May there be peace.
Some little tragedies…
…The biggest and most devastating one being the fire at Love Apple Farm out on 9H earlier this week. I was very sorry to learn that the farm stand was destroyed and that they are now closed (early) for the winter. No farmer can afford to lose 2 weeks of sales! Hopefully they will be able to recover and rebuild, and we will seem them again next summer.
That makes my personal tragedy this week seem so petty.
I came home on Thursday night to find a dead mouse in my kitchen. Yes, this was my personal tragedy – this former farm girl does NOT do well with mice. As in, I was near hysteria. Cockroaches – fine, spiders – fine. I am not fine with mice. And it was late at night and there was no one I could disturb at that hour to remove the thing. Luckily the next morning the cavalry came, and I worked all day to “re-claim” my kitchen space. While several people in Hudson now know one of my serious issues and think I’m a lunatic, I survived.
Having my favorite breakfast helped too.
The next little tragedy of the week? No pierogies!
We were talking just this morning about the pierogi sale we had stumbled upon, quite happily, last winter and so today I wandered – and lo and behold I found this sign. However, only those smart enough to pre-order were getting food since at that point they were pretty much sold out. The next sale will be at Easter; mark your calendars!
This little bump in the road (as far as my weekend eating is concerned) was balanced out by my fabulous finds at the latest Trash & Treasure sale at St. Mary’s, which continues on today and tomorrow. I often find a little this or that at the sales, and usually (if my wallet is lucky) it’s only a game being sold for 50 cents. Today, however, I acquired a new Pyrex pie dish for $1 and this lovely new cookbook for only $2!
On to the real purpose of the moment: cooking and eating, of course!
This morning was the final outdoor market of the season for the Hudson Farmers’ Market. The sun was gorgeous but that wind was cutting, no? I shopped for the upcoming week which will include an entire meal consisting of latkes (Thanksgivukkah!), a huge Thanksgiving meal with friends as well as lots of baking and comfort food. I think I bought a little of everything. I was in denial of the changing of the season for so long, and now I’m embracing it with lots of potatoes, squash, kale, apples, etc.
This weekend is dedicated to making pie crusts and testing new recipes for nibbles and all sorts of scandalous treats. Last night, as part of my “re-claiming”, I tried a new recipe for Whiskey Pecan Caramel Corn – it’s a keeper. A couple of notes in case you decided that you also need this treat and you haven’t made lots of caramel corn in the past. 1. The caramel really needs to get to 300 degrees, which is hard-crack stage. You have to be brave and know that while the caramel at the edges is quickly becoming very dark brown and you’re thinking you will have burnt nothingness, if you take it off the heat as soon as it reaches 300 degrees you’ll be fine. 2. Rather than use 2 baking pans, I prefer to use a huge roasting pan (so big that it never fit in my NYC oven…). My pan has 2-3 inch sides which makes it much easier to turn the caramel corn as you bake it. And finally, 3. When you take it out of the oven, keep stirring! Stir the caramel corn every couple of minutes as it cools as you can break it into smaller clumps more easily this way. You could always let it cool as a big clump and then break it up, but you would have naked non-caramel-covered popcorn bits, and who wants that?
Next weekend there is no farmers’ market – they are taking a (well-deserved!) one-weekend break and opening up again indoors at the church on Union and North 4th December 7th. But we have a new gathering this one weekend only: Basilica Farm & Flea. It promises to be big and fun. You will need to walk off all those latkes and turkey sandwiches, and why not do it while supporting more of our local area producers? I’m hoping to find delectable food things, and maybe even a Christmas present for Mom.
And then that brings us to Winter Walk 2013 on Saturday December 7th from 5pm – 8pm . Winter Walk is always lovely and festive, and crowded, and usually the coldest day of the year. Bundle up, and make sure you don’t miss the eggnog challenge.
Good grief, that means it’s winter.
Since I’m just back from vacation, I’m happy to be back in my kitchen. However, I’ve been reading (a lot) about a particular eating space that has just opened up… and as soon as I wish to splash out a little, I know where I want to go.
Fish & Game: An Ode to Hudson’s Tasty Past in Rural Intelligence
Where Basic Ingredients Rule in the New York Times
Zak Pelaccio Cutting the Fat, Glazing Turnips Instead in the New York Observer
Straight from the field to the plate in the Times Union
Our Man in Hudson in A Cook Blog (Edible Hudson Valley)
Perhaps once the fuss dies down a bit?
Tap New York is this weekend at Hunter Mountain. I am sorely tempted to attend “New York’s largest craft beer festival” but then how would I ever stagger home???
Chronogram did an article on Hudson Valley Breweries, and I find I’ve only been to one of them: Brewery Ommegang. But really, where is their mention of Crossroads Brewing Company or Chatham Brewing or Browns Brewing??? They are all delicious…
This weekend (meaning Saturday 4/27) check out the “Colossal Cookbook Sale” at the Library, from 10am – 2pm. Here are my treasures:
Because I needed more cookbooks… And just in case my to-read pile wasn’t big enough, I got my hands on the last copy at Tractor Supply of this beauty:
Next weekend is a big food weekend here in Hudson NY.
The Hudson Farmers’ Market is back outdoors starting Saturday May 4th, 9am – 1pm at Columbia and North 6th Street. It’s been great to watch it expand over the years – it makes me happy.
The 3rd Annual Ramp Fest Hudson happens at the Basilica on Saturday, May 4th, 12 – 4pm. Get there early. Remember that my loss (I’m out-of-town) is your gain (there will be more to eat). Be nice to the photographer Smith.
AND there will be a wine AND chocolate tasting at Verdigris. In our town of yummy options, Verdigris is a haven filled with treats of all sorts. The question for me -always- is where do I begin?
You have one week to build your endurance for this food-filled weekend!
I’m off for a couple of weeks to the land of palm trees and hummus. No worries – I will continue to eat well…
Ramps are about to become an endangered species:
The 3rd Annual Ramp Fest is happening Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 12 – 4pm. Chefs from Hudson, the Hudson Valley and NYC will participate by making all sorts of lovely tastes featuring ramps. Don’t be crazy and show up at 3pm – you will not eat. I am devastated that I will be out-of-town that day. Since at the previous two fests I seemed to try everything at least twice, that means that there is more food for you.
I will have to do my own foraging. I once thought I had found *a* ramp under a tree in our yard – but I am quite sure that whatever I found was not edible. We can usually find ramps at the Hudson Farmers’ Market, but they’re not out yet (it’s too cold). However, I consistently find dandelion greens in my ever-so-organic lawn (meaning, I don’t do anything more than mow it). Last year I tossed dandelion greens with a simple vinaigrette and it made a great crostini.
This year I think I may try a dandelion soup with chives from a recipe I found on Chefs Consortium – it looks lovely and sophisticated. Once I uncover my garden from its lasagna garden layering and let the sun shine through, I will surely have purslane and that often makes a nice little side salad.
The anticipation that accompanies Spring is sometimes overwhelming, no?
Officially it’s Spring but it’s still cold outside, and I haven’t seen the self-serve spinach stand pop up at Eger Brothers (corner of 23rd/9/10 just outside of Hudson). However, it feels like things are really heating up, at least online.
This weekend the thing to do is go to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar for their latest chocolate tasting – and this is a chocolate and chocolate tea tasting! Hmmm…. curious. The tasting is Saturday 3/30 at 5pm at Verdigris, 135 Warren Street. Call ahead, just in case – I would hate to steer you wrong.
If you haven’t yet bought your Easter candy, head now to Vasilow’s Confectionery, who recently had a nice feature in the Daily Freeman. I’m always torn between the malt balls and the great variety of licorice…
And while Zak Pelaccio and Lady Jayne are working out the details on Fish & Game restaurant, he wrote a great guide to eating and doing in Hudson.
The Crimson Sparrow has gotten a couple of great mentions lately, in the Times Union and in Chronogram. And they’re involved in a friendly face-off with Berkshire chefs in the ChefX Dinners, happening April 7 at Crimson Sparrow with Berkshire chefs, and April 29 in Great Barrington featuring Hudson restuarants The Crimson Sparrow, Helsinki Hudson, Grazin Diner, Swoon Kitchenbar and Local 111 (from Philmont and YAY for a female chef!!!).
I am seriously in hibernation mode these days. I go to work, I come home, I intend to read, I cook comfort food and I eat.
If you are getting out of the house today (Saturday 2/9), head down to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar at 5pm. From there you’ll walk to the Christopher Norman Chocolate Factory for a tour, then back to Verdigris for a wine and chocolate tasting. Chocolate and wine = comfort food.
* Sadly the tour was cancelled…
Next weekend, gather around your computer for a TEDx talk, Changing the Way We Eat on Saturday February 16. I know my attention span will not allow me to watch/listen all day, but I’ll try to tune in at least for Anna Lappe. Her mom’s book provided one of my early food awakenings.
Did you see that NY State is the “Silicon Valley of Greek Yogurt“? Who knew??? I see some spoons in our neck of the woods, so that must include Maple Hill Creamery (you can find at Otto’s in Germantown or the Co-op in Chatham), Old Chatham Sheepherding (at the farm) and of course, Ronnybrook Farm.
And in the world of food art…
Andy Ellison gets the prize for creative thinking. Who else thinks of putting fruit and vegetables in an MRI machine? Frankly, those are the only things that really fit in those claustrophobia machines. Check out the animations here. Can something be black & white AND psychedelic at the same time???
Call me crazy nostalgic, but I love the annual Winter Walk in Hudson. What’s not to love? There’s beautiful decorations, and usually a tall guy on stilts, and both good and strange musical delights (I’m partial to the bagpipe myself) and of course, treats! This year’s walk is Saturday, December 1st, 5pm – 8pm.
I always like to find the table selling homemade cookies to benefit someone, perhaps the high school, but I always skip the various hot dog/hamburger tables. Restaurants and bars are always quite lively (and quite packed) this evening – so grab your seat early! Also:
Truck Pizza will re-open for WinterWalk at 347 Warren.
Hudson Farm Box will be offering Taste of the Valley in the Alley – a tapas party on Cherry Alley (just off Warren).
The highlight (snack-wise) for Winter Walk has to be the Belo3rd Eggnog challenge. I’m not even a huge fan of eggnog, but spike a drink and I’m there.
There are enough great eateries showing up uptown that perhaps there needs to be an equivalent Above7th (Hudson’s East End) challenge?
Layer on the long johns and grab your gloves! I don’t want to hear any complaining about how it’s too cold to wander about being festive.
…nor should you.
While it is good for chasing the vampires away, garlic is also great for flavor to most savory recipes. I finally discovered that it also incredibly easy to grow! Now is a very good time to plant your garlic so it can overwinter in the ground. I try to plant at least a dozen cloves of my garlic from a previous year, pointy side up, at the end of the garden that would otherwise get a couple of marigolds. I should really plant more. If you have any questions about planting or harvesting garlic, consult A Way to Garden. Margaret, through her website, has given me much confidence on what to do in my garden, and this is where I learned the quite simple task of planting my own (hard neck) garlic. The added bonus is that you harvest garlic scapes earlier in the spring as well as the heads of garlic in the summer.
Once you’ve finished planting next year’s garlic, head over to the 1st Annual Garlic Day at the Hudson Farmers’ Market, happening this Saturday, October 13 (9am – 1pm). This is great for those of us who were too lazy to drive over to the festival in Saugerties earlier this year…
So what do you do with your garlic? I’m still trying to take advantage of the bounty of our farmers’ market before we’re limited to winter squashes and potatoes (and I am NOT complaining about having to eat mashed potatoes and butternut squash soup). (An aside – Autumn is just flying by this year – wasn’t it just Labor Day???) So what is my favorite dish this time of year? Ratatouille! It’s a very forgiving dish, so if you can’t find zucchini or don’t like peppers, just add more of the other vegetables. It’s lovely served on couscous, or with good crusty bread. My favorite recipe is here.
Or perhaps you just need a simple, comforting bowl of garlic soup. This recipe has always captured my imagination.
Need more garlic ideas? Our local Chef’s Consortium did a post on garlic recipes from Chef Ric Orlando. Mercedes at Hudson Farm Box recently sent a recipe for garlicky broccoli rabe and pasta with her weekly email. Try all the garlic recipes in Gourmet and let me know once you’ve gotten through them… Good grief, you’d better stock up on garlic.
And if you don’t feel like cooking, take a head of garlic, cut off the top and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast in the oven until soft and lovely. Smear on crusty bread. Drink wine.
Doesn’t that sound better than wearing a garlic necklace?
I did, and I’m going for a hike now to walk it off.
I know it’s hard to believe, but I wasn’t actually able to taste one of everything, although I tried. We are doing a taste-off of biscotti from Verdigris and baking newcomer Hudson Cake Co. as soon as we bear to eat again. There were a million other options as well…