×

North Country Kitchen, by Yvona Fast

January is National Soup Month

On the stove, a steamy pot simmers, waiting to warm you up.   It’s that time of year again. A cold winter day in the North Country is a great time to cook up some hot, steamy, flavorful soup! Make a pot in the morning, and reheat when coming in from a day of outdoor winter fun. ...

Begin the year with … The Staff of Life

January is National Wheat Bread Month. As winter blasts through our region, baking bread will warm up your home as well as your soul. Bread, bagels, crackers, cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza and pasta are just some of the foods made with wheat. Bread is our oldest processed food and has been ...

Begin the year with citrus

Did Santa bring you oranges for Christmas? Oranges and other citrus fruit were once a prized, healthy winter treat. That was before the miracle of modern transportation, which brings us fruit harvests from Florida and California. While our local fresh produce is out of season, the cold winter ...

An unprecedented holiday season

It was a Thanksgiving like no other ... a Christmas unlike previous Christmases ... and the New Year celebration will be unprecedented as well. Most New Year’s Eves we have enjoyed a variety of performers at Saranac Lake’s First Night. Other years were spent with friends, at parties, or ...

A COVID Christmas

The 2020 Christmas season has fallen victim to the same pandemic restrictions as Thanksgiving. Because large indoor gatherings promote the possibility of infection, most of us will spend the day only with those in our immediate household. We stay home and don’t travel to ...

Holiday baking

Chocolate chip — or sugar spice? Peanut butter’s also nice. Gingerbread — or butter spritz? My cookies crumbled into bits! Snowmen, stars and Christmas trees — yummy treats! We all love these! Mix them, roll them, cut out shapes, Bake them, cool them, ...

Leek fritters are a traditional Sephardic Hanukkah dish

December gray seeps in, penetrates, permeates — we search for light. - These short, cloudy, dark December days cause us to welcome this festival of lights, regardless of religious or cultural tradition. Hanukkah expresses gratitude for God’s protection, kindness and ...

Make your own delicious gifts

Thanksgiving came and went with smaller-than-usual gatherings. Now it’s the season of Advent, when we get ready for Christmas. Most years, December is full of Christmas parties, concerts and cookie exchanges. We visit crowded shops and malls to buy gifts. On Christmas, families gather ...

A smaller Thanksgiving

The holiday’s coming! What shall we do? A really large turkey is too big for two! A chicken instead — or maybe, a hen. A poem, a blessing, some music, and then a feast for a king — or maybe, a queen — the smallest Thanksgiving that I’ve ever seen. -  2020 is the ...

Roasting autumn veggies

It’s mid-November. Gardens are mostly harvested. Farm stands and farmers markets have shut down for the season. Our Saranac Lake Park-It offers drive-through service for items ordered ahead. But there are still plenty of autumn vegetables to choose from. Most keep well, so if you stocked ...

Another late season green — escarole

The days are getting shorter. The trees stand tall, pointing their dark, bare branches at the leaden gray sky. Even the tamaracks are beginning to shed their showy golden needles. But autumn gardens still produce roots and winter greens. Among these is escarole, an Italian classic from ...

Daikon radish a late, healthy root popular in Japan

It’s November. Last week, someone asked me what to do with the white radishes her sister dug up from the garden and given to her. Radishes come in many sizes and colors. Americans are most familiar with the red-skinned European varieties. Of the many Asian varieties, the daikon is the ...

A pandemic Halloween

The end of October brings lots of pumpkins — and Pumpkin Day on Oct. 26. It also brings witches, ghosts and other scary creatures, and lots of sweet candy treats on Oct. 31, which is All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween. This year there is a pandemic, and everything is different. Most people ...

Savoring autumn

The last ear of summer corn ... the last zucchini ... the last beautiful red pepper… the last summer cucumber ... the last tomato... Through modern transportation, we have these veggies year-round, shipped from farms in California. But they don’t taste the same. They’re not picked ...

’Tis the season for … winter squash

Winter squash is a favorite autumn treat — and one of the most popular is the acorn. Cucurbita pepo L. var. turbinata has a very hard, ridged shell with a pointed bottom — in the shape of a giant acorn. They’re fairly round — between 5 and 8 inches long and 4 or 5 inches across — ...

Summer squash is done; now it’s spaghetti squash season

It’s October. Summer squash has disappeared from farmers’ markets. But winter squashes — summer squash’s robust cousins — are just getting into their prime. One of the earliest to mature from the winter squash family is the spaghetti squash. When roasted, it forms strands (hence ...

Tomatillos can grow in northern gardens, too

Tomatillos (toe-mah-TEE-ohs) are the lesser known, tangy cousin of the tomato. These small fruits (a little bigger than a cherry tomato) enclosed in loose, papery, brown or green husks are to the tomato what the lime is to the orange. Though a warm-weather crop, they can grow in our ...

Save those green tomatoes from the frost, and enjoy them

The trees are turning; the winds are picking up; change is in the air. The autumn equinox is almost here, and fall is upon us. The past week brought not one but four nights below freezing. The tender harvest — tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, eggplant, beans — had to be gathered ...

Happy new year!

Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet? Too early, you say? True, the Western new year is still months away. But later this week, Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish new year 5781, which begins at sundown on Friday, Sept. 18. The celebration and feasting concludes at sundown on ...

September salads — who needs lettuce?

September brings the waning days of summer. It also brings lots of veggies: plentiful tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, corn. These veggies make great salads. When most people picture salads, they think lettuce — or maybe spinach or kale. But summer vegetables like peppers, ...