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Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Archive for the ‘Slow Foods’ Category

Until further notice – check out www.getlocalflavor.com

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 30, 2012

Hello Friends,

I’ve been busy building another wordpress.org blog/website: www.getlocalflavor.com to promote small businesses, organizations and events that are “local” and sustainable in the Upper Midwest. Along with the website you can find us on Facebook.com/getlocalflavor or Twitter: @getlocalflavor or even a linkedin group “Local Flavor.”

Cheers!
Deborah McLaren aka TravelMomma

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Posted in Buy-local, cultural heritage, ecotour, entreprenuers, microenterprise, Minnesota, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What to do with all that rhubarb: rhubarb ketchup

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 27, 2011

I grew so much rhubarb this summer I didn’t know what to do with all of it. I made cakes, pies, breads, tarts, and crisps and finally chopped up the last of it and stuck it in the freezer – waiting to find yet another way to use all that stuff. It’s great rhubarb – fantastically tasty – its just that I had so much!

Last weekend my inner farm girl went wild and I tried to buy up all of the last tomatoes at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. It was a lovely day. Kind of cool and brisk. One of those times when the day itself infuses you with so much energy you feel like you can cook up a truck load of veggies. My husband, Rob, was going along with it. He actually pushed around one of those pop-up mesh toy cans on a dolly and helped me fill it to the brim. It trembled and flopped side to side under the weight of garlic, potatoes, carrots, bok choy, onions, peppers, and ALL THOSE TOMATOES.

I have not really canned this fall, so I was on a mission to buy stuff I could quickly can or preserve through the winter. Once this summer my son Anil and I had lunch at Wise Acre Eatery in Minneapolis. Luckily he ordered a hamburger that came with fries and ketchup. The ketchup was to die for. Fortunately I was able to get some of the secret ingredients out of the waiter. The memory of that delicious red sauce inspired my tomato hunt.

Rhubarb.

cooking the rhubarb and tomatoes

That’s the secret ingredient chef Beth Fisher uses in her tasty sauce. We love Wise Acre Eatery for a number of reasons – it is a garden nursery and a slow food eatery in south Minneapolis – and they grow their own food on a farm not far from the Twin Cities… Berkshire Black hogs, Scottish Highland cattle, free range chickens… all rambling around on fresh green pastures in the nearby countryside. Of course it sounds overly sweet when you first hear about it (the ketchup, not the farm and eatery) but its not.

I had to go home and google up every rhubarb ketchup recipe on the internet and call a couple of go-to cooks I know. After experimenting a bit, the final result included vinegar and brown sugar – staples of any good ketchup recipe. Also, I used that boat load of Roma tomatoes along with the last of the heirloom tomatoes I had picked from the garden.

So if you have a bunch of rhubarb left over from the summer harvest and you’re out at the farmer’s market (or on the farm) this week you still have time to find a few good tomatoes (friends and family in the south will laugh at this – since I’m just about as far north as the US gets in Minnesota and thus at the end of the tomato season). Here’s the recipe I finally came up with. My friend Carla Solberg Sherman, the owner of Como Lake B&B, said she could serve it with the eggs she dishes up at her elegant place on Como Lake.

I hope you like it. Here’s the recipe:

Rhubarb Ketchup
Takes about an hour to make
Ingredients

4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
3 medium onions, chopped
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 dozen roma tomatoes, diced or
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pickling spice

Directions

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook for 1 hour or until thick. Cool. Refrigerate in covered containers or freeze it.

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine, Minnesota, Saint Paul, Slow Foods, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2011 Minnesota CSA Farm Directory available

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 4, 2011

2011 CSA Farm Directory

Time to find your CSA (community supported agriculture) farm delivery to ensure a nice, fresh box of goodies arrives for you each week this summer. There are dozens of farms listed in the new 2011 CSA Farm Directory!

The website includes information about each farm and a map with drop-off sites.

CSAs deliver everything from eggs, lip balm, honey, flowers, organic and heirloom vegetables, to tasty broiler chickens, salsas, pickles, lamb, jam, artisan dough breads, gluten-free baked goods and grass fed beef.

Some CSAs host member events – festivals, hootenannies, gardening, slow foods dinners, garlic festivals, corn feeds, wine tastings, walks in the woods, bonfires, hay rides, farm tours, camping, barn dances and opportunities to reconnect with the land – forests, prairies, creeks, and animals.

Check out the directory for the CSA that fits your needs. CSA farms are dedicated to healthy, fresh foods and a better planet.

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine, Minnesota, Slow Foods | 1 Comment »

Gourmet chocolate, bone jewelry, vegan clothes and other cool ideas for Valentine’s Day

Posted by deborahmclaren on February 5, 2011

According to new economic predictions, Americans will spend more on Valentine’s Day this year. Amazing amounts really – almost $2.7 million! It would probably be more if Valentine’s Day was on a weekend, this year it falls on a Monday.  Think of all the sweet things we can do for our loved ones and communities if we buy-local or take a local/stay-cation! I’ve got some great ideas, but first look at the statistics:

“Consumers will be spending 5.7 percent more than last year on romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day in 2011, significantly improving upon 2009′s flat spending results, according to industry research firm IBIS World.”

Valentine's Day Spending
“Travel is the third most popular spend category for Valentine’s Day, with $2.16 billion in projected spend for 11.6 percent of the total.” And, according to another survey by the National Retail Federation, this is the first Valentine’s Day since 2008 where couples plan to spend more on each other than the year before. This year, couples will spend an average of $68.98 on their spouse or significant other.
First let’s look at greeting cards. Hand made cards are more romantic and personal than bought ones. Creating beautiful home made Valentine’s Day cards is easy. If you’re not crafty you can use a photo or even bake a giant cookie. Love notes are treasured forever. If you’re not a poet, tuck in a “coupon” that your love can redeem now or later (massage, picnic and wine under the stars, a romantic weekend getaway, cuddly movie night, whatever makes you happy). If a home made card is not your thing, find a local artist.  Etsy.com is a great place to find cards and other gifts that are made by real people, often in your own area. Here’s a lovely example of a hand crafted card that says I love you in 14 languages!

I Love You Card by riricreations in Richmond, VA (etsy.com)

Etsy.com has lots of other crafts, jewelry, etc. Check out this cute Little Wood Valentine Monster by Little Wood People in Buffalo, NY.

Little Wood Monster by Little Wood People, Buffalo, NY
Valentine Chocolates! With so many locally-made gourmet chocolates these days its easy to find traditional and exciting new recipes – especially organic fair-trade chocolate. I love chocolates that include spicy chilies. The Rogue Chocolatier, in Minneapolis, is the first true artisan chocolate maker to arrive in the Upper Midwest. The Sambirano bar, made with cacao from a single family-owned estate in Madagascar, was a winner of the 2010 Good Food Awards! One man bean-to-bar chocolate making!

Jewels for your valentine? Make sure to find a local artist that makes jewelry and avoid jeweler chains. Looks for artist co-ops, art fairs, and locally-owned clothing stores that sell jewelry.  Albany, NY artist, Corrina Goutos, combines her love for jewelry, sustainable living and veganism in her new line of jewelry: Vegan Bone Jewelry, part of Gilding the Lily, a nation-wide contemporary jewelry design company. She makes all the Jewelry by hand and is committed to employing recycled materials and sustainable found art into every piece she makes.

A rose is a rose! NOT. VeriFlora® is America’s first comprehensive sustainability certification program for the floral and potted plant industries. The VeriFlora® “Certified Sustainably Grown” label is your guarantee that flowers and potted plants have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality. When you choose a VeriFlora® product, you are contributing to a global movement to encourage companies to become sustainable. Already, this has resulted in significant and positive change for farmers, farm workers, and the environment. Organic Bouquet, the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts in the US. They also provide gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants, wreaths, organic cotton apparel, organic towels, and organic linens. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through participation in Carbon Offset programs.

Local food co-ops and health food stores often carry organic, locally-grown flowers these days. Hard to find in the northern climates but High Tunnel Greenhouse and Hoop House Greenhouses are changing that. With these new techniques, growing flowers year round without the need for artificial heat is possible.

If you and your love truly love good, healthy food take him/her to a slow foods dinner in your area! Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Good food is the language of love so delicious slow food is about the sexiest thing you can give! Slow Food promotes the celebration of food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture and community. Find a local chapter near you by visiting the Slow Food USA website.

Many chefs and restaurants support and promote slow food, organic and locally-grown from farms, gardens and wineries near you. Look for them in your area. California isn’t the only place that produces quality wine these days. Many regions, even cold climates are successfully growing varietals appropriate for their regions. In fact, there are numerous wineries in Minnesota now!

Considering sexy new lingerie or other clothes for your sweetie? Eco-friendly bamboo is the most sustainable of natural fibers. It grows fast, requires little water, needs no pesticides, and can reach a height of 75 feet in two months. Fair Indigo and Maggies Organics are pioneers in the field of sustainable, pesticide-free clothing. Fair Indigo is a company wholly committed to making a difference in the fashion industry by creating eco-friendly and organic clothing that is made in keeping with fair trade principles. After researching cotton and learning that it is grown on 3-5% of the world’s cultivated land, and yet uses nearly 10% of the world’s pesticides and 25% of the world’s insecticides, Maggie’s Organics committed themselves to utilizing organic cotton to tell the real story behind conventional cotton clothing. Your best option is to find locally-owned clothing stores that sell these items or products designed by local artists. Check out Peta’s Shopping Guide to Compassionate Clothing for a list of dozens of cruelty-free, vegan companies.

Red Floral Bamboo Tee from Fair Indigo

A romantic Stay-Cation is a vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer. It’s an alternative to pricey, stressful vacations and is more ecologically friendly as less energy is needed to travel locally. Star-gazing and a walk in the woods are romantic and can be done very close to home. Without going far you can find locally-owned accommodations – inns, B&Bs, home exchanges, etc. Wisconsin leads the nation in production of artisan and farmstead cheeses, thanks to the work of master cheesemakers around the state. On the WI B&B website you can carve out a culinary tour based around these small-batch cheese delights. The Minnesota B&B Association offers chocolate tours along the St. Croix River Valley. If you are an Eskimo you might want to stay cozy at one of Inns North which include 21 hotels, 19 in Nunavut and 2 in the NWT, owned by the aboriginal people of Northern Canada.

Do some research – there are lots of other organizations and indie businesses that offer staycation specials. The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis offers stay-cation programs that promote 2 for 1 concerts – you can give your sweetie a whole season of beautiful music!

Here’s wishing you a beautiful Valentine’s Day! – Travel Momma

Posted in art, Buy-local, Fair Trade, food and wine, Slow Foods, travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Culinary Sanctuaries – Crete

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 15, 2010

This is such a great opportunity to visit Crete (partial scholarships available) that I have to post this message from Nikki Rose!

Date: 11/15/2010
Subject: News from Crete –

Hi Deborah!

I hope all is well.

FYI, news from our fields:

Archaeological Institute of America Magazine.
Interview with Nikki Rose: The Joy of Cretan Cooking
November 9, 2010, by Eti Bonn-Muller

Chef-instructor Nikki Rose talks about the importance of protecting Crete’s natural and cultural resources—and how “green” the Minoans really were. Nikki is Founder of Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries Eco-Agritourism Network in Crete, Greece. Educational programs celebrating cultural and natural heritage.

The full interview: http://www.archaeological.org/news/aianews/3303

AND — one way for you to visit us in Crete! Partial Scholarships available for our 2011 Open Programs. Deadline to apply is December 1st. Information is on our Schedule page below. Space is limited. Great scholarship opportunities for professional researchers. Also a great opportunity to research sustainable tourism in action.

http://www.cookingincrete.com/Schedule.html

All the best,
Nikki

View/reply to this message:
http://www.linkedin.com/e/-ifxnyw-ggja171b-6b/Jmg7xMl1tevx7Oq25rUqMuiS/mbi/I8914476_15/

Posted in cultural heritage, food and wine, green travel, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, travel, wild food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Facebook page for Local Flavor Travel

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 8, 2010

Please join my local flavor travel page and help direct travelers to locally-owned businesses, organizations and events!
Face Book: Local Flavor Travel

Posted in Buy-local, entreprenuers, Fair Trade, green travel, microenterprise, Minnesota, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, travel | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Big River Slow Foods Dinner benefit for immigrant farmers

Posted by deborahmclaren on August 30, 2010

Join us for a benefit for immigrant farmers and the work of Minnesota Food Association and Slow Food Minnesota

Sunday, October 3, 2010
2 p.m., hors d’oeuvres, beverages, tours and silent auction
3:30 p.m., program and dinner
Big River Farms, Marine on St. Croix
Harvest dinner :: Farm tours :: Silent auction
Interviews with Kenyan and Hmong farmers

Minnesota Food Association and Slow Food Minnesota have joined together to present an afternoon of fun, learning and great food at MFAs Big River Farms. Tours: of MFAs “incubator” farm: the fields, the hoop house, specialty gardens. Wear your farm shoes! Talks: Glen Hill, MFA’s director, will lead a conversation with Hmong and Kenyan immigrant farmers about their pasts and futures. Silent auction: Very special objects and experiences including a dinner cooked in your home by prominent local chefs. Dinner: a menu that combines foods of farmer-immigrants with favorite dishes of our guest chefs, Joe Hatch-Surisook of Sen Yai Sen Lek in Minneapolis, Jeff and Kristin Klemetsrud of Savories in Stillwater, Mike Phillips of Green Ox (formerly of The Craftsman) and Alex Roberts of Alma and Brasa. Much of the produce will come from Big River Farms. Wine will be served.

MFA offers a hands-on program to train immigrants in organic farming. Slow Food Minnesota provides events and projects for people who love food and care about the environment. Proceeds will benefit both organizations. Learn more about MFA here.

Reservations
$85 for members of Slow Food or MFA; $100 for non-members and guests of members. All but $40 of each ticket is tax deductible. To reserve on line click here. To reserve by mail, send a check and names of attendees to Barb
Horter, 14137 Whiterock Road, Burnsville, MN 55337. Questions: contact Joci or 651-433-3676.

DIRECTIONS
From the West:
From where I-694 and MN-36 meet, head EAST on MN-36 towards Stillwater, MN
Take a LEFT, heading NORTH on Manning Ave/Cty. Rd. 15
After 6.9 miles (in between two railroads), you will come to Square Lake
Rd/Cty. Rd 7
Take a RIGHT onto Square Lake Trail/Cty. Rd 7
After 3 miles, take a LEFT onto Oldfield Road.
go about 1.5 miles to Ostlund Trail and turn right -go .3 miles to Wilder Forest
Take a left into Wilder Forest and follow the signs to the Minnesota Food
Association (MFA) and the farm buildings.

From the EAST and SOUTH
Take Hwy 95 NORTH out of Stillwater about 7.5 miles. Turn LEFT on COUNTY ROAD
59 or SQUARE LAKE TRAIL and go 1.3 miles Continue onto HWY 7 also called PAUL
AVE .7 miles
Turn LEFT onto OSTLUND TRAIL, Take a RIGHT in 1.1 miles into Wilder Forest and
follow the signs to the Minnesota Food Association and the farm yard.

Posted in Minnesota, Slow Foods, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Minnesota Garlic Festival a zero waste event

Posted by deborahmclaren on July 29, 2010

5th Annual Minnesota Garlic Festival

Saturday, August 14, 2010
(2nd Saturday in August)
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson

Adults: $5, Kids under 12: $3, stroller/carried babies free

No Pets Please

ALL WEATHER EVENT!

Minnesota Garlic Festival is the premier event for lovers of garlic, great local foods and good times! Family friendly, fun filled and fragrant, this festival features fantastic foods, celebrity chefs, marvelous music, area artisans, goofy games and lots of GARLIC – all in support of a healthy environment, sustainable farms and vital rural communities in Minnesota.

Minnesota garlic growers will have the first of their fresh 2010 gourmet garlic crop at the festival, and it can keep in your kitchen for up to a year! There are over 100 varieties of the country’s finest garlic grown here, all planted in October, harvested in July, and cured to perfection just in time for the festival. Other than the great taste, it is well documented that garlic is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

The Garlic Festival offers a unique culinary experience with a cadre of renowned Minnesota chefs converging at the festival cafe, “The Great ‘Scape”, and a sumptuous selection of celebrity chefs will present cooking demonstrations on the main stage throughout the day, all under the direction of the our Maven of Mmmmm, Mary Jane Miller. Check at the web site below in the summer to get the full roster.

We’ll continue our tradition of unique entertainment, with festival favorites returning, plus some new acts. There’s plenty of activities for the kids, including the popular kite flying attraction, the Peculiar Pragmatic Promenade, and old-style country picnic games.

MN Garlic Festival is A ZERO WASTE event! We make a concerted effort to produce no trash – if you can’t take it home, it’s recycled, re-used or composted.

Come to farm country and Taste the Bounty!

Sponsored by the Crow River Chapter, Sustainable Farming Association of MN and others.

For more information, contact:
See http://www.sfa-mn.org/garlicfest/ for more information.

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine, Minnesota, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Slow Foods Dinner at White Earth Indian Reservation

Posted by deborahmclaren on September 14, 2009

Janice Chilton, chef at the Minwanijige Cafe at White Earth (Minnesota) presented a beautiful and delicious dinner for Regional Flavor participants from around the US last week. Participants traveled from America’s Grape Heritage center in NY/PA, the Arkansas Delta, south central Colorado, the Ohio Appalachia, and the “Grow Nebraska” project to learn more about our efforts here to combine economic development and support for microenterprises connected to regional foods, culture, heritage, arts, and tourism.

Janice prepared a late summer salad of veggies and greens from country gardens at White Earth. Toasted pine nuts and raspberry vinegrette provided a light, flavorful and earthy topping.

We feasted on braised pork, creamy new potatoes, wild rice and mushrooms, baked pumpkin and homemade wheat/butter bread. Janice served mini caramel and cream pies and locally harvested and hand-made maple syrup candies. Richwood Winery, the newest vintner in Minnesota, provided the wines.

Ojibwe singer Annie Humphrey played guitar as the sun set behind her over the White Earth forest. You can find out more about Annie at http://www.myspace.com/anniehumphrey

Musician Annie Humphrey

Musician Annie Humphrey

Over the years her songwriting has focused on a specific theme with a message to “Be brave and have a good journey.” Her haunting song “Beautiful Son” is still in my heart and my mind.

The Minwanjige Cafe is located at 33287 County Rd. 34, Ogema, MN 56569. It is at the intersection of 34 and 143, across from Strawberry Lake Store. (218)-983-3834

Minwanjige Cafe

The Slow Foods Dinner topped off a 3-day program that included touring White Earth and West Central Minnesota, and a regional meeting held Sept 10th at MapleLag Resort that brought together enterprenuers and economic leaders in the region. The “Regional Flavor Circle” in Minnesota will continue to work to support the growth of sustainable entreprenuers in a geographic circle that includes the village of Mahnomen and Itasca State Park (headwaters of the Mississippi River) on the north and the villages of Fergus Falls and Wadena along the south. A Regional Flavor Entreprenuer office will be set up at M State in Detroit Lakes, MN. Contact Juanita Lindsay at CherokeeUpNorth@gmail.com or myself for more information – especially if you are interested in being part of the Regional Flavor Circle.

Posted in Buy-local, ecotour, entreprenuers, green travel, microenterprise, Minnesota, Native tourism, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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