9.6.17 Wisconsin Grown | Part 18
One thing I invariably find myself looking forward to each summer is the Minnesota State Fair. It’s a glorious, gluttonous affair, filled with animals, butter sculptures, giant vegetables, and of course, pretty much any kind of food you can think of deep fried and on a stick. As far as I’m aware, I’ve only missed going to the fair one year. We won’t discuss it much more than to say that it was due to was a scheduling conflict, and looking back, I would recommend never scheduling your wedding and/or honeymoon in a way that forces you to miss out on the fair. At least it was for a good reason.
This year, of course, we were obviously going. Leo, however, whose short attention span and zero tolerance policy on standing in lines would have rendered any trip to the fair with him short and probably filled with tantrums, instead ended up going up to his grandparents’ cabin where he swam, fished, and did not have to worry about getting sick on mini doughnuts or dropping his ice cream on the ground. Forrest and I, on the other hand, got to have a free pass to enjoy the fair to its fullest extent, and tack on some other fun activities in the Cities as well.
We decided to stay in downtown Minneapolis at the lovely Hewing Hotel (strategically located only a short walk from several great restaurants and Target Field). On Saturday, bright and early, we headed to the fair, where we spent the day eating, seeing the sights, and generally having an amazing time. After 7+ hours of walking though, we were glad to get back to our hotel for a quick nap before heading out again to catch a Twins game (the Twins absolutely trounced the KC Royals 17-0).
After such an action packed Saturday, we decided to spend most of Sunday focusing on trying some great restaurants in town; the kind of thing we keep meaning to do, but always find difficult when we’re in town for a short while with a toddler in tow. We managed to grab breakfast at Bachelor Farmer Cafe, and do some shopping in downtown, followed by lunch with my brother and sister at Revival. After an afternoon of relaxing, we made it over to Northeast Minneapolis for dinner at Young Joni, where we ate some amazing pizza and finished it all off with cookies and milk.
We headed back home on Monday to be reunited with Leo (who we were starting to miss terribly), but we made one last brunch stop at Birchwood Cafe before hitting the road. Suffice it to say, we had a great weekend, but were happy to get back to Leo and back home again. And after all that eating, we’re pretty happy to get back to our veggies too. We’re definitely going to need a lot of vegetables this week to counteract our food hangover from the long weekend, but luckily we’re covered, both from our CSA and our back garden. Here’s what we’ll be cooking this week:
Once again, we’re up to our eyeballs in Tomatoes, so we’ll probably be eating them every day for the foreseeable future. Things like this Tomato, Sweet Corn, and Feta Frittata, plenty of tomato and mayo sandwiches (the best!), and probably a big batch of Food52’s Scalloped Tomatoes to boot.
We’re also starting to see the start an influx of peppers. Between the sweet Bell Peppers in the CSA, and the Frying Peppers, Jalapenos, and Poblanos coming out of my garden, it seems to me that pepper season is off to a great start. And there’s no better way to kick things off than by roasting said peppers, whether in roasted red pepper and tomato soup (because we have no shortage of tomatoes) or charred over an open flame and added to salads, omelets, and breakfast tacos for the week.
There’s only one thing on my mind when it comes to the first CSA Shallots of the season, and that’s fried shallots. They’re crispy and crunchy and good on pretty much everything from soups to salads, but I also find them hard to resist for simply snacking on as well.
When it comes to Shishito Peppers, I’m usually a purist; blistering them in a hot pan and eating them with lemon, salt and sesame oil. But I have to admit, I’m also intrigued by Food52’s Shishito Feta Foccacia, so we may have to try something new this week.
I love Collard Greens, whether sauteed with smoked paprika and onions, or in a hearty salad like Bon Appetit’s Collard Greens Salad with Ginger and Spicy Seed Brittle.
This week’s Garlic and Parsley are getting pestofied, and we’ll be spooning it atop tomato toast, swirling into scrambled eggs, whisking it into vinaigrettes, and drizzling it over soup all week.
We’ll be making this week’s Green Beans into Bon Appetit’s refreshing Long Bean Salad because a.) it’s delicious and b.) it’s a perfect vehicle for those fried shallots I can’t stop thinking about.
After waiting impatiently for what felt like ages, our garden Eggplants were ready for harvest this week and they’re almost too pretty to eat. Just kidding, we’re going to be devouring them in the form of Things I Made Today’s Caponata as soon as possible.
And finally, as an added bonus, we have a cute little decorative Pumpkin from our CSA this week, an important reminder that yes, Decorative Gourd Season has in fact officially arrived.