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Wild Fermentation and Sandor Elix Katz, Part 1 of 2

I recently had the chance to conduct an email interview with Sandor Katz, author of the book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods. The book is an excellent, fun, and straightforward look at fermentation, and an especially handy DIY tome for those so inclined. I'll admit to being a bit intimidated by the idea of fermenting my own foods (although I do love to eat sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurts, and lots of other things in the book), but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It's written in Katz' easy going style (the guy goes by the nickname "Sandorkraut," which says a lot about him), and is an approachable, easy read. Here's the interview:

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Tasting Crispin Cider at the Happy Gnome

On Tuesday evening, I was lucky enough to join a group of about 50 local food lovers, journalists, and guests of Crispin Cider Company to introduce their newest baby: Honey Crisp Unfiltered cider. Its addition to the Crispin family – which also includes Original, Light and Brut varieties – officially comes next month, so it was a treat to sneak a little taste ahead of time.

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Roasted Carrots, Golden Beets, and Green Beans with Crispy Chard and Fresh Chevre

This recipe was provided by chef Adam Anderson, formerly of Lucia's restaurant in Minneapolis. It uses local, seasonal ingredients - many of which are found in this week's farm shares across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Roasted Carrots, Golden Beets and Green Beans with Crispy Chard and Fresh Chevre

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

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St. Paul Farmer's Market Top 5 This Week

Ah, I just love our Minnesota weather. One minute it’s 85 and humid, and the next thing you know it’s mid-60s and feels like fall. This past weekend was one of those sweatshirt-craving, appetite-confusing weekends at the market. My brain was saying summer but my mouth was pleading for stew. Lucky for me, the St. Paul Farmer's Market is in full swing and I can appease my fickle palate in all sorts of ways.

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Chilled Golden Beet Borscht with Fresh Dill and Chive Crème Fraiche

Chef Adam Anderson, formerly of Lucia's in Minneapolis, is on fire! One look at this week's farmshare bounty from Harmony Valley Farm, and he sent me not one, not two, but three recipes using the fresh, local ingredients in the box. Here's number 2:

Chilled Golden Beet Borscht with Fresh Dill and Chive Crème Fraiche

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

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Makin' Your Own Bacon

When it comes to making and preparing food, you can’t get much more local than homemade. When your food is prepared, cooked, and served all in the same factory – a home kitchen – there is a sense of ownership over the food. It’s not just the sense of accomplishment, but also because it is so much easier to know your ingredients. There are tons of prepared, cured, and processed foods on the shelves of grocery stores that used to be made at home - they’d be much better tasting (and better for us) if they still were. It may seem like a lot of effort to make your own ketchup, jam, cake, or bacon; but it doesn’t need to be. Bacon is one of those foods that is processed to death in grocery stores and is so delicious homemade.

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Jackson Hollow Farm Now Offering a Limited Number of Midsummer Shares

Jackson Hollow, a terrific, long-running organic farm in Wisconsin, is now offering a limited number of 10-week, midsummer, half-shares for $200 each. This is a rare opportunity to buy into a CSA at the best time in the season, and a great way to give Jackson Hollow a test run to see if you want to sign up again next year. Here's what Jackson Hollow has to say about it:

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Sealing in Summer

Despite my crushing love for good food and an ongoing affair with Williams-Sonoma, I’m actually not much of a kitchen gadget fan. I’m a firm believer in getting the best kitchen basics you can afford and using them to death. Why do I need an asparagus stripper thing when I have a perfectly good, sharp knife? Or a flour sifter when a basic strainer does the same job? On the other hand, there is a time and a place for certain gadgets and appliances.

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