×

North Country Kitchen, by Yvona Fast

Welcome, summer

Spring was slow to arrive. Mother’s Day weekend was chilly. Yesterday was Memorial Day — the unofficial start of the summer season — and we finally have warm weather! The sun is shining and everything’s blooming, from shadbush to trilliums, from violets to tulips. For many, this is the ...

Maple syrup is sweet story of spring

“The gift of the sugar maple trees is from a benevolent Providence.” — Benjamin Rush, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson --- The maple sugaring season ended weeks ago. This year, due to the global COVID-19 Pandemic, maple producers did not open to the public for tours, ...

Eating at home is a new norm

A tiny virus has made our large world shrink. Life has become strange, surreal, silent. The entire planet is social distancing. In the midst of the chaos, uncertainty reigns. In better times, we share love by preparing food for friends and family. We offer a loaf of bread or a jar of homemade ...

Goodbye April, welcome May!

April seemed endless, surreal and strange. I’m so glad it’s May! The days are noticeably longer and temps have risen above 60 degrees F. The brown earth is transformed by green growth. Bright yellow coltsfoot blooms as it does every year. Crocuses, daffodils and scillas fill the ...

What’s new at the market? Scallions and radishes

It’s been over a month since spring officially began — and our crocuses look lovely covered with a dusting of white snow. We don’t have anything in the garden yet. Our chives are barely poking out of the earth. But our farmers’ market welcomes spring with scallions and spring ...

Earth Day: Make vegetables the center of the meal

This week is Earth Week — the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which began with the ecology movement in 1970. This is a time to promote environmental awareness. In the past, there were marches and demonstrations. This year, many ecology groups planned week-long celebrations — but that was ...

Cooking with Kids: A World Tour

We live in a new reality. A pandemic has invaded our normal. The calendar’s blank. No meetings. No outings with friends. Even doctors’ appointments have mostly been rescheduled. We’re home. Parents are working from home and kids are learning from home. And we’re cooking at home more ...

Boost flavor and health with garlic

You may have heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But did you know that a clove of garlic a day may do much better? It’s true. Garlic does much more than fight off vampires. An old Welsh saying instructs: “Eat leeks in March and garlic in May, then the rest of the year, your ...

Welcome, spring

The days are longer. The temps are warmer. The ice is out. The snow has (mostly) disappeared. We welcome spring to the north woods. This year, spring has come early. It has also come with unforeseen challenges. Life has changed radically. Our world is in chaos. Uncertainty reigns. The ...

Buy local food at your Farmers’ Park It

I love our local Farmers’ Market. In the summer, I go there for much more than food. I go to chat, meet friends, hear music. I get to know my area farmers. Hungry? Lunch is available. In winter, the market moves indoors, where there is no music. There are fewer vendors; I don’t run ...

Cooking at home is easier than you think

So, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and restaurants are closed — or only doing takeout. The Adult Center, which served cooked meals five days a week, is closed. Schools, where many children got lunch or breakfast, are closed. Wednesday night Community Suppers at the First United ...

Foods to strengthen your immunity

It’s official. The World Health Organization and our Centers for Disease Control have proclaimed the new coronavirus, COVID-19, a global pandemic. Whereas the flu kills (on average) about 20,000 Americans each year, this new virus is ten times more deadly — especially to older folks and ...

Fresh greens are the flavor of spring

Yes, I know the calendar says it’s still winter. But… the days are getting longer, temps are getting warmer, snow is melting, and shoots are coming up from the soil. I’ve heard Canada geese are arriving, as are robins and cardinals. Although the first day of spring is still a few days ...

The farmers market: your source for local, pastured meat

You may have heard that reducing your consumption of meat is better both for your health and for our planet. This is true. But most Americans still eat meat. So which meat should you buy? It is best to buy local, sustainably raised meat products —like those sold at our winter farmers market ...

Getting back to your roots

There are many delicious root veggies at our winter farmers’ market. In addition to the ubiquitous potatoes, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes, there are long white parsnips, rough-skinned celeriac (celery root), smooth and shiny kohlrabi, turnips, leeks, several types of beets and four ...

Winter warmups: Chili is a versatile, spicy stew

You may have heard that this was the warmest January in recorded history and that the temperature in Antarctica reached a record 67 degrees. It is true. Winters are not as cold as they used to be. We have not had 40 below for many years. But in the past few weeks, temps have dipped below zero ...

Artisan bread at the Winter Market

“Give us this day our daily bread” — Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:13 Bread is known as “the staff of life” because it’s a dietary staple in much of the western world. We eat it daily — and we take it for granted. It is our oldest processed food. In many European and ...

Food is a delicious part of Valentine’s Day

“The world today is hungry not only for bread but hungry for love; hungry to be wanted, to be loved.” - Mother Teresa Valentine’s Day — the romantic holiday for lovers — will be here soon. We show that love by sending cards, flowers and chocolates — and with romantic candlelit ...

Savory sorcery: Myths and legends of food

“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” — Elsa Schiaperelli Myths and legends about food abound. Most of us have participated in food traditions without even thinking about it. At weddings, we have thrown rice on the newlyweds to bring the couple health and ...

Winter radishes at the winter market

There are three kinds of radishes at our winter farmers’ market at the Hotel Saranac: watermelon, Daikon and black. Winter radishes are much larger in size than their cousins that herald spring. These root crops are harvested in late fall and can be stored through the winter. Juniper ...