Archive for the ‘sustainable’ Category

still hibernating…

I have a mild cold this cold weekend, so I’ve stayed home with my box of kleenix, catching up on reading when I’m not napping.

Or planning what I’m up to next.

occupy farm

Next weekend, the 2nd Farming our Future gathering is happening at Taconic Hills High School on Saturday, 2/23/2013 from 9am – 4:30pm.  I went last year.  This is a good community of local people talking about food.  And we must keep talking.

Chef Hugh Horner (The Restaurant at Helsinki) will host his next Eat Food or Die podcast rescheduled for Monday 2/25 at 2:00pm.  This month he will be talking about Hudson Valley farms and the food community – how timely!  If you can’t catch it live, go to WGXC.org for replay.

Want to support WGXC but feel you have no money to give?  Every Monday is Macchiato Monday at Swallow Espresso & Coffee.  Donate at least $3 to WGXC at Swallow on a Monday *in the month of February and get a free macchiato.  Caffeination and crazy community radio – it’s win-win!

Not local but still pertinent: have you kept up on the case of the 75 year old farmer against Monsanto regarding the ownership of seed?  It’s reaching the Supreme Court this season – you can catch up on details here.  While the case started with soybeans, it will have far-reaching consequences for our whole food chain.

Hopefully by March I will be willing to spend more than mere minutes outside.  Maple Syrup weekend(s) are coming up this year March 16-17 and March 23-24, 2013.  We have no producers in Columbia County willing to open up to the public (in a way, I don’t blame them) although I’ve seen the tell-tale tubing in the forests in the Ancram area.  Maple Syrup Road-trip!

In the meantime, I’m staying warmly inside.  This morning I made popovers – nothing like eggy bread with butter and very strong coffee on a cold winter morning.

IMG_1582

this and that

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.

chocolate bar

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…

***

tedx

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…

Image by Andy Ellison

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???

I am thankful…

… that our choices in Hudson continue to multiply.

… that Bonfiglio and Bread is open and serving this mushroom pizza, as well as sandwiches, their loaves of bread and other lovely bread things.

… that Crimson Sparrow has brought their vision of food to Hudson.  And when I don’t splash out for dinner (because I try to not eat out that often) their brunch offers a selection of 4 choices for a reasonable price.

… that Swoon and Ca’Mea and Red Dot and Spotty Dog and Baba Louie’s and Da|Ba and Park Falafel & Pizza  and Grazin’ Diner and Restaurant at Helsinki as well as relative newcomers Cafe Le Perche and Relish Hudson and so many other restaurants and trucks and carts (phew!) continue offering us such a variety of dining choices when we don’t wish to dine in.

…that we don’t have to eat out – and that Hudson can maintain an indoor farmers’ market on Saturdays starting the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I can continue buying local vegetables and cheese and eggs…  right here in town and give the money directly to the producers.  (I am thankful for (roasted) brussel sprouts.)

… that my latest new recipe, an attempt at making candy - sea salt caramels - wasn’t a complete disaster.  I actually ended up with toffee. (I’ll be especially thankful if I don’t lose fillings.)

… that it’s ginger cookie season.

… that my OH understands that running out of unsalted butter is a crisis and runs out to get me a couple of pounds.  And a bottle of wine.

… for good neighbors, great friends and family.

… that I’m actually never really hungry in Hudson.

Happy Thanksgiving!

there’s some serious eating in front of us…

Happy International Bacon Day!

It’s International Bacon Day and the first day of the NY Locavore Challenge.  The goal is to engage consumers in “actively supporting the local organic food movement”.  Vote with your dollars and buy close to home.  Today, you can buy some lovely bacon from Pigasso Farms at the Hudson Farmers’ Market and have your own little fest at home.

This afternoon, head down to the waterfront for the Bangladeshi Cultural Fair.  This is one of the things I love about Hudson: Marina Abramovic AND a Bangladeshi Fair.

Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to the first Bacon Fest NY.  I’m hoping there’s something left by the time I get there for lunch.  Please don’t eat everything!  I am a very bad vegetarian.

Monday, I will attempt to recover.  Labor Day is meant for resting, right? I don’t think I’ll make it to the Columbia County Fair which is running through September 3rd – I won’t have the stomach for the usual fair foods that I love to indulge in.

NEXT weekend, it’s the 4th Annual Taste of Hudson!  Warren Street below 3rd is blocked off and our local restaurants have loads of little tastes for our taste buds.  Buy your tickets and head on it!  But please do not tell anyone – it’s selfish but I’m not sure that I want to share…

If that is somehow not enough for you, drive south to Rhinebeck for the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.  It’s happening at a fairgrounds – that’s a lot of food.

I’ve really got to work on speeding up my metabolism…

Bangladeshi Cultural Fair
Saturday September 1, 3-9pm
Henry Hudson Waterfront Park – Water Street, Hudson

NY Locavore Challenge
Starting September 1 for the entire month
The State of NY

Bacon Fest NY
Sunday September 2, 9am – 6pm
Henry Hudson Waterfront Park – Water Street, Hudson

Columbia County Fair
through September 3
Columbia County Fairgrounds, Chatham

Taste of Hudson
Saturday September 8, 11am – 2pm
Warren Street below 3rd, Hudson

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest
Saturday September 8, 11am – 6pm AND Sunday September 9, 11am – 5pm
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck

Happy Eating!

is it really corn season?

image from Discover Magazine online

Isn’t it early for corn, or am I just becoming an old person???  Already several dinners have simply been multiple ears of corn, just barely boiled.  It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

I like the corn from Martin’s, or Egers.  But really, yellow, white or bi-color, I haven’t run into a bad ear of corn yet.

Read a little more about the genetics of corn here.  The corn in the picture above is real.

keeping track using circles

I need to blow these up poster-size since I continue to be surprised  by what’s available…

But considering all our variables (WEATHER, greenhouse or not, etc.) it doesn’t really matter, does it?  I need to just relax.  I’ve been told that before.

For those of us who garden, this infographic can be a good resource if you have really good eyesight:

from {communicatecreative} on Facebook

Check out communicatecreative on Facebook for more great food-related infographics.

I’m going to go back to melting now…

it’s that time

Hudson Farmers’ Market opens Saturday May 5th, 9am – 1pm and runs Saturdays through November.

Like them on Facebook or sign up for their emails to learn more about vendors, or even better, what’s coming to market.

This is one happy food muse!  :)  I’m excited about rhubarb.  Are you?

farming our future – it was a good Saturday

So I see everything through food goggles, right?  The more I learn about the industrial food complex that we’ve all grown up with, the more I want to know about the person producing my food.  Yesterday I attended the (1st annual) Farming our Future conference out at Taconic CSD.  That is, once I got us on the correct Rt. 23 going in the correct direction…  I should not be responsible for directions pre-coffee.  Luckily once we arrived, a fellow participant named Ejay (seeing the desperation on my face) pointed me in the direction of coffee  – thanks Ejay!

food in the middle of everything...

The morning began with the keynote speech by Steffen Schneider of Hawthorne Valley Farm, followed by a panel discussion.  The Register-Star covered it thoroughly here.  They didn’t mention the best nickname of the day, “Naked Swimmer”.  You had to be there.   The conversations were philosophical more than practical – which is what this very diverse crowd seemed to want.  After lunch and visiting the numerous exhibitors ( Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Sylvia Center/Katchkie Farm, Hudson Valley Bounty, Amy Cotler/The Locavore Way, Project Native, Friends of the Farmer, etc etc), two workshop sessions happened.  I attended  The Right Fit: Matching Food & Farm to Market and Sharing Resources – The Cooperative Way.  Both provided great food for thought.  This was followed by a World Cafe, encouraging participants to gather in small groups of 4 to discuss questions posed by the moderator.  By 4:30pm, my brain was full.

Identifying myself as an eater, I want to know more (and more) about where my food comes from.  As the daughter of a farmer having grown up doing farm chores, there is no way I’m going to return to the farm.  What I can do is make smart choices as an eater, a consumer.

What can you do?

food happenings, here and there

This is the time of year when we’re supposed to be in deep hibernation with our potatoes…  But this is the warmest winter…

So, let’s get out and mingle!

“Other People’s Food” is the potluck put on by Acres Co-op this Sunday, February 12th.  Who doesn’t like to eat other people’s food?  I know I do, because I get to taste food that I don’t want to make a whole pot or pan of at home, or taste foods that I have never made before, or, taste a better deviled egg or macaroni & cheese.  Wait, better than mine???  Perhaps it’s best to come to a potluck with small ego and warm heart and food for a crowd.  The movie Ratatouille is being screened (4:15pm) before dinner (5:45pm) – giving you the excuse to say ratatouille a lot.  Try it.  It’s fun.

Hmmm… maybe I should bring ratatouille to the dinner???  Sadly, very few of the ingredients are in season – it would not be a good seasonal meal.  Not just yet.

At the end of the month, Just Food is holding a conference in NYC in part to “mobilize good food projects in your community”.  The conference is February 24 & 25 (Saturday is geared more to the general public).  There are some really interesting workshops on the schedule on both days.  Good stuff!

Maple syrup season is coming up, but I’m guessing it will be really messed up by this non-winter we’re having.  There are two NY Maple Weekend(s) scheduled in March, and  New York Maple allows you to search for producers by zip code!  I’m going to think optimistically that the sap will run again this year.  Which means I need to use up last year’s jug of syrup *now*.  A batch of maple fudge is in order.  I had a perfect recipe picked out last weekend and now I can’t find it; I’ll try this one instead…

I wonder why there are no maple syrup producers listed in Columbia County? Do we have no maple trees???

Finally, mark your calendars for Saturday, May 5th.  But please don’t tell anyone – I’m not sure I want to share.  The Ramp Festival is returning to the Basilica after a pretty fab debut in 2011.  Last year, my favorite dish was goat.  I ate freakin’ goat!  I am a very bad vegetarian.

To atone, I may have to give mindful eating a spin.  But would you be able to spend your meals in silence?

new year’s resolutions anyone?

Personally, I don’t make them.  Just the word diet makes me reach for a cookie.  At least for me, resolutions seem a recipe for failure.

how can you say no to this?

I think of this after running into our neighbors at the Acres Co-op Market this weekend.  I was clutching my Dutch Desserts raspberry tart and my neighbor told me she’s not doing that sort of thing this month.  They’re eating clean and healthy for this month, including no drinking and no dessert.  Like I said…

So, here we are in the depths of winter and we have two, count ‘em, two food markets in the town of Hudson.  They actually both opened up last weekend, January 6/7, but since I was laid out flat with a cold (ie, napping after breakfast, going through a box of kleenix in a day, etc.) I only explored them this past weekend.  Food happiness.

The Acres Co-op Market is worth checking out to find some new producers and products for Hudson.  I won’t dare try to list them all since I will inevitably forget someone, but in addition to the lovely raspberry tart I also got a small chunk of gruyere, tasted smoked chicken (!) and picked up a couple of Block Factory tamales for lunch.

a perfect light lunch

Acres Co-op Market is open Saturdays, 10am – 2pm.

Lick The Market has many favorites from the Hudson Farmers’ Market – so we were able to pick up Loaf pretzels, eggs and the stuff for a yummy roasted beet salad.  People were squeezed in, looking at the fresh herbs, picking up bread and leeks and veggies and I overhead someone say “We’re not in a food desert anymore”.  I’m not sure we’re there yet, but we’re making great strides.  Lick is open Friday, Saturday AND Sunday.

Along a similar vein, have you heard about the Hudson 10% challenge?  There was a notice in one of our bills this month, but you can also find more info here.  Naturally, I would like to use 10% less energy not only in the name of saving the earth, but also saving 10% $$$ a month.  That sounds good to me.  In digging around their website, under Quick & Easy Changes, points 3, 4 and 5 are:

  • Buy local
  • Join a CSA
  • Shop at farmers markets

And then further down they suggest to eat less meat (since large commercial meat production drains resources) and use reusable bags.  For me, this will happen a lot faster than filling my cold walls with insulation, I’m afraid.

Will this town take this “buy local” advice and support two small food markets plus the CSAs & non-CSAs we have available?  They all offer the mix of organic and conventional, primarily local but reaching further for certain goods.  It’s articles like this and this that make me want to get closer to the farmer and the source of my food.  Then again, I’m not willing to give up olive oil, citrus, salt, etc…   It can be mind-boggling, no?

How do you define good food?  How will you eat good food this year?

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