By Phyllis Louise Harris
Farmer’s Markets are closing, pick-your-own pumpkin fields are brimming with orange Jack-O-Lantern materials, apple picking and wine tastings are in full swing around the state…its October. While most of the food and wine mentioned are not Asian, they are wonderful opportunities to taste locally grown items.
Many Farmer’s Markets will be closed by the end of the month with a few staying open all year round. For complete information visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website minnesotagrow.com. Their free booklet on food products and events around the state is available online and by mail. Look for locations of corn mazes and family weekend activities such as the Berry Hill Farm in Anoka , the Gilbertson Farms in Scandia or The Farm on St. Mathias in Brainerd to name a few.
Wine tasting is at its peak at many of the state’s wineries including Morgan Creek Winery near New Ulm. Tours and tastings are offered throughout October on Saturdays and Sundays 1 – 4 p.m. Winery hours are Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information go to morgancreekvinyards.com.
Here’s a popular place to pick-your-own apples, enjoy weekend entertainment for the whole family and taste local wine as well. Aamodt’s Apple Farm and Vineyards just outside of Stillwater has a multitude of activities for the whole family. Pick-your-own apples, taste award winning wines from the St. Croix Vineyards, take the kids on hayrides, soar above the fields in Aamodt’s Hot Air Balloon rides or find your way around the Hay Bale Maze. Get complete information at aamodtsapplefarm.com. Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One of the most beautiful spots to visit this time of year is the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum near Chanhassen. October is especially fun with special events, beautiful fall colors and apples from the Arboretum’s own orchards. Here are just a few of the food events for October:
Magical Pastry with your Pinot presented by Pastry Chef Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart Bakery on October 27, 6:30-8:00p.m. Cost is $45 for members or $55 for non-members. Class includes demonstrations and food and wine tastings. Limited to 30 participants.
The Betwitching Buffet on October 22, 9 – 11:00 a.m. includes hands-on cooking, demonstrations and tastings. Just in time for Halloween treats. Cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members.
Plus many more October events at the Arboretum. For complete information visit arboretum.umn.edu or call 952-443-1400. The Arboretum is on State Highway 5 just 5.4
miles west of Chanhassen. While the Arboretum is open year-round, hours vary so call for current information.
Flavors of Asia Spotlight on . . .
Thai Cooking Classes
Sawatdee Thai Restaurant founder Supenn Harrison offers her semiannual cooking classes this month October 29 and November 5, 1 – 3 p.m. at Sawtdee, 607 Washington Avenue S., Minneapolis. For information or registration visit sawatdee.com or call 612-338-6451. Classes are $60 per person per class or $110 for the 2-class series. Learn how to make the flavorful food of Thailand in your own kitchen.