Locavorious Recipe Blog has a new home

The Locavorious mission is to provide locally grown, delicious and healthy frozen fruits and vegetables in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Michigan area, enabling people to benefit the earth and our community by eating locally in the winter months.   Our recipe blog has moved in with our website.  Check it out:   http://www.locavorious.com/info-for-eaters/recipes

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Locavorious member Lucy has shared this lovely pumpkin bread recipe. She used the roasted pumpkin puree to make a pumpkin walnut bread “of her own devising”, and was quite pleased with how it turned out! I just love to hear about people experimenting in the kitchen, and finding delicious success! Here is Lucy’s recipe….
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 C brown sugar (white works okay too)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1 1/2 C roasted pumpkin puree (if frozen, thaw first – this is just about the whole Locavorious container)
1/4 C yogurt
2 large eggs
6 Tbs oil or butter (I use 3 Tbs of each. If using butter, melt and let cool.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the bottoms (only) of two 8×4 bread pans.

Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl; toss in nuts. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, pumpkin, yogurt and oil/butter. Add pumpkin mixture to flour all at once, and gently fold together just until combined. Pour batter into pans and bake until it passes the toothpick test, about 45 – 50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Rhubarb Orange Meringue Pie

During the early summer of 2010, Locavorious preserved a lot of rhubarb from Green Bush Farm in Belleville.  I met Wayne Havens of Green Bush Farm at the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers market, and he was excited to hear that we needed more rhubarb because he had a lot.  The next week he cut 100 lbs for us and delivered it to the Locavorious kitchen.  Thank you Wayne!  That is what Locavorious is all about – whatever is growing well, in excess over what the farmer can sell and the folks can eat – freeze it for winter enjoyment! 



Wayne at the Westside market; Wayne’s rhubarb washed up.

 Not sure what to do with rhubarb?  For everything you ever wanted to know about rhubarb and every recipe anyone’s thought to post or share, check out The Rhubarb Compendium.   I think the only rhubarb recipe that is not on there is the absolute-best rhubarb pie recipe Locavorious member Joe T. refuses to give me because he pried it out of a little old lady in Ontario running a diner who swore him to secrecy, but anyway…

Another place I look for cooking inspiration is the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers; “If you seek a pleasant recipe look about you.”  This year Mom’s Kitchen is running the Spice Rack Challenge, whereby each month Mom challenges folks to cook something with a different herb or spice.  I thought this was a great idea to nudge me out of cooking ruts, and in addition I plan on adding the locavore twist – a recipe with local food and the spice/herb-of-the month.  February’s Spice Rack Challenge was citrus.  So, running a little late (as usual) here is a lovely pie recipe that combines local frozen MI rhubarb with orange zest.   It could take the title away from Joe’s secret recipe.   (Adapted from recipes on The Rhubarb Compendium and SimplyRecipes.com. )


1 frozen or homemade pie crust (I made ½ the pie crust recipe from the Blueberry Pie recipe….another secret recipe from my mother-in-law) 


  • Two 12 oz packages of frozen rhubarb
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (grated peel from 1 large navel orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 ½ tablespoon corn starch


  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (can substitute 1 teaspoon of white vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-bake pie crust: Heat the oven to 350°F.  Line the pie shell with aluminum foil.  Bake for ~ 10 minutes (or if using a frozen crust, bake for ~ 20 minutes); remove aluminum foil, poke bottom of crust several times with a fork, bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and set aside.  Reset oven to 325°F.  

Filling:   Rinse frozen rhubarb in a colander and drain a bit.  Mix frozen rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and ground ginger in a medium saucepan. Let sit for ~ 15 minutes.  Put the pan on the stove on medium heat.  Stir in corn starch.  Slowly heat up the rhubarb mixture, stirring occasionally.  Cook at a low bowl until the rhubarb is fully softened, and the mixture starts to thicken.  (I lost track of time for this step, but it seemed like about 12 mins.)   Leave on the stove to keep warm.

Meringue:  This was the 1st time I tried to make a meringue, so I followed the detailed instructions on simplyrecipes.com.  Here they are….In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cream of tartar and set aside. (If not using cream of tartar, wait to add the vinegar to the egg whites just before whipping them.)   In a small saucepan, whisk corn starch and cold water together until the corn starch is dissolved. Heat on the stovetop and stir with a whisk until the mixture gets bubbly and forms a gel. Remove from heat. 

Place the egg whites and vanilla in a very clean bowl of an electric mixer.   (In my house that “very clean” adjective was important to note; apparently meringues don’t like traces of previous baking projects, specks of dust, etc interfering with their meringueability.)  Start the speed on low and gradually increase the speed to medium. Once the egg whites are frothy, slowly add the sugar and cream of tartar mixture, one tablespoon at a time.  Beat until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture forms soft peaks. Then add the cornstarch mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixture speed to high, and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Pie assembly:  The rhubarb filling needs to be hot when the meringue goes on, so if it has cooled, reheat it. Pour the hot rhubarb mixture into the pre-baked pie shell, spreading it evenly. Using a rubber spatula, spread the meringue mixture evenly around the edge first and then the center of the pie to keep it from sinking into the filling. Make sure the meringue attaches to the pie crust to prevent shrinking.

Bake the pie at 325°F until the meringue is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if not eating on the spot.

Slice of rhubarb orange meringue pie ready for the book club ladies to sample.

The many paths to corn chowder


Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread

Bear with me folks….I’m moving the recipe blog in with our website…


Go Blue Blueberry Jam – local food and easy

Something sweet for you U of M locavores – blueberry jam!

There are not that many blue foods in the world, but fortunately there are Michigan blueberries. All of the Locavorious blueberries this year came from Dave & Kathy Sodt’s berry farm just north of Jackson, Michigan. I discovered this summer that a local artisan jam maker, Ferrall Fruit, was also using Sodt’s berries to create his local jams. Eric Ferrall said a good rule of thumb for jam making is to use 60% fruit (by weight) to 40% sugar….except that our Michigan blueberries and strawberries are so naturally sweet that 30% sugar is enough. OK, so I gave it a try making some blueberry jam out of our frozen Sodt’s berries and MI beet sugar, and wow, it’s a winner. I brought some of this blueberry jam with me to the Homegrown Festival as well as the Westside Farmers market to give everyone a taste of what you can do with top quality local food.

One 10 oz package of Locavorious blueberries

5 oz by weight sugar – Michigan sugar beet sugar of course.

Yes, that’s all you need.

Place the frozen blueberries in a stainless steel saucepan, and turn the heat to medium. Stir occasionally as the berries thaw and melt. When the berries are mostly thawed and juicy, add the sugar and stir a lot to combine it. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to bring mixture to a low boil; partially cover. Here’s a great trick – stick in a thermometer. I’m sure it’s better advice to use a jelly thermometer, but I don’t have one, so I just use a digital meat thermometer. Let the jam simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Careful when you stir, that the jam splatters don’t get you. When the temperature hits 220 F you have jam! Remove from heat and let cool a bit, then transfer to a clean pint jar. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, you can do the cold plate trick to see when the berries jell: after about 20 minutes place a small amount of boiling jelly on a plate, and put it in the freezer for a minute or so. If the mixture gels, it’s jam!

Sweet corn secrets from the Locavorious kitchen crew

The time is now for Michigan sweet corn. The Locavorious kitchen team is going like gangbusters to put up as much of that corn as we can. Even after prepping corn all day, I still feel like stopping at the farm stand again while heading home to make dinner. Corn secret #1 is really no secret – for the sweetest, juiciest, corniest deliciousness, eat or put up fresh corn ASAP. Gardeners and farmers will tell you to get the water boiling first, and then go pick some ears, run back to the house, husking as you go, and toss that corn into the pot as you cross the kitchen threshold. Other folks will tell you that with these new-fangled modern varieties of corn you don’t have to rush to eat that corn right after picking. Maybe they are right. Rena’s corn secret #2 – ignore those folks and rush to eat or put up that sweet corn, no matter what variety, right after harvest.

And now, from the Locavorious kitchen, here are the steps to freeze your own fabulous MI sweet corn for a taste of summer all winter long.

First, find your personal favorites….last year I wandered the farmers markets tasting raw ears of corn, and getting to know what was out there, who was growing what. Corn secret #3 – eat those early harvest sweet corns fresh, and find a longer growing variety for freezing.

Here’s a photo from right behind the corn stand on Geddes Rd at Harris. My not-so-secret-anymore favorite sweet corn for freezing comes from Brookside Farm in Superior Township.

While husking the corn, bring water to boil in a large pot. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Boil the corn for 3 minutes. Sweet corn in the pot.

Immediately remove corn from boiling water and plunge into a large container of ice water. Let the corn chill for at least 5 minutes. Chill, corn, chill.

Cut kernels off of the cob with a knife with a long thin blade. You can try all of those specially designed cute tools for removing kernels off the cob, but here’s my corn secret #4 – a good old knife works best. After removing all the kernels off the cob, use the back of the knife to rub the cob once more all around to milk the cob for the little kernel nibs and the extra sweet creamy juice. Locavorious crew secret #5 – cut the corn & milk the cob right into a large bowl or onto a baking sheet tray to catch the juice. You know it’s good ripe sweet corn if you need a shower when you’re finished.

Try not to eat all the sweet corn in the bowl.

Measure out portions you think you’ll want this coming winter….e.g. 2 cups works well for many recipes, and fits nicely in a little tupperware or quart-size freezer bag. When freezing the corn, be sure not to overload your freezer; a good rule of thumb is no more than 2 – 3 lbs of corn per cubic foot of freezer space.

If you get the corn from field to freezer in a couple of hours, it will be sweet enough to eat for dessert this winter. (And if you don’t have time or space to put up your own MI sweet corn, the Locavorious crew is at your service!)