Archive | Summer 2013

Community Oven is Hot

commOven
Photo courtesy Brent Wasser

It’s art. Dan Williams slid a peel, the large paddle used to maneuver food in and out, across the blackened floor of the North Adams Community Oven and produced a golden loaf. It landed with a hollow thump on a table under the spring sun.

This boule showed the traits of a wood-fired sourdough: a thick helmet of crisp crust, an airy form bulging with steam, and the unique perfume of native North Adams yeast and sweet smoke.

Peering through the oven’s small door, Williams aimed an infrared thermometer at the back of the dome: The firebrick still glowed at 400˚F., hot enough to bake a casserole or cook a stew. “We once spatchcocked [split and spread open], a chicken and roasted it in the oven. Holy moly, it was mind-blowing!” he said.

The oven, now in its second year, continues to inspire amazement and foster community under Canadian artist Eryn Foster’s vision. The wood-fired brick oven seems small in the shadow of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) along River Street in North Adams, but it delivers defiantly big results. Fired with one large load of hardwood, the oven maintains consistent temperatures for hours, yielding crisp pizza and hearty bread with uniform thick crust.… Read the rest

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Don’t Compost It, Make the Most of It

dontCompost

I’m racing with my farmers’ market buying this time of year. Rather than compost fodder, the bits and pieces left a day longer than their beauty lasted are my new favorite ingredients.

Show the old cast-iron skillet some love and unbury the food mill. Dust off the heavy-bottomed pot and grab a trusty cookbook for reference. Take stock of what is languishing in the refrigerator, on the counter or in the garden and let your food memories be your guide. We’re turning leftovers into eminently edible delights.

Let’s start with the grandmother of Bowls of Love. With its genesis in a pragmatic kitchen we all know how to make panzanella but it’ll get us in the mood.

Big bowl, a few wayward vine-ripened tomatoes … chop, chop … a healthy dash of salt to get the juices flowing and an ever-present garlic clove or two grated in for some gusto, a splash of olive oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar. A few hours later, tear in a handful of basil and chunks of yesterday’s bread to soak up the goodness. Go about the business at hand for another hour or so until the bread has absorbed the liquid, and you tell me: Is there a better example anywhere of a sum being greater than its parts?… Read the rest

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TRIPPING OUT FOR A DAY: HILLSDALE

The little hamlet that could

 trippingHillsdale

trippingHillsdale2

Tucked in at the crossroads of Routes 22 and 23 just a few miles west of the Massachusetts border, the hamlet of Hillsdale, New York, has at times seemed a small town that time forgot, a place you might hardly notice on your way to the Berkshires. But that is changing fast. If you haven’t seen Hillsdale in awhile, you might want to plan a visit.

Established in 1788, the hamlet is now a National Register Historic District, a designation that allows significant tax breaks for restoration of both residential and commercial buildings, and it is beginning to show. Anchored by longtime stores Herrington’s, IGA and Taconic Valley Lawn and Garden, which are all family owned, new businesses are finding niches along Route 23 and down Anthony St.

The heart of hamlet change at present is in the semicircle of buildings known as Village Square Plaza, around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument island where the year-round Christmas tree also stands at the corner of Anthony Street and Route 23.

In 2009 Ken Davis and Kevin Draves opened their “lifestyle boutique,” Passiflora, where you can find everything from Lampes Bergers and reclaimed furniture to an adorable baby shower gift or birthday card, including cards with Ken’s photographs from around the globe.… Read the rest

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playingTheMarket

PLAYING THE MARKET

Mediterranean Approach Yields Fresh Fare

playingTheMarket

Photos by Yael Dolev

When I became naturalized citizen, I was grateful for my welcome to this country. I was eager to assimilate, and to tone down my Mediterranean temperament. But one obsession I did not give up: MY FOOD.

Coming from Israel, my natural, almost automatic habit is to crave a range of fresh, colorful, wholesome, real foods. While avoiding spending time that I cannot spare on preparations, I improvise daily to create simple, tasty, nourishing meals.

In time I found that the nutrition authorities here call my habits the “Mediterranean Food Pyramid.” I discarded that idea, as I don’t eat any pyramid; I just eat good, tasty food. And there is no ideology behind the way I eat. I simply follow the manner of eating practiced by my ancestors for thousands of years. Their behavior came to be as a result of poverty, scarcity of land and unpredictable weather that often produced a water shortage. Hence, variety and freshness were the elements of their diet.

But these foodways were also inspired by societies that developed along a sea that supplies fresh fish, seafood and refreshing breeze. The variety reflects all the unpredictability of a fisherman’s life.… Read the rest

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EDIBLE NEWS AND NOTABLES SUMMER 2013

notableHaven 

Haven restaurant of Lenox will be opening a branch of its breakfast and lunch café in Café Adam’s old spot on Rte. 7 across from Price Chopper Plaza. Look for the same wonderful treats loved in Lenox (with much easier parking!)

notablePatisserieLenox

Patisserie Lenox will open a second location in Great Barrington in June. Owners plan to stay open late for the after-theater crowds, as well as offer sidewalk café tables, weather permitting. This location will serve as the bakery for both stores. We warmly welcome Jean Yves and Yulia to town.

notableBagelBrew

Bagel and Brew is expected to open in June in Lenox at the former location of Berkshire Bagels. Owners Phil Cohen and Sam Canfield will serve up to 12 varieties of bagels from Bagels Too in Pittsfield and donuts from Home Sweet Home in Great Barrington, along with coffee and tea. Breakfast will be served all day with flavored cream cheese, eggs and sausages. Good Luck Phil and Sam.

notableLenoxNatural

Lenox Natural Foods has opened in Lenox. Formerly Clearwater Natural Foods, the new shop, owned by the Dragonetti siblings of Spoon, has been completely renovated and now includes fresh produce, as well as a wonderful selection of organic and natural products —a welcome addition to downtown Lenox.… Read the rest

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER SUMMER 2013

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Last year, as family and friends sat down on the lawn at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a group of full-time residents were our immediate neighbors. As luck would have it, my attention was called to a wonderful patriotic cake, baked with the help of mom, Tracy Seckler, and designed by her son Charley and his younger sister, Maisy. That wonderful dessert adorns Edible Berkshire’s front cover.

As the 17,000 or so visitors settled into their encampments to hear James Taylor and his namesake Taylor Swift ring in July Fourth, a conversation took place regarding the wonderful accomplishment it was for Charley and his family to have created this cake. In 2004 Charley was diagnosed with a genetic disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). It is a rapidly progressive form of muscular dystrophy that occurs primarily in boys. There is no known cure, but they were a family full of hope.

Tracy and husband, Benjamin, created Charley’s Fund. The purpose was to fund research for a cure.

The effort over the past eight years has paid off. Under the direction of five hospitals, including Johns Hopkins, a clinical trial is now underway across the country. Charley has been selected to participate and will begin this summer.… Read the rest

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EDIBLE DIRECTORY SUMMER 2013

BOWE FIELD
Old Columbia St., Adams
AAFAdams.Tripod.com

THE ALTAMONT FAIR
129 Grand St., Altamont, NY
AltamontFair.com

AYELADA
505 East St., Pittsfield
413-344-4126
Ayelada.com

BAGEL AND BREW
18 Franklin St., Lenox
BagelandBrew@gmail.com

BARRINGTON BREWERY & RESTAURANT
420 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington
BarringtonBrewery.net

BASCOM LODGE
3491 feet atop Mount Greylock
Lanesboro
413-743-1591
BascomLodge.net

BERKSHIRE BIKE AND BOARD
502C East St., Pittsfield
413-445-8888
BerkshireBikeandBoard.com

BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN
5 West Stockbridge Rd., Stockbridge
413-298-3926
BerkshireBotanical.org

BERKSHIRE CO-OP MARKET
42 Bridge St., Great Barrington
413-528-9697
Berkshire.coop

BERKSHIRE FOOD FESTIVAL
Main St., North Adams
ExploreNorthAdams.com
tourism@northadams-ma.gov–vendor app

BERKSHIRES ARTS FESTIVAL
BUTTERNUT SKI AREA
380 State Rd., Rt. 23, Great Barrington
845-355-2400
BerkshiresArtsFestival.com

BERKSHIRE YOGURT
17 Franklin St., Lenox
413-637-1800

BIG ELM BREWING
65 Silver St., Sheffield
BigElmBrewery.com

CAFÉ ADAM
420 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington
413-528-7786
CafeAdam.org

CANAL STREET FAMILY FAIR
Canal St., North Adams
NorthAdams-MA.gov

CANOE MEADOWS COMMUNITY GARDENS
Holmes Rd., Pittsfield
413-637-0320
MassAudubon.org

CHARLEY RIDE
29 State Rd., Great Barrington
Facebook.com/CharleysFund

COLONIAL THEATER
111 South St., Pittsfield
413-997-4444
TheColonialTheater.org

COLUMBIA COUNTY FAIR
Route 66,Chatham, NY
518-392-2121
ColumbiaFair.com

CUMMINGTON FAIR
97 Fairgrounds Rd., Cummington
CummingtonFair.com

FARM ON
Copake Country Club, Copake, NY
518.325.9437
FriendsOfTheFarmer.com

FROYO WORLD
280 Main St., Great Barrington
413-591-8884

GARDEN CONSERVANCY
Open Days Program
GardenConservancy.org/opendays

HAVEN CAFÉ & BAKERY
325 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington
413-528-5433
HavenCafeBakery.com

HAWTHORNE VALLEY FARM
327 County Route #21C, Ghent, NY
518-672-7500
HawthorneValleyFarm.org

HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE
1843 W.… Read the rest

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Lamb Curry

recipeLambCurry

From: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 12th edition,
Revised by Marion Cunningham with Jeri Laber, 1984

A mild curry: Add more curry powder if a spicy dish is desired. If you use leftover lamb, substitute beef broth for the lamb broth. Serve with rice and chutney.

2 pounds boned lean lamb, in 1½-inch cubes
3 onions, sliced
1 teaspoon thyme, crumbled
2 parsley sprigs
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Put the meat in a heavy pot with a lid or a Dutch oven and cover with 1quart of boiling water. Add the onions, thyme and parsley. Simmer for 1 hour, skimming the scum that rises to the top during the first 15 minutes. Remove the meat, strain the liquid and set aside. In a skillet, melt the butter and gradually stir in the flour and curry powder. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Slowly add the lamb broth and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, for several minutes, until the sauce thickens

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Duck With Salted Caramel Sauce

recipeDuck

By Chef Benjamin Daire of Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar

Serves 6

The Duck:

6 (8-ounce) duck breasts

Trim the excess duck fat. Season with salt and pepper. Pan-sear duck on fat side for 6 minutes on medium heat; finish in the oven at 350°, 12–15 minutes for medium- rare.

The Mashed Potatoes:

2 pounds Russet potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter

Cut the potatoes in quarters. Cover with cold salted water. When water boils reduce to simmer. Cover pot, cook til fork tender 10-12 minutes.Strain, return to pot, add cream, butter and mash the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The Green Beans:

1 pound green beans
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, each cut in half

Boil salted water to blanch the green beans. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until crisptender, chill them in ice water. Sauté onions with garlic until tender. Add cherry tomatoes and green beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cold water
6 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream

Combine sugar and water in an heavybottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until deep amber color (7–8 minutes). Remove from heat. Whisk in salt. Carefully whisk heavy cream and milk into the caramel

To Serve

Arrange plate with mashed potatoes on the bottom, duck breast placed to 1 side, beans and tomatoes to the other side, all drizzled artfully with the sauce.

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Ice Glen Berkshire Berry Lemonade

recipeIceGlenLemonade

1½ ounces Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka
3 ounces RIPE brand Sour Mix or Homemade Sour Mix*
1 handful fresh seasonal berries
Lemon, lime or fresh mint for garnish

For a colorful creation, combine first 3 ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. For a clear libation, combine first 2 ingredients with ice in shaker, then add berries to glass. Empty shaker into your favorite drinking vessel. Garnish with lemon, lime or fresh mint.

Sit back and enjoy!

* For Homemade Sour Mix: Dissolve 2 cups sugar into 1 cup boiling water. Cool. Add ¾ cup lemon juice and ¾ cup lime juice to your simple syrup. Mix well, store in refrigerator.

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