Montana Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Lockdown Cookbooks: Nostalgia Springs Eternal

Jul 19, 2020
Bruno/Germany (Pixabay)

The Food Guys, Jon and Greg, discuss cookbooks they returned to while staying home during the spring of 2020. They're all old favorites, loaded with "context," and for Jon, they've reminded him of some tried-and-true but forgotten recipes that he's since resumed making.

Curious, alert, and keenly observant, these essays probe the boundaries between what is here and what is gone, what is present and what is past, in elegant prose.

Squash.
iStock

August had just begun when a friend delivered my first hand-me-down squash of the summer: a round, green variegated giant that had reached the size of a jack-o-lantern seemingly overnight, just the way squash like to do.

Later in the kitchen, I eyed down the squash and started my perennial should-I-grill-it-or-make-zucchini-bread debate. I suspect some version of this dilemma could be ages old.

Recipe: Bitterroot Valley Strawberry Pie

Jul 12, 2020
Pixabay (Nicky Pe)

Food Guy Greg Patent usually enjoys locally-grown strawberries raw and ungarnished, but he makes an exception for this pie recipe. The kicker? It includes canned pineapple. Read on to find out why this makes the pie not an atrocity, but a winner.

"This Much Country . . . is a story about starting from scratch, stripping away all but necessity and living by animal instincts to find life’s richness. From the first time Kristin hooks up a dog team to the moment she roars across the finish line of the Iditarod, readers witness the chaos of starting over in the din of barking, lunging dogs and the peaceful resolution of 15 dogs moving in unison as the Kristin comes to her own realizations about what it means to be wildly singular."

Kristin is an energetic interviewee, offering insights on how she landed in Alaska, as well as what eventually called her to leave. In this conversation, she also discusses her hardships, good instincts, and of course, the dogs. 

Evening Primrose: Shows Nightly At Nine

Jul 7, 2020
Yellow evening primroses (oenotherea flava)
Jerry Pierce (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

In the summer, folks come home from work at their jobs and hang out in their yards - they mow the lawn or weed the garden or have barbecues. I don't cook much, but just before dark I like to have a couple of friends over. We get out the beach chairs, face them toward the garden and get ready for my favorite summer evening entertainment. We watch my evening primroses open.

The Food Guys Go Vegetable-Shopping

Jul 6, 2020
farmers market
Andreas Lischka (Pixabay)

The Food Guys, Greg and Jon, are always grateful for the chance to prowl the farmers markets for vegetables. In June in Montana, they find favorites like pea shoots, garlic scapes, morel mushrooms and baby bok choy. Jon's been busy enjoying vegetable-rich recipes like Bang Bang Cauliflower and 15-Minute Sesame Ginger Noodles.

Lockdown Baking With The Food Guys

Jul 6, 2020
sourdough brioche
Pixabay (Tania Delosbasques)

Frequent baker and Food Guy Greg Patent complains about his fellow locked-down bakers buying up all the flour in March and April 2020. "Sounds like the flour was coming by Conestoga wagon," says Food Guy Jon Jackson.

'Fieldnotes:' Forces Of Nature

Jul 4, 2020
Pixabay - RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ

I feel the stress from the week lift off my shoulders as I breathe in the scent of ponderosa pine. Today, I have no papers to write, tests to take, or meetings to attend. This is my time to relax in the Montana wilderness. Even though I know that spending time in nature always makes me feel better, I don’t always take the time to immerse myself in it.

From mountain streams in the west to rolling prairies in the east, Montana’s habitats and natural resources offer an abundance of culinary possibilities. The mountains provide the necessities for a delightful elk tenderloin with huckleberry demi-glace, while the prairie contributes to rattlesnake cakes with roasted red pepper remoulade. And gardens and farms statewide produce the makings of Aunt Lois O’Toole’s rhubarb strawberry pie. Chef Barrie Boulds and author Jean Petersen present locally sourced epicurean dishes that exude Montanan charm.

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