November 2nd, 2012 § § permalink
Welcome to November! It’s shaping up to be a busy month around here. I’ve got guest posts planned, knee-deep in an online graduate course, and finally committed to participate in National Novel Writing Month (Have you heard about NaNoWriMo?). November 2012 is the month I’m finally going to take the book idea that’s been sloshing around in my brain all year and spew it on paper. NaNoWriMo encourages writers to hit the 50,000 word mark in 30 days. Kate in the Kitchen inspired me last year with her November blog series so much that I’m already approaching the 1,000 word mark. Keep checking back this month for updates.
Despite all that, my brain has been totally focused on turkey. Many local farmers start taking pre-orders for Thanksgiving turkeys this week and I’m stoked to order our bird. I’m lucky not to have to cook on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t stop me from putting on a huge dinner the weekend after for the kitchen partner and I. There’s no such thing as too much turkey at our house! Wanting to know where you can order your own local turkey this year? Check out this list and MinnesotaGrown.com for your local farmer:
Find it Local: A Minnesota Thanksgiving Turkey
1. Ferndale Market – http://www.ferndalemarketonline.com
Located in Cannon Falls, Ferndale Market has fresh and frozen turkeys available in their store as well as at Twin Cities Kowalski’s and co-ops around the state. They also ship frozen and smoked turkeys up to 16 pounds.
2. Highview Pastures http://highviewpastures.com
Located in Farmington, Highview Pastures specializes in free-range, pasture raised turkeys. Their animals are raised hormone free and on non-commercial feed. Call 952-985-7577 for pricing and orders.
3, Nature’s Little Farms
Nature’s Little Farms is located 4 1/2 miles from Kellogg, MN. They specialize in heritage turkey breeds, including the Bourbon Reds so many locavores put on their table each year. Turkeys can be ordered by phone at 507-767-4435.
4. L & R Poultry & Produce http://www.lrpoultryproduce.com
Just a short hour drive southeast from the Twin Cities, L & R Poultry & Produce promises “out of this world-good” free range turkey. Their breeds include the Standard and Broad-Breasted Bronze. Contact 507-649-1405 for on-farm and retail sales of Thanksgiving birds.
5. Coyote Ridge Farms http://www.minnesotahighlanders.com
10 minutes west of Willmar, MN is Coyote Ridge Farms. I’m kinda crazy about their local pepperoni (every locavore’s dream!) but their holiday turkeys free of hormones and medicated feeds are also worth checking out. The farm was also certified organic in 2011. Call 320-220-3235 for ordering.
6. Januschka Farm Fresh Meat
Located in Little Falls, MN (between St. Cloud and Brainerd) Januschka’s offers certified organic free-range turkeys for the holidays. Call 320-630-1430 for details.
7. Birds and Bees Farm https://www.facebook.com/BirdsNBeesFarm
Kanabec County and Mora, MN is home to Birds and Bees Farm. It’s an all-natural free range farm offering chickens, turkeys, and produce for the holidays. They’ve also got some jams and jellies you wont find anywhere else to add to your holiday meal. Call 320-679-2816 for ordering information.
8. Simple Harvest Farm http://simpleharvestfarm.com
Located in Nerstrand, MN Simple Harvest Farm offers certified organic and free-range chickens, heritage turkeys, ducks and geese for Thanksgiving. All their animals are pasture fed and antibiotic free. Call 507-664-9446 to order.
9. Windjammer Farm
Windjammer Farm is located in New Ulm, MN. They offer fresh Thanksgiving turkeys that are fed a certified organic flax seed feed and come with a lab tested results of premium nutritional value. Their poultry is also processed by a local licensed butcher. Call 507-359-4140 for details.
10. Treasured Haven Farm www.treaduredhavenfarm.com
At last check, there was a waiting list for 2012 turkeys at Treasured Haven Farm in Rush City. It’s worth calling to be on the waiting list however, because along with your Thanksgiving turkey Treasured Haven also offers a 30+ pound box of locally grown vegetables with their turkeys for only $35. Have your turkey and all the supplies for your meal in one place! Call 320-358-3581 for openings.
April 16th, 2012 § § permalink
In my Easter basket this month was a 1960′s copy of Better Homes and Garden’s New Cookbook. (Thanks Grandma!) I love looking through older cookbooks to find local possibilities. We’ve been using fresh local ingredients for ages and the good recipes are out there if we’re willing to look. The inside cover features an article of “why more than 2,000,000 women cherish this cook book.” It made me wonder how many women since then have used a copy. The images are definitely from a by-gone era; I don’t know anyone that makes a 3 tiered gelatin mold anymore. This one made me laugh. Really hard. Pretty sure we could put her in the 2013 edition dressed in a power suit with an iPad.
Take look at this family barbecue and try to remember the last time you saw someone in dress slacks at the grill! Really?!?!
When I flipped through the book this week I found a few recipes for locavore adaptation. One of these was for Classic Chicken Divan, a recipe with a little history. The “divan” comes from Divan Parisien, a famous 1950′s New York City restaurant who served the casserole as one its signature dishes. The restaurant no longer exists, but chicken divan became a favorite of American family cooks. It’s always made with chicken or turkey with broccoli, covered in a parmesan cheese sauce. If there’s anything generation after generation can agree on, it’s that everything is better covered in cheese.
For my own modifications, I used leftover turkey from a Ferndale Market bird we roasted the day before, skim milk instead of heavy whipping cream (it is bikini-prep time after all!) and a few tablespoons of local dry white wine (Try St. Pepin from Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls, MN). Still using the frozen broccoli from our stash last summer. Baked in 20 minutes. Boom. Easy local dinner.
Local Turkey Divan
Adapted from Chicken Divan in BH&G New Cookbook, 1963
6 cups frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons of dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups of cooked turkey, cut into 1 1/2″ or larger pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9 x 13″ casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread broccoli in an even layer in bottom of baking dish.
2. Melt the butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Using a whisk, blend in flour until golden and bubbly. Gradually stir in chicken broth and continue stirring until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce heat to low and add in milk, wine and salt.
3. Remove from heat and pour half the sauce over the broccoli. Return saucepan to the stove and add parmesan cheese to remaining sauce. Stir until melted.
4. Spread turkey pieces over broccoli and sauce in an even layer. Top with remaining parmesan sauce. Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese if desired.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.
November 18th, 2011 § § permalink
Tomorrow marks the beginning of my absolute favorite week of the year. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Thanksgiving. It’s the ultimate holiday for me. All the same great food. All the same great people. But without the shopping and gift wrapping. And what’s better than celebrating gratitude? I can’t wait!
I’ll be helping with a few Thanksgiving meals next week by putting some local dishes on the table. If you’re in the process of planning a feast for 2 or 20, there’s no better time to support local farmers. Here’s my suggestions to have a fantastic Minnesota Thanksgiving Feast:
Turkey Minnesota is the number one turkey producing state in the country. The National Turkey to be pardoned by President Obama this year is coming from a Minnesota farm. Thanksgiving is all about Minnesota turkey. Here’s three great places to look for a local, sustainable or organic bird: Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls, MN, Callister Farm in West Concord, MN and Kadejan Inc. in Glendwood, MN. For a statewide list see MinnesotaGrown.com
Sweet Potatoes, Squash & Carrots ALL of these items are still readily available at farmers’ markets and from many local producers. Bake ‘em with butter and sweeten with local maple syrup or honey. Or impress your family with a savory roasted squash with bacon. yum.
Green Bean Casserole & Mashed Potatoes Although I’m a fan of my mom’s green bean casserole, there’s really no local substitute for condensed cream of mushroom soup. And if mashed potatoes seems a little same ol’ same ol’, try a warm green bean potato salad with white wine herb dressing.
Cranberry Sauce If you can open a can of congealed cranberry sauce and plop it on a serving plate, there’s no reason you can’t make your own from scratch. I promise. It’s really that easy. Whole fresh cranberries from local bogs are available in bulk at most co-ops and many supermarkets this time of year. Or get your obnoxious relative out of the kitchen for the afternoon on a road trip to the Cranberry Capital. To make the sauce: cut 3 cups of cranberries in half and place them in a pot with 1 c. sugar and 1/3 c. water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until cranberries open and begin to soften. You may add more sugar to taste, but I like it on the tart side!
And My Thanksgiving Favorite…Pie What would Thanksgiving be without a good pumpkin pie? A true foodie will cook down a pumpkin and make a pie from scratch, however if time is tight there are some great pies available from Metro locavore spots. Birchwood Cafe is offering regular and gluten-free maple pumpkin pie, apple cranberry ginger pie with local fruit, and a Surly Chocolate Pecan Pie, baked with local favorite Surly beer. Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market in St. Paul also has local pumpkin and apple pies available pre-order. And a wild rice stuffing that sounds mighty tasty. Get your calls in this weekend though, most Thanksgiving orders need to be made by Sunday.
Hope you’re planning a celebration full of food, friends and family. You can bet I’ll be saying my “thanks” for the great local farmers and growers that bring it to our tables.