• Strawberry Jam Mini-Tarts
    Cooking,  Eating

    Strawberry Jam Mini-Tarts

    Still eating down the freezer supply.  Today’s frozen treasure of choice: Strawberry Freezer Jam.  Each June we make between 50 and 60 pint jars of freezer jam and somehow manage to eat it in something everyday for the rest of the year. Mixed in yogurt, spread on a fresh dinner roll, or in this case, the occasional cookie. Thanks to Evil Shenanigans where this recipe is adapted from. Truthfully, you could use any preserves in these flawless little tarts.  I added a bit of whole wheat flour to the crust and substituted local maple syrup for the vanilla.  If there’s whole wheat flour it makes them slightly better for you, right?…

  • Books,  Cooking

    Plotting for Preserving

    This morning I took out my Ball Blue Book of Preserving and started my list of projects. Just like gardening enthusiasts grab the seed catalog to plot their crops, I’ve started plotting my summer preserving. It may be excessive or it may be a way to inch spring along a little further, but mostly it’s to ensure that I plant the right goodies or get what I need at the farmers market at its peak. The freshest food takes a bit of foresight. Last year my preserving was exclusively freezer-based. (I canned 5 jars of hot pickled peppers in an experiment and promptly gave them away as a gift). This…

  • Cooking,  Eating

    Zucchini Walnut Bread

    Part of the agreement when we bought our chest freezer last summer was that I would solemnly swear not to become a freezer hoarder–one of those folks who accumulates a stockpile of frozen carrots and squash from three summers back, who needlessly continues to stuff more on top while ignoring the rest.  I promised that by the end of winter we would eat everything that I put in and would carefully follow the agreed upon rule of first in, first out.  And in all honesty, eating down the storage hasn’t been that bad. In the past few weeks we’ve narrowed it down and can finally see the bottom.  For the…

  • Eating,  Other Writings

    Jennie-O Recall: Changing how we define local

    The U.S.D.A recently recalled 55,000 pounds of Jennie-O frozen turkey burger patties, citing concerns of Salmonella. (Read more here.) Although Jennie-O is a Minnesota company, based in the Willmar area, recalls like this help shine light on the definition of ‘locavore’ and what it means to support the local food movement. 12 people have been reportedly sickened by the product in 10 different states (a first indication that Jennie-O might not qualify as a locavore brand). Here’s what I consider when buying local: 1. How closely can you trace the production of the food? My best choices are foods that I produce myself or that I can identify all of…

  • Eating

    Swede Hollow Cafe

    What to do on the first 50 degree day in April? Too early to get in the garden, too nice out to be in the kitchen. The perfect solution: breakfast and tea with a good friend and her adorable kids in the garden at Swede Hollow Cafe. A few blocks from our house, Swede Hollow Cafe is one of those hidden gems in our neighborhood you like to tell everyone about, but at the same time feel is a special secret only you and the neighbors know. What’s special about this spot? The menu is full of homemade goodies. Every time I stop in there’s something new to try. This…

  • Gardening

    Truck-Farm (and finding garden space)

    This morning I had a chance to finally watch the YouTube shorts and trailers for Ian Cheney’s (King Corn) new documentary short Truck Farm. It details Cheney’s adventures in planting an urban CSA farm in the bed of his 1986 Dodge pickup truck. I watched King Corn in the early stages of my interest in local and urban food production; it certainly was influential in shaping how I felt about our food system. This new documentary has me considering how I define “garden space” and the ways I could be more innovative in finding places to grow. Our town home certainly restricts growing in a yard, and our patio was…

  • Cooking,  Other Writings

    29 Bottles of Wine

    Last week we finished bottling our first home winemaking experiment.  I say “we” in the fondest sense because Greg is by far the wine expert in this domestic partnership. I drink what he pairs with my food and visit the wine shop with his notes on what to buy. We have great success in winemaking with our friends at Vine Park Brewing in St. Paul. However, this spring it was time to go at it alone.  End result:  29 bottles of German Müeller-Thurgau and a full wine fridge. Müeller-Thurgau was described to us as a mild white wine; it was the most popular grape variety in Germany before the Riesling…

  • Books,  Cooking

    Channeling Julia Child

    I am finishing up my first draft for my Women in Leadership final exam and have decided to write about Julia Child. I’m reading My Life in France as well as a new collection of her correspondence with Avis DeVoto called As Always, Julia. Both books have helped me in the writing process and in realizing how much can be attained from studying the life of my favorite culinary legend. What Julia has taught me today: 1. Be patient. Julia’s greatest achievements came well into her 40’s which runs contrary to my anxiety that because I haven’t “found my calling” by my mid-twenties I have essentially failed. She was patient…

  • Other Writings

    Hear the news…I love food!

    Welcome to my personal writing on how I utterly adore all things local food. I have many plans for this site and hope that you’ll return often, leave your unguarded comments, and enjoy what I love most about the locavore life: the people I share it with. Things to look for in the future: Updates on what I am cooking and learning in the kitchen. Recipes & Guides to Kitchen Technique Food Adventures (visits/dining/interviews about local food) Food photography – I am an amateur but will post as I learn.