Sometimes it takes baby steps, or baby tastes, before we realize we actually like a certain type of food.RELATED CONTENT
I had my eye on an old ice cream maker at an antique shop a couple of weeks ago. I found it when I was crouching on the floor digging through a cardboard box filled with an array of treasures someone must have dropped off at the shop. It was an old hand-cranked model with a deep narrow tin inside of a round wooden container, with room for packing in plenty of salt and ice.RELATED CONTENT
Several years ago, when I was visiting an out-of-town friend, she served oatmeal in a very interesting way. She told me we were eating breakfast Portland-style. That’s where she had chilled oatmeal for the first time.
It’s time to pull those boxes of old canning jars out of storage. I’m suggesting this not just because it is the season for pickling asparagus, making jams of fresh berries and rosy rhubarb, and canning fresh produce. These days there are many more uses for those sturdy glass Mason jars.RELATED CONTENT
When I pulled out the pocket folder filled with recipes I’ve gathered from cooking classes I’ve attended over the years, I was surprised to see that some of the recipes dated back to 1984. That was the year I started taking classes from Andrea Halgrimson in her cozy little kitchen in Fargo. I had two young sons at the time. Gathering with a small group of food-loving people in Andrea’s kitchen was always a special night out for me.
I headed straight to my recipe file when I heard a recent news report that Minnesota strawberries are ripening earlier this year. Growers are expecting a sensational strawberry season, with predictions in some parts of the state that picking could begin as early as, well, right now.RELATED CONTENT
When I visited Green Scene Organic Market in Walker a couple of weeks ago, I was given a lesson on artichokes that covered both the large globe artichokes and the smaller variety referred to as baby artichokes.
Eating an artichoke for the first time is an experience one remembers forever. Years ago, maybe 15 or so, my friend Cathy taught me how to eat the beautifully shaped green vegetable I’d often stopped to admire in the grocery store.RELATED CONTENT
“I can’t believe we’re sitting here eating mushroom sandwiches.” My husband took another bite of the thick sandwich filled with a mix of sauteed portobello slices, onions, garlic and spinach. “A year ago, we wouldn’t have gone near a mushroom,” he said.
As I used a wooden spoon to mix up a big bowl full of bright-colored ingredients for bean salad, I thought of what my mom would say if she was with me. “This is the cat’s meow.” She would say that when something impressed her with its ease and convenience.RELATED CONTENT
Chopped ripe tomatoes, freshly snipped herbs, garlic and onions toppling over a slice of slightly toasted baguette is a summer treat I love. It’s called bruschetta (bruce-ketta).RELATED CONTENT
Just thinking of plump cream puffs stuffed with sweet cream as light as air makes my mouth water. Mounds of dough rich with eggs and butter expand with air like little balloons as they bake in a hot oven. When they cool, they can be split in half, their hollow shells filled with whipped cream, custard or ice cream and then sandwiched back together, the filling seeping out of the seam.RELATED CONTENT
When my husband and I began dating (several decades ago), it didn’t take me long to realize this skinny guy needed to eat. His meal of choice was meat and potatoes. Preferably roast beef with a mountain of mashed potatoes and plenty of gravy.RELATED CONTENT
Summer in the Midwest offers a continuous stream of street fairs, state fairs, ethnic fests and food festivals. All of them include a bevy of food. At many of them, you will find a vendor selling a Greek-style sandwich called a Gyro.RELATED CONTENT
One of my favorite summer treats — requiring no more prep than a good rinsing — is to sit down with a big bowl of bright, plump cherries and simply enjoy them in their natural form.RELATED CONTENT
I’m beginning to think I’ve become a senior citizen. I’m sure I’m not old enough for that title. But the thought hit me a couple of weeks ago.RELATED CONTENT
Most people take a vacation to get away from it all. Especially work. I recently hefted my suitcase into the trunk of my car, put my bike on the rack, and headed to Minneapolis for a week of vacation.RELATED CONTENT
Picture a man on his deck with a brand new kettle-style charcoal grill trying to get the domed top to go down over a chicken sitting on a can. I’m sure you can imagine how that scene plays out.RELATED CONTENT
On one of those hot days over the Memorial Day weekend, I was thinking of my summers of long ago. Back when summer was slush season in our family.RELATED CONTENT