by Kathryn Tempas

Robin Asbell is a veteran of the Twin Cities vegetarian and vegan scene. New Vegetarian and The New Whole Grains Cookbook led her foray into cookbook writing, and she has written for a number of local and national publications. Big Vegan: More than 350 Recipes, No Meat/No Dairy All Delicious (2011,Chronicle Books) is her latest attempt to show us that eating vegan is a healthy, delicious choice.

In the introduction, Robin elaborates on her vegan philosophy, vegan nutrition, tricks for replacing the umami element of meat to make satisfying main dishes, as well as special ingredients and techniques used in vegan cooking.

by Rachel Fang

by Naomi Jackson

Sign up and have fun!

We have some excellent volunteer opportunities coming up in the next few months. For the Mayfest Plant Sale (May 11–13), we will need experienced gardeners and friendly hospitality and kitchen help. On May 19, we'll have a work day to clean up inside and outside, and plant our garden areas. For the June 2 St. Anthony Park Arts Festival, we'll need volunteers to staff our booth.

All of these volunteer opportunities will be posted on the calendar bulletin board in the entryway.

Electronic updates

by Roxanne Bergeron

Greetings, peanut butter lovers!

I am here today to share some good news and some bad news about peanut butter—that sometimes crunchy, sometimes smooth, always delectable protein-packed favorite of kids and grownups alike.

First the good news—June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie day! To help you celebrate, there is an outstanding Peanut Butter Blossom recipe at the end of this article.

Now the bad news—the high price of the recipe’s star ingredient may leave you scratching your head. It may, as one customer joked, stick to the roof of your mouth.

by Lois Braun

Commodity crops are any crops that are traded. Generally they are relatively nonperishable, storable, transportable, and undifferentiated: one corn kernel looks like any other corn kernel. But in our national discussion about food and agriculture policy, “commodity crop” refers to those that are regulated by federal programs under the commodity title of the U.S. Farm Bill. There have been 20 of them (listed in the box below), but the major five (in bold) that take the lion’s share of taxpayer money are cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice.

by Lois Braun

by Roxanne Bergeron

CornThe Huron Indians tell this story about the origin of corn:

“In ancient times, when the land was barren and the people were starving, the Great Spirit sent
forth a woman to save humanity. As she travelled over the world, everywhere her right hand touched the soil, there grew potatoes. And everywhere her left hand touched the soil, there grew corn. And in the place where she had sat, there grew tobacco.”1

A review by Kathryn Tempas

How to eat weekendsThe Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends follows on the heels of the popular How To Eat Supper, Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s first collaboration. While How to Eat Supper focused on quick weeknight dinners, this volume has more complex recipes requiring some time and effort. The introduction highlights current culinary trends, discussing the popularity of cooking from
different cultures, and eating local, sustainable, and organic.

In 2011, Hampden Park Co-op donated 1578 pounds of food and 31 bus passes to the Midway Foodshelf.