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Vegetable Geeks: Chicken (of the woods) Noodle Soup

Chicken of the Woods! I found a 7-10 pounder at Squire Point while hiking with my guy. My faith in the woods has been restored. Morel season left me empty handed and with writer’s block, but now my inspiration has returned. After our discovery, I researched the sulfur shelf (aka chicken of the woods) to […]

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Vegetable Geeks: My Comfort Food

Nine days ago, a member of my family died. It was my 18 year old cat. I knew the day would come sooner than I was ready. It always does. Memories of my feline, Yoyo, stretch all the way back to the 9 year old version of me. I can hardly remember life before her. […]

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Vegetable Geeks: Rhapsody in Greens and Reds and Yellows

Hi there! Welcome to the first blog post by vegetable geeks Melody and Theresa. We are both vegetable-loving Iowa City folks who enjoy cooking and baking for the pleasure of both the soul and the tongue. We’re embarking on a three-month project to document our joie de vivre de cooking, and inviting whomever cares to […]

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The Hops: Backyard Brew

The ability to chug a whole bottle of PBR in one mighty draught only impresses your peers for so long. What was formerly an athletic display of swilling prowess becomes something sad, a little desperate. It is a sign of the need to grow up, difficult as that can be to accept. So how is […]

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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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Tofu: The Other Holiday Meat

While traveling West on my way to can salmon in Alaska, I stopped in Tacoma, Washington, to stay the night with my aunt and uncle. My cousin had just graduated high school and the graduation party spread was available for post-driving snacks. I excitedly munched the baby carrots and dipped the cut cauliflower and broccoli […]

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Hog Haven

As local officials responded to the threat of floods in southeastern Iowa with repeated appeals for help with sandbagging, I jumped at the chance—to bury my head in the sand, or a sandbag, whatever could be spared. The last time I volunteered during a disaster, the results were disastrous. I’d been part of a mission […]

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