Author Archives: adobrow

Eating local week in early March

By Angel Dobrow.

Some of my week’s highlights: cheese and MN apples (2 lunches), an unbelievably good custard dessert, corn chowder, sauerkraut and pork chops, root veggie noodle soup, egg bake with onions and kale.   The non-local food was: Cheezits, Raisinets, ordered-out pizza, chocolate, coffee. (!!) I certainly could have done without that second list.

I have noted this week that unless we find a local source of quality caffeine I may have to relocate to …Columbia?


Potluck food

By Angel Dobrow

The challenge week hosted a delicious potluck on Thursday night: shepherd’s pie, bison tongue, chips/cheese/salsa, pesto pasta, quiche, apple crisps, roasted potatoes, root vegetable stew, mint tea, etc., etc. I know there was more…the table was full. Really good food, and about 35 good eaters. The MPIRG chapter from Carleton, a bevy of local-food get-it-done activists brought us up to date on their project to get a Rice County local food policy in place.

One of their ideas was to develop a Local Food policy council, something other municipalities have constituted. I would argue the first meeting of this “future council” has just met…….

And consumed quality food. I would also suggest more potlucks!

The amazing standard egg-bake dish

I dedicate this post to my very good friend Karen Olson.

Her recipe from a yellow-sticky note..the ONLY part of the recipe besides salt and pepper not from within 150 (100?) miles of my home.

Chop and saute in 1/3 c butter one onion and a few garlic cloves. Add 12 oz spinach, fresh or frozen.

Beat one dozen eggs, 24 oz cottage cheese, 1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese, 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese. Add sauteed items and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a buttered 9×12 cake pan and sprinkle 1/2 c shredded cheddar over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour. (Serve warm, but also OK cold.)

THESE are the IDEAS to SHARE at our upcoming Eat Local Potluck 3-4-10. Bring favorite locally-sourced-ingredient-prominent recipes.


ELC potluck at the Coop 3-4-10 5:30 pm

Several groups in town will be hosting a Winter Eat Local Potluck Thursday 3-4-10. We’ll start gathering at 5:30 in the Community Room; please bring a dish to share that meets or exceeds the ELC criteria (!), and plan on staying for a presentation by Carleton MPIRG about local food policy they have been chasing our county commissioners around the table about.

The event is being co-hosted by  the Northfield Food Action Network, Transition Northfield, and Just Food. We hope to seat/sort people according to their own particular burning local food agenda items: so far I have a recipe exchange table request. Other topics? How about Michelle Obama’s a garden in every schoolyard? Or, fieldwork in exchange for CSA shares? Or, community gardens and community gardening projects like Backyard Harvest in the Cities or garlic patches in neighborhood yards? Or, asking the Downtown gardeners to plant edible landscapes? Or, or, or…send ideas, bring your thoughts.

See you on the 4th!


Sauerkraut, anyone?

Last fall a friend and myself attempted sauerkraut. We had the crock, a plethora of cabbage, and the requisite enthusiasm. Yuck and more yuck, it failed.

This morning, attempt #2. The cabbage is from Simple Harvest Farm, and the know-how from KZ herself. She described two times exactly (!) what one is looking for. “You squeeze and mix with your hands until you feel the cabbage turn.” FYI, one is squeezing cabbage and salt. First two heads, I kind of felt what she meant; by the third head I was a pro. You DO feel the cabbage soften, and then there is a release of water/liquid. I think that is the TURN from cabbage to sauerkraut. I’m in! I now have a pail fermenting in the kitchen corner.

I’ll update in 3 weeks.

And, I encourage all locavores to start preserving now!

Angel D

Developing local appetites

potatoesPosted by Angel Dobrow

Two comments from the Dobrow house yesterday: “I think I am going to need a source for locally grown and milled wheat” and “Meals like this make converts.”

The convert comment came  after dinner, for which which I skipped a regularly scheduled evening activity to prepare:  potato pancakes with sour cream and stewed apples (all local but the seasonings and olive oil), steamed Sno-Pac sweet beans, and water.

And, this was not the first time I heard someone express the need for local wheat.

We are growing awareness. In my house, it is not so much that people are committed to big-box uber-processed food items as it is skepticism that this local food craze is just the newest fad. And who is not weary of the foodies yet? or the carbon-footprint reductionists? or those who walk everywhere, even in the winter? Buying local products, supporting local agriculture, living local lives was “proven” to be provincial and limited and backwards about two (!) generations ago. Not.

So, when conversations about seasonal possibilities and options are served alongside potatoes grown 2 miles past Carleton College…I like to think I am developing taste/place buds.

Breakfast this morning was home-crafted yogurt cheese on home-baked toast with home-canned lemon preserves. And, of course, coffee. (I’m gonna have to get on that coffee thing.)

The economics of local eating

Posted by Angel Dobrow

Last week Erin Barnett spoke to a group gathered to discuss local farming and local eating, an event hosted by our area’s chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association. Below is one part of her ideas presented.

Today my family began our winter eat local process. The morning started with a list of everyday foods that we (already) purchase from local sources; then menu ideas for the week; then the division of labor.

I  dug out of the freezer some of last fall’s squash, made yogurt, reviewed the newly-organized pantry.  I can tell this is going to require additional kitchen time.