Thursday, December 2, 2010


...that is, the blog is moving to a new URL as part of our new website.
Please note the changes and I hope you enjoy the new site and the blog.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals Radio with Diane Perry Gardner

Sometimes you meet someone, even if it's on the radio that you feel you've known your entire life!! Meet Diane Perry Gardner. Truly, she a kindred spirit!! Diane bridges her move from South Carolina to Madison, CT with her love of food, family and cooking. And she did it by writing cookbooks - first very local with "What's Cooking Madison?", then she branched out to to the whole state with "What's Cooking Connecticut Shoreline?" and then spread her wings further with her recent book, "What's Cooking in New England" which is a collection of tried and true recipes from real people that Diane has tested and photographed. Check it out - you can even find some of Diane's southern specialties!!
I know we need a Diane, take two, on the radio show. Thank you Diane!!

Carole Murko 20101201 1300.mp3

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tabletop Tuesdays - A Trio of Desserts

How can you resist??
Pumpkin cheesecake
Maple Cream Pie with gluten free crust 
Cranberry Raisin Pie
What I love about this arrangement is the desserts are three different heights so it adds interest to what everyone already knows will be a sweet sensory overload.  It also begs the question are they in height order of deliciousness?  Only my Thanksgiving guests know the answer.  But, really, isn't it a matter of taste?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ms Murky Monday- Many Hands Make Light Work

Even though I had to ask....the troops performed!!  My step-daughters, Meredith and Caroline and their Aunt Madeline and Uncle Paul washed, peeled and chopped sweet and regular potatoes in record speed for our Thanksgiving fete.
Paul pitched in with his caramelized onions and Matt performed his magic on the sweet potatoes.

It was truly a delightful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws - Kissing Icelandics

What I love about our Icelandic horses and Icelandic's in general are they are truly the golden retriever of horses.  Mild mannered, playful, gentle and cute!!  Their winter coats are so thick and soft.
Does any one else love the smell of horses?  I think it is distinct and heavenly!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Carole's Concoctions-Brussels Sprout

Want to turn even the staunchest brussels sprout hater into a lover?  We'll tell you how and talk brussels sprout today because you may actually eat them a few more times during the holiday/winter season.
My simple approach:
Wash. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Put on a parchment paper lined roasting pan, and roast in upper portion of oven at 400 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown.
They get browned, crispy and almost caramelized.
Pop them in your mouth for an unexpected treat!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals Radio with Loring Barnes

On this eve of Thanksgiving, a holiday to give thanks and celebrate the harvest, count our blessings and share food with family and friends, it is fitting that our guest is a Mayflower descendant, Loring Barnes. Loring is the 10th direct descendant of Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts, and her Dad is named Bradford. Much of her Dad's side of the family remains in Plymouth.
Loring's namesake, Thomas Loring, was the "Collector of Customs" for President Abraham Lincoln. Loring traces her lineage to Miles Standish and some other folks too, such as: Loring, Barnes, Brewster, Belcher, Adams among many from the original Mayflower passenger manifest.
Loring shares with great energy and enthusiasm some of her family recipes and the importance of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to indulge in a long and plentiful meal and enjoy being with friends and family.  Loring shared her easy make ahead three cheese party potatoes and I will make them and post the recipe soon!!  They sound and look DELICIOUS!!

Enjoy the show and I wish each and every one a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Carole Murko 20102224.mp3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tabletop Tuesdays - Thanksgiving Themed

What can I say, I am a sucker for cute and sometimes borderline tacky table accoutrement!!  These suit my fancy and are fun for a day or two to set the stage for the real tabletop decor - the FOOD!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ms Murky Monday- Take Two

Exciting news!!  Liberty Medical has contracted us to make 8 more videos before year-end.  

So, amidst the Turkey and stuffing, I will be testing and developing 8 more diabetes-friendly heirloom recipes.  
How do these sound?

1. Chicken Piccata served with brown rice and broccoli
2. Tuscan Pork Tenderloin Stew made with onions, carrot, cannellini beans, and spinach served w/or without brown rice
3. Scrod roasted with cherry tomatoes, capers and garlic served over a bed of spinach and mashed sweet potatoes
4. Curried Lentil Soup
5. Huevos Rancheros
6. Blueberry Yogurt Coffee Cake
7. 3 hors' dourves - salmon mousse (made with smoked salmon an lite creamcheese) served on cucumber rounds, prunes stuffed with 
walnuts and blue cheese, Easy Guacamole
8. 2 salad dressings - yogurt blue cheese and mustard viniagrette and how to wash, dry and store 5 days worth of salad greens.

I am one thankful girl!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws - Burtee's Dinner

Ever wonder what the king of all dogs gets to eat in my household?

The wait is over.  Burtee, as you might expect, does not eat canned or store bought dog food.  Every week a new batch of homemade food is cooked up fresh.  Generally, I get 5 pounds of organic ground turkey and 3 pounds of a combination of organic sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.  I cook the ground turkey on top of the stove until well done and simultaneously boil the potatoes.  Then, I mash the potatoes and add the meat and mix them together.  I serve it with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
I also make, boiled chicken breast with rice and carrots.  Jim knows that if he's ever hungry, Burtee's food, which is stored in the fridge, is fair game!!

One of these days I'll share with you why I make his food. But until then -- BONE Apetit!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Carole's Concoctions-Turkey Talk

Wow, Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I am now just beginning to think about my menu.  In many ways, cooking a meal for friends and family is a snap compared to preparing for 8 video shoots or catering a party for 125 people.  In fact, I think it might be down right relaxing - how about that!!

Here's my menu:
15-18 lb turkey to insure LEFTOVERS!!
Italian Sausage and Bread stuffing
Wild rice stuffing for my love, Jim
Roasted Brussel sprouts
Whipped Potatoes and Celeriac
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping a la Matt
Caramelized shallots a la Paul Finnerty
Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Raisin Pie a la Paul
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 - Meredith and Me

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Farmer Thursdays-Berkshire Grown's Holiday Farmers' Market

...should not be missed!!
Vendors at the Great Barrington market include Allium Restaurant + Bar, Asia Luna, Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Berkshire Orchids, Berkshire Organics, Berkshire Wildflower Honey, Cedar Farm, Consider Bardwell Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Earthborn Garden, Farm Country Soup, Farm Girl Farm, Farm House Bakers, Foggy River Farm, Good Dogs Farm, GooGoo Gourmet, Indian Line Farm, Jaeschke’s Orchard, Justamere Farm, Klara’s Gourmet Cookies, Leahey Farm, Lorna Herbals, Maiden Flower Farm, Markristo Farm, Mayflower Farm, Maynard Farms, Moon in the Pond Farm, North Plain Farm, Ooma Tesoro, Shaker Mountain Canning Company, Taft Farms and Zehr & Sons Mushrooms. Berkshire Grown will also be present.

WHEN: Holiday Farmers’ Markets will take place at the Williams College Field House on Latham Street in Williamstown (10 am – 2 pm) and the Searles School Gymnasium on Bridge Street in Great Barrington (9 am – 1pm.) PLEASE NOTE THE NEW LOCATION FOR THE GREAT BARRINGTON MARKET.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals Radio - Julia Usher's Journey to Cookie Swapping!

Sometimes the pull of the kitchen, the love and memories of one’s childhood, and a desire to do what you love is so strong that it lures you away from a successful career, complete with graduate degrees and status. I write these words, not about me BUT of Julia Usher, baker and author of Cookie Swap.
Spend an hour hearing Julia share her the influences of her Mom, grandmother and great grandmother, and of her Dad’s work ethic, all combine to provide Julia with a varied and interesting life full of family, cooking, education, engineering, consulting, wedding cake making and now inspiring others to bake and share through her gorgeous book, Cookie Swap.
You can buy the book on Julia’s website I can’t wait to have a cookie swap party!! Thank you Julia and I look forward to your cake and cookie decorating book.

Carole Murko 20101117 1300.mp3

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ms Murky Monday- Lights, Camera, Action

Kitchen transformed into a set to shoot 8 videos for Liberty Mutual - making heirloom recipes diabetic friendly.  We are rolling.  Four videos on Monday,  four on Tuesday.  And, guess what?  The recipes are delicious and healthy!!  What a concept.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

Sometimes the news with animals isn't always good. This week we witnessed cruelty in the chicken coop. What I've observed with chickens is as the ladies age, the roosters are very mean to them. So much for respecting your elders. One of the older girls was molting and growing back her winter feathers and the other chickens picked on her. She was outcast and scared. She is now in chicken heaven, in peace - at least that's how I see it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carole's Concoctions-Diabetic Friendly Heirloom Recipes

Gearing up for the 2-day shoot on Monday and Tuesday.  About to head out to buy ingredients and will spend weekend prepping and making each of the following dishes in 3 stages of completeness:
1st:     Completely cooked and plated for beauty shots
2nd:   Partially done
3rd:    All individual ingredients measured out and in ramekins or mixing bowls

Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
4 eggs
4 Tbsp canola oil
2/3 cups applesauce
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups pumpkin
Makes 18 cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together the first 8 ingredients (all the dry ingredients).
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola, applesauce, buttermilk, brown sugar and pumpkin.  Once that is well blended, add the flour mixture in 3 batches to make sure it is well incorporated.
Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full.  I recommend using a non-stick cupcake tin.  Place in middle of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until your tester comes out clean and the cupcake springs back when you touch it.  Remove from oven and let cool before icing.
1 8 oz packages of low-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 packets stevia
zest of one lemon
Blend until smooth with an electric mixer.  Ice the cooled cupcakes and enjoy.

Apple Cheesecake Torte
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp melted butter (or margarine)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Cream Cheese Filling
2 - 8 oz. packages of low fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar ( or sugar substitute)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs at room temperature
2 large tart apples such as Granny Smith - peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all crust ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Press into bottom and up about 1” of the sides of a 10 inch springform pan.  Bake for 5 minutes, cool to room temperature.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Spoon mixture into crust.
Mix apples sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Spoon over cream cheese mixture and then sprinkle with walnuts.  
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 45 minutes  until your tester comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then carefully remove sides of springform pan. When completely cool, turn upside-down, remove bottom of pan, place plate on top and flip over.  And ENJOY!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (gluten free as well!!)
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat Oven to 350
Mix all ingredients together.
Spoon onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes in middle of oven until golden. 

Chicken Breast Cacciatore
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450.
Mix the EVOO, garlic, paprika and 1/4 cup parsley in a small bowl. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and spread 2 Tbsp of the olive oil mixture on top of the breasts.  Add the remaining olive oil mixture to the diced tomatoes and then pour over top.  Place in middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Top with remaining parsley and serve over brown rice with a side salad.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and root vegetables
2 small pork tenderloins
1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
4 sweet potatoes, sliced
3 onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
 salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix the EVOO, mustard, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, s and p together.  Rub over pork.  Place pork in rack in middle of roasting pan. Toss the potatoes, onions, garlic and EVOO together and spread in bottom of roasting pan. Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove pork, tent with tin foil and let sit; meanwhile put veggies back in oven for the 5-10 minutes that the pork is resting. Slice pork to desired thickness, place on platter with vegetables.

Leftover Brown Rice Stir-Fry
Leftover rice - 2-4 cups
3 Tbsp EVOO
Any and/or all the following veggies:
1-2 onions, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 green or red pap per, chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce
1 egg (optional)
In a large frying pan or wok, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.  If using all, start with onion, then add mushrooms and pepper, then carrots, garlic and broccoli.  Saute until browned and desired doneness. Toss the brown rice with 1 Tbsp of EVOO and add to veggies.  Turn the heat up so the rice browns for about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce which nicely deglazes the pan and then add an egg if desired.

Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey (can also use grass fed beef)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 slice whole grain bread soaked in 1/4- 1/2 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp minced parsley
1 egg
1/4 cup pecorino romano OR parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375
Mix all ingredients together until well-blended.  Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake 20-30 minutes until nicely browned, checking and turning as you go.
Use your own sauce or a jar but make sure no sugar added!!  Add turkey balls to sauce and heat.  Serve over whole wheat spaghetti.
Jen’s Simple Pizza
1 whole wheat lavash wrap
For red sauce:
1 small can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp EVOO
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
dried oregano, basil or italian seasonings 
salt and pepper to taste
low fat shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400
Heat the EVOO in small saucepan.  Add garlic, pepper flakes, and seasoning and heat for about a minute being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the tomato sauce and cook over low-medium heat.  Spray the baking sheet with pam. Place the lavash on baking sheet and add sauce and a handful of shredded cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted and bubbling.
For the white topping:
2 onions, sliced
2 Tbsp EVOO
Crumbled goat cheese or feta
Sliced olives
Arugula and balsamic vinegar (optional but delicious!)
Saute onions until golden.  Spread on lavash, add cheese and olives and bake as above. Throw a handful of arugula on top of oven-hot pizza with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a special treat!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Farmer Thursdays-Meet Farmer Lisa

Lisa Dachinger is a dear friend.  Lisa grew up in NYC and now lives the life of a farmer. She is a first generation farmer who became a farmer because she's passionate about feeding her family the freshest and most nutritious food possible.

Over the past 20 years she has grown vegetables and eggs and has evolved into raising the finest grass-fed lamb, pork and veal.

Lisa will be our Thursday blogger starting next week -  November 18th. She will chronicle her move to a farm in Richmond, MA where she has increased her herd and is taking on new and different challenges.

Welcome Lisa and we all look forward to hearing about your journey - the ups, the downs, the rewards and perils of being a woman farmer.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tabletop Tuesdays - Hot Pot Top Tip

Try saying that three times fast!!
How many times have you lifted a pot lid to peak or check on the progress of your dish to find you've scorched your fingers?  Granted some of the All-Clad pots now have heat-resistant lid and pot handles, but many don't.
And leave it to my oh-so-clever Mom to come up with a solution for one of her pots.  Check it out:

Two wine corks - how simple!!  Love you Mom :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ms Murky Monday- Liberty Medical Diabetes Videos

Well, well,'s Monday already and there is much to do.  Next Monday and Tuesday we will be shooting 8 webisodes for a company called Liberty Medical. 

My mission: Make 8 Heirloom Recipes diabetic-friendly.

The recipes I will be doing:

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Apple Cheesecake Torte
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (gluten free as well!!)
Chicken Breast Cacciatore
Nana's No-Fail Baked Fish
Roasted Pork Tenderloin and root vegetables
Turkey Meatballs
Jen’s Simple Pizza

The recipes are written and tested.  The cool thing is, with the exception of the cupcakes and torte, my other recipes are healthy in their own right and did not need tweaking!!

So stay tuned as I share this journey with you!! And remember, November is National Diabetes Month!!
With diabetes becoming an epidemic,  I am happy to be involved in a project to help people eat better.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

Sunday morning at the farm....About 6 weeks ago I wrote about the hatching of one chick.  I am happy to report she (I hope she's a she) is looking like a miniature chicken and is foraging for bugs happily with her Mom.
 Meanwhile, the others find pecking around in the barn the best spot for nourishment.

And Burt and Uni continue to be up to their old BFF tricks... checking out all the sights, smells and sounds.
I LOVE our animals - always a source of amusement. Oh and the horses and cows are doing great.  They had an extra member of the herd this morning - a BIG Buck.  They all stared in amusement as the buck gracefully hopped over the electric fence.  I think they have buck envy!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Carole's Concoctions-Mystery Meat Revealed

aka Italian-style Meatloaf a la Nana/Mom/me :-)

In our family meatloaf is basically a giant meatball baked in the oven with a surprise in the middle. The surprise that my Nana put in the middle were a couple of hard-boiled eggs. This remains a great mystery to me.  As a kid, I would surgically remove the hard boiled eggs.  I found them completely unnecessary and their texture and taste not quite right.  I am BUMMED for never asking my Nana why she added the eggs. And my Mom doesn't really know why, she just knows "that's how it was done!"  Not quite the anwer I was expecting.  So, I have eliminated the eggs but added my own surprise.  Other than that, this is our meatloaf recipe:
2-3 onions, caramelized
4 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lbs of a combo of ground veal, beef and pork in equal proportions (if you are lucky enough to have a good butcher they can do this for you!)
2 eggs
1 kaiser roll, or 2 slices of bread or in my case, 1 gluten-free roll
1 cup milk - whole, low-fat or skim - whatever you have on hand
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese - pecorino romano OR parmesan
1 jar or can tomatoes, pureed in blender
Surprise Ingredient - need to scroll through recipe!!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Caramelize the onions in 2 Tbsp olive oil.  This takes about 20 + minutes.  Add the minced garlic at the end so it doesn't get burned but cooks enough to get aromatic and soft.

While the onions are caramelizing, soak the roll in the milk until is is mushy and breaks into pieces.
Mix the meat, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, grated cheese and soaked roll together until well blended.
 And the add the caramelized onion and garlic mixture.  This is truly what makes this meatloaf so good!!
Put 2 Tbsp olive oil in your baking dish and place in your preheated oven to heat the oil.
Once the oil is hot, form the bottom layer of your meatloaf in the heated oil and add sliced CHEDDAR CHEESE before you put your top layer on.
Pour your pureed tomato sauce over the top and bake for about an hour until bubbling and slightly browned on top.
Serve with roasted regular and sweet potatoes or mashed and sauteed spinach.

And Enjoy!!
PS - Leftovers are O-U-T-R-A-G-E-O-U-S!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Farm Girl Farm Thursdays-Laura Meister Sums Up the Season

Hello  Farm Girl Farmers!

It really is hard to believe this is the season’s closing newsletter.  Each season has its own highlights and its own challenges, but this one was on the whole so much sunnier and yield-I-er than 2009, that I can’t help but feel a little sad to see it ending.  Of course, with each season, I learn more about how to do things better next time, and we have many ideas, intentions and plans for next season already brewing.  But, and this is where you come in, we want your feedback, too.

I will email out and also have copies at the table of our end-of-season questionnaire that is designed to help us understand your experience as a CSA member of FGF.  How did you use your veggies, how many people are you feeding, what did you get sick of (if anything!), what did you long for more of.  If we see a pattern and there is something we can do to change our field plan to accommodate a change, we’ll do it.  For example, 4 and 5 years ago the message was clear: MORE ONIONS, PLEASE! So, we grew more onions.  On our very limited land, more of something inevitably means less of something else, so we want to know if you felt overloaded with something.  This year, for example, we clearly had too much land in watermelons—so we’ll cut back on that crop a bit next year and reallocate that space to grow more of the things we never had enough of (in my opinion beets and carrots).  So please fill out your questionnaires!

If you loved your farmshare and farmers so much this year that you can’t wait to sign up again for next year, then sign up before December 31 and get this year’s share price.  After the January 1, the price will go up incrementally to reflect rising production costs.  The advantage to FGF to have some early bird sign-ups is huge—your early infusion of cash helps us manage our year-round overhead--although we are not producing vegetables in the winter months, many of our expenses continue around the calendar.

We put the farm to bed between now and Thanksgiving or the first week of December.  We’ll have a few things to harvest for the pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Farmers Market on November 20.  After that I enter the headscratching months:  I spend December through February catching up on all paperwork, opening (if not reading) my mail from April thru November, bookkeeping, taxes, etc, which give me a basis to evaluate the season and  write a new business plan for 2011. From there I begin to sign on new CSA members, make a new field plan, revise the seeding calendar and order seeds—that last one is a monumental task that reminds me of writing my masters’ thesis.  

In addition, I am very excited to report that I was accepted into a class called Whole Farm Planning for Women in Agriculture, a 10-class workshop sponsored by Pioneer Valley’s Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA).  There will be 15 of us from all over the state, whose businesses are at least a few seasons established but who have less than 10 years experience in farming, meeting on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the winter and spring, to determine, under the guidance of several mentor (established!  successful!) women farmers, next directions for our own operations.  I hope to emerge from this work with more clarity about medium- and long-term goals, and a sense of the priorities—tractor first or new greenhouse?  More land now or later?  

And as if that won’t be enough time in the classroom, Vivian and I together will participate 5-day workshop on soil and plant health called Nutrient Dense Crop Production, held by the Real Food Campaign (our sessions will be held at Hawthorne Valley Farm).
Don’t forget that Berkshire Grown is hosting two Holiday Farmers’ Markets this fall:  Saturdays, November 20 and December 18.  The markets on both dates will be held simultaneously in North and South Berkshire County—the North County market will be at the Williams College Field House from 10 am til 2 pm and the South County market will be at the old Railroad Station, where the summer market is held, from 9 am til 1 pm.  Last year the Thanksgiving market was a huge hit, so many vendors, so many customers—there was a wonderful charge in the air.

And, on November 8th Berkshire Grown and Mezze Bistro in Williamstown will be hosting a reception—Getting to Know Berkshire Grown, Celebrate NoCo-- w/ nine central and north Berkshire County chefs preparing food f.rom 10 area farms to show the abundance of products that north county has to offer.  The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 at Mezze, 777 Cold Spring Road (Rt 7) Williamstown, $25 for Berkshire Grown Members.  See or call the office for more info:  528-0041.

It has been my privilege to grow your vegetables this year.  Best wishes for a happy healthy winter, and hope to see you all at the distribution table next June.

Enjoy the veggies!

--Laura Meister, Farm Girl Farmer

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tabletop Tuesdays - the Power of an Heirloom Spoon

Sometimes it's just a well-worn serving spoon that brings someone back to their grandmother's kitchen.  In this case, it's Jim's grandmother's serving spoon that he inherited when his Uncle Junie died. In fact Jim reminded me that he was the only relative that wanted the old worn spoons. Most of his cousins and even his brother and sister viewed it as junk.  But Jim views this old hotel silverware as a priceless, meaningful connection to his past.  Now can you see why I love Jim and why we are together.  We are truly sentimental.
What's really special about this spoon is how it is clearly worn on the left side from years of serving up those home cooked meals!!  Everytime we use this spoon I can see it transports Jim to his grandmother's table.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays - thank you Fairview Hospital

It can't be Monday, is it? I suppose that's what happens when one doesn't heed grandmotherly wisdom, and REST and drink plenty of fluids when one is ill. Seriously, I thought I had done so but my type-A personality defines rest as a couple of hours on the couch emailing etc. And I had to pay. I was sick enough to warrant a trip to the ER. And now thanks to the good Dr. Sabatelli in the Fairview Hospital ER, and some strong drugs I am feeling much better. The only problem - I missed the entire weekend!
I hope to get back to normal soon and will welcome my typical day with open arms. A dose of sickness is a great reality check. I have a great life!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 29, 2010

Carole's Concoctions-Nana's Recipe to Soothe a Sore Throat

I don't know what it is about old wives' tales and concoctions but many of them are truly useful and actually work.  I, for one, will always go for a natural remedy as I think we are an over-prescribed, over-medicated society. I'll stick to aspirin, chicken soup and hot lemon and honey any day over nyquil.

Oh and yes, you guessed, I've been sick for a couple of days - fever, dry cough, aches - not fun.  But, I swear that when I sip hot lemon with honey, my throat feels better!!  This is what my grandmother and Mom gave us and now I am self-administering for my sore throat.

Try it:
Start with a lemon, place on counter and roll it under the palm of your hand for 30 seconds to loosen the juice, cut it into quarters, place in small saucepan with a cup or two of water, bring to a boil. 

Put a Tbsp or any amount of honey you like (to taste) in a mug, pour hot lemon juice through a strainer into mug, stir and let the soothing begin!!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!  Feeling better already!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Farm Girl Farm Thursdays

Hello Farm Girl Farmers.

Inch by inch and row by row! As I mentioned in an email to all of you earlier today, we have had a steady garlic effort going—over the weekend Robin Perry, Emily Paskus, Beth Domaney, Melissa Brown, Andrei Vankov and Jamie Goldenberg took to the field and got the first hundred pounds of garlic in the ground. Today we had more help from Cindy Elitzer and later this week we have Liz Hogan on deck. Go team!

I should not neglect to mention that the garlic seed we are planting was prepared for planting (broken from heads down into cloves, a daunting job in itself) by a cheerful group of birthday revelers last week at Allium Restaurant. FGFers Brian Thayer, Sara Parrilli, Sarah Volkman, Greenagers Director Will Conklin (who brought us the help of the teenaged greenagers this summer) and various and sundry friends gathered around Vivian to celebrate her special day and made quick work of the garlic break-down, in addition to making a beautiful mess of garlic skin and soil all over the floor of Allium. Very special thanks to Troy Kinser, manager of Allium and Nancy Thomas, owner, for putting their money where their Farm to Table mission is.

We’ll keep planting garlic over the next couple of weeks, a great time to put in a few row feet is during regular pick-up hours on Tuesday or Saturday. We can also arrange for you to come and plant at other points in the week, so be in touch! Its easy and satisfying.

In my latest last year-this year-next year musings, I am noticing that it has been steadily colder this year than it was last year at this time. Last year at this time we still had a trickle of the summer crops like peppers and summer squash and this year those crops are long gone with the frost. But we’re hedging our bets…we’ve put protective row cover (that’s the white fabric you see out in the field) on several beds so that if we do get some milder weather, as we did last year towards the end of October, we won’t have given everything up to the tyranny of the cold nights. Under row cover, with the nights being as cold as they have been, things like baby arugula and bok choi aren’t growing, per se, but they are holding steady, not freezing to death either. So if things get more temperate, they’ll still have a chance to size up.
Finally, another reminder that we will distribute veggies through the first week of November: Tuesday November 2 and Saturday November 6. That means two more weeks of vegetables after this week’s pick-up.

Enjoy the veggies and the beautiful light at this time of the year.

--Laura Meister, Farm Girl Farmer