Category Archives: farms

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.

Country-style pork ribs

I love country-style pork ribs, even more than baby back ribs. Technically, they’re not really ribs (back-story here). These country ribs had enough meat to make them worthwhile and enough bone to give them flavor. You can cook them just like you would cook pork chops but my favorite way to use them is in a slow-and-low type recipe. There is no potpourri or Yankee Candle that can make your house smell as good as slow-braising pork!

country_ribs_and_corn

I used Melissa d’Arabian’s country-style pork ribs recipe and adapted it for local ingredients and what I have on hand.

  • country-style pork ribs from Ox Hollow Farm
  • carrots from Riverbank Farm
  • celeriac (substituted for celery) from Fort Hill Farm
  • leeks (substituted for onion) from Sport Hill Farm
  • garlic from Sport Hill Farm
  • plum tomatoes, defrosted (substituted for tomato paste) from Stone Gardens Farm
  • cayenne red pepper flakes from Joel
  • bay leaves from Northfordy Farm (Yes! They really have local bay leaves. And local ginger too, but that’s another post)
  • turkey stock (substituted for chicken stock) from a Quattro Farm turkey
  • apple cider vinegar, sunflower oil, salt, and pepper: not local

The recipe said to go with a 350°F oven for 1-1/2 hours. I did 325°F for 2-1/2 hours until the meat was practically falling off the bone. It came out incredibly moist and flavorful. Next time I may substitute white wine for the apple cider vinegar.

Those beautiful corn “niblets” are also from Sport Hill Farm with some butter from Ronnybrook Farm. I don’t go gaga over corn on the cob in the summer like most folks do, but I really do enjoy it in the winter—it’s like a burst of summer on a frosty day (and it was pretty darn chilly earlier today). Also, a lot easier than polenta.

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.