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In Winter's Kitchen: Growing roots and breaking bread in the Northern Heartland
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Milkweed
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN: 9DBK9RBTDT
Beth Dooley
In Winter's Kitchen: Growing roots and breaking bread in the Northern Heartland
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In Winter's Kitchen: Growing roots and breaking bread in the Northern Heartland

by Beth Dooley

Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Signed by the author.

Beth Dooley arrived in Minnesota from her native New Jersey with preconceptions about the Midwestern food scene. Having learned to cook in her grandmother’s kitchen, shopping at farm stands, and making preserves, she couldn’t help but wonder, “Do people here really eat swampy broccoli, iceberg lettuce, and fried chicken for lunch everyday?”

These assumptions quickly faded as she began to explore farmers markets and the burgeoning co-op scene in the Twin Cities and eventually discovered a local food movement strong enough to survive the toughest winter. From the husband and wife who run one of the largest organic farms in the region to Native Americans harvesting wild rice, and from award-winning cheesemakers to Hmong immigrant farmers growing the best sweet potatoes in the country, a rich ecosystem of farmers, artisanal producers, and restaurateurs comes richly to life in this fascinating book, demonstrating that even in a place with a short growing season, food grown locally and organically can be healthy, community-based, environmentally conscious, and — most of all — delicious.

“Dooley does much more than recycle familiar arguments for eating local; she personalizes the path from farm to fork with heart and skill. Unapologetically sentimental, deeply informative, and always practical. . . . In Winter’s Kitchen is essential reading.”—J. Ryan Stradal, The Wall Street Journal

“Through her passionate yet straightforward and enticingly simple prose, Dooley invites us to share in her bounty. Like any good book about food, In Winter’s Kitchen inspires us to cook.”—Kansas City Star

“In this homage to local food, Dooley paints an exquisite portrait. Each of Dooley’s twelve chapters showcases a different local food such as apples, wheat, chestnuts, cranberries, corn, wild rice, and sweet potatoes. The author includes a few recipes but explains that this is not a cookbook; rather, it is the story of the author building relationships with the ‘small, independent farmers, processors, and chefs’ who make their living building and contributing to local economies throughout the Upper Midwest.”—Publishers Weekly

“Beth Dooley has written the book we need, a collection of stories about the foods we eat in winter, the season that is so often ignored, as if it doesn’t count somehow, or even exist. Part memoir and part serious food study with beguiling but essential recipes, you don’t have to be from Minnesota to apply the wisdom of In Winter’s Kitchen to your own life, wherever it takes place. A wonderful work!”—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy

“Beth Dooley’s In Winter’s Kitchen is a reflection on the way that we become at home in the world, by coming into deep relationship with our food, our farmers, our family, and the land through what she refers to as ‘foraging for goodness.’ Dooley tells the story of the iconic foods of the Midwest landscape, their origins, their production as well as the challenges to the integrity of local food. Each chapter celebrates the relationship between land and culture, from Anishinaabek wild rice to Hmong sweet potatoes. Her warm inviting prose invites you to the kitchen table and reminds you of what we’re all really hungry for—connection. I wanted to linger with the lush images, ripe with memory and mothering. ‘Recipes,’ she says ‘are stories with happy endings.’”—Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass

“Beth Dooley creates culture in the kitchen, connecting readers, farmers, and food in the soup pot of biological diversity. Knowing where we are by the food we eat was the reality of the past and is the trend of the future. In Winter’s Kitchen is a fascinating read; cultivating the knowledge we need to make diverse, local food a reliable reality—the most crucial task of our time. Read this book, and pay attention as if life depends on the truth it contains. It does.”—Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn

“That Beth Dooley is a dynamite cook and journalist is a given in my book. She’s the expert who is deep in the trenches with the farmers, the artisans, hunters and the gatherers, and every important dimension of food today. With this book you get outstanding recipes and you get Beth sharing her stories, people and insights.”—Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host and Co-Creator, The Splendid Table from American Public Media

Beth Dooley has covered the local food scene in the Northern Heartland for thirty years: she writes for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, the Taste section of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, and Heavy Table and appears regularly on KARE 11 (NBC) television and MPR Appetites with Tom Crann. She is author of In Winter's KitchenMinnesota's Bounty: The Farmers Market CookbookThe Northern Heartland Kitchen  and coauthor with Lucia Watson of Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland among other books. She also teaches cooking classes at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three sons. Visit her website at www.bethdooleyskitchen.com.

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