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October 18, 2012

Living Here, Loving Minnesota with Rae Katherine Eighmey

Filed under: Authors, Fiction — Alison Aten @ 3:22 pm

Rae Katherine Eighmey pounding hominyRae Eighmey is the author of several books published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, including Food Will Win the War and Potluck Paradise (coauthored with Debbie Miller). She is currently working on a book about pioneering midwestern foodways. She lives with her husband in St. Paul.

What is a typical weekend for you?

Weekends and weekdays are pretty much the same if I’m actively researching, writing, or testing recipes. The piles of files around my desk or in the kitchen take on lives of their own, and they need to be attended to. When I have projects simply under thoughtful development, then the weekends are an opportunity to ponder as I putz in the garden, arrange and rearrange bookshelves, fold laundry, or watch the snow fall. Sometimes the Muse arrives. Sometimes she doesn’t. The very nice thing about living in Minnesota is that the time is generally spent pleasantly either way.

What/where do you eat on weekends? What’s a typical Sunday breakfast at your house?

As I write this, I’m coming to the conclusion that my husband and I really are homebodies. We seldom eat out. We’re not big breakfast eaters, but sometimes on cold winter mornings I’ll pull out the waffle iron and make cornmeal and rice waffles. I discovered the recipe when doing research on World War I food conservation. They are great for dinner, too, under creamed chicken.

What’s your weekend reading like?

I tend to let magazines accumulate, so weekends are a good time to sort through them while the football games play on TV. We’ve been associated with several universities, so we have a lot of teams to cheer—Iowa, Iowa State, University of Alabama, and, last but not least, go you Gophers! When we lived in New Jersey, the “arts” half of The New York Times was delivered to our door on Saturday.  Now it arrives in one gigantic glump. Sometimes I don’t get through it until the following Saturday. Books fall into my lap as well. I must confess to taking guilty pleasure in the adventures of Lucas Davenport as he cruises in his Porsche through my neighborhood, thanks to the pen of John Sandford.

What is your top Minnesota getaway?

Our Minnesota getaways vary with the seasons. Now that it is fall, there’s nothing we enjoy more than a drive down along the Mississippi River into apple country. Out of St. Paul and on to Highway 62 past Red Wing, the first of the great river towns on the Mississippi. On through Lake City, Wabasha, and Winona as the road becomes a designated scenic highway with views of the river and high bluffs filled with fall-blazing trees at every gentle turn. We’ll stop for apples and more at roadside stands.

Apple press

Enjoy this autumnal recipe from Rae:

Amazing Apple Preserves

2 cups grated McIntosh apples (grated on the large side of a box grater)

2 cups sugar

Mix apples and sugar and let stand for 2 hours or longer. Stir from time to time until sugar is dissolved. Put apples into a large saucepan, at least 3 quarts. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 2 pints.

NOTE: Other varieties of apples may work just fine, but I have only tested this with the McIntosh.

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