Published Nov 14, 2013

Food that Connects Us

By Tomoko Ogawa

134I always enter Donna’s home from the back door. Her house is lovely everywhere, but her kitchen is where the magic happens. It’s a dream kitchen – even if you are not into cooking, I’m sure you’ll be inspired to cook if you spend some time there. I’ve met many people who commented how they wanted to live in her pantry. Practical Farmers is very lucky to have Donna Prizgintas, a “friend of farmers” member and a dedicated PFI supporter, as one of our hospitality host leaders. Continuing from last year, Donna and LaVon Griffieon will be our PFI Potluck Party Hosts at our 2014 Annual Conference this coming January. Donna has cooked for our Garlic Fest, summer camps, and for beef and pork tasting events. Moreover, she has welcomed a number of Practical Farmers members and guests who were in town for events and meetings to her beautiful home. This past Monday, Donna invited PFI staff and honorary PFI staff member Gary Guthrie for lunch to celebrate many gifts: Teresa’s gift of Dan Specht’s meat, Dan’s gift of delicious beef and Donna’s culinary and hospitality gift, to just name a few (for more on Dan’s meat, see Teresa’s blog from a few weeks ago).

Eating a meal at Donna’s is always a great treat – and not just because her food is so delicious. Being at her home makes you feel safe and comforted. And that was exactly what we needed for a grey and snowy November day. The lunch to me was the perfect picture of one of PFI’s visions: wholesome food that is celebrated for its connections.

Here is one of Donna’s many delicious recipes that she shared with us on Monday:

Donna’s Bolognese sauce

  1. Reduce down home canned tomatoes with bay leaves, oregano, marjoram, basil, Aleppo pepper and salt.
  2. Cook down ground beef in a separate pan with the same seasoning (bay leaves, oregano, marjoram, basil, Aleppo pepper and salt). When the meat juice starts to reduce and the meat starts to get a bit dry, add oil to make it a bit crispy.
  3. Pour the sauce over meat and cook them together for about 20 minutes.
  4. Serve over your favorite pasta* and enjoy!

* Donna served this delicious sauce over organic einkorn spaghetti. Einkorn is an ancient species of wheat, one of the oldest varieties along with emmer. We agreed einkorn spaghetti had nice flavor and texture; it didn’t taste mealy or heavy as whole wheat pasta sometimes does.