The Scarlet Pumpernickel: Winning a Red Ribbon for My State Fair Bread

The last time I entered a cooking contest was twenty-seven years ago.

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Hunting Down Wild Game at the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair has always been about food for me. Every trip starts with a Pronto Pup and ends with a bucket of Sweet Martha’s, and in between I try to cram as much in as I can. I love sampling all of the new foods and getting the old standbys as well. My wife loves the corn on the cob and the honey ice cream, and I have to have the gator and some cheese curds. So when Simple, Good, and Tasty asked me if I would be interested in writing about the fair, I jumped at the opportunity. The only problem was, what was I going to write about? I didn’t want to do the same thing as everyone else and cover all the new foods or make a list of the best foods, and I needed to find a topic I would enjoy. Then it hit me: I write about wild game mostly, so why not write about the wild game options that the fair has to offer?

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A Sampling of the “Land of 10,000 Beers” Exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair

It's a fine time to be a fan of locally crafted beer and to live in Minnesota. Of the nearly 50 Minnesotan breweries listed on MNBeer.com, 26 have opened in the past two years alone (with several more slated to open in the next 18 months). Everywhere you go, people with a pint in their hand are voicing the same idea on the subject: “Can you believe how much new and delicious beer there is here?” This is inevitably followed by, “We're so lucky,” and then, the caveat, “But, wow, is it getting difficult to keep up.”


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Gray Duck Chai Takes Flight in the Twin Cities

I ignored chai when it first began turning up in coffeehouses years ago. I skipped right over this odd-looking word, scrawled in colored chalk on the blackboard menu at my local caffeine fueling station. Give me a double espresso. Fill up my travel mug with your darkest roast.

Chai seemed too fussy, too sweet. With its milky, light brown color, it looked too weak to have any flavor.

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Hunting for Ways to Use Zucchini (and a Recipe for Zucchini Relish)

I have never been much of a gardener. Most of my time is spent out fishing, hunting, and foraging and I never really had a yard or the space to plant a garden. When I was growing up, my mom kept a garden, as did my aunts and grandmothers. My great grandmother also used to keep a garden; most years, she would plant 60-80 tomato plants and then can all of the tomatoes. She did this until she was in her 90s, when she slowed down and only planted 20-30 plants. I don’t ever remember eating a lot of fresh produce out of these gardens but I do remember all the canned goods that we used to eat. To this day my grandmother’s stewed tomatoes and canned green beans are my favorite canned foods to eat.

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Farm Journal: Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt

This is the fifth post in a summer-long series from a young farmer working as a harvest crew leader at Gardens of Eagan. Check out previous posts, Laying New RootsWhen Farmers Stay DryBuilding Farm Community, and Bringing in the Harvest.


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Co-op on a Budget: Let's Do Lunch

This is the seventh post in our Co-op on a Budget series, which explores the different ways that we can shop co-op effectively and affordably. Also check out posts on shopping bulkthe Wedge Co-op vs. Cub FoodsEastside Food Co-op vs.

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Potlucks: Germaphobe Nightmare or Health-Boosting Opportunity?

According to a recent article by Michael Pollan in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, “There’s a case for dirtying up your diet” in order to increase your exposure to bacteria. Really? More germs, not fewer? Yes! More germs, please, according to the article, “Some of My Best Friends Are Germs.” 

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