Wednesday, January 18, 2017

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: 2016

"I realized very early the power of food to evoke memory, to bring people together, to transport you to other places, and I wanted to be a part of that." - José Andrés (bringing people together around food was interesting in 2016, especially for José Andrés)

In 2016, we made memories, felt transported by inspiration, and tasted some good bites along the way; here they are, in no particular order.

Three cheers for friends who forage and share hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (maitake). I roasted these and served them at home with fresh pesto and pasta.

We missed the Minnesota State Fair in 2016, but we danced a jig when we found fair-quality Ellsworth Creamery cheese curds at The World's Only Corn Palace in South Dakota. 17 days, 10 states, 11 farm tours, 2 weddings, 5 national parks, 10 beds, 1 camper, 1 Stetson, 1 suitcase, 1 boat of curds.
Luncheon was peachy with this freshly-picked peach during a farm tour in central Illinois.
I'll admit that I took fried lake perch for granted when I lived in Wisconsin. On a visit home, this perch platter (served up at Jim's Place in Slinger, Wisconsin) was not taken for granted.
Meritage consistently pleases in St Paul. Love was on the way with these oysters broiled with tarragon butter and breadcrumbs served up with a champagne cocktail featuring St. Germain elderflower liqueur and grapefruit bitters.
Our little poppet requested a "CHEE-BURGER" for her 2nd birthday. Hi-Lo Diner served her first-ever cheeseburger. Fortunately for us, she wanted to share bites of that ooey-gooey, beefy, cheesy goodness.

This tonkotsu 'Tonzen' ramen at Zen Box was appreciated on a bleak afternoon in February. The creamy pork bone broth, egg, pork, wakame, and beni shoga cheered my belly and my disposition.

Attending the American Swedish Institute's dinner honoring Magnus Nillson was a most excellent outing. This treat of a dish (sorrel rigatoni, roasted rabbit, morels, and pancetta - prepared by Tim McKee) was devoured by yours truly.

Brandon Jaeger and Michelle Ajamian grow and market staple seed crops in Appalachian Ohio. I was able to visit their shop, Shagbark Seed and Millwhere I acquired the best corn grits I've ever tasted.
Restaurant Alma opened a cafe in Minneapolis this year, which means Alma-quality pastries can be purchased and then consumed at home, like this rhubarb jam tart. Big ups to my gal pal, Carrie, the pastry chef behind all these goodies.

And of course, we'll never forget the best wedding cake adventure of all time: traversing a canyon in Utah in a pickup truck with three frosted cakes. "Daddy, you did it!"

Previous Year's Recaps:
[where: Sustainable Food, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota]

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