Tag Archives: Slow food Huron Valley

Pie Lovers Unite: A slow Foods Huron Valley Event

Ann Arbor Food Pie

Pie over Pie


There were 70 pies. Count them 70 in this pie-o-polluza. This event was a fundraiser to help send 6 people to terra-madra, a slow foods pow-pow in Italy. The room was pack, with eager pie lovers waiting to pounce on the pie table. I brought some of my peach hand pies. Some pies of note: The vegan chocolate mousse pie, the Guinness Beef Pie, the three tier wedding pie, a potato pie, a bunch o fruit pies from blueberry, peach, and berry.

Ann Arbor Food Pie

Last One


Here is a picture of my last pie with it’s label flag leaning over in surrender. There is sometime cool, homey, nostalgic, tasty, international, and just nice about pie.

There were way more sweet pies this year, so next year I plan to make a savory. Of course if everyone has that idea then next year will be all savory.

Ann Arbor Food Pie

Pie for Pie


Mozzarella Cheese Making

I came across this great post about homemade mozzarella cheese making and want to share it. Check it out.



Slow Food Huron Valley Potluck

Ann Arbor FoodHere is my meal at the Slow Food of Huron Valley Potluck and recipe contest. Potlucks, especially those hosted by gardeners/farmers and local food cooks are my favorite. You never know what people will bring, and I always leave with a recipe or two. There were 40-50 people and there was everything from soups, stews, kraut, bread, pizza, desserts and more with a local ingredient theme.

I submitted a recipe for pumpkin ice cream. It was the first time I made this ice cream and I felt it could have been creamier and lighter. The pumpkin puree throw me, but it still came out tasty, just not what I was shooting for.

The follow are a few picture of the recipe contest winner. I forget some of the names and the winning dishes. (opps)

Winners received a huge squash and a chicken. The event was cosponsored with Tantre Farm,  Mill Pond Bread and Old Pine Farm. There was a table in the back some great local food resources, farms, and food products. (I am working a local resources listing for this blog…be out soon).

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Dessert Winners: Banana Bread

Some more picture of the food and the event

My Pumpkin Ice Cream

My Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

A Moveable Feast


This picture is from a post from The Atlantic. It is of a couple from Brooklyn, NY who converted the back of their truck into a movable garden.

Read Full Story

This story hits home for me after my trek up to Lansing. I almost got killed by an aggressive, large pick up truck driving maniac on route to check out the Food Ways exhibit. Me in my Prius and him in his, I am not sure the make, huge pick up truck. I could not help noticed that the bed of his four door, low gas milage, vehicle was empty.

In fact most pick up truck I see have empty beds, and are probably not really used to carry anything more then the person driving it. I say if they are only driving a truck to puff up their peacock feathers in a fashion display to impress the opposite sex, then why not at least get some good use out of it and plant a garden in back.

Canada Grocery Stores Goes Local

BuyLocal.inddA Canada grocery store breaks from its parent large chain namesake to support local food. Bound to purchase food dictated by the Sobey’s Chain, the owner could not provide locally sourced food despite growing consumer demand. On July 3, 2009, owner Dale Kropf broke from the Sobey’s chain in order to have more flexibility to provide locally sourced food.

Read the full article

From the article:
Canadians are increasingly subscribing to the “buy local” and “100 mile diet” philosophies due to concerns over imported food, Kropf adds. “The pressure was always mounting — the more recalls, the more bad press from China or wherever the product was coming from. I know that in our case, our private label pickles are made in Indonesia. I couldn’t believe that.”

Like the McDonald article I posted, this story speaks to a local food victory. What is different in this case is that customers demand helped create the change. In both cases, corporate policy forced owners of have to break from the franchise.

What both these stories says to me is that the local trend is not going away and food distributor are starting to take notice. And we the consumers have the ability to create change with our wallet, which will not be ignored.

The more that local food is demanded and purchased, the more grocery stores, and restaurants will provide it. And the increased demand will create an increase in local farms and food producers of all kinds.

So how can we promote change?

The quick answer in my opinion is to push your grocer to provide More Local Foods.

Why the grocer store and not the farmer’s market, a CSA, or home gardening? All these things are great and are growing and need to be supported. At the same time the main source for food distribution is still the super market, and that is where change needs to come from too.

Simply ask the manager in various departments at the grocery store:

“What local products do you offer?”

If they do not know, or they do not have any, tell them that you are committed towards buying more locally sourced food and would like them to supply it.

Also ask what local food is coming. For example, I produce manager will know about a batch of local green beans coming in, or apples, or peaches etc…

If we show a demand for local produce, and create a run on say local peaches, the produce managers will take notice and most likely order more locally sourced items. If say the locally sourced food is selling better than the imported stuff, there will be an incentive for them to get more. Of course, only if their cooperate policy allows.

I am starting to see “Local” and “Michigan” labels on food items at grocery stores like Arbor Farms, Plum and even Whole Foods. They may be more demand for local than there is suppliers which is a good thing because this pushes the market to adapt.

Pumpkin Buttermilk Ice Cream

This is my submission to the Slow Food Huron Valley Cook Off.

Most ingredients are local. The except is the pumpkin spices and the bourbon. Now that I am studying local food, I find it interesting that the taste of fall, specifically the spices come from so far away. Spices are hard to come by on a 100 mile diet, and substitutions for tropical flavors are harder still. If you want to go completely local, you can omit the spices. I used white sugar because it was local, but feel free to use brown sugar or a combination of both white and brown sugar. For a lighter texture ice cream, use milk instead of buttermilk.

The end product is a like frozen pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Buttermilk Ice Cream


2 cups of heavy cream (Calder Dairy)

2 cups of buttermilk (Calder Dairy)

1-1/2 cups of pumpkin puree from a roasted pie pumpkin or can (AA FM)

6 egg yolks (Farmers Market)

1 cup of sugar (Michigan Big Chief)

1/2 cup of Maple syrup (Michigan Maple Sugar)

2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice (mixture of powdered cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove)  (Not Local)

pinch of salt

1 ounce of bourbon (optional)


If using a fresh pie pumpkin, cut the pumpkin with a heavy knife into 2-3 inch squares. Spread onto a glass casserole pan skin side up. You might need a few pans depending on the size of the pumpkin. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour or more until the pumpkin is fully cooked and is somewhat dry. Scoop out the flesh and process through a food mill. If you do not have a food mill, use a metal strainer and push the pumpkin through with a wooded spoon. You should have 1-1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree.

In a double boiler, heat but do not boil the buttermilk and the cream, and 3/4 cups of sugar. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks until they increase in volume and turn lighter in color. Combine the rest of the sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, pumpkin spice and salt to the egg yolks.

Now the tricky part, tempering the eggs. With whisk in one hand and a ladle in the other, ladle some of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture while constantly whisking. Add more of the hot mixture until the cream and the eggs mixture combined and brought up to a warmer temperature. If you see some cooked egg in your egg mixture, it means you the tempering was a little off. Don’t worry. It means you cooked a little bit of your egg. Simply stain the egg mix before adding it to your hot cream. Combine the tempered egg mixture to the cream mixture on the stove and bring up to 170-180, but no higher. Stir in the pumpkin puree.

Freeze or refrigerate the mixture until it is cool, but not frozen. Add the mixture to you ice cream machine and process based on the manufactures instructions. Freeze ovenight, or until the ice cream firms up.

Makes 1-1 1/2 quarts.

My FM@Selma

FM@Selma with Guest Cook: Me

Ann Arbor Food

Buttermilk biscuit w/pork sausage and country gravy

Here is a picture of my breakfast special I made as volunteer guest cook for Friday Mornings (FM) @ Selma.

The daily special I offered was a fresh buttermilk biscuit with pork sausage, and country gravy. Diners also had the option of having an egg and cheese biscuit and an egg, cheese and bacon biscuit. Some also opted for an off the menu sausage, egg and cheese with country gravy biscuit. The sides were both white potato and sweet potato home fries, country greens, and a small serving of apple crisp.

I spent most of the time at the biscuit making station and behind the stove. The guests I did talked to love my meal. It was a lot of fun and I was happy I was able to contribute to the great work that Lisa, Jeff and the rest of the Volunteers are doing at FM@Selma. The hard part for me was waking up that early.

Jeff and Lisa are always looking for people to help out in various positions: guest chef, thursday night prep cook, servers, friday morning cooks, dish/clean up. Some of the guest chefs/cooks work in restaurants, while others like myself are home cooks. All are welcomed, so if you have an idea for a FM@Selma and want to guest chef a meal run it by Jeff and Lisa. Volunteers get free food and it is a lot fun. Any amount of time offered to help out is appreciated. If interested contact Lisa: lisagottlieb@hotmail.com or (734)-417-1144

Here are some pics and a buttermilk biscuit recipe.

Ann Arbor Food

Lisa’s Sister on KP potato detail

Ann Arbor Food

sausage prep

Ann Arbor Food

Cooking off the sausage

Ann Arbor Food

Ready for Breakfast

Ann Arbor Food

Potatoes for 70

Ann Arbor Food

Home fries in action

Ann Arbor Food

Biscuit: The Star of the Show

Ann Arbor Food

Jeff and Garin in action

Ann Arbor Food

Tribute picture to bacon

Buttermilk Biscuits:
Make 7-9,  using large size or soup can size biscuit cutter. Recipe can be doubled.

I was too busy at selma to take a pictures of each step. The next time I make biscuits, I will update this post with step by step pictures. I provided a few local Ann Arbor, Michigan sources from ingredients. Biscuit can be a favorite food item that for the most part can be sourced locally and enjoyed year round.


2 cups Westwind white pastry flour

1 cup of cold Calder Dairy buttermilk

1/2 stick of cold Calder Dairy unsalted butter

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Melted butter


Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Chopped up the butter and add to the dry mix. With your finger, pinch and break up the butter until the flour and butter mixture has a sandy, combined consistency with a some pea size chunks of the butter mixed in. You can combine the dry ingredients and the cold butter in a food processor with a metal blade and pulsing to combine.

Make a well with your dry ingredients and butter mixture in your bowl. Add the cold buttermilk and mix together with a fork just until they come together, about 10-20 strokes. It will be very wet and sticky.

On a very well floured surface, dump the out the dough making sure to scrap the sides of the bowl to get all of it. Flour the top of the dough/blob and gently pat it down flat with very well floured hands. Fold the dough in half and gently knead together. Dust with a little flour and fold and gently knead again 2-3 more times. Flour your surface under the dough and flatten out your with a well floured rolling pin dough to a thickness of 1 1/2 inches, to 1 inch depending on how big you prefer.

Fill a small bowl flour. Using a biscuit cutter or a clean soup can, place your cutter into the bowl of flour, then in a straight down then up motion cut out a biscuit from your flatten down. Don’t use a twisting motion at anytime when cutting out your biscuits. This will create a seal around the sides of the biscuit and prevent them from rising result in dense and not light fluffy biscuits.

Cut out all of the biscuits you can from your first pass with the dough. Place the biscuits on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, placing them right next to each other close but not toughing in a 3 x3 pattern.

Take all of the scraps and knead them together, flatten, and cut for a second pass. These biscuit from the second pass with be slightly more worked and not as light, but they are still great. Form, knead and cut the rest for a third pass. If there is any remaining scraps, I like you roll it into a snake shape and place it on the side of a row.

Bake in a preheat 450 degree oven for 10-15 minute until golden brown. Brush with melted butter (optional). Cut apart and cool slightly before eating.

Top with your favorite toppings, butter and jam, ham and cheese, honey or sorghum syrup, sausage and gravy, fried chicken and gravy, or eat with a hearty soup.