Category Archives: farmer’s markets

Brave the elements–it’s worth it

About a month ago, this little gem arrived in my inbox from Farmer John at Camps Road Farm. This is too good not to share.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right

How’s that for a click-baity email subject line? I’m two cups of coffee in and I cannot help myself.

I know what you’re thinking, “It’s cold and rainy outside, I want to stay inside and be snuggly.” Well, if you’re not thinking it, I know I certainly am. But then picture this:

The temperature is dropping down to 5 degrees tonight after the 50 degree yesterday. There’s freezing temps, black ice, and frigid winds in the forecast. It’s ok though because this morning you went to the New Milford Farmers’ Market and you’re roasting a chicken from Camps Road Farm.

Your house is full of the comforting aroma of roasted goodness. The temperature in your house is that much more comfortable with having the stove on. As you sit and enjoy the glass of beer you got from Kent Falls Brewing Company you dream about eating the pickles you got from Mountain View Farm, and the potatoes and spinach you got from Fort Hill Farm.

You can’t wait for dinner so you take the edge off by dipping bread from Wave Hill into hummus from Riverbank Farm. Dinner hasn’t even happened yet and already you’re looking forward to the steak and eggs you’ll have for breakfast tomorrow from Happy Acres and Kimberly Farm.

What I am saying here is, food is joy. There are a collection of people who have made it their job to make sure you get that happy feeling in your belly. We would love to see you this morning.

New Milford Farmers’ Market
East Street School
50 East St. in New Milford (right on 202 near CVS)
From 9 – 12:30

While this is a shameless plug for the market, I hope you enjoyed the picture I painted here. I certainly enjoyed writing it. It’s time to go pack the van. I hope to see you soon.

Cheers,
Farmer John

Indeed John, your vivid imagery certainly motivated me to get out and brave the elements! While I have enough local food stores on hand to get through nearly the entire winter, I still like to get out there and see what the farmers have for us in the winter. But damn, it was cold! Thanks John for getting me out of my comfort zone to get some more fixins for comfort foods.

See you at the New Milford Farmers Market.

Foraging for Thanksgiving – 2014

Because we are both hunters and gatherers…

Yes, I already have lots of things I’d preserved and stored from the summer. And I had a number of things I’d gotten last Saturday at the Westport Farmers Market. But one still needs MORE.

The Saturday before…

This year, I changed it up a bit and instead of the usual tradition of the New Haven market, I went up to Litchfield.

First stop, Arethusa Farm Dairy in Bantam, CT for cheese, butter, sour cream, egg nog, and as long as I was there, a dish of ice cream to keep me going.

arethusa

Since I was in Litchfield and so close, off to the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market. I scored spinach and arugula from Maple View Farm, some veggies from Wild Carrrot Farm, and some Cato Corner cheese for Thanksgiving and lots of other things for post-Thanksgiving real life.

litchfield

Then down to New Morning in Woodbury, CT for other things…like my milk…and an assortment of non-local, but essential, Thanksgiving items (olives, bell peppers, pistachios, rice, lemons and limes, and more things like that).

new_morning

Then to Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, CT for yet more apples, Brussels sprouts, Lyman’s Cider. I already got my choice, hand-selected by Howie Bronson sugar pumpkin last week.

maple_bank

Then on to Ferris Acres Creamery in Newtown, CT to pick up my ice cream order.

ferris

This picture was taken at 4:30. The last of the crowd had just left. They were only supposed to be open until 3 PM!

The Tuesday before…

First stop, Quattro Farm Store in Pleasant Valley NY for the turkey, heavy cream, some more veggies from the Migliorelli’s, flour and corn meal from Wild Hive, and some NY beer (and some other stuff not for the holiday).

quattro

There’s Carmella (who I was delighted to finally meet) and her granddaughters.

Then on to Sport Hill Farm in Easton, CT, for cauliflower and whatever else one might find!

sport_hill

I think I have enough now.

Local Thanksgiving 2013

I love this holiday! Thank you to all my farmers who grow my food year ’round. I am continually impressed with your skills as soil whisperers.

Appetizers

The best part of appetizers is breaking into the goodies I “put by” in season.

thx2013_app

Soup

Chicken Soup (recipe) with bowtie pasta and/or brown rice made from chicken from Stuarts Family Farm, carrots from Maple Bank Farm, parsnips from Fort Hill Farm, celeriac from Riverbank Farm, onions from George Hall Farm, my own parsley. Brown rice and pasta: not local.

 Main Course

thx2013_main

Beverages

beverages

 Dessert

thx2013_pies

We have much to be grateful for.

Local St. Paddy’s

While I know that real Irish people (in Ireland) don’t eat corned beef, I have these culinary adventures on my list and today seemed like the right day to make my As-Local-As-It-Could-Be Reuben Sandwich.

rueben

The corned beef began as a brisket from Eagle Wood Farms. I followed Alton Brown’s recipe for corning, except instead of his spice list from faraway places, I got a pre-made mix of faraway spices from Penzey’s in Norwalk. I added salt and potassium nitrate (yes), not local. I brined it for 10 days, turning it every morning and evening. I cooked it with:

corned_beef

The sauerkraut began as cabbage from Sport Hill Farm, fermented per Sandor Katz‘s instructions. This would have been a great entry in the Westport Market’s cabbage contest, but there wasn’t enough time for the fermentation. It’s been fermenting for several weeks now. This is not my first attempt, but it is my first attempt that worked!

fermenting_sauerkraut

I made the rye bread following Martha Stewart’s recipe (mostly).

  • bread flour – red hard spring wheat from Wild Hive
  • rye flour from Wild Hive
  • honey from Swords and Plowshares
  • butter from Smyth’s Trinity Farm
  • yeast and salt: not local. I didn’t use caraway seeds.

Color me delightfully surprised when the loaf really did “tip out” of the loaf pan!

rye_bread

The Swiss cheese is Cry Baby from Arethusa Farm Dairy. (Thank you, Lisa from New Morning! I owe you big time.)

The dressing. Sigh. Should it be Thousand Island or Russian? What constitutes an authentic recipe of either? Here’s what I made:

dressing

Served with a dill pickle, fermented right here. Original cucumbers from Daffodil Hill Growers.

And that’s my sandwich. I hope you had a happy St. Paddy’s Day!