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.
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:
Takes about an hour to make
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
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: Carla Solberg Sherman, Como Lake B&B, Deborah McLaren, ketchup recipe, Local Flavor Travel, Minnesota, rhubarb ketchup, Slow Foods, St. Paul Farmers Market, St. Paul MN, Travel Momma, Wise Acre Eatery | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on September 29, 2011
I’ve been working with Envision, in St. Peter MN, to design the new Local Flavor website. Building a website is not easy… it takes a lot of time, tinkering and learning. The website will eventually include a LOCAL directory of entrepreneurs, microenterprises, small businesses, festivals and events, and more. Say you don’t want to stay at a big chain hotel and drive thru that McPlace next time you travel around Minnesota. Local Flavor will help you find a very cool local inn to stay, places to visit, interesting things to do and great local, healthy food wherever you go. And Local Flavor is not just for travelers! Locals will find it very useful too.
It’s taking longer than I thought. Hopefully the website will be ready for “testing” in the next couple of weeks. Anyone that wants to volunteer to test will get a free one year subscription! You’ll have to help test and report any problems or bugs you might experience. We want to make sure the website will work well.
In the meantime, please help by voting for Local Flavor. There’s only a couple more days and your vote can help us win a $50,000 Intuit hiring grant and provide more jobs in Minnesota. Click on the Intuit website and type in “Local Flavor” and then “St. Paul, MN” which will bring up the voting box. Then vote for us. Write something nice about us if you’d like.
Thanks for staying in touch and reading the blog this summer. I’m so surprised there’s been a lot of visits despite my lack of writing. Hopefully I can get back into the groove soon.
Cheers! – Travel Momma
Posted in Buy-local, entreprenuers, family travel, food and wine, Minnesota, Uncategorized | Tagged: Deborah McLaren, Envision, Intuit, Intuit Love a Local Vote, Local Flavor, Local Flavor Travel, Local Flavor website, Minnesota, Small business, Travel Momma, Vote for Local Flavor | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on November 1, 2010
Please join me on my new Facebook page which celebrates LOCAL food, art, culture, heritage and travel. Please feel free to post about locally-owned businesses, organizations and events! See you THERE!
Buying local is the best investment in our economy!
Posted in art, Buy-local, ecotour, entreprenuers, Fair Trade, family travel, food and wine, green music, Indigenous tourism, microenterprise, Minnesota, Saint Paul, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, theater, travel | Tagged: art, culture, Deborah McLaren, Facebook, food, heritage, Local Flavor Travel, Locally-owned, travel, www.Facebook.com/LocalFlavorTravel | Leave a Comment »
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: Deborah McLaren, Face Book, Local Flavor Travel, Travel Momma | Leave a Comment »