Stories to Savor
An Interview with Summer Miller, author of New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Midway, 2015)
Edible Michiana: What are the biggest misconceptions or stereotypes about Midwestern food?
Summer Miller: I think the biggest misconception is that we lack variety or that the food we have isn’t interesting, complex or rich with history and culture. I have nothing against steak and potatoes, but we are so much more than that.
EM: What do you think will most surprise readers about New Prairie Kitchen?
SM: People tell me that they didn’t expect it to read like a novel or a series of magazine articles. They thought they were simply buying a book of recipes. The stories and descriptions of the farmers and restaurants resonate with readers’ hearts and minds as much as the food speaks to their stomachs. Once people begin reading the book, they spend as much time curled up on their couches with it as they do standing in their kitchens cooking from it.
EM: How have you incorporated recipes from the book into your cooking routine? Which recipes do you find yourself making most often?
SM: I spent four years working on New Prairie Kitchen, which means many of the recipes have become a part of the weekly rotation in our house. My husband loves the granola recipe, while I’m a big fan of the cabbage and potato tacos. I make the honey oat bread monthly, and this fall and winter all the soup and stew recipes have been served at least once. When I have milk that needs to be used up, I make ricotta. It just depends on timing and seasons.
Learn more about Summer Miller on her blog, ScaldedMilk.com.