Friday September 12, 2014
It's funny how we take for granted the things we know how to do and just do them. It happens in all aspects of our lives - the things we do most naturally and happily are sometimes the things we need to think about and value more in ourselves. When it comes to cooking there are so many little things that I just do. I do them because I learned them by observation as a kid or in a cooking class along the way. Nevertheless, one of those things my mom and nana made all the time was a soffritto - as a base for soups, stews, sauces etc. Simply put it is the slow frying of onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Sometime, I add herbs like thyme, oregano or basil, salt and pepper. But the technique is always the same. Heat up some oil, add the chopped onions first, then the carrots and celery, saving the garlic and any herbs for last. Once it is slighly golden and aromatic, I add my soup stock, wine or more ingredients. I make lentil soup, beef stew and my latest concoction that I will be making on Newschannel13 on Sunday, Potato Leek Soup this way.
Perhaps you have a technique that you use that shows up in many of your dishes? I would love to hear all about it.
Saturday August 02, 2014
By Dyana Robenalt
It’s August and time for butterflies to begin their migration south. We often wonder what small acts we can do to help save the environment. Planting food for this major journey for the butterflies is an easy one that virtually everyone can contribute.
Generations of butterflies fly south. It’s a family affair. How wonderful could it be for you to plant fall flowers with your children and grandchildren to offer food for the butterfly migration?
Here is a list of excellent colorful fall flowers that can easily still be purchased at your local garden center for a fabulous display and an attractive butterfly nectar feast:
Perennials & Vines
Solidago – Goldenrod (non-allergic variety)
Eupatorium - Joe Pye Weed
Lobelia – Cardinal Flower
Fall butterfly feeding frenzy with layers of Joe Pye Weed, Agastache and Solidago:
For a little inspiration to get you moving toward the nursery, watch this mesmerizing video of the journey of the Monarch migration to Mexico by one of our all-time favorite nature photographers, Louie Schwartzberg and narrated by Meryl Streep.
Butterfly Bushes waiting for purchase:
Wednesday June 25, 2014
One of THE best things I have ever done was to take a writing workshop with Nancy Aronie. She believes creativity requires safety. And it does. We all have a story and Nancy coaches it out of us by inspiring us to put it on the page. Get the rawness down. Put the emotional brokenness on the page.
If you have been wanting to write or are already a writer and want to find your authentic voice, this workshop is for you!! I was so INSPIRED by Nancy that I invited her to do her workshop at my home, Boulderwood Farm. She is so excited to come to Stockbridge, MA in early January, 2015!! The only requirement she asked of me was to make sure there is snow. So, I am already praying to the snow gods!!
Please join me and Nancy Aronie for a weekend retreat. We will begin on Friday evening with opening remarks from Nancy and a casual supper at 7pm. On Saturday, we will write and read from 9-12, break for lunch, and reconvene for some more writing and reading from 1-5. Everyone will be on their own for dinner. Sunday, we begin at 9 and finish at noon with Nancy's traditional bread breaking.
Workshop Fee: $475. Includes Welcome Dinner, Coffee, tea and snacks both days, Lunch on Saturday and yummy homemade breads on Sunday. If you are coming from out of town, I can provide acoomodations at Boulderwood for $125/night single occupancy or $75pp/double occupancy. Boulderwood is a wonderful c.1900 shingle-style home set on 80 acres. We have horses, chickens, cows and a border collie. Our living room has the following quote carved in the cornice of our living room: "And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stone, Good in Everything." Shakepeare, As You Like It. Between the setting and Nancy's coaching, you are in for a treat!!
Please call Carole at 413-298-0173 to reserve your spot. We can take credit cards over the phone, via our webstore or if you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to Heirloom Meals and send to: Carole Murko, PO Box 1532, Stockbridge, MA 01262.
Monday June 23, 2014
We've been in planning mode at Heirloom Meals. Working on a book proposal and developing a social media plan.
In the meantime, check out Carole's recent article in Zester Daily about how an amazing cleanse taught her how to honor her food.
Carole will be apprearing on Newchannel 13, Albany, NY's NBC affiliate on Sunday, June 29th around 8.30 AM. Tune in or check back for the video.
Carole will be back on Nantucket at the Westmoor Club on July 20th-23rd - we will be working on a Heirloom Recipe scrapbook for the members.
And, we have been working on developing a calendar of cooking classes and retreats at Boulderwood. So far, we have a four-day retreat planned with an amazing healer, Pat Caffrey, a writing workshop with Nancy Aronie and many more in the works.