Urbana, IL chef and culinary pop-up proponent Mark Hartstein is fond of pickles, Hello Kitty, and extremely mainstream pop music. He and his wife Leslie also prepare a mean bowl of ramen when the occasion arises, which it did this past January at their "Saru Ramen" pop-up. Not only did they bring together and feed many patient locals on that frigid Tuesday night (with proceeds going to benefit the Eastern Illinois Foodbank), they even let Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts "help".
Food and neighborhood DIY (do-it-yourself) projects go hand in hand for Lisa Bralts, who lives in an east Urbana neighborhood with her family and is surrounded by great food, great neighbors, and several gardens, including her own. She's amazed at the possibilities and practices that exist just underneath the surface in Central Illinois - you just have to poke around a little, which she does with great pleasure.
Listen to Backyard Industry live on WILL-AM the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2:22 p.m., and the first and third Fridays of the month at 7:35 a.m. In addition to the radio segments, in 2014 Backyard Industry expands into the realm of short-form video, thanks to an equipment grant from PBS Digital Studios and Lisa's partners in this endeavor, Tim Meyers and Jack Brighton. Watch this space for further updates.
What do you do when the worst of winter is over, but it's still too cold and snowy to go outside? Lisa Bralts experiments with bringing a favorite outdoor summer activity indoors on this week's Backyard Industry.
In her quest for some so-called "project cooking" over the weekend, Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts instead ends up (finally) using a dormant kitchen gadget, reducing (just a little) the contents of her recycling bin, and revisiting the idea of making, instead of buying, staple foods.
The cravings for comfort food have been almost as strong as our winter so far this season. Lisa Bralts explores the concept and appeal of a meal in a bowl in this edition of Backyard Industry.
2013 was another busy year at In My Backyard HQ. In this episode, Lisa Bralts goes over the highlights, gives a few updates, and looks ahead to 2014... but not before a short hibernation. In My Backyard returns to AM580 on February 6, 2014.
It's not often Lisa Bralts gets three generations of women in one room (with extra family members) to talk about anything, much less a particular type of homemade Christmas candy they make - candy that is immediately adored by anyone who tries it. But that's exactly what happened when she visited with the Delaney-Snyder women in this episode of In My Backyard.
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil
2 lbs. powdered sugar
Food coloring (optional)
Beat the cream cheese until creamy, then beat in the extract. Beat in the powdered sugar until well blended. Depending on your mixer, you may have to use your hands to fully incorporate the sugar. The mixture will be smooth and like a stiff dough. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Pinch off small amounts of dough (rounded teaspoon). Roll into a ball then press flat with your palm or a glass. Place on wax-paper lined baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, for an hour. Melt a 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips with small amount of paraffin (1 X 2 inch block) and drop the peppermint patties in one at a time, turning and lifting out with a fork or toothpick. Quickly tap off excess and use another fork or your finger to help slide the dipped patty onto another waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Once all patties are dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 15-30 minutes. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated or frozen.
In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts channels her inner Ben Franklin and goes off in search of the bird he held in such high esteem - the turkey.
In My Backyard's Lisa Bralts muses on how we regard our kitchens today, and discovers that a) size doesn't necessarily matter and b) a kitchen's legacy can be just as important as its appliances and counter space.
We're losing daylight (and with it, summer's warmth) but there are food and flowers that are planted each fall for spring and summer harvest. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts ponders her one big gardening failure of the year - garlic - and asks for advice from a knowledgeable neighbor.
Convincing kids to eat vegetables isn't always easy. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts explores a farmers market program that teaches kids that vegetables are far more interesting when you know where they come from.