Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Minnesota Table

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to a cookbook signing.  The book was "The Minnesota Table: Recipes for Savoring Local Food Throughout the Year", by Shelley N.C. Holl with recipes by B.J. Carpenter. 

The signing was held at the home of Sue Doeden, my favorite local food celebrity.  Sue writes the food section of our local paper, The Bemidji Pioneer, and having admired her writing and her recipes for years I was beyond excited to finally meet her.

I attended the event with my cousin Shelly, who Sue had been wanting to meet after admiring her blog, Livin" Life on Bixby Avenue.

After sampling edamame dip with fresh veggies, deviled eggs, wild rice dried cranberry salad with clementine vinaigrette, caramel apple cheesecake, and a few other yummy samples, we chatted about food and blogging and some fun things we wanted to do about it all in the future.  Sue is a beautiful woman; talented, gracious, and so well-spoken.  "The Minnesota Table" was her book club's selection this month, and through the grapevine she was able to get the authors to Bemidji and invited the public into her home to sample food from the book, as well as a great selection of beverages, one of them being a honey lemonade that is served at The Minnesota State Fair.

We anxiously waited in line to have our books signed, and Shelly and I decided to purchase one for my sister since she is just as much a cookbook junkie as we are.  The authors were obviously very proud of their work, and they should be.

B.J. Carpenter contributed the recipes, I imagine with just a bit of taste testing from her companion, Gracie.  She is a professionally trained chef, culinary instructor, certified dietary manager, and freelance food writer.  The apron she is wearing is one of Shelley's creations.

Shelley N.C. Holl is a painter, photographer, gift and fashion accessory designer, teacher, and a former travel columnist.   

Their collaboration on this cookbook is a true work of art, from the Giclee prints to the writing to the way they divided the chapters into Minnesota's growing seasons and offer recipes to take advantage of what's available in your local grocery store as well as the growing list of Minnesota Farmer's Markets.  They also have tips on freezing and preserving, which is a very important technique to master when you are a Minnesota cook. 

I look forward to browsing through this cookbook again and again as I enjoy the last days of summer on my porch, with a cold glass of honey lemonade at my side and visions of maple sugar creme brulee dancing in my head.  Thanks again to Sue for opening her beautiful home to all of us.  It was a wonderful night.

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

Such a nice job of writing this up, Heather! You really captured it. It was especially fun to be there with you!