Eat Well, Eat Local
Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen
...Beth Dooley suggests, leading us into Mette Nielsen's kitchen, where old-world Danish traditions meld with the freshest ideas and latest techniques to fill the pantry with the best of the season, all year long. Because those seasons can prove especially challenging in the northern heartland, Nielsen's Nordic heritage is handy as she and Dooley show cooks, first-time and experienced canners alike, how to make the most of a short growing season. Their approach combines the brightness and bold flavors of the Nordic cuisines with an emphasis on the local, the practical, and the freshest ingredients to turn each season's produce into a bounty of condiments.
From corn salsa to carrot lemon marmalade with ginger and cardamom, crispy pickled red onions to garlic scape pesto with lemon thyme, and caramel apple butter with lemongrass to puttanesca sauce to -Fit for a Queen Jam---these recipes bring the best of the sweet and the savory to every menu. Low tech, simple, and fast, they eschew hot-water-bath methods in favor of chilling and freezing, keeping flavors and colors bold and bright; and they ease up on sugar to make way for the true savory sweetness of nature's finest food.
Savory Sweet is not your grandmother's canning cookbook--but it is likely to be your grandchildren's.
Beth Dooley is author and coauthor of several award-winning cookbooks, including Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland (Minnesota, 2004), The Northern Heartland Kitchen (Minnesota, 2011), Minnesota's Bounty (Minnesota, 2013), In Winter's Kitchen, and The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (Minnesota, 2015). She writes for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune and appears regularly on KARE 11 TV and Minnesota Public Radio's Appetites.
Some people follow the hottest chefs and are eager to try every new restaurant. Me? I love to cook. As a kid, I’d trail my grandmother to the New Jersey farms stands gathering sun-split tomatoes and toothsome peaches whose juices dripped down my arm. In high-school, I baked bread to sell at the gourmet shop in town and in grad school, I picked apples in a nearby orchard and baked pies for beer money. I'd devote Saturdays to whipping up Julia Child’s recipes making feasts for friends.
When my husband and I moved to Minneapolis, the farmers market tomatoes took me right back to my grandmothers kitchen. And I began to understand how local organic food and best practices affect our health, our water, our land, the way animals are treated and the importance of acknowledging how tough farming is. By getting to know the people who produce my food and sharing it with friends and family, I’ve come to know and love this place and call it home. And in raising three active sons, I quickly realized that the most delicious meals are crafted from the freshest, most seasonal ingredients, with very little effort from me.
Healthy is Always in Season!
Come on into the kitchen, for in the kitchen, we’re never alone. Every time I chop carrots and sizzle onions, I conjure the food writers, cookbook authors, my family, mentors, growers, chefs and friends who have guided my work. And meet Mette Nielsen, whose photos of food and farmers always inspire and delight. We met on Madeline Island, in the Apostles, in Lake Superior, where you’ll find the sweetest wild blueberries, the crispest apples, and the best freshwater fish. A master gardener and terrific cook, her edible backyard is the source for our best ingredients and they are the stars of her work here.
Welcome to this blog and website, let me know what you think, ask questions and share ideas. I’d love to know, what are you going to cook?