I am generally happiest when foraging. By modern standards foraging is an eccentric pleasure based on an unusual, specialized knowledge. It is a loners’ sport for those who enjoy the quiet sounds of wind in the leaves and birds singing along. But it is not just the wildlife that keeps one company in the woods. When we pick wild plants, we do so alongside countless generations who have survived through just that practice. The knowledge of wild foods is one of the oldest continuous threads of human experience. Read more
So what is wassailing really all about? For a bit of background (according to Readers Digest), “The Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune, if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. Read more
Nature’s timing is flawless. As if on cue, the winter squash and pumpkins appear just as the onslaught of zucchini starts to ebb. And they’re here to stay, their stout curves and painterly colors a pleasure to behold throughout the winter. Every year I stock up on the many varieties grown by Alice and Neil Fitzgerald of River Brook Farm in Cochecton, NY including international heirlooms like the brilliant orange Hubbard, the voluptuous Musque de Provence and the charmingly bumpy Marina di Chioggia. These all have a dense, creamy flesh that is equally delicious roasted, fried (pumpkin tempura!) or stewed. Read more
The choices for what to do with summer berries are endless. How to choose? Having some definitions might help to get you started. Most (though not all) of these are baked desserts. A number of them are quite old fashioned, but they are so simple that you might consider giving one or two a try.
Cobblers and Crumbles Read more
I love farmers’ markets. Not a farmer myself, I nevertheless belong to an organization of farmers who practice sustainable agriculture. I support the blossoming food movement to Buy Fresh Buy Local and the local economies movement to shop locally because I believe that our global economic model is unsustainable based as it is on the unsustainable use of fossil fuel energy. I shop at farmers’ markets because they are a source of real food, which is pretty much the only food I want to eat anymore. For me, real food, grown locally is a starting point for sustainable living. Read more
MILFORD, PA — For years, chefs have been championing the local foods movement, buying from local farmers who provide fresh, top-quality ingredients. But how many chefs have their very own garden to work with? Chef Christopher Bates at Milford’s Hotel Fauchère does, and he says it makes all the difference. Read more
Sean Zigmund and Cheyenne Miller are already deep into the 2013 spring and summer growing season, rising at dawn and working till dusk and still never quite finishing all that needs to be done. But offered the choice, they wouldn’t want to have any other job.
On a beautiful spring Sunday, I visited their farm, Root n’ Roost Farm (www.rootnroost.com) in White Sulphur Springs, NY. While Sean was busy working, Cheyenne kindly gave me a tour of their two-and-a-half-acre farm, complete with chickens, pigs, veggies and more. Read more
Some people don’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about the holidays. Some people aren’t religious. My father is the first one and I am the latter. Now that the holiday season is approaching, what am I to do? As a daughter of a dad who is from a Jewish family, a mom from a Unitarian Universalist family and I not identifying with either, when I just want to enjoy some of the traditional foods associated with Hanukah? Answer: create my own “holiday.”
And that’s exactly what I did. Read more
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I really look forward to baking Christmas cookies again. Here at our bakery when we make stollen* or other traditional German holiday specialties like macaroons, the sweet aroma takes me right back to my childhood and my great-grandmother’s kitchen. Read more
Entering into adulthood means many things, but one thing really stands out—your friends start to get married. That being the case, in the past few months I’ve been to two weddings. The first was in late August and was for my good friend and neighbor Raye Levine (I was also a bridesmaid). The second, in October, was my boyfriend’s sister, Megan Gorzynski. Read more
But in these tough economic times, not everyone wants to spend that kind of money for what is—after all—just one day in the life of a couple that’s embarking on a lifetime together. So, how do a bride and groom have both fun and elegance on their special day without breaking the bank? Read more
Ray Turner makes his living from the river and it takes a lot of work. In fact, if you want to talk with Turner, you talk with him while he is working. Read more
The Catskill Harvest Market (2758 State Route 52, Liberty, NY, 845/292-3838, www.catskillharvestmarket.com) is celebrating its second birthday this spring, and in just two years, it has gained renown and recognition as a top-notch garden center and local foods market.
Says co-founder and manager Daniel Duttinger, “It always seemed a bit odd that this kind of farm market was readily available in surrounding areas, particularly Ulster County—but not here.” So, he and co-founder Will Foster went to the drawing board and began the research, and the market was born. Read more
According to author Jonathan Swift, the fare of a bachelor is “bread, cheese and kisses.” But the sound of that is delicious to just about everyone, and not in small quantities. The proof? In 2011, the average American consumed 30 pounds of cheese, an amount that has been steadily increasing since the 1990s. Our affection for artisan cheese, made in small batches from local sources, is growing at a pace that exceeds even the growth rate of general cheese consumption. Read more
Located in the Hawley Silk Mill on Silk Mill Drive in Hawley, PA, the newly opened Mill Market features locally produced food and goods made within 200 miles of the Lake Wallenpaupack region of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. The market, which opened its doors in June of 2012, also carries a selection of fine specialty products not available locally.
Silk Mill history Read more
The Cooperage Project on Main Street in Honesdale, PA may be physically housed in the historic shell of a 19th-century wooden cask and barrel factory, but it is much more than a building. Like an origami star, it is a concept unfolding in many directions at once from the compressed heart of a shared vision. Read more
It’s July, mid-summer: the lush green time of ease and plenty. The sun glints off the water as dusk approaches, that magic hour when the light bounces off the water’s surface. A breeze comes up as I put the finishing touches on the makeshift table placed on the grass in front of our house. This table, made elegant with a few simple touches, was cobbled together from sawhorses and old doors and covered with vintage linens. I set the four handblown cruets down the center of the table, each filled with flowers from the garden. Read more
N-E-S-T-L-E-S… Are you singing the jingle? If so, you’re old enough to recall reaching up to drop your small change on the counter of the general store to buy penny candies like Bit-O-Honeys, Mary Janes, Necco Wafers, candy buttons, wax soda bottles filled with flavored syrups and so on. Read more