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One of the dishes I really wanted to make Tuesday night at the LIVE show at GBS was a miso butter skillet corn.  Luckily, the sweet corn was ready at the MUM student farm, and it was delicious.  All you need to do is strip the kernals off the cob, put them in a skillet with a little water, and cook for 2-4 minutes to your kernal texture preference.  Drain the remaining water, stir in the miso butter, and enjoy.  The recipe for the miso butter is at the end of this post.

Kris Johnson, the farm manager, Dan Harvey, the assistant manager, and several of the students in the Regenerative Agriculture certificate program, joined us for an inspiring discussion about the future of food and farming.  Look for the farm's stand at the Saturday Farmer's Market.

Dr. ThimmaiahDr. A. Thimmaiah, associate professor of Sustainable Living, joins me in the show's first segment to discuss the new 10-month certificate program at MUM to train future farmers.

The program has three phases-classroom work, a practicum where each student will be given a quarter acre of land, and focus on an agricultural project, and concludes with a month long internship working with farmers in the USA, Bhutan, India, Italy, and other spots.  

The certificate will feature the very first university course in the United States offered on Biodynamic farming methodology.   That part of the curriculumn will be taught by the co-exectutive director of Demeter Association Inc. (the organization established to represent Demeter International and entrusted with upholding the principles of Biodynamic practices and principles), Jim Fullmer.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday, October 21 at 3:00 pm. for the new Ag Center.  The location will serve as the classroom and laboratory for the new initiative, and is located just north of Reiff Grain and Feed on Highway 1.

PLEASE CLICK ON "READ MORE" for information on the second half of the show! 

  • Fri
    Jun 10
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Great Taste-Friday, June 10

Man The KitchenSteve Katz is a renaissance man, cook, writer, recipe developer, attorney, musician, and a deep thinker concerning the role of men in the kitchen.  Rosie Witherspoon, owner of the At Home Store, met Steve at the International Housewares Show this past March, wrote an article about him for the Iowa Source, and joined me this week in a discussion with Steve about gender and location specific (men in the kitchen) behavioral characteristics.  Men (and women) get ready.  You will be nodding in agreement with each observation Steve makes.  

Click READ MORE for more information on this week's show.

Great show at GrFlavor Flourseen Building Supply last night with Eric and Denyce Rusch of Breadtopia.  We consumed terrific red fife bread and cookies.  Thanks to both of them, and our sponsors GBS and Everybody's Whole Foods.  You can hear part of the discussion in the second half of the show on our "Iowa Cooks" segment.

The first half of the show features Alice Medritch, author of the new and highly-acclaimed book, Flavor Flours.  Join us.  Here is what Alice wrote to me about her book:

"The book is about new ingredients and a whole new approach to what people insist on calling Gluten Free, and I want to discuss why that is so, and what the advantage is of not thinking about these flours as merely substitutes.  This book is about broadening horizons and new tastes and textures.  The recipes are mostly quite easy, of course I have advice about how to best to succeed with the recipes, but there is not rocket science involved."  This is going to be a fascinating look into what up, until now, would be considered baking outside the box.

Deborah Madison

Inspiring is the one word that comes to mind when I think about this week’s show.  Both of my guests inspire me, and I believe you, the listener, will feel the same way after tuning in.  It’s very easy to become cynical looking at the devastation of our natural resources, and the plundering of the environment that goes on in a world dominated by industrial agriculture in the guise of feeding the ever-growing population of human beings.  I think a little cynicism may have just snuck through in the previous sentence.  BUT…..Deborah Madison and Fred Kirschenmann, through their words and actions, can pull us out of that dark spot where it’s too easy to become enmeshed in futility, and turn our attention to the immense change that is the reality of the present and future cultivation of our planet.  

It’s an honor to welcome Deborah back to the show.  We’re planning to talk seasonally so she can offer insights into what fresh foods  play well with the weather.  Though we have a variety of micro climates in the lowFred Kirschenmanner 48 states there are plenty of foods that are either grown locally or easy to find at the market or store that represent the changing seasons on our plate.  For decades Deborah has championed the use of local/regional produce, and showcased that world in numerous award-winning cookbooks like Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and Vegetable Literacy.  In this visit, we’ll focus our discussion on the abundance of delights still available in the autumn, and provide some assistance for home cooks to not only expand their repertoire, but revel in the experience.

During our “Iowa Cooks” segment, Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York, provides a vision of how significant positive change is not only already in motion in the cultivation and production of our food, but why it is inevitable.

Moises Velasquez-ManoffPopping vitamins has never been my thing, but I have plenty of friends who load up every single day and have followed that regime for years.  In talking with them about their supplement intake I’ve never been convinced they really notice tangible results, but, instead, rely on the simple rationalization that “more is better” when it comes to filling the body with “super foods.”  OK, maybe I could buy that, but in the form of a pill?

Click on READ MORE below.

Deborah MadisonDeborah Madison’s cookbooks have occupied treasured spots on my bookshelves since 1987 when she wrote The Greens Cook Book along with Edward Espe Brown.  Fast forward 27 years, three James Beard Awards plus many other accolades, and Madison, though not a vegetarian, continues her love affair with vegetables.  

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone came out this past spring, an update to her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone published in 1997.  Last year’s Vegetable Literacy  went far beyond a recipe book as Madison drew on her insights over several decades of cooking, including stints in professional kitchens, and as a gardener, enlightening readers with the interconnected web of relationships within the same botanical family.

Click on "Read More" for recipes from Vegetable Literacy.

“Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, The Mistress of Spices

Claire CheneyClaire Cheney shares her love of spices wPeppercorns/Sri Lankaith GREAT TASTE listeners in the first part of this week's show.  Claire recently returned from another journey to Asia where she engaged in numerous intimate exchanges of information with sustainable spice growers.  Our visit with Claire will spice up your cooking adding new layers of flavor to favorites like guacamole and enhance your knowledge of cinnammon, saffron, star anise, and other exotic spices.

Her blog, Aromatum, is beautifully written, enchanting and transporting the reader to exotic locales perfumed with the essence of each particular spot.

Ernie HinkleDean GoodaleIt's outdoor Farmers' Market season and the Fairfield version is open from 3:00 pm-6:00 pm Wednesdays, and 8:00 am-1:00 pm on Saturdays at the corner of Court and Grimes in Howard Park.  Distinctive personalities and an amazing variety of food products abound there.  I chatted with a few folks, including 90 years young Ernie Hinkle, but there are plenty more farmers and artisans for you to enjoy. 

Sustainable Farms' Dean Goodale told me, "All the growers here are really excited to see so many spring items springing out of the soil.  I really encourage everyone who shops at the market to get to know all their farmers, ask questions, and tell us how you are using the different types of produce or other items."

For the Farmer's Market near you check out the Local Harvest site.

HRH Prince Charles"It is, I feel, our apparent reluctance to recognize the interrelated nature of the problems and therefore the solutions, that lies at the heart of our predicament and certainly on our ability to determine the future of food."
HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

The highlight address at "The Future of Food" conference on May 4, 2011 at Georgetown University was given by HRH the Prince of Wales.  Among food activists Prince Charles is a well-known organic farmer who has advocated sustainable practices for many years.  His address, which challenged the belief that industrial agriculture and large agribusiness are necessary to feed the world's ever-growing population, was published last week by Rodale Press.  On the Future of FoodThe Prince's Speech:  On the Future of Food is a rallying call to not only advocates of sustainability, but also presents a vision that recognizes "the wider and important social and economic parameters-how we can feed a global population approaching 9 billion people and still safeguard public health, keep jobs, and protect our environment."

Bob MartinOur guest, Robert P. Martin, Senior Policy Advisor-Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was one of the "Future of Food" event organizers.  He has been a key player in getting The Prince's Speech published so its ideas can be shared with the general public.  Please join us on Great Taste for a discussion of the critical food issues that effect every single one of us now and future generations.  You can view some excerpts from the Georgetown conference here.

  • Wed
    Aug 17
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  • Fri
    Aug 19
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Sustainable Farming and a Surprise Dish from an Indian Hills Chef

Melon Salad/AmisKathy and I are back in the studio this week with a "live" show.  I've been on the road enjoying meals in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  One thing I finally realized is that I would make a very poor food critic.  A food critic does visit a restaurant several times (or should) before putting into print what, in some markets, determines a spot's success or eventual boarding up.  After and between those visits there are numerous other establishments that have to be subjected to the scribe's palate.  It's a never-ending story of moving on and not going back until it's time to do another review.