Edible Berkshires

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 … Read the rest

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, … Read the rest

TRIPPING OUT FOR A DAY: HILLSDALE

The little hamlet that could

 trippingHillsdale

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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 … Read the rest

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, … Read the rest

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 … Read the rest

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 … Read the rest

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… Read the rest

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 … Read the rest

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 … Read the rest

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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