Monday, May 30, 2011

Vintage Indiana

By Jeanette Merritt of Indiana Wine Grape Council

If you don't have your tickets already, run, don't walk, to your nearest Marsh Supermarket to purchase tickets for the 12th annual Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival! This is the best wine experience in the state! 
Held on June 4, 2011 in Military Park, downtown Indianapolis, from 11a-7pm, this is the event to enjoy with a group of friends!

25 of Indiana's finest wineries will join us on June 4th in Military Park, downtown Indianapolis, for an event like you've never experienced before. I promise this will be a great time!  Tickets can be purchased in advance at your local Marsh Supermarket for $22 or at the gate for $25.  We also have a great designated driver ticket for $10 and a kids ticket for $5.  Kids 5 and under are free!

Don't forgot food, art vendors, educational seminars, great sponsors and three wonderful concerts! Join local favorite Jennie DeVoe, Indiana's own Reverand Peyton’s Bid Damn Band and toe-tapping favorite Brigid’s Cross! Whew, I can't wait to sip and dine while listening to these folks!

Visit Vintage Indiana for information regarding the entire day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

What To Pack For Race Day

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Scotch Coolers just won’t do at the track any more….

When I was young, Mom would pack the scotch cooler full of fried chicken (her recipe), potato salad, chips, sweet tea (Mom was from the South) and off we would go for a day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!  It is hard to recall which was better the fried chicken or getting out of school for a parental field tripJ.  I do remember having to have a ‘church key’ to open the lid to have a snack.  Mom also always made homemade rice crispy treats to snack on in the bleachers since it way so far away to the car after we had lunch. 
But this is the millennium!  Who carries coolers to the track?  Actually many, so here are your options:  Parking is at a premium if you are inside, so find your location and get comfortable.  It is nice to take breaks, walk back to your car and grab a bite.  If you take lots of ‘stuff’ forget the food and use your arms for the important stuff!  Here are some Must Haves!

  • Tickets and Parking pass
  • CASH
  • Seat cushion or blanket- depending on weather a blanket may be a better choice…
  • Camera, flip video, cell phone for backup
  • Can coolie to keep beverage drinkable—if the sun shines it gets HOT NOW!
  • Ear plugs- so you can hear yourself tell about the race the next day
  • Backpack for stuff- aspirin, antacid, sun screen, glasses (2 pairs), change of shoes and wet naps- it is a nice refresher in the heat.

… and if you do decide to bring a COOLER, remember size is restricted to 14”x14”x6”.  Line the parameter with ice bags and fill with goodies to munch (beverages are found easily on the grounds) but string cheese, fruit and pre-packed lunch treats and water.  Like I said, if it gets hot you will want the water, especially when it is time to leave and the crowds are deep….

Regardless of how you go to the track, with an old scotch cooler or a new padded one, with a thermos of ice tea or you purchase your beverage at the Track, rain or shine you will have a great time!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Food for Thought exhibit travels to Randolph County

By Kristin Hess of Indiana Humanities Council

The Food For Thought traveling exhibit continues its adventure across the state when it makes a stop at the Town Square Community Room in Winchester June 4 – 20. The Randolph County’s Convention and Visitors Bureau will partner to host the exhibit.

Stop by the exhibit (hours vary) to learn about Hoosier food through the engaging displays, and take part in engaging programs to discover how Randolph County has contributed to Indiana’s food culture.

All events will be held at the new Town Square Community Room in Winchester.

On June 4 (10 a.m.), there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Community Room and food stamp exercise led by local food pantries (11 a.m.). The Purdue Extension Offices will be presenting a canning demonstration in the Community Room (Noon) followed by interactive activity where kids can get their hands dirty with pie crusts. There will be a demonstration by Wick’s Pies on the art of pie making (3 p.m.).

On June 11 (4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.), the exhibit will hold special hours prior to the Annual Gourmet Gala at the Union City Arts Depot. On June 17 (6 p.m.), the “Just for Fun” parade kicks off JuneFest. Musical group, Memory Lane, will perform at 6:30 p.m.

On June 18 (Noon) watch as a panel of judges sample some of Randolph County’s best sugar cream pies in the Sugar Cream Pie Contest. Also on June 18, the JuneFest Awards for chili and car show. Enjoy live music starting at 4 p.m.

Learn more about the Food for Thought traveling exhibit here. And, watch videos from the Story Silo, here

Monday, May 23, 2011

Indy 500 vs. Dairy Farming

By Kimmi Devaney of Winners Drink Milk

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! What better way to celebrate May than with what has been referred to as the greatest spectacle in racing—the Indy 500. May 29th marks the 100th anniversary of the first race. For many families, the Indy 500 has been a tradition for generations. Before heading to the race, don’t forget to pack water, sunscreen and a camera to capture all of the festivities. After the race, celebrate like the winners do—with an ice-cold bottle of milk. In addition to being a refreshing treat on a hot day, milk is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase calcium and vitamin D consumption.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Seven Super Steps to Safe Food In the Summer

An excerpt from

During warm weather, it is especially important to take extra precautions and practice safe food handling when preparing perishable foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and egg products. The warmer weather conditions may be ideal for outdoor picnics and barbecues, but they also provide a perfect environment for bacteria and other pathogens in food to multiply rapidly and cause foodborne illness. Follow the suggestions below to Fight BAC!® (foodborne bacteria) and reduce the risk of foodborne illness this summer.

1.   Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.  Sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat twice to get a sense of how long you should wash.

2.   Marinating Mandate. Always marinate food in the refrigerator. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food. Boil used marinade before applying to cooked food or reserve a portion of the unused marinade to use as a sauce.

3.   Hot, Hot, Hot. When grilling foods, preheat the coals on your grill for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.

4.   Temperature Gauge. Use a food thermometer to ensure that food reaches a safe internal temperature.

5.   Where's the Beef? Chicken and Fish? Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 ºF, while large cuts of beef such as roasts and steaks may be cooked to 145 ºF for medium rare or to 160 ºF for medium.  Poultry must reach a temperature of 165 °F. Fish should be opaque and flake easily.

6.   Stay Away from that Same Old Plate. When taking foods off the grill, do not put cooked food items back on the same plate that held raw food, unless it has been washed with hot water and soap first. And in hot weather (above 90°F) foods should never sit out for more than one hour before going in the refrigerator.

7.   Icebox Etiquette. A full cooler will maintain its cold temperatures longer than one that is partially filled so it is important to pack plenty of extra ice or freezer packs to ensure a constant cold temperature. Keep the cooler out of the direct sun. Keep drinks in a separate cooler from foods. The beverage cooler will be opened frequently while the food cooler stays cold.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Apple Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops

From time to time we will share with you our series of recipe cards and the farmer stories behind them. To enlarge the cards or print them, just click on the images.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 10 Things Farmers Do When They are Waiting to get in the Field

Guest Post by Liz Kelsay of The Real Farmwives of America and Friends and 2 Maids A Milking

While quite a few farmers were able to get in the field this past week here is a glimpse of what a wet spring means for a farmer.

Top 10 Things Farmers Do When They are Waiting to get in the Field

10. One last day trip or better known as a get out of town day
9.   Get in to have a Dr’s appointment which almost never happens
8.   Go on a spring field trip with the kids or catch a spring t-ball game you wouldn’t
      normally see
7.   Help your wife plant flowers
6.   Have one last family meal together
5.   Tackle the “Honey Do” list
4.   Spend money on another mower deck for another tractor just to stay busy
3.   Clean the shop, while the wives wish they would have the same attention for detail in the house

2.   Shop Ebay for extra parts or anything else that looks tempting
1.   Check the weather forecast, once, twice, 12 or 20 times a day
Here are a couple of the Real Farmwives talking about what’s going on in the fields:



Monday, May 16, 2011

Grilling 101

After the long, cold winter we had, I am craving pork chops right off the grill. And boy do they taste so good after spending several hours in a good spicy brine. Learn more about how to make your own brine over at my Hunk of Meat Monday post.

But to learn more about grilling, and gas grilling to be exact, it is all right here.

To start, you want to start with a great piece of meat. I love to grill with cuts of meat that have the bone. I think it adds to the flavor of the meat. I also would recommend having a piece of pork that is at least an inch thick.

Whether you brined, marinated or dry rubbed you pork, let it sit out for about 15 minutes at room temperature so it is not so cold when you throw it on the grill.

I grill at a medium heat. You don't want to torch the juice out of your meat. You want to make sure you preheat the grill just like you would a traditional charcoal grill. I place my pork chops over the heat.

Unlike beef, I need to make sure my pork to be done. Not hockey puck done, but fully cooked. (Our mothers were taught to cook the hell out of pork to kill all the parasites that pigs were exposed to when they were raised on pasture. These parasites have been eliminated from the pigs since we have moved pigs into barns. No fear, it is not your mother's pork.) While pork is referred to as the other white meat, it is a red meat. So, don't be afraid if the inner meat is still pink as long as it reached 145-150 degrees on the grill.

I seasoned my pork with a BBQ seasoning salt. I cook for about 8 minutes on each side for an inch thick chop. After cooking on both sides, you want to let your chops rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Resting insures the juice will be locked in for the most flavor.

If you love lots of BBQ sauce on your chops, grab your favorite bottle of sauce. What is your family’s favorite sauce? Ours is Sweet Baby Rays Honey Chipotle Sauce.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jazz Up Your Deviled Eggs

By Megan of The Real Farmwives of America and Friends and Gal in the Middle

I am going to make a confession that may me sound a bit un-American.

I’m not a huge fan of deviled eggs. There I said it. I feel better now.

On the other hand, I AM a huge fan of eggs. I may not always have milk in the fridge or fresh fruit or fresh veggies, but I always have eggs. They are usually from my local Kroger store.

Why Kroger? Because I have actually been to the farm that supplies the eggs to my local store and it’s in Indiana. How cool is that. Want to see inside their barns? Check out this video tour (

I think it’s great that I can walk into the grocery store and know exactly where the eggs in the case came from.

Now back to the deviled eggs…My lackluster feelings towards these perennial holiday meal favorites changed earlier this year.

I was sitting at Commodity Classic – THE place to be for corn, soybean and wheat farmers in March –listening to Leslie, aka The Hungry Housewife (, as she joked her way through some very yummy egg and poultry dishes.

Leslie didn’t just make plain deviled eggs. She made Bacon Deviled Eggs with White Truffle Oil.

Yes, I said bacon…good!

Yes, I said white truffle oil…cool!

I knew after one bite of these delicious eggs that I was converted. I knew I had to try and recreate them in my own kitchen. Well, I actually made them in my mom’s kitchen.

I gathered my ingredients.

I boiled a dozen eggs…after bringing them to room temperature for about 45 minutes on the kitchen counter.

While the eggs were boiling, I fixed some bacon – 6 slices. Now, I do my bacon in the microwave. How do you cook yours?

I used my kitchen shears (second favorite kitchen utensil after the spatula) to “crumble” my bacon and “chop” up my chives.

Once the eggs were hard-boiled, I used a trick my mom taught me. I put the lid back on the pot and shook it like crazy. Here’s what the eggs looked like after they got beaten up.

After I peeled the eggs (well, my mom actually did most of them while I did the dishes – fair trade), I put the whites in the handy dandy Pampered Chef egg tray and the yolks in a medium mixing bowl.

The yolks then got mashed…

Then I added 5 T. mayonnaise, 3 T. Dijon mustard, ½ t. white truffle oil and a large pinch of salt. I was supposed to add a pinch of cayenne pepper but didn’t have any so I skipped it. After I mixed that up and then I added the bacon and 2 T. chives.

I just used a spatula to mix this all up and it worked OK. I did try to use my handy dandy Pampered Chef Easy Decorator but the tip kept jamming because of the yummy bacon bits. So I ended up spooning the mixture into the egg whites.

These were a hit with the family on Easter!

I have to admit that I made a SECOND batch of these on Easter to take to a pitch-in the next day at work.

This time I used just a ½ t. white truffle oil because my mom thought it was a bit overwhelming AND used a hand mixer to try and get a smoother mixture. I also broke out the plastic bag to “pipe” in the centers.

I think my second attempt looked and tasted better!

Here’s the recipe…enjoy.

The Hungry Housewife’s Bacon Deviled Eggs with White Truffle Oil (
12 large eggs
6 pieces of bacon – cooked and crumbled
5 T. mayonnaise
3 T. Dijon mustard
½ t. white truffle oil (I cut it down to ¼ t. or you can leave it out because it’s a bit pricey.)
2 T. chives, finely chopped
Large pinch salt
Small pinch of cayenne pepper

In medium pot, cover eggs (that are at room temperature) with cold water – 1 inch above eggs.  Bring the eggs to a rolling boil.

Cover the eggs and remove from heat and let them sit for 13 minutes. Remove the eggs and let sit in ice bath for 10 minutes.

Peel the eggs. (I put them back in the pot, cover and shake hard before peeling.) Slice in half lengthwise.

Put egg white halves in deviled add tray and place egg yolks in a medium bowl.

Mash yolks and add mayonnaise, mustard, truffle oil, salt and cayenne pepper. Add bacon and chives. Mix thoroughly.

Place mixture in gallon zip top bag. Cut small hoe in the bottom of the bag and pipe mixture into the egg whites. You can garnish with some chive pieces and cayenne pepper if you are a garnisher…I’m not, but I don’t judge.

The next time you have a family dinner or work pitch-in, I suggest trying these jazzed up eggs.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Indiana's Must-Eat Restaurants

By Liz Kelsay of The Indiana Soybean Alliance and The Indiana Corn Marketing Council

There are a lot of great restaurants in Indiana. I asked some of my friends and co-workers their favorites and here is the list we came up with!

Bonge’s has been serving Hoosiers since 1934. The restaurant is known for its tailgating and chalkboard specials.

Cafeteria with taste of a home cooked meal. Offer baked goods to go and catering.

Beef, high choice aged beef at moderate prices also known for their yeast rolls

Wagner's Village Inn, Oldenburg
Locals favor this cozy café along Main Street for its special panfried chicken.

Howie the cow greats guests for great steaks. Homemade is the key word on their menu.

Family owned local favorite, serving Pizza, Italian, German, Swiss and American Food. Known for its Purdue Memorable and is a busy place on game day. The Bruno Dough is a must!

Santorini’s Greek Kitchen, Indianapolis
Santorini’s is known as the best Greek restaurant in Indianapolis. Opa!

So, what other restaurants are a must?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Links I Love when planning a Mother’s Day Feast

Guest Post by Heather of Real Farmwives of America and Friends and 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs

Now I don’t know about you, but to me, Mother’s Day is not about me, but about my mom and mother-in-law.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom more than anything else in this world and I always love to see what my little one are going to do for me for Mother’s Day; however, ultimately for me, it is about making the day special for my mom and mother-in-law.

We live 3 hours from my mom, so since before I married The Farmer, I have spent Mother’s Day with his family and trying to make the day very special for his mom since she raised 3 amazing boys.

Although my sister-in-law and I are still finalizing the plans for Mother’s Day and I don’t exactly know what is on the menu yet, I thought I would share some links to some amazing recipes that would make any mom happy whether you need goodies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or something in-between.  So good luck and Happy Mother’s Day!

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls (I mean what better way is there to kick off a day of eating.)

The Cheese ball (I know it is my own recipe, but it is so easy and yummy.)

Caprese Salad for One (don’t let the name fool you, you can just keep adding to make it for more) from Krista's Kitchen

Beer Braised Ribs from Amy's Dinner, however; after blogging her dinner for 365 straight days, she's currently on a blogging hiatus.  

Italian Beef as Miss Beyer of Beyer Beware has always something yummy cooking

Peanut Butter Cake from Boys, Bovines, and Blessings and you just might want to check out her whoopie pies while you are there.

Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Ganache since there are two of them, I thought selecting 2 recipes was only fitting.  

If none of these are quite what you are looking for or need, it is quite possible you'll find something in the virtual recipe boxes of Gooseberry Patch, Allrecipes, and Food Network.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Amazing Mom Betty Mehringer

Guest Post By Julie Mehringer

One of the most kind, caring and selfless people I’ve ever met is not only my friend but also my mom, Betty Mehringer.  You could almost say her life revolves around food, whether it is tending to the family garden, helping with harvest on the farm or serving meals at funerals.

Farming is in her blood. My grandparents were farmers, and she married my dad whose family owned the farm across the field. Together they’ve grown the farms into a thriving family business. My mom cares for the pigs and cows. Her day-to-day includes cooking meals for the farm-hands, getting parts for machinery, balancing the finances, and whatever else is asked. 

On Saturdays, when she is not helping on the farm, you can find her at the Community Food Bank handing out groceries to low income families. Not only does she cook for the farm, she also cooks bereavement meals for funerals at her church.

Most importantly, my mom has shaped her three children into who we are today. Losing her mom at a young age inspired her to spend as much time with us as she could. We rarely had baby-sitters and always went with her to feed the animals as kids. We are all grown now, but carry her spirit of volunteerism and hard work with us. All three of us donate our time to non-profits: Jill volunteers at the Community Food Bank, Aaron is a volunteer firefighter, and I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.  Both carrying on the family tradition of farming, Jill helps on her husband’s turkey farm and Aaron is a full-time employee at Mill Creek Farms.

Do you have an amazing mom? 

Tell us about her on our
Facebook page or on Twitter (@FamilyofFarmers) and you could win our Mother's Day Prize Pack.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts made right here in Indiana!

By Jeannie Keating of Indiana State Department of Agriculture

With all the commitments we adult-kids  have these days, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you before you can say, “Is Mother’s Day this Sunday?” Before you Google, find your local florist and send the well…oh so boring…er… “traditional”…dozen roses, why not send something unique and made right here in Indiana?

If you’re looking for something that your mom will use more than that macaroni necklace from fourth grade, we’ve got a one-stop-shop with one-of-a-kind art and food creations sure to offer your extraordinary mom that special gift you’re looking for with plenty of time to deliver.

Go to the Indiana Artisan website, and you’ll find an Indiana artisan sure to offer a gift perfect for Mom. Maybe she loves fine oils or wines, handmade soaps or hand-turned bowls, chocolates of perfection, or delicious dishes from chefs and bakers using the best local Indiana ingredients.

Indiana Artisans offer all that and much, much more. Now, nothing can really top that macaroni necklace made with love but Indiana Artisan will come in a close second for the adult child who’s trying to find something different for Mom.

Below are a few examples of our Hoosier artisans from across the state that make unique gifts as special as your mom, but again, because there are too many to mention, we invite you to check out the web site. Most can be ordered on-line, some might take a phone call to get just the right gift order.

So if you’re scrambling at the last minute, put down the grocery store bouquet; you have options!

Chocolate for the Spirit 

What mom doesn’t like chocolate? Chocolate for the Spirit is a true artisan chocolatier. Their chocolates are handmade daily in limited quantities…They use some of the best chocolate available in the world for these confections. First come, first serve – and do share! We encourage you to check out their selection online, call 317.518.8842 or email for more information or to place an order.

Mallow Run Winery

A fine wine is never out of style and always appreciated by Mom. She will be sure to enjoy some time at Mallow Run Winery. Named Indiana’s Winery of the Year in 2008, Mallow Run now has 18 wines on the shelves. Invite your Mom to Mallow Run, taste their wines, and enjoy a glass or bottle of wine in their tasting room, on their deck or patio.  Bring a picnic and enjoy their spacious lawn. For more information visit or call 317-422-1556.

Coe’s Homemade Noodles

Or is your mom not a cook? Or maybe she’s a great cook, but deserves some time off? Here’s the perfect gift! Check out these exquisite gift ideas that have the taste of homemade without the hassle.  Each gift basket is carefully crafted with high quality items that will offer a truly unique gift experience and certainly a gift that will not be forgotten.  Step back to the taste of true homemade that will keep you coming back for seconds! (Yeah, you’ll get points and out do your big brother)

Evochi, LLC

Diane Dills founded Evochi in 2003 out of a personal need for bath and body products to soothe what she lovingly refers to as her "maturing skin". If you want to pamper your mom with some skin products sure to please, check out her entire line

Regardless of what you choose for your Mother this Mother’s Day, we hope you have a wonderful and memorable day.

In honor of this day, Indiana Family of Farmers is giving away a Mother’s Day Prize Package! Win a free orchid of your choice and a complimentary tour of Hilltop Orchids for yourself and a group of your friends by the owner, Dick Wells. The tour will include complimentary wine for the group from Oliver Winery.

To enter to win, leave a comment of your favorite memory of your mom. You can leave your comment below, on our facebook page or with us on Twitter (@FamilyofFarmers).