My Name is Yeh, on Eating in North Dakota
On her blog, My Name is Yeh, Juilliard-trained percussionist Molly Yeh writes about her travels, her baking experiments and her new life living on a farm in North Dakota.
Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and tips from their creators.
The Blog: My Name is Yeh
Molly Yeh is a Juilliard-trained percussionist who moved from Brooklyn to Grand Forks, North Dakota, with her boyfriend, a fifth generation sugar beet farmer whom she affectionately calls eggboy. She pairs her funny, irreverent writing with great photos and super-clever recipes (like Latke Pumpkin Pie!).
Please tell us, where the heck should one eat in North Dakota?
Fargo has some really great restaurants that almost make you feel like you’re in New York (Mezzaluna and the HoDo are two of them), but actually the most memorable meal I’ve had since moving here was right over the border in Minnesota, at a shack called One N’ Only. Aside from a grain elevator, I believe it’s the only business in the town of Euclid, population approximately six, and you go there for the all you-can-eat, fall-off-the-bone, super-sweet, make-you-spend-the-next-day-at-the-gym ribs.
What have you learned about food from living there?
We have this friend who often comes around with elk or venison that he just hunted, or walleye that he caught. The hunting and fishing culture is very new to me but it seems like a central part of the cuisine here, so it’s really interesting to learn all about it over, say, a venison sausage pizza.
There are also those Midwesty dishes that once only existed as legends but I’ve recently come face-to-face with: Tater Tot hot dish, salads that are actually Jell-O and Snickers bars, dips of all sorts that require Velveeta and beef and sour cream... I guess I just didn’t know that people actually eat these things.
I know you’ve said some dishes and ingredients are hard to come by—have you discovered any great hacks to re-create a flavor or dish?
Oh my gosh, living here is basically real-life Chopped. Which is kind of fun most of the time, but other times I’ll be red in the face and tweeting the f-word in the middle Super Target because they don’t sell hazelnuts. Obviously, ordering things from the Internet is great and my mom’s care packages are great, but there are some vegetables that I’m not even going to try to find. I haven’t found any absurd hacks, although next sugar beet season, I’d really like to sub a sugar beet for the daikon in a banh mi.
I love the sound of that tahini cake. What other cake fantasies are you harboring?
Someone was just telling me about a roasted garlic cookie that actually worked. Would a roasted garlic cake work?
What are your three fave blogs of the moment?
Oy, I have a trillion favorite blogs at the moment. Becca behind Mole Hill is so lovely and quirky and I wish we could be real life friends. I get scared that I'm going to ruin my computer with all my drool over Flourishing Foodie's amazing photos. And then I totally look up to Farmette, who also left life in the city for a farmer man and has the coolest stories.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.