georgia rubenstein

Practicing Mindfulness

The new year always bring out my sentimental side – I love the quiet calm the snowy cold brings (even gracing us on the eve of January 1 this year, sandwiched between unseasonable 50 degree temperatures), forcing us to slow down, bringing the opportunity to reflect on the year past and set intentions for the year to come. This year, particularly, felt significant to me - after starting graduate school in September and flying through four months in what seemed to be the blink of an eye, I more than welcomed a chance to stop, reflect, and re-orient myself to… myself.


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Farmageddon: The Raw Milk Controversy Continues

It’s been a while since Food, Inc. and FRESH, and their cousins King Corn and Fast Food Nation, came on the scene – hailing from a family of films that have delved into the complexities of our modern food system, tackled the interconnected web that includes corn subsidies, industrial farming, obesity and environmental degradation, and lauded various solutions including agricultural policy reform, sustainable farming methods, community gardening, and eating, as Michael Pollan and many others have recommended, “real food.” If you’ve been jonesing for your food movie fix, you’re in luck.

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Garden Tour, Love Story, Culinary Delight: A Picnic Operetta

As we wrap up our State Fair coverage here at SGT, as these once endless evenings get undeniably a little shorter and a little chillier, we Minnesotans must admit that our short-lived summer is on its way out. But, I propose that we buck our Minnesotans tendencies and rather than despair over our impending doom, let’s make the most of what’s left! We’ve still got a few good weeks of outdoor activities, and one thing you must do, if you haven’t already, is go see Mixed Precipitation’s Alcina’s Island: A Picnic Operetta. Part Twin Cities community garden tour, part love story, part culinary delight; combining classic Italian opera with old time Americana; blurring the boundaries of art, eating and growing - the show is a feast for all the senses.  

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The Unofficial SGT Best and Worst Of The Fair

Imagine, if you can - six hours at the Minnesota State Fair without a single crispy, glistening Fresh French Fry or cheese curd; deprived of even one warm, melty Sweet Martha’s chocolate cookie; nary a sweet, cool lick of an ice cream cone from the long line at the Dairy Building. I know, impossible. But it was done, for you, readers. Armed with a friend, a pile of cash, and an empty stomach, I set off on a quest to skip the usual suspects and try some of the Fair’s most unique foods. Here is what we found… 


Hands-down Loser: Chocolate Covered Jalapeno from Andre’s Watermelon Fit for the trashFit for the trash

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Ringing In a Summer of Good Eating with Chowgirls Killer Catering

I’ve always been lukewarm about solstice celebrations. While the winter solstice almost seems like a cruel joke – “welcoming” sunshine and longer days as we brace ourselves for four more months of blizzards and frigid temperatures – summer solstice is more joyful, but still is accompanied by that nagging thought in the back of my head. Wait! Summer has barely started – already we’re celebrating its peak? What about all my big plans of farmers market trips, bountiful garden harvests, dinner parties… 

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Sick of Cold Weather? Never Fear! Dinner on the Farm Season is Near

The lawn outside my window is a sloppy montage of green and brown. It’s still cold outside, and I’m still buried under layers of blankets inside my cozy house. Oh Mother Nature, you trickster! It’s almost May and we’ve been so patient! Can we please have our spring now?

I am optimistic!  In fact, a few days ago, I reserved my tickets for the inaugural 2011 Dinner on the Farm event. Knowing that in just a few short months I will be lounging in the sun-warmed grass of Crandall Garden Farme, sipping locally-brewed beer and enjoying a delicious curry dinner prepared with produce grown within hundreds of feet of me, reminds me that -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- a season of bountiful, fresh, local produce; reconnecting with fellow food lovers; and many more farm dinners is on its way.

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A Pressure Cooker is "The Single Most Important Piece of Cookware You’ll Ever Own"

"The Single Most Important Piece of Cookware You’ll Ever Own." That's what it says on the cover of the little instruction book that came with my pressure cooker. My purchase was inspired by the amazingly healthy, hearty Italian farming family I lived with in Sicily for three weeks. The family followed a macrobiotic diet, and their pressure cooker was used at least three times a day. I decided that if I couldn’t bring their sunshine, olives, and almonds home with me, I could at least try to re-create their cooking methods.

A few months after returning to snowy Minnesota, my memories of perfectly cooked greens and grains fading quickly, I pulled a shiny but average-looking stainless steel pot out of the box, flipped through the uninspiring recipes included in the booklet, and rolled my eyes at the cookware company’s brash claim. Two years later, however, while I haven’t quite worked up to three times a day, I use my pressure cooker several times a week. I am a total convert.

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Woody Tasch Talks Revolution and Slow Money with the Sustainable Farmers (and Eaters) of Minnesota

Thoughts of revolution were in the air at the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota’s twentieth annual conference, The Routes of Sustainability: Food, Farming & Fellowship, held February 18 - 19 at the College of St. Benedict. SFA MN is a farmer-led organization that works to connect farmers with eaters across the state.

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Minnesota’s Sub Rosa Dining Series Takes Local Food Underground

Chef Nick SchneiderChef Nick SchneiderUnderground dinners are becoming more and more popular, and not just for those who are “in the know.” These multi-course meals take place in private settings -- from art galleries to backyards to home dining rooms -- and give adventurous diners (who expect to eat with people they don’t know) the opportunity to be served in an unconventional, intimate setting, allowing for more personal connections between chef, wait staff, and eaters. Underground dinners also provide enterprising chefs with unmatched creative freedom -- in many cases, menus (and even locations) are not revealed until the last minute.

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Vermiculture and Our Friends the Worms

In the coat closet of my tiny one-bedroom apartment, next to a suitcase and my winter boots, is my blue plastic worm bin. I have been composting with worms for about a year, and cannot imagine going back.

I am still in awe of the efficiency with which my worms work, and I'm always amazed to open the bin and find almost no evidence of the food scraps and coffee grounds I fed them only a week earlier. I am not an expert in biology, agronomy, or even vermiculture, but right in my closet, I have managed to maintain a thriving little ecosystem, and produce a continuous supply of rich, dark compost.

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