MN Food Bloggers Event

"What do I do with forty beets?"

Pose this question to a room of food writers and you'll be met with a brief stunned silence and then multiple voices simultaneously shouting suggestions for handling your CSA deliveries.

T and I have been snug and sassy enjoying our week long spring vacation, doing little more than sleeping and eating.  But last night we had an outing so I wedged myself into some Spanx and we headed over to Corner Table in Minneapolis where Chef Scott Pampuch and MNFoodBlogger organizer Stephanie Meyer hosted our informal group.

After cocktail hour, where we enhaled goodies from the giant charcuterie board (such as chèvre-beet crostinis and an assortment of house-cured pork), Chef Scott told us about his latest project: CSK (community supported kitchen).  CSKs are similar to CSAs, with chefs creating a box full of local and seasonal proteins, some produce, and an assortment of condiments.  The box is meant to feed a family of 2 or 4 for a week ($75 and $95, respectively), to guide busy families out of their grocery shopping ruts, and to provide healthy options that can be prepared and served quickly.

The staff brought out several sample boxes for us to inspect.  We found sausages, half-chickens, stock, braised beef, and braised cabbage nestled in each box.  In the kitchen, a group of us watched two bloggers create several dishes from the items.  While they cooked, Chef Dan opened the jar of pork rillette that I'd been eyeing and we it spread thick over crisp croutons.  Chef Dan pulled the braised beef off the heat and we ate that on the croutons as well, topped with crème fraiche and horseradish. 

The best parties I've been to are the ones where we share something surprisingly simple and wonderful straight out of the jar or the garden while standing at the butcher block or over the kitchen sink. 

Here is the obligatory disclaimer: I was well aware that this party was the kickoff of a marketing plan, and as long as I believe in the product I don't mind adding my endorsement.  CSK isn't a perfect solution for every family, and those who participate will need to shop for additional pantry items such as produce, eggs, cheese, and bread.  But it is another step toward putting healthy options on the family table.

"Get out of the grocery store!  Get out of the aisles!  That's not food," Chef Scott told us.  "You need to get food as close to when it comes out of the ground as possible."  People often ask him what they can do to support local food.  "Just start buying it," he says.  His answer is as simple and sound as his cooking.


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