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Love at the Soda Shop

Posted byAlison Aten on 05 Feb 2014 | Tagged as: Authors, Awards, Cooking, History

The Soda Fountain, February 1921Soda Shop SalvationWhen Prohibition shuttered saloons, thirsty law-abiding citizens turned to soda fountains for sustenance and entertainment. Parlor owners developed concoctions to suit every taste—and to keep their counters and tables full.

Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition (a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award) gives readers a taste of this turbulent time, and a few recipes for romance.

Excerpt from Soda Shop Salvation:

Love at the Soda Shop

“The soda fountain often plays an important part in fanning the flame of love . . . Many fountain owners are finding there is a great demand for drinks with names like kiss me again, some day, soul kiss, lover’s delight [. . .] what better could quicken a bashful lover than to have his coy companion say I would like a soul kiss wouldn’t you, John?” —The Soda Fountain, December 1921

Cupid Delight Sundae

1 (1/2-inch) slice vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons crushed pineapple
3 cubes canned or fresh pineapple
4 maraschino cherries
3 tablespoons crushed strawberries
2 Thin Walnut Wafers (see book for recipe)

Cut the ice cream in half across the long edge and place the two slices side by side on a plate. Pour the crushed pineapple over one slice and top with the pineapple cubes arranged in a circle with 1 cherry in the center. Pour the strawberries over the other ice cream slice and arrange the remaining 3 cherries in a circle on top of it. Put the wafers on the side and serve with two spoons.

Cupid’s Garden

1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) strawberry syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon heart-shaped candies

Put the ice cream in a sundae dish and pour the syrup over the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon candies.

Have-a-Date Sundae

1 large scoop maple nut ice cream
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae Sauce
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
whipped cream for topping
walnut-stuffed date for garnish

Put the ice cream in a sundae dish. Drizzle with the chocolate sauce and sprinkle with coconut. Top with whipped cream and garnish with the stuffed date.

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, while the young woman’s fancy yearningly turns to ice cream sodas. Better cater to her fancy.” —The Soda Fountain, March 1921

Spring 2014 Titles

Posted byAlison Aten on 10 Jan 2014 | Tagged as: Authors, Children, Cooking, Fiction, Food, History, Literary, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies, Travel

Augie\'s Secrets by Neal Karlen The Brides of Midsummer When I Was a Child Her Honor Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge Curiosity\'s Cats

Conflicted Mission Hungry Johnny Toys of the \'50s, \'60s, and \'70s Scoop Smitten with Squash

Minnesota Historical Society Press Spring 2014 Titles

Augie’s Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip (Paperback, February 2014)
Neal Karlen

The Brides of Midsummer (First English Translation, February 2014)
Vilhelm Moberg

When I Was a Child: An Autobiographical Novel (February 2014)
Vilhelm Moberg

Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement (March 2014)
Lori Sturdevant

Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge (April 2014)
Carolyn Ruff

Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research (April 2014)
Edited by Bruce Joshua Miller

Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier (April 2014)
Linda M. Clemmons

Hungry Johnny (May 2014)
Cheryl Minnema, Illustrations by Wesley Ballinger

Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s (May 2014)
Kate Roberts and Adam Scher

Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop (May 2014)
Jeff Miller

Smitten with Squash (July 2014)
Amanda Paa

Original Local by Heid E. Erdrich

Posted byAlison Aten on 21 Nov 2013 | Tagged as: Authors, Cooking, Event, Native American

Original LocalHeid E. Erdrich, photo by FRESH Photography & Media Spirit Plate by Aza Erdrich

Local foods have garnered much attention in recent years, but the concept is hardly new: indigenous peoples have always made the most of nature’s gifts. Their menus were truly the “original local,” celebrated here in 135 home-tested recipes paired with stories from tribal activists, food researchers, families, and chefs.

Heid E. Erdrich shares family and community recipes in her new cookbook, Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest.

Join us tomorrow, Friday, November 22, at 7 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1917 Logan Avenue South) in Minneapolis at the book launch hosted by Birchbark Books to sample recipes from the book prepared by Chef Jason Champagne.

Click here for more info, recipes, and interviews with Heid!

The Klondike Fizz

Posted byAlison Aten on 19 Nov 2013 | Tagged as: Cooking, History

Rae Katherine Eighmey Soda Shop Salvation

When Prohibition shuttered saloons, thirsty law-abiding citizens turned to soda fountains for sustenance and entertainment. To discover more about the Eighteenth Amendment, suffragists and flappers, bootleggers and G-men, check out  Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition by Rae Katherine Eighmey. Her book gives readers a taste of life during Prohibition, the era featured in a new exhibit at the Minnesota History Center, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.

Watch Rae mix a Klondike Fizz for M. A. Rosko on Fox 9 Morning News, or visit Lynden’s Soda Shop in St. Paul for a sip. They are offering the drink for a limited time!

Klondike Fizz by the drink

¼ ounce orange syrup

¼ ounce lemon syrup

1 ounce strawberry syrup

¼ cup crushed ice

carbonated water, 6 ounces, approximately

Put the syrups in a 10-ounce glass. Add a scoop of crushed ice.  Fill with carbonated water and stir.

Klondike Fizz by the pitcher

½  cup lemon syrup

½ cup orange syrup

¾ cup strawberry syrup

¾ cup simple syrup (see below)

Combine syrups to make enough to flavor 3 liters of club soda: ¾ cup for each liter. Serve over crushed ice.

About flavored syrups. You can find coffee-flavoring syrups in many supermarkets or order them online. Or you can combine one tablespoon of concentrated frozen fruit juice with ¼ cup simple syrup and make your own.  For party quantities of strawberry syrup, you can purchase the strawberry syrup frequently found near the maple syrup and dilute it one-to-one with simple syrup.

Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup  water

Put the sugar into a small saucepan, pour the water into the sugar, and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

“Asian Flavors” wins Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award

Posted byAlison Aten on 01 Oct 2013 | Tagged as: Arts, Asian American, Awards, Cooking, Food, History, Immigration, MHS press

Regional Emmy® Award Courtesy of Twin Cities Public Television Raghavan Iyer with Regional Emmy® Award Asian Flavors documentary team

Our Asian Flavors documentary, co-produced with tptMN, won the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Cultural Documentary category.

Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, this thirty-minute documentary celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.

Congratulations to a winning team!

The Asian Flavors team:

Daniel Pierce Bergin, Producer/Director
Angela Barrett, Production Assistant
Fanique Weeks-Kelley, Production Manager
Jim Kron, Director of Photography
Jerry Lakso, Online Editor
Bob Tracy, Executive in Charge
Pamela McClanahan, Project Consultant
Phyllis Louise Harris, Co-writer/Project Consultant
Raghavan Iyer, Presenter
Shari Lamke, Senior Director-Supervising Producer
Lucy Swift, Vice President, MN Productions & Partnerships
Terry O’Reilly, Chief Content Officer

Roasted Corn and Potato Salad from Sweet Corn Spectacular

Posted byAlison Aten on 29 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: Cooking

Roasted Corn and Potato Salad by Marie Porter

Marie Porter, author of Sweet Corn Spectacular was on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller Show today.

Here’s Marie’s on her Roasted Corn and Potato Salad recipe:

When I created this recipe, I intended it to be a roasted take on a traditional—cold!—potato salad. But as soon as the dressing was tossed on the hot potato salad, we couldn’t help ourselves: we were picking at it long before it had a chance to cool. Oh, it was amazing—I think I actually preferred it hot to its later, chilled incarnation. Serves 4–6

1 pound bacon, chopped

3 pounds red potatoes, cut into X- to 1-inch chunks

salt and pepper

3–4 ears grilled fresh sweet corn

4 ribs celery, sliced (about 2 cups)

1 medium red onion, chopped

1–2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

1/2  cup olive oil

1/3  cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy; use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan and set it aside. Toss potato chunks with bacon drippings. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.

While potatoes are roasting, use a sharp knife to carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. In a large bowl, toss kernels, celery, red onion, green onions, and cooked bacon. Set aside. Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, and ½ teaspoon pepper until emulsified. Season with salt to taste.

When potatoes are ready, mix them into the large bowl of vegetables. Pour vinaigrette over top, tossing to coat. Serve immediately, allow to cool slightly and serve warm, or chill for later service.

Asian Flavors Documentary

Posted byAlison Aten on 13 May 2013 | Tagged as: Asian American, Cooking, History, Immigration, Videos

Asian Flavors Asian Flavors

Food, tradition, and culture make a home. Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, a new thirty minute documentary co-produced by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.

It’s hard to believe there was a time when you couldn’t go out for Chinese food in Minnesota, but there was—until brothers and entrepreneurs Woo Yee Sing and Woo Du Sing opened their Canton restaurant (later called “John’s Place”) in Minneapolis in 1883.

Culinary educator, chef, author, consultant and co-founder with Phyllis Louise Harris of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd., Raghavan Iyer narrates this documentary highlighting the exciting history and array of Asian food in Minnesota.

Profiles and interviews with chefs, restaurant owners, business owners, and culinary professionals include Supenn Harrison, founder of Sawatdee; Reiko Weston of Fuji Ya; Mhonpaj Lee and her mother May Yia Lee, operators of Mhonpaj’s Garden; Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola; Thom Pham; and Harry Singh.

Food connects homes left behind with where we live today. Asian Flavors is the story of adventurous people who made the arduous journey halfway around the world to live in Minnesota, fleeing oppression and persecution or in search of jobs and education, and who created new homes through food. Many cooks sought not only to make a living but also to preserve the memory of their homeland through the dishes set before family and patrons alike, to the great benefit of diners in the Twin Cities metro area.

Asian flavors have changed Minnesota’s tastes, just as the many, wide-ranging Asian cultural groups have reshaped the state’s history, culture, and communities.

The tpt broadcast schedule is as follows:

Premiere: Sunday May 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. on tpt’s Minnesota Channel (tpt MN)

Encore Broadcasts: Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM, 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM on tpt MN

About tpt’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships

TPT’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) is the local production division of Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul.  TPT MN partners with local non-profit, educational, governmental, and public service organizations to reach broader audiences throughout Minnesota. These partnership programs educate and inspire Minnesotans on important issues using tpt’s distinctive storytelling skills, television and multimedia resources.  Since its inception in 2003, tpt MN has created nearly 700 television programs and over 200 multimedia projects in partnership with over 235 non-profit and public service organizations. To view past tpt productions, visit www.mnvideovault.org.

To learn more about tpt MN, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook, or visit their website at www.tptMN.org.

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Modern Maple

Posted byAlison Aten on 14 Mar 2013 | Tagged as: Cooking, Food

Red cabbage and Berry Salad by Teresa Marrone from Modern MapleModern Maple by Teresa MarroneToday’s post is an excerpt from our new cookbook, Modern Maple by Teresa Marrone, the second title in our Northern Plate series.

***

A maple tree is a lovely thing. Its hard, fine-grained wood is used to craft beautiful furniture and specialty items as diverse as bowling pins, butcher blocks, and stringed instruments. In summer, its lush canopy of leaves provides welcome shade, and in fall, those same leaves—minus their chlorophyll, which provides the green hue—adorn cityscapes, fencerows, and lakeshores with their stunning displays of autumn color. Some would argue, however, that late winter to early spring is the maple’s finest time, for that is when groundwater pumping through the wood of the tree, rising from the roots to the branch tips, can be tapped to make maple syrup.

Red Cabbage and Berry Salad

Ever get a craving for fresh, raw, colorful vegetables and fruits that are simply prepared? Here’s the perfect fix. I came up with this combination one day when I was staring down a half of a red cabbage lurking in the crisper drawer. Suddenly I knew I wanted to combine it with blueberries and raspberries. The method just came together as I was fixing supper, and I have to say, it’s really delicious. I’m sure it’s chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants; deep purple, red, or blue foods simply radiate good health. Serves 4–5.

½  medium red cabbage (you might not need it all)

½ cup thinly sliced white onion

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 ½  teaspoons kosher salt

½-¾ orange, peeled

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil (Smude Farm’s sunflower oil is very good here)

1 cup fresh blueberries

½  cup fresh raspberries, large berries halved before measuring

Cut cabbage into two quarters. Remove core from one quarter and discard, then cut the wedge crosswise into ¼-inch-wide slices. You’ll need about 3 cups of sliced cabbage, so you may also need to core and slice some of the second quarter. In a large nonreactive mixing bowl, combine sliced cabbage, onion, vinegar, and salt; stir well. Set aside at room temperature to marinate for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring several times. At the end of the marinating time, fill the bowl with cold tap water and swirl the cabbage to rinse off the salt and vinegar. Pour into a wire-mesh strainer and drain, then rinse again; let drain for 5 to 10 minutes.

While cabbage is draining, separate the orange into segments. Use your fingers to break each segment into ½-inch pieces, holding the segment over the empty mixing bowl so the juices drip into the bowl; add the orange pieces to the bowl as you go. Add syrup and oil to the bowl; stir to mix. Return drained cabbage mixture to the bowl; add blueberries and raspberries and stir gently to mix.

***

For a listing of upcoming events, demos, and classes with Teresa, please click on the title’s hyperlink, at the beginning of this post.

Celebrate Food Day with Zingy Squash Chili

Posted byAlison Aten on 24 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: Cooking

Eat More VegetablesIn recognition of national Food Day, a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, today’s guest post is from Tricia Cornell, author of Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce.

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Chris Blanchard speak about the challenges of organic farming. Chris is a farmer at Rock Spring Farm and a farming consultant.  He helps organic farmers get started or scale up.

He opened with an anecdote that seemed to sum up farming for me: “One of the biggest compliments you can give someone in my community is, ‘Boy, you work hard!’ They see the lights of your tractor out there at 9 p.m. and say, ‘You are such a hard worker!’” he said. “How come nobody ever says, ‘Wow. You work so efficiently!’?”

Then, for the audience, he mimed a new organic farmer trying to figure out how to make a living: Okay, if I want to make X thousand dollars a year — and here Chris named a figure that was just barely middle class — and I can get about X pounds of vegetables off an acre and sell them for X dollars a pound . . . then I need about 10 to 15 acres of vegetables under cultivation. Plus acreage for crop rotation.

(I left the numbers out because I wasn’t taking notes and don’t want to let my faulty memory make Chris’s math look bad. I’m sure his math is very good.)

And here is where these hypothetical farmers probably need to sit down for a minute to catch their breath, let their hearts stop racing, and think about how on earth a single farmer or a farming couple could possibly work 10 to 15 acres by themselves. Are there enough hours in the day? Is it physically possible? Never mind that cropland in parts of the Midwest is selling for the truly gobsmacking price of $10,000 an acre.

And yet, because it takes a special kind of person to be an organic farmer, and that kind of person isn’t going to be daunted by impossibilities, Chris has farming clients who want to make it work, and, more importantly, we have organic produce in our co-ops, farmers markets, CSA shares, and, increasingly, big-box food stores.

Organic food sales reached $26 billion in 2010.  That’s about 4 percent of total food sales. According to two separate studies, 26 percent of people say they regularly buy organic food, but nearly 60 percent say they would like to.

One organization trying to bridge that gap between the desire and the ability to buy organic is the Center for Science in the Public Interest. CSPI has declared October 24 Food Day and is organizing events around the country to celebrate and promote good, sustainable food.

In honor of Food Day, I’m looking forward to attending tonight’s screening of Food Fight at Open Arms.  I’ll be part of a panel discussion about our food system with Mike Venker, board member and Cargill division vice president; Lindsay Rebhan, urban farm consultant; Open Arms baker/farm liaison Rita Panton; and Farm Director Ben Penner.

My family has been getting fantastic organic produce from Hog’s Back Farm for nine years. Every Halloween I use the beautiful butternut squashes we get to make a big pot of squash chili and serve it at our block’s pre-trick-or-treating potluck.

Squash Chili

Squash skeptics often find that the mild-mannered cucurbit needs a little bit of kick. Or a lot. And this chili has a lot of kick. It’s bone warming and comforting and packed with nutritive goodness. The trick is to cut the squash nice and small so the texture is like chili and not like squash in sauce. Definitely use butternut squash for this recipe: it is easy to peel and cut and will hold its shape nicely.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 large cloves garlic

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 dried red peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped

4 cups  chopped plum tomatoes in their own juices (2 15-ounce cans)

¼ cup dry red wine

4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes

salt and pepper to taste

small bunch cilantro, chopped

Place oil, onion, garlic, and spices (chili powder through red pepper) in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 8–10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine, and squash. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low simmer. Cook until squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in cilantro.

Living Here, Loving Minnesota with Kim Ode

Posted byAlison Aten on 20 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Authors, Cooking, Interview

phpyDC97BAn occasional series highlighting local authors and their favorite ways to spend a Minnesota weekend.

Kim Ode has spent most of 2012 talking about her latest cookbook, Rhubarb Renaissance, and is trying to decide what food to tackle next. She remains a member of the St. Paul Bread Club and also plays trombone with the Calhoun-Isles Community Band. Kim  Ode

What is a typical weekend for you?

“Typical” changes with the season, given that in summer, we’re on our sailboat on Lake Superior whenever possible. Otherwise, I’m happiest tucked in at home, putzing in the garden or organizing shelves–unexpectedly satisfying! Wherever I am, cooking for friends often is involved, usually with a recipe I’ve never tried. I like to pull people out onto the culinary tightrope with me!

What are some of your favorite local Friday night activities?

After a week at the Star Tribune, I rarely want to leave the house. I’m a locabore, I guess, but a happy one. If I’ve planned to bake in my brick oven on Saturday, then Friday nights are for mixing bread dough so it gets that long overnight rise to develop the best flavor.

What/where do you eat on weekends? What’s a typical Sunday breakfast for you?

I’m happiest when I’m cooking for myself and others, but Tosca in Linden Hills is a small gem with great squash ravioli. Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park manages to be sumptuous and healthy. I love Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale but know enough not to fight the weekend crowds.

Sunday breakfasts is plural. My husband gets two eggs over easy, toast, and bacon every week because that’s what he lives for, emphasis on Once A Week. While I will reserve some bacon for myself, I love to eat leftovers for breakfast–last night’s potstickers or pizza or mashed potatoes. And sourdough toast–with mayonnaise and garden tomatoes in the summer or with mustard and baked beans in the winter.

What is your weekend reading like?

After the newspaper (duh), I’ll riffle through cookbooks or magazines during the day. For whatever reason, I read best at night, mostly nonfiction, although the Strib’s books editor, Laurie Hertzel, always has good fiction writers in mind. I just finished reading chef Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir, Yes, Chef, and it’s terrific. My biggest challenge is holding off on rereading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. I have read the twenty books three times and have vowed to let at least five years pass before diving in again.

What is your top Minnesota getaway?

Has to be Lake Superior, anywhere on that spectacular body of water. Grand Marais’ great hug of a harbor is a top destination.

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