Fair Fare

           MALL FINDINGS: Oh, the things you'll be missing if you're under 16, parentless, and at the Mall of America on a Friday or Saturday night. Things like the magnet store, the mustard store.... That's right, you'll be missing out on Mustard Dan's, one of the latest stores to appear in the consecrated halls of the Mall of America (635 W. Market, Bloomington, 851-9900). Located on the first floor near Macy's, Mustard Dan's features over 100 kinds of mustard ranging from raspberry to roasted garlic, cajun to cranberry, and honey to habanero, with a wide variety of salsas, hot sauces, and cookbooks to fill in the corners. If your sandwiches seem sadder and more lifeless than usual, a purchase here may be in order; mustard is also rumored to aid in digestion, clears sinuses, and increases blood circulation. So kids, grab the biggest pants you've got, take mom or dad's hand, and head down to Mustard Dan's for a night to remember. Here's a recipe, courtesy of Mustard Dan's, for a tasty dressing:

           Cranberry Vinaigrette

* 1/2 C. salad oil

Location Info

Map

Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

1265 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Como

* 1 T. sugar

* 1/2 tsp. paprika

* 1/8 tsp. pepper

* 1/3 C. white wine vinegar

* 2 tsp. dried thyme, oregano,
or basil

* 2 tsp. Cranberry Mustard

           Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar or salad dressing jar. Cover and shake well. Store in refrigerator up to two weeks.

           ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN: Day by Day Cafe (477 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 227-0654) has completed its expansion, consisting of a new, smoke-free porch and an outdoor water garden with patio seating. Breakfast lingers over into lunch here at a casual rate, so sleep in a bit and then stop by for a plate of eggs done any way you can imagine.

           MORE SUSHI PER MINNESOTA CAPITA: Dragon Jade recently opened its second location at 7985 Penn Ave. S. in the Southtown shopping center (881-0020). The 140-seat restaurant offers fine Cantonese and Szechuan dining including appetizers, soups, lo mein, and vegetarian and seafood entrees. Trifle with the walnut shrimp, sizzling orange duck, tiger pork, and Hong Kong steak, or examine your hedonistic tendencies over the lunch express steam table, which features daily specials and appetizers in varying combinations served with fried rice and cheese wonton.

           TOMATO MISERS TAKE HEED: You planted all of those vines, the tomatoes grew, they're lovely, but now you're miserable. Every tomato that falls gently on the ground reminds you that you are alone, that you couldn't find any friends to share the wealth. You tried to eat them all, but you began puffing up like a tomato yourself. Here is your solution: store those toms and enjoy them throughout the cold, lonely winter to come.

           Ball brand jars has the following advice to give on the subject: "Before the hard frost sets in, rescue the reddest tomatoes from the vine. Keep them at room temperature, out of the direct sunlight, to ripen further. To hasten the process, place the tomatoes in a paper bag with a banana. The banana releases a gas that speeds ripening. Save the greenest tomatoes for several weeks by leaving them on a vine. Pull up the plants, tomatoes and all, and hang them upside down inside a paper bag. The garage is an ideal place to store green tomatoes." Now, with the goods nicely tucked away, you'll have some time to spend to think about all the nice ways you'll be eating your tomatoes. My plan is for Honeyed-Yellow Tomato Butter, quite lovely spread thickly on French bread. Here is a recipe for it, courtesy of Alltrista Consumer Products Co.

           Honeyed-Yellow Tomato Butter

* 5 pounds yellow tomatoes (about 15 medium)

* 2 cups sugar

* 1 cup honey

* 1 1-inch piece fresh
ginger, peeled

* 1 Tbsp. whole allspice

* 2 sticks cinnamon

           To prepare pulp: Wash and quarter tomatoes. Cook tomatoes in a large sauce pot until soft. Press through a sieve or food mill. Measure 8 cups tomato pulp.

           To prepare butter: Combine tomato pulp, sugar, and honey in a large sauce pot. Tie ginger and spices in a spice bag. Add spice bag to tomato mixture. Cook mixture slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.

           Prepare home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions.

           Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps.

           Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

           Yield: about three 8-ounce jars.

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