Friday, January 29, 2010

Margaret Haapoja's Healthy Wheat Bread Recipe

Margaret sent us this recipe:

High-Protein Honey Wheat Bread

4-5 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

2 pkg. dry yeast

1 cup water

½ cup honey

¼ cup margarine or butter

8 oz. carton cream style cottage cheese (1 cup)

2 eggs

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup rolled oats (I use quick oatmeal)

1 cup chopped nuts

Grease 2 loaf pans or 2 round 8 or 9” cake pans. In large bowl combine 2 cups flour, salt and yeast and blend well. In medium saucepan, heat water, honey, margarine and cottage cheese until very warm—margarine doesn’t need to melt completely. (Sometimes I end up having to cool this mixture down so it doesn’t kill the yeast.) Add warm liquid and eggs to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in whole wheat flour, oats and nuts plus enough white flour to form soft dough. On floured surface, knead dough about 10 minutes or until it’s smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl and cover loosely. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down dough. Divide into 2 parts and mold into balls. Allow to rest on counter, covered with inverted bowl for 15 minutes. (I’ve skipped this last step, I guess!) Shape into 2 loaves and place in prepared pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is light and doubled in size, about an hour. Heat oven to 375º F. Bake for 35-40 minutes until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pans immediately and cool on racks. For soft crusts, brush tops of loaves with melted butter.

Joe Gnoza's Bread Recipes

Joe Gnoza is a KAXE member and volunteer from Hibbing. He sent us these recipes for bread:

Joes Cracked Wheat Bread
(Revised from Cold Spring, MN Bakery Recipe)
4 cups Homestead Mills cracked wheat
9 to 10 cups bread or all purpose, unbleached flour
3 tbsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening such as margarine or Crisco
3 tbsp. instant dry yeast
4 tbsp. honey
6 tbsp. sugar
5-1/2 cups warm water
Bake at 385 degrees 35 minutes
Makes eight one-pound loaves
Joe Gnoza's Basic White Bread
(Mom's Old Family Recipe)
13 to 14 cups bread or all purpose, unbleached flour
6-1/2 cups water
3 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. instant dry yeast
Bake at 425 degrees first 20 minutes; 375 degrees
final 15 to 20 minutes
Makes eight one-pound loaves
I set and bake eight one-pound loaves at a time because they're great to give as gifts or you can double bag them in plastic and freeze them for as long as six months. If frozen, thaw (or "unthaw" as some Rangers say) your bread at room temperature and then warm it up in a 350-degree oven for five minutes. The homemade loaf will come out fresh as can be with a crispy crust.

Maggie's Sourdough Starter

by Maggie Montgomery

Sourdough starter grows in flour and water. It is a colony of yeast and bacteria that live together. The yeast raises the bread and the bacteria make it flavorful and tangy. To keep the colony alive, you must feed it regularly, at least weekly if possible. The best way to feed it is to use it for baking. It will live in your refrigerator between uses. This slows it down so it doesn’t need so much food (again, “food” is just flour and water). The starter is healthiest if it is used every day, but that’s impossible for most of us!

Sourdough starter is not difficult to make from scratch. Here’s a recipe. You will need RYE FLOUR, GOLD N WHITE or BREAD FLOUR, a small amount of HONEY and WATER. These directions to start a liquid culture are taken from the Jeffrey Hamelman book, Bread:

DAY 1: 1 ½ cups whole rye flour (4.8 oz)
6 oz water (3/4 cup)
1 tsp honey
Mix together, cover with plastic, let stand 24 hours

DAY 2: TWO FEEDINGS about 12 hours apart
Half of above mix (5.5 oz)
1.2 oz. Whole rye flour (3/8 cup)
1.2 oz white flour (1/4 cup gold n white or good quality bread flour)
3 oz water 90°F (3/8 cup)
Mix well, cover with plastic, let stand in a warm area (75-80°). Throw away the unused portion of the old culture (you have to be heartless about this or your house will be filled with sourdough culture in no time—I send it down the sink with plenty of water)

DAYS 3-5: TWO FEEDINGS per day, ideally about 12 hours apart
Half of above mix (5.5 oz)
2.4 oz (1/2 cup) white or gold n white flour
3 oz (3/8 cup) water
Mix together, cover with plastic and let stand in a warm area.

By day 6 the culture should be ready for bread production. To develop further strength and complexity, feed it for 2 or 3 more days before you use it.

The culture is sticky, stringy, and gluey, and your dough, when you make it, may initially be stickier and gluier than the kind made with regular baker’s yeast. A key part of working with sourdough is washing the bowls and utensils quickly when you are finished with them, so the gluey dough doesn’t dry on. The artisan bakers say the longer it takes to make the bread, the fuller the flavor will be. This bread will also keep longer than other bread. Never refrigerate it. That hastens spoilage. The sourdough culture fights off invaders! You will get a workout with this bread too—by kneading it 10 minutes twice (20 minutes total).

To bake on Saturday, take out the starter Thursday evening and let it warm up overnight. On Friday morning, stir it, then add 2 T of the starter to 3 ounces of water, then mix in ½ cup flour (white bread flour or gold n white flour from Natural Way Mills in Middle River MN). Throw away the rest of the starter. Allow the bowl of starter to remain at room temperature during the day. That night, start your PART 1 mix for bread day according to the recipe.
The starter is at its best when it is fully risen and bubbly. Try to catch it at the top of its bubbling power for good rising bread.

RECIPE 1: Sourdough with Whole Wheat
(The proportions are from Vermont Sourdough in the Hamelman book. Some of the method is from Hamelman and some methods come from Breads from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton. I use gold n white flour from Natural Way Mills and, of course, local East Nary starter)

PART 1: Liquid-levain build
The night before you bake, mix together and cover the bowl--
5 oz (1 cup) good quality bread flour or gold n white flour
6 oz water (3/4 cup)
1 oz (2 T) mature culture
Let this stand for about 12 hours at room temperature (about 70°)

PART 2: Final dough
15 oz water (1 7/8 cups)
All but 2 Tablespoons of the PART 1 levain starter (reserve 2 T to make more starter—mix w/ 3 oz water and ½ cup flour, leave on the counter for a couple hours, then put in fridge)
1 lb, 8 oz (5 ½ cups) gold n white or bread flour
3 oz (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Put the water in the mixing bowl, add all but two tablespoons of the bubbly, PART 1 culture and stir or mix with fingers until it’s incorporated. Stir in the flour until you have to knead it. DO NOT ADD THE SALT YET.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until you have achieved a satin smooth, elastic texture. To knead, dump out the dough on your surface, dusting the surface with the flour you couldn’t mix in for kneading. Try to follow the proportions precisely. I generally don’t need to add any more flour when needing and wind up kneading on the bare countertop. Wash out the bowl, butter it, return the dough to the bowl and cover the bowl. Wash the kneading surface.

Let the dough rest for 20-60 minutes.

After the dough has rested, spread 1 T SALT on your kneading surface. Dump the dough onto the salt. Knead the salt into the dough. After all the salt is incorporated into the flour, knead it for 10 more minutes, until the dough feels like a “baby’s bottom,” satiny, smooth and elastic. At first the dough will be hard to knead, because the salt will make it wet and resistant. Get past this point, until it is sticky again, and then finally becomes smooth.

Butter or oil the bowl again, put the dough back in, and cover the bowl. The hard work is done!

The next phase takes 2 ½ hours total: After 50 minutes, fold the dough by putting it on a lightly floured surface, flattening it, and folding each side and then the top and the bottom to the center. Dust off the dough and return it to the buttered bowl, first top-side-down, then flip it top-side-up to oil the whole thing. The dough will not have risen much yet. Do this again after another 50 minutes, always keeping the dough oriented the same way (the smooth top is turned out onto the floured surface and remains the outside of the dough). Each time the dough will have risen a little more.

After the third 50-minute interval, divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape it as you wish, keeping the outside of the dough on the outside of the loaves. I generally make 2 oval-shaped-but-fairly-round loaves by flattening the dough and rolling it up one way, then rolling it up the other way. Place the loaves on a large cookie sheet that has been buttered and sprinkled with corn meal (oil/butter isn’t absolutely necessary, but the corn meal is).

Let the bread rise 2 more hours at room temperature on the sheet, well covered with plastic wrap and a towel (up to 2 ½ hours may be ok—but don’t allow it to over-rise). Then slash the loaves for baking.

Start the oven 45 minutes before you bake the bread, preheating it to 425°F. Put a cast iron skillet in the oven on the shelf under the bread. Let the skillet heat up with the oven (45 minutes).

Put the loaves in the oven, then (wearing a protective mitt and long sleeves!) pour 1 cup boiling water into the cast iron skillet under the bread and close the door. This will steam the bread and make a good crust. Bake the bread 40 to 45 minutes. It is better to over-brown the bread than to under bake it.

Here’s one more recipe (50% whole wheat). Use the same method.

RECIPE 2: Whole Wheat Levain (This is the recipe I generally make every weekend!)

PART 1: 5 oz (1 1/8 cups) whole wheat flour
5 oz (5/8 cups) water
1 oz (2 T) starter

PART 2: 11 oz (2 ½ cups) whole wheat flour
1# (4 ½ cups) bread or gold n white flour
2 cups + 2 T (or 500 ml) water
1 T kosher salt
All (less 2 Tablespoons) of the PART 1 starter (aka levain)

Mix and bake by the same method as the first recipe above. Same time. Same temperature.

These bread recipes usually turn out well. I have read that it is virtually impossible to over-knead sourdough bread by hand, so be sure to knead the bread sufficiently. In hot weather, use slightly cool water to make the bread.

The Buzz around KAXE 1/29/10

A quick BUZZ from 91.7 KAXE

January 29, 2010

Chili and bread, chili and bread. ‘Tis the season for hearty foods! This morning we had Lori Kangas-Olson from Bridges Kinship Mentoring in the kitchen cooking up her own special brand of chili (including a brief paper towel fire). Bridges is holding their annual Chili Bowl next Saturday February 6th at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids to support their programs for kids in Itasca County. Area Rotary clubs make and serve chili to hundreds of people from venison, white and even pb & j sandwiches for the non-chili folks. Got a great chili recipe to share? Send it to us!

Bread is on our minds in a number of ways; during the chili on the Friday Morning Show fun we asked for someone to bring in some bread to dip in the chili and were surprised to get 3 loaves of bread from Tarry and Mickey P. Thanks you guys, sorry for the blatant begging! We also had a great Irish Soda Bread made by Steve Downing at staff meeting yesterday… just in time for Between You and Me tomorrow, where we’ll talk about bread, bread and MORE bread. We’ll feature a conversation with Kim Ode about her passion for bread and her book “Baking With the St. Paul Bread Club”. Check here for recipes for Irish Soda Bread. And join us tomorrow or send us your recipe for bread.

Weekend event picks from KAXE:

Friday, Saturday and Sunday – The Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork is presenting a staged reading of “The Laramie Project” – the story of the aftermath of the death of Matthew Shepherd.

Saturday 9:30-3pm Winter Rendezvous at Deep Portage Learning Center in Hackensack.

Saturday 7:30pm, Bemidji High School Auditorium -The Ahn Trio in concert as part of the Bemidji Concert Series.

Saturday 7:30 Reif Center, Grand Rapids presenting the James Sewell Ballet.

What are you doing this weekend? Got any picks for NEXT weekend? Like the KBXE event in Bemidji? (hint hint)

Things you may have missed on KAXE this week:

We’ve got lots of audio clips available online at KAXE including a conversation about paying for justice with the Chief Justice of the MN Supreme Court, how to grow peaches in Minnesota on our Local Foods segment with Maggie Montgomery and bestselling author Lisa Genova talks about “Still Alice” – her novel about early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on Realgoodwords.


Check out the latest KAXE video where Doug MacRostie shakes the hand of EVERY volunteer. Really, what could be more exciting and filled with germs?


KAXE volunteer Maddi Frick sums up her experience this January on the KAXE Blog. Thanks Maddi, we wish you didn’t have to go back to St. Olaf yet!

Thank you for listening to KAXE, and thanks for reading the Buzz! Have a great weekend!

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Bread by Guido

Steve Downing is new to KAXE and yesterday was his first time to have treats for staff meeting. He went above and beyond the call of duty. I mean really, I don't think anyone else has ever worn their own apron. Nice job Guido! Here's the recipe:

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients well. Mix egg, honey and buttermilk, then add to dry ingredients and mix. Knead on dusted bread board for 5 minutes. If too dry, add buttermilk; too wet, add flour. Shape into round flat loaf and make two parallel 1/2-inch-deep cuts along top of loaf. Place on greased pan (cookie sheet). Bake @ 375 for 30 minutes. Cool for awhile---then consume, fast.

Ross Williams also sent along a recipe for Irish Soda Bread

Grandma McGowan's Irish Soda Bread

Caraway (optional)
4 C flour
4 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
3 T Sugar
At least 1/2 C raisins
6-8 T Butter

2 C Buttermilk
1 egg

Bake in a 11 inch cast iron skillet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with skillet in the oven

Mix ...dry ingerdients in a bowl
Cut in butter and add raisins

In separate bowl:
Beat egg
Add buttermilk

Pour liquid into dry and stri with fork til the dry stuff is absorbed and very sticky
Flour counter top and dump ingredients onto it
Knead 45-60 seconds max
Form Dough into a ball

Take skillet from oven and wipe with canola oil
Flour the pan
Place dough in pan and press out to sides (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
Make a big cross hatch in the top with a knife

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes
Test with tooth pick
Cool on a rack until you can't stand it any longer

Serve plain w butter; butter and jam; and especially with some good tea

Do you know how many times I've heard that this month?

by Maddi Frick

What happens in staff meetings stays in staff meetings. And what happens at pizza parties, volunteer parties, morning show recordings, interview recordings, editing sessions, and the kitchen all stays in their respective places.

A few quotes I cherish from this month:

“Don’t throw scissors.” “I’ve always wanted to be a zamboni driver.” “You can judge someone by how they take a shower.” “That’s so big it could be a radio station on a float.” “What should we do for Heidi’s birthday? - I’m thinking jello wrestling.” “If you don’t know what to play, play polka.” “This is a punk-rock-tex-mex-folk band.” “Do we have any red wine? -We have red wine. -Oh yeah, I forgot, we have a lot of that.”

During the course of the month, my purple notebook and Sharpie pen were attached to my hands. Slowly, but surely, I let my notebook stay in my book bag a few hours longer throughout the day. Among my quick notes of observations are doodles of boots, pianos, bees and a diagram of the angles at which Minnesotans will face each other when talking. Looking back, here are some tidbits of notes I started to write down and forgot when distracted:

“Discovery! KAXE temporary tattoos . . .” “Don’t give John a ham sandwich when he circled turkey three times.” “possible causes for the end of the ice age . . .” “Ze crows of Tokyo, Ze crows of Tokyo” “. . a Minnesota man’s constitutional right to be unemotional . . .”

My month at KAXE couldn’t have been better. I got to pretend the conference room was my office, giving me the biggest desk of anyone at the station. I was let loose in the recording studios, giggling my way through the difficulties of pronouncing “northern,” “turtle,” “casino,” “community,” and the long list of activities available at the Crosslake Winterfest, including human bowling.

I’ll miss you KAXE for the time being, but don’t worry, I’ll be back. Tuesday morning I’ll host On The River from nine to noon, and tune in Thursday to Centerstage MN and you may hear me again. Be ready for some blog postings this spring about the Twin Cities music scene and this summer, I hope to do more music programming.

So I give my thanks to everyone who made my month at KAXE awesome, especially Scott Hall for letting me follow him around all day, and to all the listeners who make this worth doing. THANK YOU!!!!


Maddi Frick

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We got great response to our Local Foods segment this week...

Maggie talked with Richard Thompson from Isle,MN this week on her local food segment. Richard grows peaches, pears, apricots and other things you don't necessarily think of as Minnesota Grown products. You can hear the conversation here.

We got great response to this, including Joel, a farm educator and retired market farmer from Mahtowa had some great advice for growers:

Hi Maggie-

Thanks for mentioning the kale query this morning.

Best date to start your tomato plants depends on a number of factors: date when you plan (or feel is safe) to set out, germination and early growing conditions, available light and temperature during "adolescent" seedling growth, length of day and sun angle once you start using natural light conditions for seedling growth, and growing medium fertility.

Best approach is to count backwards from your transplant date. Under ideal conditions, a tomato seedling only needs 8-9 weeks to attain a nice stocky profile with a strong root system. Given a transplant date of June 5, this would mean starting the seedlings around April 1. On this schedule, by the time you pot the seedlings up and get them into natural light (hopefully), it will be mid to late April and day length and sunlight will be quite favorable for rapid growth of stocky seedlings. This is the simplest way to approach the question.

Once you start pushing further back toward winter, a number of factors complicate the issue. I find that when I start tomato plants in early March, I don't usually have seedlings ready to transplant until mid to late May. That's because the light conditions are not as good and temperatures are lower. Of course, you probably don't want to transplant any earlier than mid-May unless your greenhouse is reliably heated.

I start my plants in one of two ways, depending on conditions: 1) in the basement in a germination chamber which has about 15-20 gallons of water with an aquarium heater. Four 11 x 22 flats can fit on lath set over this water which I try to maintain at 75-80F for nightshade germination. Two shop-lite fixtures with one cool and one warm flourescent in each provides close to full spectrum light. As long as the growing tips are kept within 6-10" of the lights, the plants don't get too leggy. Another factor that causes leggy plants is consistently warm growing conditions. A more natural day/night variation of at least 15 degrees F seems to promote a healthier growth. In general, I try to get my seedlings in natural light with more diurnal temperature variation as soon as possible.

Or 2) If weather is warm and wood furnace is not being used regularly (we also have a cookstove in kitchen which provides shoulder season heat), basement gets cold and it gets difficult to keep the germinator warm enough for good results with nightshades, even when the water is 80F. Possibly better insulation of the chamber would be the answer. Anyway, under these conditions I use our propane oven. Pilot light keeps the oven at a nearly ideal temperature for nightshade germination. A couple of downsides to this method--we have cooked more than one flat over the years and you need to monitor the flats quite closely and get them into light as soon as seeds start to germ.

I have two large south-facing windows with a 30 degree angle that is just about right for direct sunlight in February-April. I can fit four 11 x22 flats on the ledges of each of these. Diurnal temperature variation is more than adequate (On below 0 nights I need to protect the plants from freezing).

I try to move the seedlings out to the greenhouse (only heated as necessary) sometime in early May. No point in rushing them into the ground, because soil in an unheated greenhouse takes quite a while to warm up after it thaws out and I like to plant my seedlings deep. Also, if the weather gets too cold to protect them with my somewhat meager heating sytem (propane wall heater) I can always bring the flats into the house. Once the plants are set in the ground, it's a commitment!

With the above method, I never need to worry about hardening off my plants. Research shows that tomato seedlings exposed to 50 degree or lower temperatures during "adolescence" are more productive, so the cool nights are a positive which counterbalances the slowing of growth due to lower average temperatures.

Even if light and temperature conditions are ideal, seedling growth will not be satisfactory unless the growing meduim is fertile. While seeds need virtually nothing to germinate, once they've been potted up in a growing medium, they like plenty of nitrogen for the green growth, and adequate levels of phosphorous, potassium, and micronutrients are also important. I use 2" soil blocks made with peat, compost, good garden soil, vermiculite, wood ashes, and lime. I try to use wood ashes that include powdered bones from remains of chicken, turkey, venision etc. we've cooked or processed. Alternatively, you could use bone meal. Generally get pretty good results with this mix. When seedlings get to 1/2" in diameter, they should be potted up again to something like a 4" pot (I don't have a 4" blockmaker--they're fairly expensive). Once they're in 4" pots, they are not as easy to bring into the house if a cold night threatens them, although I don't have nearly as many plants to manage now so it's not that big an issue.

Setting out plants in the (mostly) unheated greenhouse soil on May 20, I generally expect the first short season hybrids to ripen around Aug 1 and heirlooms to start mid to late August. The real benefit comes from the quantity and quality that come in September when outdoor tomatoes are either blasted by frost or of dubious quality due to the consistently cool nights. I can usually keep a greenhouse producing fairly good quality fruit through mid October, possibly providing one or two nights of supplementary heat. After mid October, the declining day length and more frequent need for supplementary heat make continuing to keep things going a questionable effort.

I don't have much luck with setting slicing tomatoes outdoors here, but normally set out some Sun Gold Cherry tomatoes with tomatillos and husk cherries. Our average last frost date here is June 4, so I usually monitor weather carefully the first 10 days of June and set out in a warm period. Setting plants out on a pre-determined date can be a big mistake if the first 2 nights they are stressed by near-freezing temperatures and cold soil. As long as plants are still happy in their pots, better to wait a little longer.

Basil plants grow much more quickly and are also much more sensitive to cold. Germinating in a warm medium and potting up after a week to 10 days, they can be ready for transplant in 3-4 weeks and will be ready for harvest 2-3 weeks after transplant. This assumes they are not stressed by cold. Even a touch of frost will kill nearly all your plants completely, and the cold soils frequently encountered in the 1st half of June may set them back so much they never do well. When I transplanted basil outdoors, I used to aim for a warm window in late June-early July. Once I started planting them in a greenhouse, I found that early June was about the right time for transplant. Just for some perspective on the importance of warmth for basil. I used to set out 300 plants in a greenhouse and got 100 to 150 lbs good quality leaf with minimal stem annually. I estimate I would have needed 2000 or more plants set outdoors to get this kind of production in our climate (although I never set out more than 700). And even then, the quality would not be nearly as good.

Hope this is helpful.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Family Tradition of Music on Centerstage MN

by Doug MacRostie

"If you want to hear the voice of Grand Rapids, you need to hear Tom Dowling," I was told a couple weeks ago. "Really?" I asked, "That's my cousin...". It's true, this week on Centerstage MN I'll be joined by my cousins Tom and Alan Dowling of GROCK for some live music and conversation. From a very musical family, they were surrounded by people making music their entire lives; from their Grandpa Ted and The Tolerable Band (including many family members) performing music from the 1910's, 20's and 30's, to their parents and the influence of "The Beatles" generation, all the way to the music of today. I'll talk with Tom about his passion for music and what it's like being a working musician in the Grand Rapids area.

And we'll hear my conversation with Mason Jennings about his latest CD "Blood of Man." I actually recorded and aired this interview last year, but I think it's definitely worth hearing again. You can read more about this interview, and what I love about the album, in this previous blog: "Blood of Mason: Inside the Mind of a Songwriter."

Plus new music from High Bongo 2 Blue and Bingham and Thorne.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Successful Community Radio"

Yesterday we were visited by Zaidi Khumalo, editor of Katnorus Mail and Anton van Zyl, publisher of Zoutnet Newspapers, both from South Africa. They wanted to see a "successful community radio station." John Hatcher, Professor of Journalism of the University of MN Duluth gave them a tour of media organizations in Northern MN (after visiting Marshal Helmberger at The Timberjay). In the picture to the right, Scott Hall is showing Zaidi and Anton our broadcast studios.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Teen Jobs in the Northland

by Maddi Frick

Hopefully, next fall I will study abroad in Dublin, Ireland. What I’ll be able to pay for while I’m in Dublin directly depends on how much work I can find this summer. And I’m scared. On top of added tuition expenses, it is recommended to have $4000 to $5000 to pay the cost of living in Dublin for three and a half months. The past couple summers I was able to find part time work picking strawberries, working in a greenhouse, and babysitting. However, this summer, that won’t cut it.

Time magazine recently reported on the difficulties teenagers have finding jobs. Not only are there fewer jobs to be had, baby boomers aren’t retiring. Employers choose older workers, and wages teens are able to earn are often cut down by the national ninety-day subminimum training wage.

Last year, when I called to check about an application I had sent in to a local resort, they said they had already filled all their positions by early April, much earlier than they usually do. “It's hard to find them . . . you either can find jobs for part-time that only offer you 10 hours or less a week or you find jobs that make you work overtime! [There is] no happy medium!” says my friend Sarah. Molly says “college students always get stuck with the worst shifts. Working nights 40 hours a week isn't exactly what I had in mind for my summer.”

“I agree with Sarah,” from Rachel. “It seems like everything fills up so fast that all that is left sometimes are fast food places . . . unless you look out of town at [resorts] that are always hiring housekeepers, but those types of jobs don't pay very well. It is just difficult to find a good summer job in a town that is small with less opportunities compared to Duluth.”

I’d like to wish good luck to my fellow teenagers, may you and I find a job this summer.

Chuck Marohn on Bipartisan Politics

We have danced around the concept of bipartisanship the past couple of weeks on the Morning Show. Colleen Nardone has put forth the idea that President Obama has tried to reach across the aisle but “has had his hand slapped” every time. While I agree that he has publicly reached out to Republicans and they have not been cooperative, I disagree that this represents an attempt at bipartisanship.

A bipartisan approach would mean putting forth ideas and legislation that meets the principles of both parties in a way that can be adopted by a broad majority of lawmakers. Bipartisanship does not mean demanding that one party go along with the other party’s agenda, even though they fundamentally oppose it.

Look at health care, the pivotal issue in the Massachusetts senate race. We’ve been given a choice between (a) a massive expansion of the current system that everyone agrees is not working (Democrat proposal) and (b) do nothing, which obviously won’t solve any problems either (Republican position). Why have we not seen a truly bipartisan approach that both expands coverage to the uninsured (Democrat objective) AND adds large market reforms to the system that empowers individuals in the private sector (Republican objective)? Such a proposal would not get support from all of the Democrats or all of the Republicans, but it could get the kind of bipartisan support that would make filibuster-proof majorities unnecessary.

What President Obama and the Democrats did in the early part of 2009, with the listening tours and bipartisan lunch meetings, is to create the appearance of trying to work across the aisle. When the substance in the agenda did not match the tone of bipartisanship, Democrats hoped that their early appearances of cooperation would win them the benefit of the doubt, especially when measured against what they positioned as the “extreme” views and behavior amongst some of those Tea Party advocates that opposed health care over the summer.

The elections in November and now this week in Massachusetts should serve as a wakeup call to Democrats serious about governing. Government needs to be better, not bigger. If the President wants to experience legislative success going into the mid-term elections, the Congressional leadership’s approach of partisan legislation followed by political payoffs (the legal bribery of the kind we saw taking place with health care in the Senate) needs to end.

The recent elections have also given Republicans a false-sense of optimism. Anti-Obama is not a long-term strategy for governing. In a best-case scenario for Republicans, they ride a wave of dissatisfaction with the President and Congress to control of the House of Representatives this fall. Then what? Republicans would have to work with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democrat President. The Republican agenda needs to have a bi-partisan appeal (see the 1994 Contract with America) if winning elections is going to matter beyond having better office space and more Congressional travel perks.

Sunday brunch with the opposition party is not bipartisanship. Legislation that meets the major objectives of each party, while not compromising their core principles, would be.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And now, The Buzz around KAXE

by Doug MacRostie

As usual, things are flying at about twenty million mph around the KAXE Studios; we’ve got the exciting return of Ojibwemowin on the Morning Show, a fundraiser coming up next month and an ever advancing online-media presence. The other big news is the ground work for KBXE, the new radio station being built by Northern Community Radio to serve Bagley, Bemidji, Fosston, Gonvick, Clearbrook and beyond (check out this video of our float in the Night We Light parade). This is a huge and exciting project and here’s a little info from my perspective on the Publicity Committee. Physically, KBXE doesn’t exist yet – we don’t have a tower, we don’t have a studio and just over two years to get on the air. But we do have people, and community radio is people. KBXE already has dozens of dedicated volunteers working on finding locations for the studio and tower, fundraising and spreading the word.

What is KBXE?
KBXE is being welcomed with a high level of enthusiasm and energy, and we plan to continue raising public awareness with monthly events – the next is Sat. Feb 6th at the Backyard BBQ in downtown Bemidji. KBXE will “Spread the Love” with fun, info, love-themed trivia hosted by Brandon Chase and some rockin’ blues with The Beerds which includes KAXE Volunteer Steve Ross on bass along with local legend Rob York on guitar, Chris Carter on drums and Shane Corning on guitar and vocals. We’ll have a chocolate fountain with dip-ables, and trivia prizes like chocolates, roses and honey (for your honey) [Thanks to KD Floral and Gardens, Chocolates Plus, Bar Bell Bee Ranch, Harmony Food Co-op and Lueken’s Village Foods]. But mainly, we’ll have the answer to, “What is KBXE?”

If you’re interested in helping spread the word about KBXE, let us know! There are committees you can join and there is plenty of work to be done. Get more KBXE info at, or check out the KBXE Facebook page.

What the hell is the internet?
KAXE was a wonderful reputation of being on the cutting edge of technology and there are a lot of ways to keep up with us. Other than streaming live online and archiving many of our programs, did you know we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger? Yup, we are. From videos of live music at the KAXE studios to blogs about John Bauer’s bad hair day – you can find it all at

What is Ojibwemowin?
is the language of the Ojibwe people. In the Nigaane Language Program at the Bug-O-Nay- Ge-Shig School near Bena, elementary students learn to speak the language of their ancestors. They are immersed in speaking and reading Ojibwe. From time to time we’ll hear a variety of programs featuring Ojibwe speakers, and what it means to the Anishinaabe people.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


by Maddi Frick

Although even I find fault with the plausibility of their spy antics, Chuck on NBC is one of my favorite television shows. Yes, the masses convinced NBC to bring it back after its brief cancellation. The masses agreed that the adorableness of Zachary Levi, the humorous wit of the Buy More (the equivalent of Best Buy complete with a Nerd Herd/ Geek Squad team), and the melodrama of action sequences redeem Chuck’s cheesy factor.

If none of that convinces you to try Chuck, maybe this will; the music on Chuck is the best I’ve heard on any television show. You can hear Bon Iver, Huey Lewis, Flight of the Conchords, Bing Crosby, Lady Gaga, and The Republic Tigers. Last Monday night’s episode featured selections from Spoon’s new album Transference, a day before it released in the North America. With all the new music they use, you’re bound to find someone new to you. For me, it was Malbec, free downloads at their website! Computer geek by day. Government operative by night. Fresh, cheese-free music all the while.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Two Fer One: More Talking MinnesOta

by Scott Hall

One of the thicker Minnesota dialects I have noticed might best be described as making two syllables out of one syllable words. One I often hear at the hockey arena is "coach", pronounced "CO-witch". Similar to that is "boat", as in "BO-wit". And there's always "HOW-iss", as in "house". That'll be all for now then...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bauer in the Morning

by Doug MacRostie

"Why is John Bauer wearing a skull cap?" I asked myself when I arrived at KAXE this morning. "Did his wife shave his head?" "Maybe he was just excited to find one big enough to fit...". I was wrong. Between debates about turning the lights on in the morning and proper healthy living on The Morning Show, Bauer was battling a bad hair day. No wonder he's so grumpy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Creamy Corn Chipotle Dip

by Heidi Holtan

The KAXE Bookclub gets together the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 5:30....sure, there's lots of chatting about books, but there's also lots of FOOD! We ask everyone to bring a snack to share.

Meetings in the next two months:

Tuesday Feb. 9th "Driftless" by David Rhodes
Tuesday March 9th "A Reliable Wife" by Robert Goolrick

Here's my contribution to last week's meeting:

Creamy Corn Chipotle Dip**

8 oz fat-free cream cheese
2 items canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded
3 cup(s) frozen corn kernels, or fresh corn kernels*
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; pulse a few times, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process until smooth. To store, spoon into a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days; return to room temperature before serving. Yields about 3 tablespoons per serving.

** Here's what I ADDED to this recipe.... the chipotle was a little hot so I put in more lime juice - I also added some plain low fat yogurt and 1/2 can of creamed corn to make it a little sweeter. Also, I probably blended it too long - it was a little soupier than dippier. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Centerstage MN is a Fool for Marc Gartman

by Doug MacRostie

When your muse is working it's important to embrace that flow and let the creativity out, and that is something that Marc Gartman has definitely done over the last couple of years. With 4 albums released in the last year (and 3 or 4 the year before...), Marc has clearly been inspired. Marc is the songwriter, singer and one of the banjo players with Two Many Banjos - but when he puts the banjo down the music is then released by The Marc Gartband, and Marc will be talking with me about the new album "I Am A Fool For You" this Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN.

From Duluth, Marc also performs/records with Coyote, Nice Bears and Little Grey House. The new album is another outstanding collection of songs, and this time Marc did the songwriting and recording on an Irish Bouzouki - an instrument he first picked up to play with Little Grey House. "I Am A Fool For You" has a great mix of sounds and styles, from sweetly-slick love songs like "Till There's Nothing Left" to wordly exotic songs like "Abu Dhabi." Each time Marc releases a new album I think it's his "best writing yet" and this album is no exception - be sure to tune in for this interview with Marc Gartman!

I'll also be doing a demo set - and just because the sound quality is a little lo-fi doesn't mean the creativity, energy and passion isn't shining brightly :) We'll hear from The Rosebud Social, a garage rock/indie folk band that has been making original music in Grand Rapids for almost 10 years. And Zombie Season from Minneapolis, sort of a post-punk rock band with a lot of creativity and gothic imagery - perhaps you could describe it as indie-vampire-opera, idk :p And we'll hear from another Grand Rapids songwriter, Pat Deal. Pat has strong pop influences with an obvious enjoyment of punk attitude.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Tender Wild Things, by Diane Jarvenpa, and Nude in Winter, by Francine Sterle: Book Reviews

by Nathan Bergstedt

The Tender Wild Things, by Diane Jarvenpa, and Nude in Winter, by Francine Sterle, are two books of poetry by Minnesota women authors that delve deep in the realm of descriptive language. Though the topics at the root of their writing; their muse, if you will, are worlds apart.

Jarvenpa, whose grandparents emigrated from Finland, uses touches of her ancestral culture, and the aspects that join that culture with the one we now live, as fresh fodder for unfolding her poems. On each page she paints a picture of her personal world; what she sees and experiences, and how these elements have shaped her as a person. She acknowledges our overall relationship to the natural world, and presents in her poems our collective desire to seek and harvest (that is, to make our own, and hopefully become part of) the tender wild things of the world.

Just as imaginatively, Francine Sterle, in her book Nude in Winter, attempts to blur the lines between visual and written art by presenting this series of poems about, well, visual art. As a translator has to interpret writing from one language in order to put it into a new one, so does Sterle with these poems, though their original language was never written. But unlike a true conceptual series, the poems vary from describing a particular work of art, to some that are about the artists themselves. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, and it can certainly make for stronger individual poems. But it does take away from what could’ve been a stronger central idea that the book on the whole seems to be about.

But with great honesty to her subjects, she molds the style of each poem to best suit the mood of the referenced piece. She writes not just with words, but also with structure, and with wonderful results.

Both of these books are rich with poems written by observers. Whether the subjects involve the natural world and how we try to immerse ourselves in it, or whether they’re objects of previous artistic thought and emotion, both books offer an opportunity to view the world through the author’s eyes. Which one you read depends on what you want to see.

The Tender Wild Things is published by New Rivers Press, and Nude in Winter is published by Tupelo Press.

How to... No... Why to Talk Minnesotan

by Nathan Bergstedt

When I first heard myself on KAXE, I had a realization: I truly have a Minnesota accent.
It’s funny how you can go through so much of your life and not realize that, until your voice has detached itself from your body, and you simply hear it.

But the first thought that ran through my head upon hearing myself speak about the ironic twist of fate in a 2005 Texas constitutional amendment was, “I never thought I had an accent. Man, that’s a little embarrassing.” But then I thought, “Well, why is that embarrassing?”
There are certain badges that any regional culture wears at all times that distinguishes them from others. One of which is the art; every culture and society has developed a style of expression that is unique to themselves, deeply entrenched in the local history.

But foremost among those badges is the manner in which we speak. It’s by far the most prevalent. Try introducing an outsider to your regional art or conduct yourself in a manner typified by your culture without saying a word. It’s everywhere! And what’s more, it’s the first sign of regional culture that one is typically confronted with. The all important first impression!

Now, there are all sorts of reasons why someone would want to disguise their accent. Most common reason I’ve heard: I don’t wanna sound stupid. Do we really equate this local distinction with sub-standard intelligence? I’ve personally thought of Minnesota as being a place rich with progressive ideas and ideals, a place that’s put education on a pedestal and that’s been envied for our public school system. It’s a diverse state with enormous wild forests that lure the adventurous to them, and a double metropolis that can cater for you any food you’d want to eat, and any art form you want to experience. We are the hybrid of the country! With 10,000 lakes, we’re as comfortable on land as we are on water. And we’re as capable at handling 100 degree weather as we are 50 below.

Embarrassed by the way we speak? What truly do we have to be embarrassed about?

There are two primary ingredients that create a regional dialect: the accent, which is the manner of pronunciation of words used (eg. sa-na vs. sow-na), and the lexicon, which is the list of words that you use (eg. those popular leather mittens that we like to call ‘choppers’). For a little practical advice, if you’re truly afraid of sounding stupid, don’t go to a formal business meeting and use every folksy term you can muster from your region. But if Southerners and New Yorkers and Californians feel at peace with their dialects, and we feel comfortable with them, why can’t we be proud of our own? Maybe there’re just as many of them who feel self-conscious about how they talk. Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side. But I’d say the same thing to them. It’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.

So as far as how I felt after hearing myself on the radio, after I thought about it, I was ashamed for feeling embarrassed. It was just a reaction, so I’ll forgive myself. But thinking back to why I like living in Minnesota, and why for so long I’ve called it my home, I can’t think of another way I’d prefer to talk. You betcha, eh.

How about the rest of you? How do you feel about the Minnesota accent?

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Shocked!!!

by Scott Hall

Slugger Mark McGuire admits steroid use. McGuire, Sammy Sosa and hundreds of other players did body building with steroids and other supplements during the 1990s and early 2000s. McGuire had a supplement in open view in his locker for at least a few years. Steroid use wasn't a dark secret in football and baseball. McGuire and Sosa created great excitement and television and box office wealth for baseball.

Now the same baseball and media industries that reaped billions off these athletes expect remorse and shame from these guys 10 years later. It's the same sorry crowd of hypocrites that are keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame. The baseball writers that won't vote Rose and McGuire into the HOF, and won't elect Barry Bonds when he's eligible, are the shills that allow the hypocrisy to continue. It was good for the cash flow to ignore it in the 1990s, and it's good for the cash flow to play it this way now.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund

by Maddi Frick

Warren Hanson, the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund spoke with Scott Hall and Chad Haatvedt on the Morning Show about his organization and the projects in progress. The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) was created in 1996 in collaboration with The McKnight Foundation and the Blandin Foundation to address the needs of affordable housing in Greater Minnesota.

Since its creation, the foundation has helped create 8500 units of affordable housing. GMHF tries to target their assistance to individuals and families who make 60-80% median income and below, including those who are homeless up to approximately $40,00 yearly income.

Private housing does provide many opportunities for affordable housing, but GMHF looks to combine charitable dollars with state and federal money to improve the housing stock, add to the supply, and stimulate private housing development, including community development. Hanson says affordable housing does attract businesses and industrial development because if affordable housing is not available, businesses will often look elsewhere to develop.

In collaboration with Black Bear Homes Inc., they are currently developing a two-block area by Crystal Lake in Grand Rapids into neo-traditional style houses.

A project in beginning stages is the development of the old Grand Itasca Hospital sight into apartments, townhomes, and single family homes surrounding the area.

GMHF is also working with Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency to create the Virginia Youth Foyer Project, an apartment housing complex to house youth ages 13-21 who are homeless, many of them no longer in the foster care system. This idea of collective living, housing, and community for youth supports those with a challenged early life in continuing their education and developing life goals.

GMHF commissioned six photojournalists to document the lives of homeless veterans in Minnesota. An exhibit of selected photographs entitled “Portraits of Home II” will be at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids during the month of January.

Additional Resources:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Optical Disc Packaging

by Maddi Frick

I've listened to a lot of CDs since I started my internship. A LOT. And at KAXE, all CDs are kept in their original cases. My problem is navigating the confusing waters of getting the CD out of said cases. The easiest packaging to understand is the jewel case, the original popular plastic cases. However, as record companies are catching onto the environmentally-friendly consumer-product-packaging movement, CDs are getting increasingly hidden in their cases. Each case is different and if you aren't careful when looking for the concealed CD, you run the risk of watching in horror as the CD flies out of a hidden opening when you flip the wrong flap. One should also be attentive to the re-folding of uninhibited four-foot accordion contraption cases. Re-folded incorrectly will undermine the integrity of corners and bends, and will result in four-foot accordion contraption cases disintegrating to multiple squares of cardboard. Just a warning, the music library is great, but don't be too naïve when trespassing through the stacks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When I Grow Up...

When you ask around the KAXE Studios about what people want to be when they grow up you hear all kinds of answers.

Steve Downing still thinks about his original dream to be a Catholic Priest like Guido Sarducci (see left).

Scott Hall's 12th thing-to-be is a woodland hermit that avoids the social ramble and fried foods that anger-up the stomach.

Doug MacRostie wants to be a rockstar who is in it for the music but loses his way and has to rebuild his career through an emotional but inspiring creative process.

Jennifer Poenix wants to be a TV sitcom writer - more specifically for The fact, she said she would be willing to switch bodies with Mindy Kaling.

Maggie Montgomery wanted to be a nuclear physicist and even took the math and physics classes, then she wanted to be a writer, then she wanted to be a teacher, then she wanted to be mental health counselor...and now here she is at KAXE.

When Heidi Hotlan was little (like, 4 years old) she wanted to get her Class C drivers license so she could drive a regional library system bookmobile...something she still thinks she would enjoy.

What's your story? We're talking about what you want to be when you grow up this Saturday from 10-Noon on Between You and Me with guest host DJ the DJ. And while DJ is retired, he still has hopes & dreams for when he grows up!