In Our Winter 2016 Issue

Last Updated February 01, 2016
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Winter 2016 Issue Grande Traverse cover


Winter Pantry

How does winter make you feel? Do you accept winter gracefully or fight it? Do you appreciate whta the days bring or grumble about the weather? Is the down time depressing or restful for you? Are you invigorated by the snow, or frustrated by it? Do you worry about surviving winter or is your pantry full enough to feed you until the longer and warmer days?

Did you answer "all of the above?" Me, too!

For farmers, gardeners, restaurateurs, brewers, every eater in our foodshed, it's the same. Winter might bring a welcome change of pace, just not one that's welcome for long. By December, it's easy to long, at least sometimes, for the fresh tastes of spring, summer and fall again.

Yet here in the North we know how to stockpile food for these long winter months. Pantries can be filled with jars of sweet summer fruits and tangy pickled vegetables. Root cellars for the roots, freezers for the frozen goods, plus there's still maple syrup from last winter and honey in the cupboard from the fall. Even livestock farming is a way to stockpile the summer growing season, with the hay and grains that feed the poultry and cattle for our fresh meat, eggs and dairy.

This winter issue illustrates how to eat locally in winter and celebrate the stories of our pantries and year-round food production. Get some onions out of cold storage and make a warming winter soup. Watch for steam coming from a nearby woods and follow along until you find someone in their sugar shack making maple syrup. Shop at one of the weekly winter farmers' markets for fresh local foods and locally raised meats and find some much-needed socializing while you're there. Inventory your pantry and freezer and rediscover the wealth of food you once put awaythen invite some friends over to share a meal, and share a pantry story or two as well.

We are northerners and our winter foods have longer stories to tellstories that include not only the summer rains and the hands that planted seed and picked fresh crops but also tell of traditions, of the forethought and skill of processing and the careful hands that tend to teir storage. Seek out these foods and their stories, it will help pass the time through the winter months in a most delicious way.

Warm winter thoughts,

-Barb Tholin, Publisher

What’s in Season - Winter

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Winter Trilogy: 3 Year-Round Farmers' Markets

Farmers' markets aren't only a spring, summer, fall thing. There's just as many goods to be had at the winter one as well. Here's the scoop on three of our favorite year-round farmers' markets.

Andrea Deibler, Butcher and Charcuterie Specialist

andrea deibler
Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, Andrea Deibler had a hard time with meat, and refused to eat it. But how does someone with that history—especially a woman—end up being a butcher and...

Morsels for the Body and Mind

Misha Neidorfler
Traverse City’s Morsels bakery confirms the scientific notion that the first two bites of something are packed with most of the flavor and release the most efficient amount of pleasure to the brain...

The No-Shopping Local Food Challenge: Month of Pantry, Month of Plenty

Two couples undertake a month-long "no-grocery challenge," proving to be equal parts challenging, pantry and freezer cleanup, and a celebration of local food.

Honey-Sweetened Stone Fruit Chutney

This chutney can easily be canned and stored on the pantry shelf for up to a year. Pair it with a soft chèvre as an addition to your cheese plate.

Michelle’s Catch-All Slaw Recipe

Have some things you'd like to get rid of in your pantry? This catch-all slaw dish uses up your old ingredients while creating a tasty new dish.

Cooking with Winter Onions

winter onion tart
Onions are used to flavor many dishes but when featured as themselves they can bring powerful comfort to your winter meals. These two recipes feature large quantities of onion, sweetened by the...

Rustic Onion Tart

rustic onion tart
This tart is savory and decadent, while being easy to make. It is a real crowd pleaser, great for family dinners or as part of a buffet. You can make it as a rustic free-form pie or use a baking dish...

Afternoon Onion Soup

onion soup
This delicious soup is easy, yet elegant. Serve with a rustic loaf of bread, or in crocks with bread and melted cheese, like the more traditional French onion soup.

Sugaring, Michigan Style

tree color change
While a blanket of snow still lies across the land and the cold north wind blows on, there are hardy folk who venture into the woods to collect a nectar that is so sweet, so sustaining and oh, so...

America's Small Farms: Leaner, Greener, More Profitable and Productive

plowing the field
Despite the popularity of farmers’ markets and our collective love affair with the idea of farm life, small and midsize producers often face hurdles to be successful. See their tactics for farming...
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