Archive for November, 2010

Pre-order holiday pies from Chef Ted McCormack’s new cafe!

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The Harvesting Hermit now has a website (www.harvestinghermit.com) where you can find out what delicious local food is on the menu – like house-cured ham and brie, locally raised pulled pork, breakfast sandwiches served all day, or how about a maple milkshake? Chef Ted is now offering pre-ordered pies and cakes for the holidays too. Check out their website, or stop by the cafe at 32½ Depot Square in Hampton, 603-967-4696. Down to the homemade pickles and chutneys, this place is all about locally grown ingredients!

New Class Schedule at Stone Turtle Baking

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

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The new schedule of classes has just arrived from Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School in Lyman, Maine:

 

We hope that y’all had a great Thanksgiving. The weather in Maine is definitely moving towards winter — you can smell snow in the air. It must be time to bake bread.

 

Attached is our January to June 2011 class schedule. We have Melissa Hodroff, who did a super Pies and Tarts class last session, coming back to do two classes — both sound so good to eat.  The Valentine’s Day class is of particular appeal -— sweets for the sweetheart in your life, what could be better.

 

We also have Richard Miscovich returning to do a 2-day Bread Intensive Workshop. He is an incredible fountain of information about bread and shares so willingly. Whether you’re an novice, a serious home baker or a professional this is a unique opportunity to take your current skill level and really kick it up a notch.

 

New to Stone Turtle is Chef Robert Zeilinski. Chef Zeilinski is an Instructor at Johnson & Wales University where he teaches advanced cake decorating.  Since cake decorating is a first time for us at Stone Turtle, we and Chef Zeilinski are looking for your input on the class content. Gum paste flowers and a spring bouquet have been suggested. Let us know what you would like the focus to be.

 

We hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season and and great New Year.

 

For January – June 2011 class schedule:  jan-jun_2011_schedule-web.pdf

 

For more information about classes at Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School, please visit www.stoneturtlebaking.com.

Organic Laying Hens Available

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Field to Fork Farm (Chester, NH) is selling some of their laying hens.  Here’s a message from the farmers:

Our ISA Brown laying hens were raised on our farm from chicks and now range on our organic fields and are fed only organic grain. These hens are great layers and are now 9 months old and will lay until next summer. This will be the only time we sell hens this year so please act now if you are interested. $12 Call: 603 548 4331  Please visit www.fieldtoforkfarm.com for more information about our farm.

 

Action Alert: Food Safety Bill Vote Today

Monday, November 29th, 2010

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act sometime today — this may be your final chance to make sure protections for family farms, local and organic producers are included in the new food safety bill. An op-ed piece by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser in today’s New York Times explains what’s at stake:

 

A Stale Food Fight

 

THE best opportunity in a generation to improve the safety of the American food supply will come as early as Monday night, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on the F.D.A. Food Safety Modernization bill. This legislation is by no means perfect. But it promises to achieve several important food safety objectives, greatly benefiting consumers without harming small farmers or local food producers.

 

The bill would, for the first time, give the F.D.A., which oversees 80 percent of the nation’s food, the authority to test widely for dangerous pathogens and to recall contaminated food. The agency would finally have the resources and authority to prevent food safety problems, rather than respond only after people have become ill. The bill would also require more frequent inspections of large-scale, high-risk food-production plants.

 

Last summer, when thousands of people were infected with salmonella from filthy, vermin-infested henhouses in Iowa, Americans were outraged to learn that the F.D.A. had never conducted a food safety inspection at these huge operations that produce billions of eggs a year. The new rules might have kept those people — mainly small children and the elderly — from getting sick.

 

The law would also help to protect Americans from unsafe food produced overseas: for the first time, imported foods would be subject to the same standards as those made in the United States.

 

You would think that such reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of the American people would have long since sailed through Congress. But after being passed by the House of Representatives more than a year ago with strong bipartisan support, the legislation has been stuck in the Senate. One sticking point was the fear among small farmers and producers that the new regulations would be too costly — and the counter-fear among consumer groups that allowing any exemptions for small-scale agriculture might threaten public health…

 

To read rest of article online >

 

Contact your local Senator and urge them to support the Manager’s Amendment and pass the Food Safety Bill:

Senator Olympia Snowe, Maine

Senator Susan Collins, Maine

Senator Scott Brown, Massachusetts

Senator John Kerry, Massachusetts

Senator Judd Gregg, New Hampshire

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

Cheese Chicks: Pumpkin Fondue!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

 This time of year brings with it one of my most loved vegetables:  winter squash.  It’s versatile, attractive, and quite delicious!  The variety I think is most versatile is the pumpkin.  I love most anything to do with pumpkins, be they in pie form, carving Jack O’Lanterns, used as decoration… they are beautiful and comforting and essentially usher in the last quarter of the year in one perfect package.

Last month, I headed out to Pickpocket Farm’s Harvest Potluck, bringing with me two Pumpkin Fondues.  Fondue is the perfect social food — everyone gathering around the pot (this pot is actually a baked pumpkin) dipping their fondue forks speared with pieces of baguette into a creamy, melty mess of comforting, warm cheese.  What could be better?  The pumpkins were met with rave reviews, and both were demolished fairly quickly.  One of the pumpkins was on center stage outside on that very cold day, and it stayed hot enough to keep the cheese melted until all of it was gone.  Perfect!

I made the fondue again for a group of friends helping us with our fall chores.  Once again, the pumpkin was hailed as “crazy good,” even by someone who hated fondue.  Enough said.

And now, some notes on the recipe before you actually make it.

The pumpkin you need for this recipe will be any edible variety, and small — we’re talking 4-5 lbs.  I prefer a nice round pumpkin rather than a tall, narrow one because it lets more people get into all that melty goodness at the same time, rather than making people politely wait their turn.  Fondue to me says “DIG IN!”

Garlic is an important part of this recipe.  I grow my own, and the past two years have produced an amazingly pungent garlic.  I am usually forced to reduce the amount called for in dishes that aren’t really cooking the garlic much, but for the fondue I went full strength.  It is much better to go overboard here than not use enough.  If you are using small-cloved supermarket garlic, I would even double the amount. 

fannymason_2041_182779.jpg    And now the cheese.  I typically use Boggy Meadow Farm’s Baby Swiss, which is nutty and melts beautifully.  Sometimes you can only find the smoked variety, so when that happens I use any type of Gruyere, or maybe a mix of Gruyere and Fontina.  You could also try Jarlsberg, if that’s all you have hanging out in your fridge.  The recipe also calls for mozzarella.  If you can make your own like I do, do it!  Fresh, homemade cheese makes an incredible fondue.  Even if your mozzarella comes out drier than you’d like, it’s still perfect for shredding and melting.

Finally, you should make your own bread crumbs.  The canned or bagged supermarket variety will not produce the consistency you need.  Slice up some homemade bread (the recipe calls for white, but I’ve used varieties of wheat with no problem), toast it and process it and within seconds you have exquisite bread crumbs.

FONDUE in a PUMPKIN

1 pumpkin (4-5 lbs), washed and dried

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (double if using a supermarket variety)

6 oz. Baby Swiss cheese, shredded

2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

4 slices white (or wheat) bread, toasted and crumbled

1 pint half-and-half

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (Have you ever grated nutmeg yourself?  Heavenly!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cut a 2-inch slice from top of pumpkin (make sure you’re not cutting straight up and down — you want the top to rest on the pumpkin, shelf-like, as it bakes) and reserve.  Remove seeds and fibers.  Blend oil and garlic and rub into interior of pumpkin.  Place pumpkin in a large roasting pan.

Gently combine the shredded cheeses.  Alternate layers of toast crumbs and cheese inside the pumpkin.  Combine half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour over the layers.  Replace top, making sure stem will fit into your oven.  If not, slice it off.  Bake pumpkin 2 hours, gently stirring contents after 1 1/2 hours.

sel-blog-photo-of-fondue-11-21-2010-6-01-31-pm.jpg    If you can, make your own baguettes to dip into your pumpkin pot.  If not, try to make whatever homemade bread you can, but keep it simple.  You will want to savor every bite of delectable cheese!  The surprise ending to this dish is to make sure your fork scrapes the side of the cooked pumpkin.  Filling your mouth with this mixture of bread, cheese and pumpkin makes for a truly perfect meal — because you will eat so much of it, you will not have room for anything else.  Happy melting!

“A Common Table” Dinner at UNH, December 3 & 4

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

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“A Common Table” Gourmet Dinner

December 3 & 4, UNH

On December 3rd and 4th, the UNH Hospitality Management Advanced Food and Beverage Class will host ‘A Common Table’, a six-course gourmet dinner at Stillings Dining Hall.

 

Students, along with guest chef Evan Mallet from the Black Trumpet Bistro, will prepare the food from scratch and buy many of their ingredients from local farms.  A few of the area suppliers include Brookford Farm, Garen’s Greens at Riverside Farm and Applecrest Farm.

 

All leftover food products will be made into “stone” soup by the students after the dinner and will be given to Cross Roads House in Portsmouth to feed those who also deserve a warm meal.

 

Hors d’oeuvres begin at 6:00 pm and dinner at 7:00 pm.  To learn more or see the full menu, visit www.wsbe.unh.edu/gourmetdinner.

Seacoast Delegates at Slow Food’s Terra Madre

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

A delegation of 4 members from the Seacoast food community participated in Terra Madre last month, the bi-annual conference hosted by Slow Food. This year, the international gathering included Jean Pauly-Jennings from Meadows Mirth Farm in Stratham, John Forti, curator of HIstoric Landscapes at Strawbery Banke, Chef Evan Mallett from Black Trumpet Bistro, and Sara Hartley, a student in the Eco-Gastronomy program at UNH. Rachel Forrest at Seacoastonline.com spoke with them about their experiences:

 

Slow Food delegates bring back ideas, values from conference in Italy

 

A farmer, a chef, a horticultural curator and a student flew to Torino, Italy, last month to be a part of Terra Madre, a bi-annual conference held from Oct. 21 to Oct. 25 that began in 2004, a conference that brings more than 5,000 representatives from 160 countries together to discuss and introduce innovative concepts in the field of food, gastronomy, globalization and economics.

 

Naturally, they also tasted plenty of food.

 

The discussion also included their reflections on the question, “What did they bring back to the community?”:

Jean: I brought some beans back to try to grow some new varieties to see what happens. What was the most compelling thing for me was these beans are three different varieties from three different villages and they’re all white beans that took on a character all their own because of where they grew. There was always the same question there — How do we make local food viable and affordable for everyone? It’s on everyone’s radar and it’s not going to get solved right away. Our food needs to be “Good, Clean, Fair and Ethical.” That’s a good foundation for moving forward.

 

John: We need to create the list of things that grow from our region and bring it back and help people grow the food in their back yard. The variety of things going on in people’s back yards from so many cultures. There are kumquats growing in yards in Italy, they just pull it out of their yards. We can do that. Maybe not kumquats but so many things.

 

Evan: One of the things I got out of it was looking at sustainable fisheries worldwide. Bringing in diversity is important to me as a chef. I want to play with as many kinds of food as possible but there are some fish I should not be playing with because they’re endangered. Fish native to Europe are going to Japan and there’s none left locally. In some places, 100 percent of the catch is going thousands of miles away and in these small European towns, they get packaged fish from Alaska to eat. There are thousands of species of edible fish in the Mediterranean Sea and only eight of them are consumed as staples in Italy.

 

As a chef, my approach to my menu now is that I’d like to prepare fish that people are afraid to eat and help them eat it, get people into the habit of eating it and help increase the biodiversity. If I say, “Sorry we don’t have cod today,” the customer needs to be able to say, “We get that” and try something new, whatever nature deals you.

 

To read article at Seacoastonline.com >

Nature’s Wonders Cooking Classes for Kids – December schedule

Friday, November 26th, 2010

From Nature’s Wonders:

This is a wonderful season to spend some time in the kitchen with your child or grandchild. Nature’s Wonders is offering some exciting cooking classes that your whole family will enjoy.
Cooking is a wonderful activity for children of all ages.  It’s a great way to integrate math and literacy as well as a wonderful sensory experience for parents and children to do together. Join Nature’s Wonders for some holiday cooking. Call 436-6756 or email natureswonders@gmail for more information. Cost is $25.  Space is limited to sign up now!

December’s schedule:

YOGA and HEALTHY SNACKS
Tuesday December 7 at 10:00 or 3:30
This is a great time to slow down , breathe and take care of yourselves.  We will begin with some relaxing exercises and then talk about healthy foods as we make herb roll-ups and smoothies. Children will get to eat their snack as we listen to a story

Hauska
Friday, December 10 at 10:00
We will make Hauska (a braided Czechoslovakian bread).  Learn to make this tasty yeast bread, braid it and take it home to bake.

Gingerbread People
Tuesday, December 14 at  10:00 and 3:30
We will make ginger bread cookies and tell the story of the gingerbread boy. There will be cookies to eat and some to take home

Tractor Rollover Bar Rebate Program from UNH Cooperative Extension

Friday, November 26th, 2010

From Nada Haddad, Extension Agent, comes this announcement of a safety improvement opportunity:

Join us at a special event to launch the New Hampshire Rollover Protection System Rebate Program

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Farmers are eight times more likely to be killed on the job than other American workers, and tractor rollover is the number one cause of farming fatalities. But a rollover protection system (ROPS) and seatbelt are 99% effective in preventing these deaths. Yet many older tractors in use on New Hampshire farms are not equipped with ROPS, also known as rollbars.

In partnership with the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), UNH Cooperative Extension, and N.H. Farm and Rural Education Foundation, the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food is bringing a ROPS Retrofit Rebate Program to New Hampshire.

With this program, farmers will receive a 70% rebate for the cost of their ROPS, up to $765. Farmers will also get help finding the appropriate ROPS and assistance ordering the equipment.

As a lead program sponsor, John Deere and three New Hampshire John Deere dealers are hosting special launch events. Farmers and others interested in this program may attend any one of three locations Tuesday, Nov. 30, 10:30 a.m. until noon. A presentation about the program takes place at 11:30 a.m.

Learn more about the N.H. ROPS Rebate Program, register to have your tractor fitted with a ROPS and hear from farmers why this equipment is important. Enjoy refreshments and John Deere door prizes as well.

Please attend at any one of the following locations:

1. James Rosencrantz & Sons, 184 South Road, Kensington (South on Route 107, off Route 125, go about six miles and it is on the right), 603-772-4414.
2. R.N. Johnson, 269 Main Street, off Route 12 in Walpole (North entrance to town by the Malnati Dairy
Farm), 603-756-3321
3. Blackmount Equipment, 2924 Dartmouth College Highway, Route 10, North Haverhill, 603-787-6311

Call Dick Uncles, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, if you have questions about ROPS or the launch event, at 603-271-3551 or runcles@agr.state.nh.us.

Thanks to the following N.H. ROPS Rebate Program sponsors and supporters: NH Dept. of Agriculture,
Markets & Foods; John Deere; Co-operative Insurance Companies; Farm Credit East; Yankee Farm Credit; NH Farm Service Agency, Chappell Tractor, Townline Equipment, and Farm Family Life and Casualty Insurance Companies. For more information about ROPS or to register for the program, call toll-free 1-877-ROPS-R4U or visit www.ropsr4u.com.

From a Seasonal Kitchen: Late November

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

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Here’s the second in this series based on cooking seasonally with local foods. With the holidays fast approaching, it was a busy week. Turnip recipes needed testing as we got ready for the Winter Farmers’ Market. Weekend menus were especially inspired by ingredients from Saturday’s Winter Farmers’ Market.

 

We were also busy catching up in the garden, with a long list of chores to finish before the ground freezes. The weather has been distinctly colder, with night time temperatures in the low 30′s. Our garden is still providing for us with fresh arugula and salad greens, beets and their greens, kale, chard, and leeks, all under protective cover. The last planting of radishes has been pulled up, and we’ve finished harvesting the potatoes, carrots and celery root (celeriac). There was one last harvest of rosemary, marjoram and mint. The parsley, sage, thyme, and cutting celery continue to hang in there.

 

Note: Items in bold shows food that was either grown or produced locally; canned goods refer to home-preserved food. Pictured in photo: turnip pancakes, turnip and potato cakes with fried sage, and turnip and butternut squash soup.

 

Third week of November, 2010

Monday:

- Roasted vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, red onion)

- Braised kale with mushrooms and garlic

- Brown rice

 

Tuesday:

- Parsnip and bacon chowder

- Potato flatbread

 

Wednesday:

- Rigatoni pasta (Valicenti Organico) with chickpeas, tomatoes (canned), garlicrosemary and sage

- Mixed green salad

 

Thursday:

- Yellow Eye beans and turnips (recipe)

- Turnip and carrot slaw (recipe)

- Turnip pancakes

- Turnip and potato cakes with fried sage (recipe)

- Turnip and butternut squash soup

 -Delicata squash baked with sausage, quinoa and kale

- Mixed green salad

 

Friday:

- Roast cod with cherry tomatoes (canned) and potatoes (recipe)

- Sauteed beet greens and red onions

 

Saturday:

- Risotto with northern shrimp (frozen) and radicchio

- Mixed green salad

 

Sunday:

- Brunch: Cod and potato hash (from leftovers) baked with eggs

- Tomato salsa (lacto-fermented)

- Dinner: Pasta with duck eggs (recipe)

- Mixed green salad