Today I was super excited to get my copy of Minnesota’s Bounty by Beth Dooley. Beth will be on “Still Growing…” in June and I’m really looking forward to my talk with her.
Minnesota’s Bounty is a gorgeous cookbook. I brought it to my Master Gardener dinner meeting and it caught everyone’s attention right away. Ironically, the Master Gardeners were meeting to schedule dates to help with the farmer’s market and Beth’s cookbook is focused on buying the harvest at our local farmer’s markets.
Beth offers loads of tips as she alphabetically makes her way through the fruits and vegetables at the typical farmer’s market. There are smaller sections on cheese, grains, meat an fish, and some market essentials are at the end of the book.
Look at these fabulous carrots! They look so much more enticing than the bagged babies I buy at the supermarket. By the way, did you know our local food shelves are always in need of carrots? Alice Ward shared this on our last visit to the Life Garden CSA. Carrots are popular with kids and the food shelves are always looking for produce that appeals to the little ones.
It’s clear from her A to Z approach that Beth wants us to know where our food comes from. I have to confess that there were pictures of produce even I didn’t recognize, much less have any experience with in the kitchen. However, this is exactly the aim of Beth’s cookbook; to give us the courage and direction to experience the wide variety of local food available in every one of our communities.
Here is one of my favorites – both to grow and to eat – Swiss Chard.
Echoing Michael Pollan’s sentiments in his latest book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Beth wants us in the kitchen cooking locally grown food.
As a relatively novice cook myself, Minnesota’s Bounty highlights how most of us have lost the art of gathering food. Up until the past year, my food shopping has been recipe driven. Beth reveals that a better way to eat and cook is to shop for the freshest produce we can find and then incorporate those items into our meals. As I shared in a previous post, my friend, DA, does this naturally with her signature lunch. Her one skillet meal varies depending on the produce she has on hand.
True confession: I have never cooked with fresh ginger. Here’s what it looks like…
Beth has a recipe for Sweet Ginger Potatoes that is on my kitchen orders this summer. I’m going to give fresh Ginger a try and I’ll let you know what I think later this summer.
You can find a listing of Minnesota’s 146 farmers markets at www.mfma.org along with links to each individual farmer’s market. Here are Beth’s top tips for shopping at the farmer’s market:
- Slow down
- Come with a basket or bag
- Forget the shopping list
- If you don’t recognize a vegetable or fruit, ask the growers
- Bring cash
- Leave the dog at home
- Bring the kids
From Minnesota’s Bounty by Beth Dooley (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)