Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Friday August 27, 2010

Carole’s Concoctions:
Berkshire Grown/Country Living Dinner

Boy have I been concocting!!  The summer bounty brings out all my culinary creativity!!  But, rather than go there right now,  I wanted to spend some more time sharing the preparation, recipes and photos of the Berkshire Grown/Country Living event that was hosted at my home last Sunday, August 22nd.


The mini cooper stuffed to capacity with flowers, tomatoes
and goodies I collected around the county for the event.

What a delightful ride I had down to Salisbury CT where I picked up the short ribs from Whippoorwill Farm, my next stop was Great Barrington to pick up the generously donated Berkshire Blue Cheese for the dip and the cheese course - what a treat to see the facility where the award-winning cheese is made!!


 
Next, I had to get into high gear to make the caramelized onions, boil our beautiful blue bantam eggs for the deviled eggs (No salmonella fear here!!).
On Saturday morning, I had a beautiful drive down to Wild and Cultivated Farm and met the lovely Anna Mack in Egremont to pick up fresh cut flowers that Donna, Dale and I made up into great arrangements - an old mason jar with yellow and chocolate sunflowers finished with flowering basil - perfection in its simplicity!! Then onto Farm Girl Farm, Guido's, Taft Farm and even, yes the Price Chopper!!
 
The event was magical.  It was conceived as an outdoor farm to table feast but as fate would have it we had a wild, windy and wet storm that forced us to move the event inside.  We created a dreamy, safe place to drink, dine and exchange great conversation with sensational gusts of wind swirling through the room to remind all of the storm from which we were all safely protected!
And if the food, people and environment were not enough, the icing on the evening's cake was the emotionally moving performance of  Emily Mure, a beautiful and talented singer-song writer who filled the room with her melodic voice and melancholy tunes that had half the room dabbing tears from their eyes.
Emil Mure

Oh and did I promise you recipes??....OK...here's the chicken recipe that is show-stopping delicious from, believe it or not, my Dad's side of the family:



 
 
Cousin Ruthie’s Divine Chicken Breasts served with heirloom tomato napoleans
 
Most of the time my Dad’s side of the family gets the culinary shaft but as I was trying to find an alternative chicken recipe that I could pull off for 30+ people, I remembered this recipe.  We had it at a big family dinner and my Mom and I got the recipe and have served it with great success for many large parties.
 
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp worcestershire sauce
4 tsp celery salt
2 tsp paprika
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 hole boneless, skinless chicken breast (halved)
1 3/4 cups bread crumbs
1 cup butter, melted
 
Combine in a large bowl, add breast to sour cream mixture, cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator overnight.  
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Roll breast in bread crumbs, arrange in single layer in a shallow baking dish.  Spoon half of butter over breast.  Bake for 45 minute, then add rest of butter and bake for another 15 minutes until golden.
 
 

Thursday August 26, 2010

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Farm Girl Farm Thursdays

Firstly a great big THANK YOU to Farm Girl Farm and Equinox Farm for the GORGEOUS tomatoes for the Berkshire Grown fundraiser!!!!  They were as delicious as they were gorgeous!!

August 24, 2010

Hi all—

A few notes from the field on your veggie shares.  

Regarding the watermelons:  we grew 12 varieties of watermelon this season and had a little extra space to do it in.  So clear some space on your counter because here they come!  Right now the yellow ones are ripening, soon we’ll start we’ll start harvesting the pink ones.  Somewhere in between are the orange ones (!).  There were a few distributed today—the very round melons with a yellow-orange flesh.  So delicious!  We are spending lots of time in the watermelon patch thumping and analyzing the melons for ripeness—so the ones we select to bring to  the table should be, in our professional opinions, ripe.  But if  we are wrong, and you get one that is less than at its peak, do not despair because this is only the beginning of the watermelon tidal wave.  

On the cucumbers—we have a variety in the field called Super Zagross. It is an heirloom variety known for its non-bitter taste.  The caveat is that this cucumber is ugly as sin.  The skin is cracked and rather tough.  But peel it and the smoothest, mildest cucumber is inside. This cuke is great for sandwiches, soups, you name it.  So don’t be afraid .  We have begun referring to these cukes as the “green uglies.”

We’re sorely missing the eggplant which is usually starting to ramp up its presence at this point in the season.  Our eggplant plants are not so happy—too little water at just the wrong moment and alas, not many blossoms and not much fruit!  Things are looking slightly better than last week, so maybe in a few more weeks we’ll have enough to bring to the table.  It’s a funny contrast to last year, when the eggplant cavalierly stepped in and took the place of the tomatoes as nightshade superstar.  Well, we’re always learning.

Events for your calendars:
The 7th Annual Stanton Brothers’ Pig Roast will take place at North Plain Farm in Great Barrington, starting at 4 pm (bar) and 5 pm (food).  The roast will feature all local meat and veggies and is a great community event.  Ticketes are $35 and kids under 16 pay their age.  Call (413) 429-6598 or email northplainfarm@gmail.com for more details.  It’s a totally locally grown event and I never miss it.

And don’t forget to keep Monday September 20th open for Berkshire Grown’s 12h Annual Beautiful Bountiful Berkshires Harvest Supper at Eastover Resort in Lenox (6:30 to 8:30 pm).  We’ll be selling tickets at the pick-up table, ask us for details or call Berkshire Grown at 528-004 or see  www.berkshiregrown.org for more details.  This is always a stunning aesthetic event —sights, tastes, smells, etcetera—a ballroom-wide tasting menu from chefs who work with local producers.


Enjoy the veggies this week.

--Laura Meister, Farm Girl Farm Farmer

Wednesday August 25, 2010

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Margaret Braun

Spend an hour listening to Heirloom Meals Radio host Carole Murko interview New York City’s Decorative Diva of High Pastry art, Margaret Braun. Margaret shares her cherished memories of growing up in Levittown, NY in a family that loved food, art and music. And see how it is no surprise that Margaret orchestrates cake decorating to a high art. There is a palpable warmth, enthusiasm and spirituality that exudes out of Margaret. Her story is real and inspirational. Thank you Margaret!!
When in doubt, polka dots!

Tuesday August 24, 2010

Life at Boulderwood:
The Love Affair of Burt and Uni

Animal Tales from Boulderwood Farm

The love affair of Burt and Uni, guinea fowl and border collie, BFF!!
They go everywhere together, nose to butt.  An unlikely pair for sure! Who do you think is fiercer?  Burt or Uni.  Clue - one of them had Jim's friend hopping all over the driveway and chased him into the house....

Monday August 23, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Tasters at the Berkshire Grown/Country Living Fair

The Berkshire Grown/Country Living Event was M-A-G-I-C-A-L!!

Here's a short video summarizing the evening by one of the guests!!  Thank you Glen Ellen!!
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MdU2pLfawg]

I am exhausted and about to hop on the train to NYC - more to come - PROMISE!!

Love you ALL!!!

Friday August 20, 2010

Carole’s Concoctions:
Berkshire Grown/Country Living Fundraising Dinner Menu

 
 

 

Starters


Boulderwood Farm Bantam Deviled Eggs
Berkshire Blue Cheese Dip with Indian Line Carrots
Cold Taft Farm Corn Soup with Adobo
Grilled Leahey Farm Lamb Sausage
 
Bar
Peachy Keen Martinis with local Peach nectar + Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka
Barrington Brewery Beer
Homemade "Limonata"
Saratoga Springs Sparkling Water
Wine
 
Primo
Berkshire Mountain Bakery Pizza Crust  topped with 
Farm Girl Farm Caramelized Onions, Monterey Chevre, 
Equinox Farm Arugula, and Balsamic Vinegar
 
Main
Cousin Ruthie’s Divine Chicken Breasts
Farm Girl Farm Heirloom Tomato Napoleon and Pesto
 
Whipporwill Farm Maple Syrup Braised Short Ribs
Indian Line Farm Leeks Vinaigrette
 
Greens
Shaved Indian Line Farm Fennel Salad with Truffle Oil
 
Cheese
Trio of Local Cheese
 
Dessert 
Warm Taft Farm Corn Custard made with Boulderwood Farm Eggs and topped with Highlawn Farm Whipped Cream and Taft Farm Berries
Coffee and Tea
 
We'll post recipes and photos on Monday.  Until then we'll be busy as beavers. Ciao!!

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