Archive for September, 2011

apple season, already

William H. Martin. A Load of Good Iowa Apples. 1909

I love this recent MoMA Five for Friday, highlighting 5 works from the MoMA collection.  I always love me a good food theme.

The apple farms got hit hard by Hurricane Irene, since trees heavy with almost ripe fruit standing in completely saturated soil were very easily toppled during the storm.  We are well into the midst of picking season, so if there’s a day where it will just stop raining, I highly recommend getting yourself out to a nearby orchard.  Availability can change so it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure they still are open for U-Pick.  Here are a few good options:

Love Apple Farm

Don Baker Farm

Fix Bros Farm

Golden Harvest Farm – HUGE bonus: a micro distillery

I’ve been in denial for weeks.  You know what apple season means, right?  Winter is next.  Sigh.

So if you’re smart you’re going to put away some of those apples for later in the season.  The first thing that I make is a very simple applesauce.  It’s worth pulling out the dutch oven to make a batch or two and to stick a couple of jars in the freezer.  I probably post this recipe every year:

Applesauceadapted from Joy of Cooking

Place in a large, heavy skillet or saucepan:

3 pounds cooking apples, peeled if desired, cored, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
1/2 – 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice, depending on juiciness of apples
1-1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, depending on tartness of apples
1 large cinnamon stick

Cover and simmer, stirring often, over low heat using tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes (maybe longer).  Stir in:

Scant 1/2 cup white or turbinado sugar or 6 tablespoons mild honey  (I use local honey)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional – but use it)
1/2 teaspoon ground mace (optional – good thing, since I never have it)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cook, stirring, until the sweetener is dissolved and blended, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Discard the cinnamon stick.  For chunky applesauce, break up the apples with a wooden spoon.  For medium texture, crush with a potato masher.  For smooth sauce, pass it through a food mill or coarse sieve.

Serve warm or chilled.  Great on greek yogurt.

***

I usually don’t put in all the apple peel into my applesauce; just a little for color. Maybe if I had chickens I wouldn’t feel so guilty about throwing away all that peel.  At the very end of the season last year I found this (very relaxed) recipe requiring apple peel.  You might get a chance to try it before I do – if so, tell me how it goes!

Apple Peel Jellyfrom craftster.org

To make the jelly I took the peels and cores from 5 apples (I used cortland) and put them in a pot with enough water to cover them. I boiled this for about 10 minutes. This part smelled sooo good! Then I poured the mix through a colander to strain out the chunks. I got about 2 cups of pretty pink liquid. I poured this back into my pot, stirred in a cup of sugar, a little bit of cinnamon and set it to boil. Then I put my candy thermometer in the liquid and waited for it to reach 220F (which is where the thermometer said ‘jelly’). After that, I poured it into an empty sauce jar. The 2 cups of liquid boiled down to around a cup. And there you have it, apple cinnamon jelly!

***

What else can you do with apples?  Make lots of galettes.  Or crisps.  Or crumbles. What about a Dutch apple pancake???

***

If you prefer to drink your apples, check out the Hudson Valley Cider Route created by The Apple Project.  There will be a Cider Week (“join the hard cider revival”) October 16 – 23.  I’m game!

acres co-op

…will need help from all of us.   The Register-Star (finally?) wrote about the effort today.  Linda is the new Membership Coordinator and she can be contacted via acrescoop@gmail.com.

More good food is coming our way.

can you have too much garlic?

I think not.  For the ‘love of garlic’ get yourself to The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival happening this weekend, September 24-25, 2011, in Saugerties NY.  It’s not just about garlicky foods though – there are an amazing number of garlic tchotchkes available for purchase as well.  You need a quilted garlic flag, don’t you?

Seriously though, the Catskills were crazily impacted by Irene flooding, crops were destroyed at such a vital time in the harvest cycle, and despite all the grassroots fundraising the communities across the river are going to continue to suffer for quite awhile.  Take a little roadtrip and go buy some garlic.  If instead you would like to make a direct donation to Irene-affected farmers, you can find out more here.

  • The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival
  • 9/24-9/25, 2011
  • 10am-6pm
  • Saugerties, NY

if you are free at noon today

Otto Leuschel, owner of Otto’s Market in Germantown will give a talk about being a “Main Street Grocer” to the Germantown Garden Club today, September 20 at 12 noon.  He will cover “what it’s like to own a store that supports local and organic foods and the growth of small, rural markets and groceries.”

I’m sure it can’t be easy – the efforts are appreciated!

The meeting is open to the public; for more information call Fran Bufi at 518.537.4868. The meeting will occur at the Old Parsonage, 52 Maple Avenue in Germantown.

in case you missed food for thought

‘Food for Thought’ just recently closed at the Columbia County Council on the Arts and as you might imagine, it was all about food.  You can still check out images here.  I was particularly partial to the work of Jerry Freedner.

CCCA’s next exhibit is on ‘Wabi-Sabi’ – a Japanese philosophy about seeing beauty in imperfection.  I use it all the time in my garden!

  • Opening: Saturday 9/24, 5:00pm
  • CCCA Gallery
  • 209 Warren Street, Hudson NY

Explore wabi-sabi here or here.

Taste tidbits

Possibly 2000 people at Taste of Hudson this year???

I just know I had a very good time eating.  Here are just a few of the bites that were available:

Loaf pretzel & a kick ass mustard

Lovely lemon tarts

and cannoli from Vico

Ham & Brie from Cafe Le Perche

Cookies from Verdigris (quite a few missing already)

Helsinki restaurant presented a gorgeous bluefish pate w/ lavash crisps

I want more corn from Mexican Radio...

A gold star goes to Vasilow's for chocolate covered bacon!

There was something for everyone.

Taste of Hudson 2011

I am terribly excited.

The Taste of Hudson is happening on Warren Street below 3rd on Saturday, September 10th from 11am – 2pm.  If you are attending, remember that this can be a ravenous little town (based on my experience last year).

I’ll try to save you something.

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