North Country Kitchen, by Yvona Fast

Parsnips for dessert?

Long before potatoes made their journey from the New World to the old, parsnips were Europe’s ‘go-to’ veggie. At a time when the process for refining sugar from cane and beets was still unknown and honey was an expensive luxury, parsnips were often on the dessert menu. Sweet, starchy and ...

Fresh summer chives dress up potato dishes

Bright green chives are rapidly growing in our garden. The tender, tubular leaves are the mildest alliums. Others are onions, leeks and garlic. All alliums are in the same plant family as lilies. Chives are a perennial herb, so they come up each spring. Easy to grow, they only need adequate ...

Asparagus and eggs team up for fast easy suppers

It’s spring! Flowers are blooming, everything is turning green and gardens are tilled. Asparagus is one of the first fresh foods of spring. And birds lay eggs in springtime. Both are abundant this time of year. Garden-fresh asparagus spears are fresh, crisp, succulent, and full of ...

Welcome, dandelions and chives

Spring has been long in coming. I have heard the call of the loon, but most of our lakes are still ice covered. April 29 brought 6 inches of heavy, wet snow. But last week, our crocuses blossomed, and green shoots were poking up through brown leaves on the forest floor. In the garden, ...

Mushrooms: More than pizza

What grows in dark, damp caves, has no leaves, roots, flowers or seeds, and is in season all year long? Mushrooms. Although considered a vegetable by most, mushrooms are actually fungi. More than 3,000 varieties can be found growing wild throughout the world. Of these, morels — which ...

Beyond egg salad: Make way for spring

Spring has sprung. Rain is slowly melting the snow. Soon, flowers will bloom. Passover and Easter have come and gone. We’ve joined with friends and family to share food and fellowship, celebrate the miracles of Exodus and Resurrection, and the new life of spring. Then all the guests go ...

Spring into souffles

The sun shines warm and the sounds of melting snow are everywhere. Spring is not quite here, but the snow is melting fast, and the days are becoming noticeably longer. Longer days mean more light, which means that hens lay more eggs. In addition, they contain ample amounts of vitamins A, D, ...

Flu season is here

February is the peak of flu season, which began in October and lasts until May. This year, the flu has been especially severe and widespread. The flu has killed 85 adults and 20 children, and death tolls keep rising. Alabama declared a state of emergency due to flu. There are shortages of ...

Winter is citrus season

Although our February days are getting longer, they’re still short and chilly. The ground is covered with a blanket of ice and snow. The skies gray and cloudy. It seems fresh produce is out of season. Yet winter is the time for fragrant, juicy, vibrant citrus — at their peak from November ...

Winter salads

Ah, summer. It is gone – but it will come again, bringing fresh greens and sun-ripened, garden fresh, juicy tomatoes ... I shun store-bought tomatoes that have traveled in refrigerated trucks across the continent. They don’t even come close in flavor to our summer garden gems. Fresh ...

Warm up with soup

Baby, it’s cold outside! When you’re chilled to the bone, there’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup. The thermometer shows negative digits. Winds howl and blow. Soup simmers on the stove, filling the house with comforting scents. It creates steam, adding humidity and warmth to dry ...

New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

Did you make New Year’s Resolutions in 2018? Was one of your New Year’s Resolutions to stay on a budget? Or to stay in shape? Or have healthier eating habits? Did you make a resolution to lose weight? According to data from the University of Scranton, about 45 percent of Americans make ...

New Year luck

The passing of one year and the birth of a new one is cause for revelry and reflection. The traditions that accompany this rite of passage depend on our culture, ethnicity, religion and economic stature. How we choose to celebrate and commemorate is very individual. Whether you participate ...

There’s still time to make gifts from your kitchen

Are you tired of the shopping frenzy? How about making gifts instead of buying them! There is still time to make gifts. Most people have way too much stuff. Homemade treats and handcrafted gifts are appreciated far more than store-bought trinkets made across the ocean which just sit and ...

Breaking tradition: Alternatives to green bean casserole

It’s that time of year again: time to plan the Thanksgiving menu. It is easy to fall into habits of customary sides to serve with turkey, like corn pudding or green bean casserole. But why not change up the boring, expected fare and try something new and different? Simple, vibrant veggie ...

Apples and cinnamon: a wonderful pair

Days are short. Nights are long and chilly. Leaves are falling. Geese are flying. It’s time for apples! And the spice you need to season all those apples you pick at a local orchard is cinnamon! Once prized and rare, today cinnamon is one of the more common spices. Native to India, the ...

Oriental cabbage and apples make delicious autumn meals

The calendar says its autumn — a time when apples and cabbages are at their peak. In addition to the common, round cabbage heads there are many Oriental varieties: tubular heads of Napa and non-heading choy. They’re gaining popularity and becoming widely available at farmers’ markets ...

Celebrate our Adirondack harvest season

Labor Day is past. School has begun. Leaves are starting to turn. Apples are dropping from trees. We had our first frost the first day of September. If you have a garden, hopefully you covered your basil, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini. This is the time of year that farmers' ...

Easy, fast zucchini skillets

It’s the middle of summer, and zucchini are everywhere. These summer squash plants are so fruitful that by early August, even our North Country gardens are overflowing with an abundant crop. In fact, Chase’s Calendar of Events lists August 8 as Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors’ ...

Fruitful summer desserts

Summer is here — and among the bountiful produce are fresh summer fruits. The earliest of these are strawberries, followed by cherries, peaches and raspberries. Blueberries will come soon; a bit later, melons and many plum varieties. Fall will bring grapes, blackberries, apples and ...