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 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.
$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.
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: Big River Farms, immigrant farmer benefit, Marine on St. Croix, MFA, Minnesota, Minnesota Food Association, Slow Food Minnesota, Slow Foods | Leave a Comment »
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
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
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: Annie Humphrey, green travel, Janice Chilton, Locally-owned, microenterprise, Minwanjige Cafe, regional economic development, Regional Flavor, Slow Foods, White Earth, White Earth Indian Reservation | 2 Comments »