Edible Michiana Fall 2015 : Page 10

spilling the beans EVERY RECIPE A WORK OF ART New cookbook illustrated by Edible Michiana ’s Katie Eberts Illustration by Katie Eberts I n Fresh Made Simple, the new cookbook from Lauren K. Stein and Edible Michiana illustrator Katie Eberts, every recipe is literally a work of art. Stein’s concept—graphic instructions for wholesome and easy-to-assemble snacks and meals—is brought to life by Eberts’s colorful artwork. Stein invited Eberts, who lives in Michigan, to illustrate the book after finding examples of her work online. Eberts regularly illustrates for a variety of magazines, including Edible Michiana , and is the illustrator of a previous book, a children’s story called Zumie by Robbie Torp. Eberts says she was attracted to the concept of Fresh Made Simple right away. “She [Stein] had a few recipes written already and sent them over, and I loved them immediately. As someone who shrinks away from lengthy and involved recipes, I appreciated how simple and approachable they were.” Each of the book’s 75 recipes is illustrated on a single page with minimal text. As illustrator, Eberts’s main challenge 10 edible Michiana | FALL 2015 was figuring out how to make each recipe flow smoothly and make sense without written step-by-step instructions. Working collaboratively with Stein, she had to whittle down the recipes to their most essential parts, figuring out which pieces were more intuitive and which could be edited out. “Each recipe,” Eberts explains, “was like a puzzle. It was really fun trying to figure out the most beautiful and interesting, but also understandable, way of arranging the pieces.” One way Eberts tackled the problem was by making the ingredients “active.” “For example,” she says, “if the recipe calls for grated ginger (like in the Ginger Lemon Honey Butter), I would have the piece of ginger in the process of being grated and falling into the bowl along with the other ingredients (which are simultaneously being squeezed, grated, sprinkled, etc.). The bowl already contains the butter, and then there’s a spoon so that the reader gets that they’re supposed to put all these things in the bowl and then stir them together without me actually having to write all of that out.”

Spilling the Beans

EVERY RECIPE A WORK OF ART

New cookbook illustrated by Edible Michiana's Katie Eberts

In Fresh Made Simple, the new cookbook from Lauren K. Stein and Edible Michiana illustrator Katie Eberts, every recipe is literally a work of art.

Stein's concept–graphic instructions for wholesome and easy-to-assemble snacks and meals–is brought to life by Eberts's colorful artwork.

Stein invited Eberts, who lives in Michigan, to illustrate the book after finding examples of her work online. Eberts regularly illustrates for a variety of magazines, including Edible Michiana, and is the illustrator of a previous book, a children's story called Zumie by Robbie Torp.

Eberts says she was attracted to the concept of Fresh Made Simple right away. "She [Stein] had a few recipes written already and sent them over, and I loved them immediately. As someone who shrinks away from lengthy and involved recipes, I appreciated how simple and approachable they were."

Each of the book's 75 recipes is illustrated on a single page with minimal text. As illustrator, Eberts's main challenge was figuring out how to make each recipe flow smoothly and make sense without written step-by-step instructions. Working collaboratively with Stein, she had to whittle down the recipes to their most essential parts, figuring out which pieces were more intuitive and which could be edited out. "Each recipe," Eberts explains, "was like a puzzle. It was really fun trying to figure out the most beautiful and interesting, but also understandable, way of arranging the pieces."

One way Eberts tackled the problem was by making the ingredients "active."

"For example," she says, "if the recipe calls for grated ginger (like in the Ginger Lemon Honey Butter), I would have the piece of ginger in the process of being grated and falling into the bowl along with the other ingredients (which are simultaneously being squeezed, grated, sprinkled, etc.). The bowl already contains the butter, and then there's a spoon so that the reader gets that they're supposed to put all these things in the bowl and then stir them together without me actually having to write all of that out."

Eberts says she is proud of every single recipe in the book. But she has two favorites: "The Cacio e Pepe, because it took me days to figure out how to draw it, and I am beyond proud of how it turned out looking so simple and effortless. Whenever I see it I give myself a mental high five, I can't help it." The other is the Gilded Baked Potato, Eberts says, because "it is the easiest thing in the world to make and so delicious. Lauren [Stein] really hit the nail on the head with that one. I make them for every potluck and they always get rave reviews."

Fresh Made Simple by Lauren Stein and Katie Eberts will be available from Storey Publishing in October 2015. Advanced copies can be ordered online and through your local bookseller.

–Maya Parson

KatieEberts.com

Maya Parson is the editor of Edible Michiana magazine and can also be found online at CulturedGrub.com.

What is 'Good Food'?

Good food as defined in Michigan's Good Food Charter is:

Healthy: It provides nourishment and enables people to thrive.

Green: It was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.

Fair: No one along the supply chain was exploited in its creation.

Affordable: All people have access to it.

GOOD NEWS ON GOOD FOOD

New fund aims to improve health, economy

One of the toughest challenges in the local food movement is getting good food into the hands of low-income people. In Michigan, a new public-private partnership, the Michigan Good Food Fund, has stepped up with a statewide program to change that.

The fund was introduced to the public in a series of meetings around the state last summer. Its purpose: to provide "financing and business assistance to good food enterprises that benefit underserved communities in Michigan."

The businesses that qualify for funding range from grocers and value-added producers to small business operators. In addition to providing assistance to help ensure that start-ups and new-to-the-food-business enterprises are successful, the fund's capabilities include loans, New Markets Tax Credit financing and grants. Any business receiving any kind of support must target underserved Michigan communities. There are, unfortunately, many of those. According to the fund, nearly one in five Michigan residents (including 300,000 children) lives in communities with limited access to healthy fruits and vegetables.

The fund's design drew on other states' successes in healthy food financing and it directly supports Michigan's Good Food Charter. The charter is "a roadmap for a food system that is rooted in local communities and centered on good food." One of the charter's goals is that by 2020, 20 percent of food consumed in Michigan comes from Michigan. Currently, according to Michigan State University research, approximately 17 percent of Michigan's food comes from Michigan. But Rich Pirog, senior associate director of the university's Center for Regional Food Systems, reminds us that while we have an idea of how much of Michigan-produced and-processed food is consumed in Michigan, the percentage of "good food" consumed is smaller than 17 percent. With the Good Food Fund in operation, this state that is the second most agriculturally diverse in the nation is ready to do better.

–Paula Bartholome

MIGoodFoodFund.org

Paula Bartholome is the co-publisher of Edible Michiana and occasional blogger at garden-table.blogspot.com.

CULINARY COTTAGE

Perfect getaway for the cook's night out

Because I love to cook, it is always expected that when family and friends congregate–whether in a rented lakeside house or a condo in the mountains–that I would be eager to spend my time in the kitchen while others hit the beach or the slopes. And so I often find myself in a cooking space that I don't know, with an assortment of old, ill-matched pots and pans, their bottoms boasting more hot spots than a hot springs, knives that saw instead of cut, and with the perplexing problem of whether to spend money on ingredients I'll only use once or twice before the journey home.

So it was with great delight that I learned about Bantam Brook Culinary Cottage, a charming five-acre vacation rental tucked away in the woods northwest of Three Oaks on Kruger Road with a wide screened-in front porch, a delightful blend of antiques and country decor and the gentle sounds of a nearby babbling brook. And, best of all, a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, who cooks meals, grills and throws together cocktail parties and other foodcentric events upon request.

My dream vacation, indeed.

"I talk to our guests, I find out what their preferences are, what they like, what foods to avoid," says chef Mark Costello, who spent a year after culinary school working at a hotel in Glion, Switzerland. "It's fun talking to people about what they like and then going to the farmers markets, orchards and local producers and buying ingredients to cook for them."

Costello, with his partner, Steven Throw, created Bantam Brook Culinary Cottage on the site of a former horse farm to give guests the perfect farm-to-table Southwest Michigan experience. Though they retain their home in Chicago, they spend much of their time "next door" at their own country house and have converted other property to a farm. The goal is to be able to stock the pantry of Bantam Brook with eggs from their own chickens and meat from organically raised heritage turkeys as well as fruits and vegetables from their orchards and fields. In the meantime, they only serve organic and source as much locally as possible, which includes buying their pork and beef from Kaminski Farms just down the road.

Besides preparing meals on-site, Costello also offers cooking classes for guests.

The kitchens at Bantam Brook (there are two houses on the property, one that sleeps 10 and a smaller home capable of comfortably housing six) are stylish and well-appointed but not dauntingly sleek and high-tech.

"I wouldn't do things in terms of teaching cooking that people couldn't do in their own kitchens," says Costello.

Both Throw and Costello are enthusiasts of Southwest Michigan's ever-expanding culinary scene.

"With the wineries, distilleries, microbreweries, farms and restaurants," says Throw, "we have the same aesthetic as Napa Valley and Upstate New York. This area is filled with intelligent people, both from around here and from other areas, who know good food and know what they want, and we want to be able to meet their expectations."

–Jane Ammeson

Bantam Brook Culinary Cottage

8111 Kruger Rd.

Three Oaks, MI

815.351.0268

BantamBrook.farm

Travel and food writer Jane Simon Ammeson lives on the lakeshore in Stevensville, Michigan, and is a James Beard Foundation judge, a member of the Indiana Foodways Alliance and the Society for American Travel Writers. History Press just released her newest book, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana, a true crime story revolving around a murder that took place on Valentine's Day 1923. Follow Jane: HPFood@HPAmmeson.

Read the full article at http://onlinedigeditions.com/article/Spilling+the+Beans/2242780/269081/article.html.

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