×

North Country Kitchen, by Yvona Fast

Leeks: the subtle onion

The trees are bare and snowflakes are blowing in the wind. Winter is on the way. One of the few things left to be harvested before the ground freezes are leeks. These alliums add their distinctive, delicate flavor to all types of culinary delights — soups, stir-fries, salads, and egg ...

Pumpkins, sweets, spookiness and costumes

It’s that time of year. Autumn’s red turned first to gold and now, to gray. The earth goes to sleep for the long winter. It is the time we think of death, as trees shed leaves for their winter slumber, bears hibernate, and spring bulbs sleep in the ground preparing for spring’s ...

Fall is the sweetest time of year

Autumn is sweet. Think pumpkin. Think winter squash. Think apples. Think sweet potatoes. Think carrots and beets. Think Halloween. Yes, temperatures are cooling and leaves are falling. Crisp autumn days give way to stark bare trees, cold, wet, gray days and long, dark nights. The summer's ...

When life gives you green tomatoes and apples … BAKE!

So ... we had frost and ... we have lots of green tomatoes. And our apple trees keep dropping apples. Fall is here! The weather is cooler, so turning on the oven is a pleasure. It’s a great time for baking. These two fruits — yes, tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable — actually go ...

Apples and onions: a favorite early American treat

The air is chilly, the leaves are turning, the sun is shining, and skies are blue. Frost has visited and that "end of summer" feel is in the air. Apples are in the air too — on trees, on the ground, falling down all around. They're plentiful right now — at the market, at the orchard, in ...

Pickling your own cucumbers at home

Americans love pickles. According to Pickle Packers International, we each consume on average 106 pickles (about 9 pounds) per person per year. The word “pickle” was first used to indicate preservation of foods in brine. Later, it also came to include preservation in vinegar. While we ...

Fresh tomato pasta: a late summer delight

Garden tomatoes are at their peak right now - but in mid-September, frost threatens. Modern agriculture has given us the hard, tasteless, round, starchy orange thing available year-round at the supermarket - but locally grown, fresh tomatoes in season are totally different. Soft, juicy, tart, ...

September skillet suppers: sausage and veggies

The calendar may not say autumn quite yet, but the air is crisp, nights are cold and a few leaves are showing hints of red. We’re definitely heading into fall. It’s a busy time of harvest for those who have gardens. The season calls for cozy, comforting meals that are also fast, easy and ...

Autumn berries: Blackberries, chokeberries and elderberries

We usually equate berries with summer. And yes — strawberries come in June, blueberries in July, raspberries in August. But it’s September. Labor Day is past and school has begun. It’s time for blackberries, chokeberries and elderberries. Blackberries Blackberries are the best-known ...

Bean salads for your end-of-summer cookout

Though there are still three weeks of summer left, Labor Day marks the end of the summer season in our North Country. Schools and colleges begin classes, the weather cools down, tourists leave, and summer residents return home. Labor Day began in 1882 as a day for political organizing by ...

Fight the summer heat with a cool gazpacho

Warm, sticky, humid August weather is upon us. At the Farmers’ Market, tomatoes and peppers are at their peak. Cool, spicy gazpacho can help you fight summer’s scorching heat. Today, gazpacho as a tomato-based soup spiced with hot peppers from Spain’s Andalusia region. But it wasn’t ...

Celebrate the Fourth with … strawberry shortcake!

With a wet, rainy spring, summer’s taken it’s time to arrive. But now the days are warm, school’s out, and summer’s officially begun. Summer’s first fruit, local strawberries, are ripe for picking – a little later than usual but delicious! So why not celebrate the Fourth with a ...

The incredible edible egg

Spring has arrived, bringing more daylight to the North Country. Gone are the short, dark days of winter. That means that chickens - especially those chicken not raised on indoor chicken farms where they see no daylight - are laying more eggs. Eggs are plentiful, inexpensive, and play a major ...

It’s maple season!

“The gift of the sugar maple trees is from a benevolent Providence.” — Benjamin Rush, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. --- It’s the end of March — and Maple Season is upon us! Below-freezing nights and above-freezing days are needed for sap to flow up and down the maple ...

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish oatmeal cookies

This Sunday, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day! And Monday, March 18 is National Oatmeal Cookie Day! In Ireland — and throughout the British Isles — oats have provided sustenance for common folk for thousands of years. Long before the potato traveled across the Atlantic, oats are what ...

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s time for ... sweet chocolate indulgence! On Valentine’s Day, we all love chocolate! Whether you’re cooking at home or going out on a special date, a kid in school or an office employee, chocolate will probably be part of your day. Yes, Valentines is a romantic holiday for lovers. ...

Barley soup

In winter, we crave comfort food. Hearty, aromatic, nourishing barley soup, loaded with vibrant root vegetables, fits the bill. Most Americans are familiar with beef barley soup. But barley soup can be made with chicken, mushrooms, beans, lentils, or peas, so it can easily be a vegan dish. ...

It’s January — and it’s time for the market!

Yes, our farmers’ market is still going strong every Saturday morning at the Hotel Saranac! In past years, the market closed at the end of December, but this year is different. True, there are not as many farmers as in the summer. But there’s still plenty to buy! Juniper Hill sells root ...

Begin the year on a sweet note … with honey!

“When the leaves are off the trees and the honey from the bees sweetens up your morning cup of tea. You watch its steam arise like the fog into the skies. Grab your hat and coat and walk with me ...” — Dan Bergren, “Mountain Air” --- Pure, unadulterated honey is a real treat. ...

Autumn roots make quick, easy stir-fry suppers

The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. November is waning. This year, our garden is deep under a layer of frost and snow. Before the cold came, we dug up our root crops and stored them in a box filled with sand, in a cool place in our garage that does not freeze. In our makeshift root ...