Play it Smooth, Keep it Local

Alex Palzewicz, Health, Recipes, Upper Peninsula

Here we are already in July, and the temperatures are finally feeling like summer here in the UP. June gave growers a slow start, but now we’ve had day after day of warm weather and the occasional thunderstorm, meaning the diversity at the farmers market is growing and growing.

So, how do I recommend Michiganders beat the summer heat? Play it smooth, smoothie that is.

Breweries Above the Bridge

Alex Palzewicz, Beer, Upper Peninsula

I apologize for often referring to the fact that the Upper Peninsula (UP), although 30% the land mass of Michigan, contains just 3% of the state’s population. A new comparison I was able to make with the help of the Michigan Brewers Guild Website, is that the UP is home to almost 18% of the breweries that make up our “great beer state.” 

Pork, Mushrooms & Wild Rice : Modern Twist on a Childhood Meal

Alex Palzewicz, Eat Local, Find Local Food, Recipes

Many of us all have that one dish that seemed to make it to the dinner table more often than most. My mom, who worked full time, often deferred to a boxed, rice based, one dish meal. A portion of starch, a packet of seasoning, add in your favorite protein, serve white bread and margarine on the side, and voilà! – dinner. 

I’m not throwing shade at my mom’s cooking skills, she was a busy woman, who volunteered often and had three kids, plus, I was the world’s pickiest and most dramatic eater. I distinctly remember a few nights where we sat at the kitchen table for an hour before my parents would become frustrated and set me free. 

Years later, not only do I have a much different palette, but I also have friends with kids, and I am truly amazed at how they somehow manage it all! I wonder if they sleep? I don’t even have pets and often fail at feeding myself a proper meal. So, the following recipe is an ode to my super-mom, and all they busy parents out there. I hope it can help you support local and encourage healthy eating while keeping in mind your busy schedules and tight budgets. 

Eat Small: Roasted Rabbit with Gravy

Alex Palzewicz, Eat Local, Environment, Find Local Food, Proteins, Recipes, Specialty Producers

In 2017, Tim & Naomi decided to start the Happy Hoppers Organic Rabbit Farm. They both grew up with rabbits so it was a natural fit. Originally, they decided to have rabbits for meat, pelts and compost. Rabbit compost is one of the only fresh composts you can put directly on your garden, without it burning your plants. Also, it’s high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which makes it perfect for great growth!

Michigan Tech Students Conduct Food Assessment

Alex Palzewicz, Economy, Environment, Find Local Food, Get Involved

I’ll admit, I have a lot to learn about the Western Upper Penisula’s local food system. My connections there have been growing and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. They are the ones clearing a path and leading the way in both research and action.

10 Uses for Maple Sap & Syrup

Alex Palzewicz, Environment, Find Local Food, Learn More

Maple syrup is Michigan’s “liquid gold.” It takes 40 gallons of sap from sugar maples to boil down to 1 gallon of syrup. Michigan ranks in the Top 10 in Maple Syrup Production in the United States. Check our favorite ways to incorporate maple syrup into our diets here.

Local Fusion Cooking: Beef & Potato Potstickers

Alex Palzewicz, Find Local Food, Recipes

This recipe is an ode to my life in Seattle. Folding dumplings was one of the most therapeutic tasks from my kitchen time there. Mostly, it was a task we completed after a busy brunch service on Saturday, which signified that your day was approaching an end, which after the insanity that is the first 8 hours of Saturday Brunch in Seattle, is always a feeling of relief.

5 Favorite Foodie Films

Alex Palzewicz, Books/Films, Eat Local, Food Waste, Learn More

We all turn to film and video for inspiration, escape, education and sometimes even in search of purpose. A well done film will take you on a journey and leave you a new person at the end. The following 5 Foodie Films (documentaries) will get you through the end of winter and keep you creative in the spring! There is no particular order or ranking, just five films that I chose for unique reasons.