Wild mushrooms, smoked fish, ember-roasted corn, beet butter, wilderness bars: Just fanning through this new cookbook, “The Steger Homestead Kitchen: Simple Recipes for an Abundant Life,” conjures images of foraging and farming among the forests of the Northwoods, then preparing and enjoying one’s finds without any fuss. In fact, whether you’re cooking over a fire outside your tent or on a range built to feed family and friends gathered around a big table, this cookbook keeps things simple and abundant.
Written by Arctic explorer and environmental activist Will Steger (alongside his niece Rita Mae Steger, who runs the Steger Wilderness Center’s food program, and prolific, award-winning author Beth Dooley), “The Steger Homestead Kitchen” has easy-to-make recipes for anyone. There are tofu and beef dishes; soups and hotdish; and avocado toast and turkey burgers. There are recipes for fried rice, stir-fry, porketta, chickpea curry, quiche, spatchcock chicken, baba ghanoush, gluten-free seed crackers, banana bread, and even bannock. Wholesome and homey, the book takes a global view yet keeps it local with ingredients and sauces right from the Steger homestead.
The book also includes an essay by Steger on creating his homestead and how his expeditions inspired some of the recipes. As Dooley writes of Steger in the introduction, “Homesteading is not about taming wilderness; it’s about garnering our resources. Food is not just a list of ingredients—it’s pasture-raised beef, pork, chicken, dairy, and eggs from farmers nearby; it’s seasonal vegetables like rhubarb that return year after year. It’s the grains and beans grown on regenerative farms.”
More than anything, these recipes will inspire and get you cooking—wherever that may be.