fry or fry-and-bake. It’s a great way to eat veggies when you’re craving something decadent. The photo is from a breakfast at the Dug Road Inn last week, along with local greens with pea shoots and a frittata from hens living about 30 miles away.   I was in a parking lot in Iowa City a few days ago and the

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Favorites October 2018

October 31st, 2018 4 Comments

  Question: How lucky can I be to live near some of my favorite places on the planet? . Answer: Very lucky.          The trails of Phelps Park are magical spaces that should really be in a movie. Autumn is an especially beautiful time in these hills, I feel transported into another time and space. I very much expect to see hobbits and elves here, and of course I intermittently look over my shoulder for any orcs

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Roasted Pears with Chile Turmeric Oil

October 24th, 2018 No Comments

  While perusing the NOPI cook book I noticed Burrata with Blood Oranges and Lavender Oil looked divine. I suppose that sparked the motivation to make this savory oil drizzled on a fruit—-sometimes we have to take inspiration wherever we can and utilize that which is around us. These pears are from the Farmers Market, they are the Gourmet variety which are hardy in cold regions and the window of opportunity for fresh fruit is only two or three weeks. You

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Nopi’s Ginger Tomatoes

October 10th, 2018 No Comments

  This book made me so happy. I’m involved in other activities so that I fall behind on the goings-on of the larger Food World, but perhaps that keeps me from becoming jaded and makes the discoveries that I do encounter even more magical and appreciated. So I am still elated when I come across works of art. Yotam Ottolenghi is a name you may recognize from his London restaurants and numerous cookbooks.  Jerusalem has been on my want-list— he

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Indian Pickled Vegetable Salad

October 3rd, 2018 No Comments

  There are innumerable pickling directions you can go, most regions of the world had either a fermentation process or made fermented liquids (like vinegar) to quick pickle and lightly preserve. I’ve been reading about Korean versions of pickled veggies and getting excited to try them, but for the Seed Savers Conference Dinner I wanted an Indian direction to the seasonings since it would be servedwith Smoked Lamb, Chickpea Masala, and Pilau.   The most surprising addition idea to me

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Cooking Beans with Soda and Salt

September 26th, 2018 4 Comments

    Fall and the Flowers that can handle it.  I’ve always loved Chrysanthemums because they were the only flower in bloom outside during my birthday season, and our mother had large bushes of orange mums growing in front of our house. They also have the word ‘mum’ in their name, and our mum was a great mum. I’m enjoying seeing their hearty colors everywhere these days and thinking of her.     I suppose it’s human to search for

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Hominy Bake

September 19th, 2018 No Comments

  It’s handy to find leftover hominy in the freezer, it goes so well in soups and other dishes. Recently I needed to make something tasty for a potluck dinner and found all of these ingredients within easy reach. Numerous other additions could fit with this as well—black beans, green onions, peppers, tomatoes—feel free to amend. This is the stunning Henry Moore yellow hominy from Anson Mills that I used in a Seed Savers dinner last year. The process of nixtamalization

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Carrie O’s Yogurt Tahini Sauce

September 12th, 2018 No Comments

  My friend and former housemate Carrie O used to often make a version of this dip to serve with a stir fry or other group dinners at our house. This was decades ago, so I’m leaning on a 30 year old memory to reenact whatever I can for the flavors and ingredients. Our dining goals back then: good food, lots of garlic, cheap because we were often feeding numerous people, and to use things we had around. The garlic

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Favorites August 2018

August 29th, 2018 4 Comments

  The Sleeping Giant Provincial Park north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, this was a peaceful night of camping with loons to sing us to sleep. Camping is alive and well north of the border, we had some great chats with our neighbors, one of whom said they were from Mankato and couldn’t find available campsites in Minnesota so they just kept on driving and crossed the border into Canada to find a place. Hmm…no camping spots available in Minnesota, this

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Pilau with Cardamom and Ginger

August 21st, 2018 No Comments

    The many faces of Pilaf. A pilaf is usually made with rice that is cooked in a savory broth then a variety of vegetables, spices, dried fruits and sometimes meat added to the savory grain.  The ingredients range depending on regions and availability, and the name of the dish adapts as well: Pilav, pallao, pilau, pulao, pulaav, palaw, palavu, plov, palov, polov, polo, polu, kurysh, fulao, fulab, and fulav. The grain is cooked in broth, herb seasoned water, or fruit juices to

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Purslane

August 15th, 2018 No Comments

  Yep, that’s right, purslane. If you’re not a farmer, grounds keeper, or gardener this word will probably not elicit an emotional reaction, it will merely be another possibility of omega-3-fatty-acid-packed greens for your table. If, however, you are of the variety of people who clashes with plants that they have not intended to be a part of their lives, your jaw may drop in surprise to know that one of your rivals that you have agonized over is not only very edible,

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Korean Cucumber Salad, or Oi much’im

August 8th, 2018 2 Comments

  This salad is a great side dish with a little kick for a hot summer’s day, and another step for me to learn more about the marinated quick pickles of Korea. They also say this salad is a good substitute for kimchi if you’re needing a fix and cannot make it or find any nearby.     Red Pepper Powder, or Gochugaru, is prevalent in Korean cooking and is a main ingredient of this salad. In Korea it’s not uncommon that people raise their own peppers

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Chimichurri

July 31st, 2018 2 Comments

    This is one of those recipes that I have no idea who to credit other than the many Peoples of Argentina. It’s a national condiment, used as a marinade or eaten with grilled beef or other meats for which Argentina is also well known. They say the name is from the word tximitxurri of the Basque language meaning ‘a mix of several things’. A fascinating little side note: the Basque language (of northern Spain and southern France) appears to not be

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Watermelon Gazpacho

July 17th, 2018 2 Comments

    Yep. It’s summer.  Sultry, steamy, sunny, sizzling, sweaty and sometimes stifling…if it were any more humid last week the air would have simply transformed to water and we would have been left to fend for our gill-less selves in the new ocean. In these days of Deep Summer I walk by the bundles of skis by the front door, tidily packed in their bags for the warm-season storage, and that time of peace and exercise seems an elusive world far out of

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Sesame Salt

July 10th, 2018 No Comments

  After visiting friends in the Bay Area last fall and being introduced to and discovering that I love Korean home-cooking, folk music, and bar food, I came home vowing to learn more. A gifted Korean cookbook happened next, and now I’m finally getting around to trying my hand at a few dishes.   Ingredients are not all equal. While visiting these friends in Berkeley I was treated to fresh sesame seeds, sesame oil, and red chili paste that were grown on

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