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An Autumn Ritual: Making Homemade Thai Chili Paste

In our household, the autumn ritual of preserving our garden through canning, freezing, and juicing is a family gathering in the kitchen. I love the opportunity to fend off those first few cold nights with a steaming hot kitchen, the house windows fogged up from all the blanching, poaching, and hot water baths. We play jazz music on the stereo, and even after the kids go to bed, I’m often putting up the last few jars until 2 am. It’s one of my favorite parts of the year. There is only one exception to the rule here, the evening where my wife and kids can’t get far enough away from the house while I’m working. Despite that fact, this remains one of my favorite nights of all…processing hot peppers.

 

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Late Summer Cookbook Round-Up, Part II

If you love cookbooks as much as I do, you’re always looking for more to add to your (already abundant) collection. As summer draws to a close, I’ve rounded up some of the most exciting cookbooks from the season, which I’ve been cooking from (and just reading) all summer and all of which I’m super happy to add to my shelves.

 

For your cookbook-perusing pleasure, I’ve given each book a likely fan category, but many of the books include a wide variety of recipes. Here is Part II; you can check out Part I here.

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Farm Journal: Preparing for the End of Things

For the last week, I’ve awoken with cold feet. Every morning, after quickly shuffling to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee, I’ve shivered quietly about my apartment attempting to locate a pair of clean socks. Though my wool sweaters still sleep soundly in the garage, I know that fall lurks just around the corner, and I’ve begun to prepare myself for the end of summer that autumn always brings.

           

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Freezing is Your Friend: How to Enjoy the Summer Harvest Without Canning

Over the last few summers, Minnesota has been walloped with some impressive heat waves. The stifling weather we get around here seems to always show up right when the produce peaks: tomatoes start coming in from the garden by the box instead of by the handful, green beans need to be picked every three days, and even the farmers’ market stalls start to spill over with bushel baskets of veggies and fruit.

 

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Late Summer Cookbook Round-Up, Part I

If you love cookbooks as much as I do, you’re always looking for more to add to your (already abundant) collection. As summer draws to a close, I’ve rounded up a few of the most exciting cookbooks from the season, which I’ve been cooking from (and just reading) all summer and all of which I’m super happy to add to my shelves.

 

For your cookbook-perusing pleasure, I’ve given each book a likely fan category, but many of the books include a wide variety of recipes. Here are the first five; check out the second batch in Part II. (Even the most ardent cookbook fans can experience cookbook overload, after all.)

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Everyone Welcome: The New Seward Co-op and Inclusiveness

I have a confession to make: Before  a few months ago, when I sat down in the Sabathani Community Center's auditorium to hear my fellow neighbors voice their concerns and ask questions about the Seward Co-op's second location tentatively set to open on 38th and Clinton, I had never attended a community meeting. For all my desire for community closeness and professed interest in local issues, this was the first time I actually joined in on an open discussion about my immediate community’s future.

 

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Hunting for Dinner: The Perfect Fish Fry

I have been fishing my whole life; since my grandfather gave me my very first Snoopy fishing pole 35 years ago, I have been hooked (yes, pun intended). I remember that fishing pole just hanging on the wall with all the others poles like it had been there all along and I just knew what to do with it. My family had cabins on Leech Lake most of my life; both sets of grandparents had a cabin on the same shore line one house apart from each other. This is where my parents met and got married, but sadly we no longer have either cabin.

 

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Farm Journal: Enduring the Heat

This is the sixth post in a summer-long series from a young farmer working as a harvest crew leader at Gardens of Eagan.

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