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North Country Kitchen, by Yvona Fast

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 ...

Winter is prime time for your favorite soups

The soup cauldron simmers, steams, shimmers warming soul, spirit, flesh. Winter is time for hot, steamy, flavorful soup. There are probably thousands of different soups, because you can make soup from almost anything. There are broth-based soups and chunky chowders, as well as vegetarian and ...

The winter market: Kohlrabi

This is the first year we've had a farmers market through the winter in Saranac Lake. I love it! I wondered what vegetables would be available through the winter. The market still has squash, Brussels sprouts, a variety of root veggies (like carrots, turnips, beets). There are also greens ...

After New Year’s, it’s time to eat healthy

It’s Jan. 2 and we have just entered a new year — and a new decade. The past decade brought technological innovations: smart phones, social media, electric vehicles, self-driving automobiles. It also opened our eyes to new challenges — the biggest being our planet's changing ...

Happy New Year, and good food too!

It’s that time of year again when one year turns into another. The passing of one year and the birth of a new one is cause for both revelry and reflection. It’s the time each year that we consider the past and plan ahead. Almost every culture shares a time of looking back and looking ...

Celebrate, it’s holiday time!

As the year draws to a close — it is holiday time! Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa … and then the New Year! How will you celebrate the holidays this year? What are your special holiday foods? This darkest time of year we celebrate with light. Solstice burns a Yule log. Hanukkah ...

Let’s go nuts for the holidays

It’s December. Wintertime evokes visions of sitting by a hearth cracking nuts, which are now at their peak of freshness, and widely available. Popular holiday songs mention “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” — a custom that few Americans know. But walnuts and almonds are our most ...

Usher in the holiday season with eggnog

Thick, creamy eggnog is the official drink that welcomes our winter holidays. It appears in stores shortly before Thanksgiving, and disappears right after New Year’s. The association with Christmas is relatively recent —probably dating to the 18th Century. The beverage originated as a ...

Pasta is great for leftovers

The guests have gone. The big day is over. You’re left with lots of food. Many say that leftovers are the best part of the holiday. But even if you love turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and gravy, they get boring after a while. It is fun to find creative ways to use what is left ...

A diverse Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day Turkey, squash, potatoes, pie gobble, gobble, gulp. For food, fun, friends, family, Give thanks today, and always. Winter snuck in upon us - and we weren't completely prepared. Clothespins were frozen on the clothesline, the porch windows were open and the ...

Collard greens: kale’s first cousin

Kale has become our “it” green, gaining popularity over the last decade. Once relatively unknown outside the south, today restaurants make sure it is on the menu. Everyone loves kale chips. Kale has the buzz. But collard greens — kale’s first cousin — are still uncommon. Standard ...