Suzi's Blog

Yes, We Do [Eat What We Blog]

grilled corn with husks on

A very close friend asked me this weekend, “Do you actually ever eat those blogs you post?”

“Yes,” I smiled. What a pleasure to be 110% truthful. “We eat what we blog. We really do.”

Tonight, Sunday, we wanted something healthy and light. This blog will not endear me to the American Beef Council.

We went this morning to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market with one goal: find fresh and enjoy it.

So tonight, we had:

  • Grilled Corn with Mexican Chipotle Creama
  • A Salad of Fresh Market Greens and Vegetables [Romaine, Rainbow Carrots, Green Onions]
  • Raspberry Martini’s with Dinner
  • Strawberry Aqua Fresca after Dinner
  • Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Blackberry Sauce

At the market, the romaine was sweet, with short stalks that tasted of the sun. The carrots were small, but offered a half dozen different colors. And the green onions were two inches in diameter and filled with flavor. Topped with a simple vinaigrette, salad can be no better.

Now, the chipotle crema, raspberry martini, and aqua fresca were all posted on this blog this week. We had already tested them, but wanted them again in one grand meal. During the coming week, I’ll post the absolutely outrageous corn ice cream and blackberry sauce.

Why all the corn? It’s the season! And in each Hudson Valley summer there is always a great corn competition. Davenport, Gills, and other farms vie for the title of the best. Today, at the farmers market, we learned about Kesicke Farm, located in Rhinebeck, New York but with fields in Red Hook. They experiment with corn varieties, striving for the best flavor and yield given their microclimate and our local weather. It was cold and wet this year, with no spring, then summer came in a dry, baking heat wave. Today’s corn from them was on the stalk yesterday, and on our table tonight. Sweet, meaty and subtle it was devine with the chipotle creama.

And the ice cream? It’s soooooooooooo good. Corn ice cream, you say? By now you should have some trust. If we post it here, you’ll wish you’d had the recipe a decade ago. Look for it on Tuesday!

Fresh from the Farm: Great Local Foods from New York State

Yesterday I blogged about Sunday in Lower Manhattan at the New Amsterdam Farmers’ Market. That’s a journey by foot over paving stone streets in very, very lower Manhattan. No car required. Maybe a cab to take you home with everything you buy — that’s what Brian and I needed.

What if it’s another day? What if you have a car? What can you do? Plenty. Why not go for a journey with family or friends to discover true food: organic, local, and splendidly displayed. Authors Susan Meisel and Nathalie Sann have written Fresh from the Farm: Great Local Foods from New York State. They offer five tours, with each one able to absorb a day as you drive, sample, and learn.

For a day on Long Island, you can tour:

  • Farms, food stands and vendors of the South Fork
  • Farms, food stands and vendors of the North Fork
  • Wineries of Long Island

For a day up north along the Hudson, there are:

  • Farms, food stands, and vendors of the Lower Hudson Valley
  • Food gems of the Catskills Mountains

Brian and I are New York City based with a weekend house nestled in the Catskills. And we spend our share of time on Long Island. So we know many of the recommendations in this book. But not all. It was great to discover that there are some jewels near us we have yet to visit, like Heichon’s Ice Cream Parlor in Pawling, New York or The Current Company in Staatsburg.

For the vendors we already knew, like Aldo’s coffee in Greenport on Long Island or Fleisher’s meats in Kingston near the Catskills, we can testify that there are the best stores you can find. We are more North Fork than South Fork, so we’re happy to see Briermere Farm get serious notice for its pies. This one farm stand has to bake more pies than any other stand in America. And every single pie tastes like your mother spend ten hours baking it. Or, if you are on the North Fork and want to see produce that looks like it belongs in the Museum of Modern Art, then visit Sang Lee Farms in Peconic. It’s so beautiful you feel guilty eating it. Until that wonderful first bite.

The list of Long Island wineries is extensive and carefully prepared. A long time ago, Long Island wine was not lauded. With time, patience, and science, the Long Island wines are distinctive in flavor because of that climate and truly worthy of your table.

If you know some early New York history, then you know that that Long Island and the Hudson Valley were distinguished for their rich abundance of food. In the Revolutionary War in 1776, when the British invaded Long Island, the soldiers were distracted. It was late fall, still harvest time, and those Brits saw more and better food than they had ever experienced back home.

New York was, and remains, agriculturally rich. I know we think of New York and money and up pop images of Wall Street. But there are other riches there, coming right out of the ground. Fresh from the Farm is your best guide for exploring all the bounty that is still there, just beyond the skyscrapers.