• Cooking,  Local Products

    St. Paul Farmers’ Market Opening

    Just getting home from errands and the opening of the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. I am finally energized about the arrival of spring (despite the cool rain falling this morning). The downtown market is now open Saturday 6 AM-1 PM and Sunday 8 AM-1 PM until mid November and filled with good things. Getting here in the first few weeks is my favorite. All winter long there is honey, meats and eggs as well as pasta, salsa and other preserves for sale. Slowly as the summer market gains speed, new arrivals appear: bedding plants, greens, and onions. I have to drop in just to make sure I don’t miss a…

  • Eating,  Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Popcorn

    I decided to draft this week’s find it local post at 4 AM today while watching the Royal Wedding. I may take some flak for such an early morning on a work day, but anyone who saw Catherine Middleton step out of the car in that dress will understand. And the hats! I loved the hats! Crossing my fingers for a major fashion comeback. Getting up so early was indisputably worth it; I love weddings. Which brings me to today’s local find. My snack of choice while watching the princess wedding: popcorn, freshly popped and locally grown. I cannot get enough when I am in front of the TV. I’ll…

  • Cooking

    Creamy Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

    I have savored these photos for about a week now, anxiously waiting for some time to write up the recipe and remembering how mouth-watering the entire house smelled the day I made it. Wild rice is a Minnesota native plant and available from a variety of local producers. Check the Minnesota Grown guide for one in your region. This was also made with a local button mushroom from Eden, WI. My original intent was to make cream of mushroom soup for a traditional green bean casserole. It’s high on my list of comfort foods, especially on days I have the oven on anyway. I haven’t yet been able to identify…

  • Other Writings

    New post on 20Food

    My latest contributing post on 20Food is up today, titled “Honoring a Tradition.” It details my Easter weekend with family in Central Wisconsin and some of the reasons why local food is so important to me. Stop in and share the reasons why growing and preparing your own food is important to you.

  • Gardening

    Growing Pies

    A special package arrived today via the seed company: two small Top Hat blueberry bushes, the final plants in my “growing pies” project. This summer I have set my heart on producing enough fruit for several homemade pies without a large expansive garden. Here’s the problem: Our town home has a patio, but no yard for gardening. The community garden we utilize does not allow perennials. There is also a problem with my pie crust abilities, but we’ll worry about that later. I’ve decided to try four types of “pie” plants, all in containers: Garden Huckleberry (Solanum melanocerasum) and Sunberry (Solanum burbankii) I purchased these from the Seed Savers Exchange…

  • Books,  Eating

    A Year of Local Eating

    Last year on April 24th, the St. Paul Farmer’s Market opened their summer market and our local eating challenge officially began. The original challenge: eat locally (by pre-assigned definition 250 miles) Farmer’s Market open to close, April to October. Six short months of figuring out what grows in Minnesota and how to prepare it. I was eager to start last spring with visions of salads, broccoli and green beans galore. Was it ever a shock to come home from our first farmer’s market with a jar of honey, some assorted greens, and a peck of last year’s potatoes left from cold storage. Umm…what am I signed up for again? Slowly…

  • Cooking

    Natural Easter Eggs

    I’m always interested in an adventure, to have a “hey, look what I did” moment.  Continuing with my egg soapbox for one more day, here’s something you should definitely try with the next dozen you purchase. I saw an article on coloring Easter eggs without the traditional dye tablets, instead using spices from your kitchen cabinet.  I had to give it a go.  It’s remarkably easy and the results were beautiful; Mother Earth never ceases to surprise me. Natural Easter Egg Dyeing Supplies hard-boiled eggs (select white eggs for the best results) vinegar boiling water a ceramic cup/mug for each color you’d like to brew 1 Tbsp. each of variety…

  • Cooking,  Eating,  Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Eggs

    In honor of the Easter holiday and the start of quiche/frittata season, I thought I’d share one of the easiest and cost-effective items in your cart to start sourcing locally today: the egg. When someone asks me where to start buying local, I almost always say start with your eggs and your milk. Replacing those items does not require a major increase in the grocery bill (maybe $4-5) and if you’re already including eggs in your menu, it doesn’t require any dietary sacrifices. The Minnesota Grown Directory has 66 listings for eggs, including a few farms in the Twin Cities Metro area. Likewise, most co-ops offer a local egg, as…

  • Homemade Cream Puffs

    …And then there were cream puffs

    Today was a miserable day. One where I came home grumpy, overwhelmed and wishing for a re-do. Angry at a disorder I can’t cure, disappointed and frustrated in myself, and feeling generally defeated. For these days, I’m not a runner and I’m not into retail therapy. My kitchen fixes everything. I donned my pajama pants, an old t-shirt and my apron. Grabbed a slice of cheese and flipped through a cookbook looking for the most complicated recipe I could find. One that I’ve never made before but didn’t need to face the world again for ingredients. ¬†Words like boil, beat, and stir vigorously don’t hurt either. It may have been…