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Morel Me, Please

A walk in the woods in the heartland’s early spring is intrinsically rewarding, but while you are enjoying those first few sunny days after a nourishing spring rain, why not look for things that can feed your belly as well as your soul? The woodlands of the upper Midwest are teeming with gourmet goodies in […]

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Hoagies & Grinders

Lunch-lady-land cafeterias in the U.S. public school system conjure dreams of Early Cuising Education. It’s early in the morning the day after a very busy Valentine’s weekend in the restaurant. I’m grumpy and sore and cleaning out the walk-in refrigerator while feeding a nasty NPR jones I’ve been contending with for a couple decades – […]

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Growing Excitement

Just about everyone I know has been pouring over seed catalogs for the last month. Eagerness to plant supplants many other priorities and they begin rifling through each newly arrived issue like a 12-year-old boy with a lingerie catalog. Plans for this year’s garden become an obsession that quickly grows out of all reasonable proportions, […]

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Spoils from the Soil

Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient, It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions, It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses, It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, […]

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Three Days on One Chicken

The economy is in shambles. Prices of everything are going up. K-Mart has brought back layaway plans. KFC is advertising that you can’t make their seven-piece “meal deal” at home for as cheap as you can get it at their place. I beg to differ. As I recently told my children as they headed off […]

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Food: It's Not Just for Elites

It’s going to take me a long time to fully understand the effects and implications of the first Slow Food Nation, held in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. The brain power on display was impressive enough: Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Winona LaDuke, Carlo Petrini, Raj Patel, Eric Schlosser, and other luminaries took […]

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The Real Food Supercenter

This is the time of year that we flatlanders pine for during the snows of January, when it’s a full 100 degrees colder than it is right now, and all the humidity is frozen to our windshields. September in Iowa is what makes things grow so well here – the hot, sticky dog days that […]

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Food Without the Wrapper

Too many people in this country, I have learned, have been sold a bill of goods. They’ve been tricked. Flim-flammed. Conned. Hussled. Bamboozled into believing that food comes wrapped in plastic from a freezer in the nearest Wal-Mart and that cooking is a chore, like laundry or washing windows, to be avoided if at all […]

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Fields of Sea

Iowa experienced the flood of the century 15 years ago. That, of course, was a different century. Last month Iowans saw floods unlike any in living memory. Fourteen hundred city blocks in Cedar Rapids were inundated with water up to 11 feet deep. Twenty University of Iowa buildings were flooded. Interstates 80 and 380 were […]

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