NMC Class having a major impact on food security

NMC Students Shopping for FoodFood for Thought is a semester-long service learning project coordinated by Northwestern Michigan College students in Kristy McDonald’s Professional Communications class in partnership with the Northwest Food Coalition.

Kristy explains how a business communications class became the unlikely vehicle for an effort that is having a major impact on food security in our area. “I was teaching the common things: how to write a resume, how develop a business letter and all the other pieces you need to know to communicate successfully in business. The grades were low, attendance was low, and I knew there had to be a better way. I realized you have to put meaning behind it. If there’s nothing there, what are you striving for? I retooled the class and the work last year’s students did was amazing: nobody dropped, nobody failed. They wrote letters, communicated with business and the community and their drive collected over 20,000 food items, filling one semi and part of another.” Read more

Last minute dinner panic? The Kitchen has your back

Blackened Salmon the KitchenWe’ve all had the feeling at the end of a busy day when we can’t take the time or muster the motivation to cook dinner.

On those days, The Kitchen has your back with a great menu of ready to go dinner food from their steam table including their every day turkey dinner and daily specials. With a wide range of soups, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, salads and desserts all listed online, it’s easy to get each member of the family what they want to eat.

If you can get there between 3-5 PM, you can knock 25% off their entire menu with their Early Bird special – that’s a serious deal!

They also have a full breakfast, lunch menu and publish their soups & specials to Facebook every morning.

Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:30 AM to 7 PM, Saturday: 9 AM to 4 PM (closed Sunday)

Photo: Blackened Salmon by The Kitchen

Michael Ruhlman, an eatdrinkTC interview

Noted food writer Michael Ruhlman is the author and co-author of numerous books on cooking and the craft of the chef including The Making of a Chef, Ratio, Charcuterie (w/ Brian Polcyn), The French Laundry Cookbook (w/ Thomas Keller) and Ruhlman’s Twenty. He was in Traverse City this week for Pigstock TC and I had a chance to sit down with him to talk about cooking, writing and his Traverse City experience.

Michael Ruhlman, photo by Joe Hakim/TheHungryDudes.com

Michael Ruhlman, photo by Joe Hakim/TheHungryDudes.com

What would you say your job is?

My job is to provide for my family, and I do that by writing books. In the food world, it’s to convey information and to make what I’ve learned in cooking as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. I write about stuff that I don’t know, explore it and find out what it’s all about.

Do you still want to be a novelist?

I just started writing fiction again. I’m a writer by disposition – I just have to write. It’s a physical need and happily I’ve been able to make a living at something I enjoy.

ratio-cookbookYou wrote a book about cooking ratios. What do you think that knowing and understanding the fundamentals of cooking frees a person to do?

With Ratio and Ruhlman’s Twenty, I show that when you know one ratio or one technique, you don’t know one recipe, you know a thousand recipes. All of cooking is about fundamental technique. What Thomas Keller (The French Laundry) does is not that difficult, there’s just a lot of it – a lot of components on the plate. I learned early on that it’s all about technique. I’ve always been exploring that because one of my goals is to get more people cooking. I think the world is better if we cook our own food. We stopped cooking food, and it’s made us sick. I’m trying to counter thoughtless mantras that are put before us like “Fat is bad, fat makes you fat.” Fat is not bad, stupid is bad. We need fat to live on. Too much fat is bad. Read more

Halloween Roundup!

We’ve compiled a list of fun Halloween related activities & parties in Traverse City. If you know of any we missed please add them in the comments! Read more

Wild Food Wednesday: Beechnuts

Beechnut-in-shellI’ve been eating beechnuts off of the forest floor for as long as I can remember. I like to roast them and eat them on their own as a treat, so this season I collected a few extra beechnuts to bring back to my kitchen. Read on for lots of beech nut facts, videos and a photo gallery and how to prepare a tasty snack!

From the Hiker’s Notebook:

Beechnuts are encased in a woody husk that is covered with spines, each containing  two irregularly triangular shiny brown edible nuts. They are only produced after the beech has reached the age of about 40 years; annual beechnut production ramps up at this point to reach maximum yields after at about the 60 year point.  Read more

Traverse City Fall & Winter Culinary Classes

Don’t just eat the best that Traverse City has to offer, learn to cook with the best!

Everyone can cook. We are born to eat and born to prepare the food we eat. To be a good cook all you need is to immerse yourself in a few great dishes and learn new techniques.

Eric Patterson and Jen Blakeslee at the Box

Eric Patterson and Jen Blakeslee at the Box

Traverse City is blessed with a rich bounty of fresh ingredients, and it’s no surprise that so many great chefs have chosen to make their home here. Many of these folks have a passion for food that is matched by their passion to share techniques with you. We’ve gathered a full lineup in our calendar of Culinary Classes and will add to them as new classes are announced! Here are some highlights: Read more

Brewer Tina Schuett of Rare Bird Brewery and Taproom

Rare-Bird-on-Lake-Avenue

Rare Bird Brewery and Taproom is slated to open in December at 229 Lake Avenue, about midway between Firefly and Patisserie Amie. We had a chance to sit down with brewer Tina Schuett to talk about the plans for the latest addition to TC’s beer scene. Enjoy the article and be sure to read to the end for a chance for you to get in on the ground floor with all kinds of perks and benefits with their Indegogo crowd-funding campaign!

Tina Schuette of Rare Bird Brewery

Tina Schuett of Rare Bird Brewery

How did you get started brewing and what made you decide to take it to the next level with your own brewery?

I started homebrewing in college, and kept it as a hobby while I was a park ranger in California and New Zealand. I couldn’t resist the urge to do it professionally and was able to land a job at Sand Creek Brewery in Wisconsin. My mom is from the area, so when I got an opportunity to brew at a local brewery, I moved here. I worked there and also as the contract brewer at Sugarfoot Saloon.

I had worked with Nate and we really hit it off, so when the opportunity to work with him presented itself and we found this location, I jumped right in. It was always my dream and goal to have my own brewery.

Traverse City has a lot of brewpubs – what’s going to make Rare Bird unique?

We won’t simply be a brew pub. Our full class C liquor license means we’ll be able to have 6-10 of my beers on at a time and fill out the rest of the 35 taps with some really interesting and hard to find beers. We’ll also have a full menu of liquor, wine and cider, so we will be a spot where everyone can get something yummy that fits their taste.

We’ve also been searching out reclaimed materials into old barns that have collapsed – going to the source to find the right pieces. Our tabletops are all being made from a giant cottonwood tree that died of natural causes. Read more

Farm to table at Boathouse Restaurant

WOOD TV’s eightWest program visited the Boathouse Restaurant and spoke with owner Doug Kosch about the restaurant and its farm to table concept.  Check the video out and learn more at boathouseonwestbay.com.

Photo courtesy Boathouse Restaurant

Antique Apples at Christmas Cove Farm

Kilcherman Christmas Cove farm

Apples are one of the finest flavors of fall, and one of the best places in our area to get your apple on is Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm just north of Northport.

Many of the articles you read will highlight John & Phyllis Kilcherman’s massive (10,000+) pop bottle collection. While that’s certainly a sight to see, what sets my foodie heart beating faster is the 250 varieties of antique & heirloom apples. I had the pleasure of interviewing John Kilcherman a number of years ago and he explained how he came to be “The Keeper of the Apples”:

“I grew up three farms down from here. My grandfather had an old apple orchard that I would play in as a child. Years later, I thought I’d try and grow some of those apples that tasted so good when I was a boy. It really just started as something to do just to see if it could be done. I figured I could always sell the apples for juice, but I never really expected to see any money out of it.”

Read more

Weekend Update for October 17-19, 2013

Here’s a look at some highlights of what’s on tap this weekend in and around Traverse City. Click the links for event details or for a complete list, head over to the eatdrinkTC Calendar and if we’re missing something, email the details or a link to eatdrinkTC@gmail.com!

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