The New year is here and many Minnesota families enjoyed the holidays in the usual tradition; spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts and of course, gorging themselves on food. But, for many Minnesotans this was a time of increased worry and sadness. The fact is, 9.5% of households in Minnesota are food insecure and will struggle to find enough food in this week. This equates to 1 in 10 households, many with children.
Here at Love From Minnesota, we are extremely pleased to announce our new partnership with Second Harvest Heartland. This generous organization works to reinvent hunger relief through leadership and innovation. They are widely known for distributing great amounts of food quickly and efficiently and rank as the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger relief organization. We’re impressed to say the least! Second Harvest has a unique philosophy that drives their efforts to create sustainable systems and feed people not just today, but tomorrow too. They have partnered with organizations like Summer Food Service Program and have helped to distribute nearly twice as many meals since joining forces. They are also members of Hunger – Free Minnesota, which is a joint effort by eight Minnesota relief organizations focusing on opening eyes throughout the state about the effects of hunger on not just the hungry, but on all Minnesotans. This collaboration is the first of its kind for us.
- 1 in 8 Minnesota children lives at risk of hunger.
- 40% of the members of households served by Second Harvest Heartland are children under 18 years old.
- Children who suffer from poor nutrition during the brain’s most formative years, score much lower on tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic and general knowledge.
- Hungry Minnesota families miss 100 million meals each year.
- Since 2008, visits by seniors to suburban emergency food programs have increased by more than 70%
- Reducing senior citizens’ risk of food insecurity or hunger benefits their health, nutrition and general well-being.
How You Can Help:
Stop by our Roseville, IDS Center and Ridgedale Love From Minnesota locations and donate monetary gifts, canned goods, boxed-complete meals, cleaning supplies and/or hygiene products. When you do, we will reward your generous and kind efforts with an in-store discount. Please see store associate for details.
Love From Minnesota’s food drive starts on Wednesday, January 9th and will run until the Second Harvest donation boxes are full!
Wild rice. We love it for its nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture and we somehow, can never, pass up a warm bowl of cream of wild rice soup. But what IS wild rice really? Ironically, wild rice isn’t rice at all- in fact, it’s a grain that is harvested from the four different species of grasses that grow predominantly in the fresh water areas of North America. The state of Minnesota is known for this delicious morsel and the lush, wet terrain of the Boundary Waters serves as a perfect stage for this sought after plant to grow.
Considered sacred by the Ojibwa culture, the rice is harvested as a team effort- one person steers the canoe with a paddle or a push pole while the other ‘knocks’ the rice into the boat with two small poles called knockers. The size of the knockers, as well as other harvesting details, are mandated by the state of Minnesota and tribal law. The Minnesota statute specifically defines the parameters of these tools and the knockers cannot weigh more than a pound or be longer than 30 inches. Nudged gently, not beaten into the boat, these “good berries’ as the Ojibwa call them, are brushed delicately to dislodge the mature grain.
Growing in popularity in the late 20th century, commercial cultivation began in Minnesota to meet the ever increasing demand. Minnesota remains a top producer of the plant and wild rice is even the official state grain. Typically sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is packed with nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and potassium. In addition, it is gluten free and high in fiber. So what is the best way to enjoy this wholesome (and sacred) grain? The internet is full of great wild rice recipes (we’ve even pinned a few!) from the classic soup to every thing from wild rice casserole to wild rice salad and wild rice stuffing, but we have have included the basic how-to to get you started. For you seasoned Minnesota chefs we ask- What’s your favorite way to cook and enjoy wild rice?
How To Cook Wild Rice:
Take 1 cup uncooked wild rice and add to 4 cups of boiling water in a heavy saucepan. Add seasonings for flavor. Examples: salt, lemon pepper, chicken or beef bouillon cubes, or chicken or beef broth (would replace water). Return water to boil and stir. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 50-60 minutes or just until kernels puff open. Uncover and fluff with table fork. Simmer five additional minutes. Drain any excess liquid. For chewier texture cook less time. Yield: 3 – 4 cups cooked wild rice
Do you love Minnesota’s favorite stylish brand as much as we do? The name Minnetonka Moccasin has become synonymous with effortless chic and American style, but how did this local company become so iconic?
They say timing is everything and in this case Minnetonka was right where they needed to be at the perfect time. Founded in 1946 just as post-war Americans took to the highways to discover the country’s natural beauty, Minnetonka Moccasins were found at resorts and souvenir shops that carried original and unique handmade goods. The love affair started then, but it wasn’t until 1960 when the Thunderbird moc was introduced, that this company become an American footwear icon.
Fast forward to 2007 when celebrities like Kate Moss, Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani become hooked on the effortless Neo-Hippie style, Minnetonka Moccasins became a must have for Fashionistas everywhere. Today, the eponymous label can be seen all around the world-from the Boundary Waters of our beloved state to the very hip streets of New York, London and Tokyo.
Can’t decide which pair to add to your wardrobe? Then stop by our sister stores at Mall of America on Saturday, December 8th and shop our 2nd Annual Minnetonka Moccasin BOGO. See our Facebook page for more details.
See you there!
The Love From Companies
Welcome to our very first blog post! We have many new and exciting things to talk about and explore. Please check back often for great information about our companies and what inspires us. From quirky holidays to killer products and events, we plan to cover it all!
As September keeps on moving, we are quickly approaching Native American Day on September 27th. One of our favorite products in our stores are the dream catchers! Our staff has loved using dream catchers in bohemian, sunny artwork (think Neil Krug- he is one of our FAVORITES!), but this got us thinking..How many people know the origination of dream catcher folklore?
Originally created by the Ojibwe people to teach natural wisdom, the dream catcher was once made out of twigs, sinew and feathers and have been woven since ancient times. Pending the arrival of a new birth, grandmothers and grandfathers would weave them for their grandchildren to hang over their cribs. In the Ojibwe culture, it is widely believed that the night air carries many dreams and the dream catcher assists in only letting the most peaceful and beautiful ones through the center; letting the nightmares pass on, thus protecting the innocence of resting sleep eyes.