Category Archives: farmer’s markets

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.


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.


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).


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.


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


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).


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!


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.


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



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






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.


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:


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!


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!


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:


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!


Cabbage Forage

In honor of the Westport Farmers Market‘s Cabbage Recipe contest, I adapted this Crock Pot Cabbage and Pork Soup recipe with a cabbage head from Sport Hill Farm.


I changed it up to keep it local and also used a Dutch oven instead of a crock pot.

Food Sources:

I cooked it in the oven in a covered Dutch oven for one hour at 325ºF and six more hours at 200ºF.

The sweet and heat give it a unique flavor depth, but you can still taste the individual ingredients. Even if I don’t win the contest, I still win because this is a healthy soup made from excellent ingredients from exceptional farms.