FYI about CSAs

CSAs have come a long way from a weekly box of carrots and kale. (Next week, kale and carrots!) The range of options will be showcased April 21 at the 11th annual Seward Co-Op CSA Fair, where 30 farms will hawk their wares. CSA, or community-supported agriculture, puts consumers in closer touch with farmers, with the goal of learning the benefits of eating local. From about 50 CSAs in 1990, there now are more than 1,000 nationwide. Among the foods featured at the Seward fair will be artisan cheeses, duck eggs, honey, herbs, bison, chicken eggs, sausages, plus all manner of fab vegetables. For a list of farms, visit The fair is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the co-op, 2823 E. Franklin Av., Mpls.

Zelickson Grant applications

Women pursuing a career in culinary arts or hospitality fields may apply now for the 2012 Zelickson Grant, named for Sue Zelickson, who founded the networking group Women Who Really Cook. WWRC will offer up to 12 grants of $500 each to qualified women students currently enrolled full-time in food service management, culinary and/or baking and pastry arts programs in Minnesota. Applications must be postmarked by April 20, and are available at

Head to the woods

Earth is sprouting in full force, as Brett Laidlaw well knows. He's already harvested watercress, stinging nettles, dock and dandelion greens for his dinner table. Laidlaw, author of "Trout Caviar" (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $27.95), is a forager, and will share some of his secrets in a 3 p.m. talk April 7 at the Southdale Library, 7001 York Av. S. in Edina. The free event is part of the Minnesota Book Awards activities.

Mmmmm - meat raffle

The St. Paul Grill hosts its seventh Charity Meat Raffle from 2 to 4 p.m. April 14, with proceeds benefiting the Neighborhood House, which serves St. Paul residents with basic needs, education and youth leadership programs. High-quality steaks, chops and seafood from the St. Paul Grill's top suppliers will be raffled with a drawing every 15 minutes. Tickets are $5 each, and winners spin a wheel to learn which cut of meat they've won. Refreshments may be purchased from the Grill's bar menu. Call 651-224-7455 for reservations.

Speaking of meat

This just caught our eye -- or rib-eye, so to speak. Artist Carrie Mae Smith, daughter of a New England butcher, now paints from a culinary perspective. (Apparently, she dressed as Julia Child for Halloween in third grade.) Now she paints dinner plates, carving knives and also some oddly compelling portraits of meat -- steaks, roasts, tenderloins. We heard of her work via March, a San Francisco kitchen and design shop. Smith also does soft sculptures of smoked meat. For a sampling, visit or carriemaesmith.