At Book Club TONIGHT: The Amazing "Farmer Jane"

New year, good intentions, resolutions. So, how are YOU doing?

Nearly a month into 2011, I’m thinking a bit about the intentions I had way back at the start of the new year (experiment with more vegan recipes, eat more veggies in general, and understand more about the food system and related politics), and checking in with myself on how things are going. One of the best things about working with food on a daily basis is that I don’t have to make an excuse to set aside time for these things. With little effort, I can get right to the core of the subject.

Being thoughtful about my food means that I need to be educated, and one of my favorite ways to learn is through the Simple, Good, and Tasty book club. These monthly gatherings give me a chance to read a story, try a new recipe, and delve into system-wide food issues -- all with other folks who are (literally!) on the same page as I am.

This month, we’re reading Farmer Jane: Changing the Way We Eat, by Temra Costa. Costa takes a look at women who have worked tirelessly to make our food system better, all the while focusing on eating more sustainably, locally, and seasonally. Check out our book club notes here and please consider joining us tonight at either Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op from 7:00 - 8:30 pm or in Bemidji (near Harmony Co-op) from 5:30 - 7:30 pm to dig into these stories.

In the meantime, one of our favorite local chefs (and my business partner), Molly Herrmann of Tastebud Catering drummed up this delicious -- and sweetly romantic -- recipe to get us excited about eating better this new year. Thanks Molly!

Squash Hearts with Smoked Salt
makes about 12 hearts

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • smoked salt
  • honey, for drizzling
  • 1/2C goat cheese (optional)
  1. Trim and peel butternut squash, then cut into 1/2” rounds from solid end of squash (you can cut the seeded end into chunks and roast or freeze for later use).
  2. Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat.
  3. Place on baking sheet and roast at 400˚ for about 15 minutes, or until just tender.
  4. Let cool slightly.
  5. Using a small heart cookie cutter, cut heart shapes out of roasted rounds. Place them on a platter.
  6. Top with a dollop of goat cheese (optional), a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of smoked salt. Smoked salt can be found in most specialty grocery stores, including Produce Exchange and Golden Fig. A little goes a long way!


Tracy Morgan is a frequent contributor to Simple, Good and Tasty. She also runs Segnavia Creative, a business development and marketing firm, and is co-owner of the new Kitchen in the Market.  Tracy serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Market Natural Food Co-op in St. Paul.