Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Wednesday July 20, 2011

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Marilyn and Nabih Nejaime

I was lucky enough to sit down with Marilyn and Nabih Nejaime one sunny afternoon. They shared their amazing story of how their Lebanese heritage served as the basis of their booming business! As good stories often are, the story of how the Nejaimes began their lavash company happen almost as accident. A customer at their grocery store in Stockbridge requested the Lebanese flatbread, but Nabih refused to serve the low quality of manufactured lavash. Instead he made his own for the customer, and served the leftovers as samples to the shoppers. The next day, people returned requesting "that bread stuff." Although they didn't share the lavash recipe with me, I did manage to get their delicious humous recipe and fattoush salad. Listen to the rest of their amazing story on Heirloom Meals Radio!

Tuesday July 19, 2011

Tabletop Tuesdays:
Growing Family

I now have a roost of beautiful baby chicken dishes to go along with the "mother" red chicken roasting dish.

These things are so cute--and versatile! They are great for soup, custard, ice cream, and of course roasting. This French design allows the dish to go directly from the oven to the table. They can also be used as beautiful centerpieces. Luckily for you, they will be available on the Heirloom Meals store soon, so you can enjoy them as much as I have. Even the real chickens loved them!!

Friday July 15, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
The Perfect Pasta

Surprise guest blogger! Erin here--Heirloom Meals's summer intern, and I have the best job in the world: sampling Carole's cooking. One of her most recent concoctions was this Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Pasta.

Simply fabulous. One thing about Carole that never ceases to amaze me is her ability to go into the kitchen, rummage through the weekly farm share, and emerge with a truly delicious dinner. For this particular dish, Carole had an overabundance of Swiss chard from her garden. She added chicken, onion, basil, and other spices to gluten-free pasta. (I can't taste the difference.) Topped with a little parmesan cheese, it made my night. It is the perfect pasta; healthy, easy, and you can substitute any vegetables you like. It was light and fresh, but filling. Make it yourself, here. Your family, guests, and summer interns will love it!

Wednesday July 13, 2011

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Gina Hyams

Gina Hyams has a diverse history, both geographically and culinarily. She and her mother moved to California for a year to live in a commune. To this day, she still can't stand the taste of sprouts. Gina has had a fondness for giant New York roast beef sandwiches since her father took her to a Jewish deli. To her young eyes, the sandwiches seemed ten inches tall! He would also make omlettes in the shape of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, complete with a grape jelly nose. For several years, Gina lived in Mexico, which inspired her first "kit" Day of the Dead Box. She now resides in the Berkshires, where her love of pie has led her to another endeavor, Pie Contest in a Box. Listen to our interview and try out the custard cornbread - a real hit at dinner parties!

Thursday July 07, 2011

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
The Joys of Straw

My garden is really coming along.  The 38 tomato plants are all staked.  I remember my grandfather always removing the "suckers".  When I was a kid I thought they were bugs. Now I remove the suckers and have learned that they are new shoots that form at the roots of the plant that can "suck" the energy from growing bigger and more delicious tomatoes. I have even staked my eggplant which are finally beginning to show signs of life.  For a while I thought they were frozen in size.  Now they are growing and offering up flowers - yippee!!

I planted my kale and Swiss chard so it gets morning and midday sun, but ends up shaded as the afternoon passes.  I think they like it  -  they are healthy and productive!!

But the weeds were killing me!  In fact, one day I thought the weeds were winning and then I discovered STRAW.  Not only does the straw make for lovely paths, its golden color offers a juxtaposition to the lush greeness of all the plants.  And, it seemed to be a magnet for the chickens - I only left the gate open for 2 minutes as I went for a glass of water....

Well, it's time for a little harvesting. Happy day.

Wednesday July 06, 2011

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Lauren Zivyak

This California gal with Irish and French roots had a horse-whispering cowboy grandfather and a great uncle with an orange grove.  Lauren's memories of drinking the FRESHEST orange juice of anyone I know and her description of the grove, the property and the view that she beheld at the top of the hill is palatable .  Imagine drinking OJ from oranges that were just picked and squeezed that morning -  it was her favorite childhood memory!  Lauren also shared how there were avocado trees in her Aunt and Uncle's backyard - the kids would arm wrestle for the avocados.  For us East Coasters - this sounds so yummy and exotic!! 

Lauren's Mom is known to make a killer Chicken with Black Beans - something Lauren will have to start making for her own family!  So listen to Lauren's story as she transports you to California in the 60's and 70's.

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