Soup!

What is better on a frigid day than a steamy bowl of soup?  Join us at Cornell Cooperative Extension, January 27th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for a soup making class.  We will make and eat 3 types of soup and a basic vegetable stock and have time to share ideas for modifications, adapting recipes to seasonal availability.  There is a $5 charge for this class to cover the cost of materials.  Registration ends 1/24/16, all attendees must preregister.  Call or email Jordy Kivett with questions! 561-7450 or jbw47@cornell.edu

Soup 101 Registration

You can eat local all year long!

I am eager to cook the beet (singular makes sense if you are aware of it’s hugeness)  I picked up at the Farmer’s Market last weekend.  Though the family made quick work of the carrots, we still have a few other root vegetables kicking around and a butternut squash that my daughter picked instead of kale, not because she was eager to cook it in the new squash apple bake she’s prepared a few times (which is what I assumed/hoped) but because she could draw a face on it and carry it around like a baby.sweet potato

There is still local produce around!  Under the tutorial section, there is a list of Clinton county farms that have products available through the winter.  The last Winter Plattsburgh Farmer’s Market is this weekend, but online ordering will be available for the remainder of the winter.  Though there are still vegetables, from root vegetables to kale and broccoli, there are also local apples, meats, eggs, cheeses and yogurts.  Don’t forget the local wines and ciders, which make a great holiday gift.

Stay tuned for more recipes, tutorials, and hands on classes this winter!

Local Food Though the Fall

Though the days are short and the nights are cold, there are many crops that are available long after they are harvested.  Though many are familiar to us, I think we reserve some for Thanksgiving, like pumpkins and sweet potatoes.  And while those foods at the holidays are great, there are lots of ways to enjoy local food daily, even in a North Country November.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAEveryday Ideas:

Apples, carrot sticks are both easy to snack on or work into your day to day menu.

Recipe Ideas:

Squash: Stuffed Squash, Squash Soup, Cubed Squash and Greens, Classic Squash with Maple Syrup

Sweet Potatoes: Baked Sweet Potatoes (with fixings!), Sweet Potato Fries, Grated Sweet Potatoes in Chili, Sweet Potato Mole Enchiladas, Mashed Sweet Potatoes (try a 2:1 ratio of  white potatoes to sweet potatoes for the less enthusiastic sweet potato eaters)

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi Slices with Dip, Kohlrabi Slaw, Kohlrabi in Stir Fry, Cream of Kohlrabi Soup (think cream of broccoli, even add broccoli)

Carrots: Fresh Carrot Sticks, Carrot Slaw, Ginger Carrot Soup, Roasted Carrots

Beets: Roasted Beets on a Green Salad, Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese on Crackers or Toast, Raw Beet and Carrot Salad, Beets with other Roasted Vegetables

There are of course so many ways to enjoy these foods and more that is available, but just a quick trip to the winter market or a nearby stand can really round out your meals for the week.  If you think cold weather and frost means the local eating season is over, you have to see what is still available locally and get creative in the kitchen.  There are delicious foods waiting to get on your fall menu!

Vegetable Cooking Classes!

Join us for a cooking class this November! 

Back to Your Roots:  Join us for 2 hours of kitchen fun exploring methods of cooking root vegetables.  Learn how to carmelize onions, roast parsnips, carrots and potatoes, and whip up a beet salad (or 2!).  There is a $5 charge for this class to cover cost of materials.  This class will be offered on:

November 7th, from 10am to 12pm at Shadygrove Farm and Wellness Center, 844 NY22-B, Peru NY

Back To Your Roots – Shadygrove Registration

Or

November 13th, from 1pm to 3 pm at CCE-Clinton County 6064 Route 22, Plattsburgh, NY

Back To Your Roots – CCE Registration

Veggies 101 Workshop  Join us for a 4-H cooking class exploring lots of vegetables prepared lots of ways, November 21st, from 10am to 12pm at CCE-Clinton County, 6064 Route 22, Plattsburgh NY  (This class is free of charge)

Veggies 101 Workshop Registration

Sign up today!  Pre-registration is required.  Questions?  Call Jordy at (518) 561-7450

Cortlands, Empires, and Macs, Oh My!

IMG_2057 (003)Fall is great for so many reasons, but if you live in the North Country, apples are awesome!  Our local orchards offer such a variety of apples and apple products, there is something for everyone.

There are too many varieties of apples for me to go over each without forgetting some, but here are a few tips for buying this season:

  1. Ask!  If you see a new variety, ask the orchard staff about it.  If you know what you like in an apple (crispness, sweetness, tang) they can direct you towards something you’ll enjoy.
  2. Buy in bulk!  Getting a big bag of apples is not only economical, but also encourages more apple eating and gives you enough to make apple crisp, apple chips, apple sauce…
  3. Look for “seconds”!  If you are using apples for baking or sauce or are looking to save a few dollars, consider getting a bag of the imperfect apples.  I have always found them suitable for cooking and most often great for fresh eating as well.  Sometimes the imperfections can be a perk, like having a lot of small apples, perfect for little hands.

Since apples keep well in cold moist storage, once you get your apples home store them in the refrigerator in your produce drawer for up to a month (Rulf’s Orchard had a great facebook post explaining this).  Fresh apples will still taste great for a while at room temperature, so you can keep a bowl of apples ready to eat on the counter as well.

Get to your favorite orchard, or try a North Country Apple Tour and find some new orchards to add to your favorites list.  There are many awesome apples awaiting you.

Spaghetti Squash

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHave you tried spaghetti squash?  Fall feels like it’s officially arrived (There was frost this morning, after near 90’s a few days ago!) so though you may still be dealing with ripening tomatoes and peppers, you may be ready to think about the cold weather crops like winter squash.

Though most winter squash are relatively interchangeable, spaghetti squash is the exception.  The flesh is mild and nutty, with a texture like a slightly crunchy spaghetti, hence the name.

With only 42 calories per cup and only 10 grams of carbohydrate you can see how this has become a popular substitute for pasta.  The texture is not the same as spaghetti (you will not trick anyone if you serve this), but it’s mild taste is great, pairs well with all types of cuisines and makes a great base, much like pasta.  Check out the spaghetti sauce entry on the tutorials page for more information!

So far, so great!

early summer vegThough the growing season has been a little off due to the record rain in June, I have had lots of luck at various Farmer’s Markets so far this season.  Since June we have had lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, carrots, pea shoots, and greens.  I am still regretting passing up locally grown mushrooms, TWICE!  They won’t get away from me again…

As I make my way to various markets, I am surprised at how much variation there is in what is offered and when.  Hoop houses and other season extenders make some things available earlier or later, but the farmers themselves decide what to plant when, so even if you have one market or stand you are a regular at or have a CSA, try scoping out something new and see what’s available.  I have a summer season CSA which starts this week.  I can’t wait to see what my choices will be.

What have you enjoyed so far this season?

Happy Grilling!

grilled scallionsFourth of July Celebrations usually involve cooking and eating out doors.  You can easily use local food, since by July some vegetables are now available and our area provides lots of variety for locally produced meat.

Grilling meat will be similar to grilling conventionally raised meat.  If it is leaner, you may want to marinate the meat first to get a more tender result… Try marinating in locally produced wines or ciders for an interesting flavor.

Any vegetable that will not fall through the cracks of the grill can simply be tossed in the cooking oil of your choice and laid on the grill.  Smaller chunks of vegetables can be cooked in a grill basket or foil and skewered.  In my opinion, everything tastes good cooked over an open fire, vegetables are no exception.

Be sure to follow the same food safety rules you would always follow, even if you are using organically grown vegetables or pasture raised meat.  Rinse your vegetables well; soil naturally has bacteria and vegetables inevitably come into contact with the soil.  Keep raw meat and it’s juices away from other foods and be sure to wash or sanitize all surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat before they come into contact with anything else.

Happy grilling!