Saturday, May 29, 2021

MAKE IT: Wild Spring Greens Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

Wild Spring Greens Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

One of my favorite things to do in the springtime is to gather young wild greens for my salads. I love eating salads full of dandelion, common evening primrose, red clover, and chicory greens. When harvesting any of these greens, make sure to follow safe and ethical harvesting practices, and wash thoroughly with cold water prior to consuming. Enjoy!

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Saturday, May 15, 2021

MAKE IT: Sweet Roasted Chickpeas

chickpeasThese crispy sweet roasted chickpeas are the perfect choice for your snack craving! Rich in B vitamins and folate, chickpeas also provide a decent amount of iron, fiber, protein, and healthy fatty acids.

If you do not want a sweet snack, you can switch out the sugar and cinnamon for other spice combinations (curry powder, cayenne pepper/chili powder, za’atar, and more!).

These chickpeas can be kept for a day in an airtight container, but do tend to lose their crispiness fairly quickly. However, they are so delicious, that you won’t have to worry about leftovers!

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Nettles: Not Just for Breakfast Any More

One of my favorite plants is either highly versatile, or confused. On one hand, professional herbivores like deer refuse to touch it, but many people, myself included, gladly eat it every day it’s available. While contacting it is painful, it has been proven to relieve certain chronic pain. It is steeped in over a thousand years of folklore, at one point imbued with the power to cleanse away sin, yet medical science recognizes it as a legitimate remedy for many disorders. Some gardeners consider it a bothersome weed, while others cultivate it.

The stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, is native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa but has been widespread throughout North America from northern Mexico to northern Canada for centuries. Experts disagree as to the number of species and subspecies worldwide, as nettles freely hybridize.

Nettles sprout little hypodermic needles on stems, leaves, and even flowers. Called trichomes, these glass-like, silica-based needles inject a mixture of irritating chemicals upon contact. The cocktail varies by species, but usually includes histamine, 5-HTP, serotonin, formic acid and acetylcholine.

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Harvest of the Month | Asparagus

asparagusWhat is Asparagus?

Garden asparagus, asparagus officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant. It belongs to the Asparagus genus, along with other perennial bushes and plants. Asparagus is dioecious, meaning some plants have flowers with a stamen and produce pollen, and other plants have flowers that have a pistil and make seeds. This means that a variety of plants are needed for reproduction. When you eat asparagus, you’re actually eating the immature stalk of the entire plant. Most asparagus is harvested when it is about six to ten inches long, but when left to mature, it grows into four-foot-tall plants with long fern-like branches. 

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

MAKE IT: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

chocolate chip cookie barChocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Although I am not a huge fan of baking cookies, I do enjoy making these chocolate chip cookie bars for my family! This recipe comes together quickly, and produces delicious cookie bars from scratch (so much better than pre-made cookie mixes!). For variety, substitute butterscotch, mint chocolate, or dark chocolate chunks for the chocolate chips. You can also leave out the chocolate entirely and substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips (dried cranberries and coconut are a favorite!). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Microgrants boost farms’ sustainability efforts

North Country CreameryIn celebration of Earth Day 2021, the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization awarded 21 micro-grants totaling $29,601 to local farmers and value-added food producers, in an effort to build a climate-friendly local economy in the Adirondack Park.

It was the sixth consecutive year that the Adirondack Council has awarded micro-grants to farmers and small business owners who want to reduce their environmental impact and adapt to a changing climate.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

You don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy this camp dinner

A Great Pre-Cooked First Night In Camp Meal

*Author’s Note: As we look all eagerly look forward to packing our gear and heading into camp, I thought I’d share a Monroe family “First Night in Camp” meal tradition: “Hunter’s Stew.”

 I first drafted this piece shortly after my “Cliff the Bear” story was featured by Adirondack Life magazine for the second time (once in print, once on-line). For a variety of reasons, I never submitted it.

Sometimes writing, like a good recipe, has to sit & simmer awhile. This one has, so I thought now might be a good time. I hope folks enjoy it. I know everyone, hunter and non-hunter alike, who visits our camp for a meal sure does!

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Gearing up for gardening

cilantro

Will the pandemic home gardening trend continue?

If you weren’t a gardener before, the COVID-19 pandemic may have inspired you to start a veggie garden. Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Fairfield, Maine, saw a 270% jump in orders the week the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. Many local nurseries sold out of vegetable transplants fast last spring, citing they couldn’t keep up with demand.

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

MAKE IT: MB’s Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

spaghettiThis simple and easy recipe not only produces mouth-wateringly delicious spaghetti and meat sauce, but it can also be adjusted to meet different dietary needs. For those on a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free spaghetti. Although ground turkey was used in this version, you can substitute any other ground meat or even meat substitute.

 I threw in a handful of dried bean flakes and some shredded carrots for added nutrients when I made this a few nights ago, and my son never even knew that they were there (shhh!).

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Adirondack Food System Network takes shape

farmers market signHoping to promote a more resilient local food system and better understand regional food insecurity issues, a collaborative new effort has launched the Adirondack Food System Network. Comprised of a group of Adirondack food system stakeholders from across the region, the initiative was launched with seed funding from Adirondack Foundation.

Adirondack Health Institute announced the initiative April 5 after teaming up with multiple organizations to identify food insecurity issues and regional solutions.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, AHI said, market supply chains and trade disruptions have limited food accessibility, especially for vulnerable residents lacking access to transportation and the means to purchase fresh food.

At the same time, farmers have been faced with significant disruptions in market access, especially due to the closure of restaurants, retail, and other food establishments, and the threat of the loss of market access for area farmers.

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Micro-Greens and Shoots 

microgreensWhat is the Difference Between Micro-Greens, Shoots, Sprouts, and Baby Greens? 

Microgreens, shoots, and sprouts are all immature plants harvested before they reach full maturity. 

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

MAKE IT: Carne Asada

carne asadaCarne Asada, Colombian Style

Carne asada, or grilled meat, is a popular staple in Latin American cuisine. Although the exact recipe for carne asada will vary from region to region, and from person to person, most carne asada recipes contain a 1-inch thick, tough cut of beef steak, lime juice, garlic, onion, and black pepper. The final product, grilled to perfection, is cut against the grain into thin strips that are often used in tacos, and/or served along beans and rice.

This recipe for marinated flank steak is based on a Colombian version of the traditional recipe. If you do not prefer to use beer in your cooking, free to substitute non-alcoholic beer or even a dark soda (such as cola).

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Eating for the Climate is Easy

Vegetarian dinnerFantastic Foods & Simple Solutions, in 3 Parts  

The climate crisis, by its very nature, is tough to wrap your head around. We can feel some of its immediate effects, but most of the most severe changes happen on a scale that is beyond the ability of one person to see. Many of the actions we can take as a society to mitigate those effects have proven challenging to do. More and more of us agree that collective, systemic action is needed to combat climate change. In addition to systemic action, it is important that individuals still do our part. It can be really tough to figure out what to do!

When faced with the enormity of the climate crisis, we often find ourselves asking: what can we do to help?

I’d like to present a very simple answer to that question.

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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Wild Turkey Soup: A camp favorite

wild turkey soup

A Camp Chef Recipe Favorite

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 Wild Turkey: The Story

   My Dad and I never hunted wild turkeys while I was growing up. Turkey populations were nearly nonexistent in the 1970’s Adirondack region.  My father and I had no turkey hunting season. Thus, for many years my soup pot was empty. My high peaks camp world had not yet discovered the wonders of Wild Turkey Soup.

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Saturday, March 20, 2021

It’s Just Coffee. Right?

It’s Just Coffee. Right? 

Coffee may very well be the world’s most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity. It’s certainly one of them. Twenty to twenty-five million families around the world make their living growing coffee. And, by most estimates, more than 2.25-billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day.

If you’re like me, you start your day; every day; with a couple of cups of coffee. (I’m addicted.) I often enjoy my early morning joe seated at the table reading emails and online news, while observing the birds at my feeder station as they come and go. When the weather permits, I like to enjoy my coffee sitting outside, where I often just close my eyes and listen.

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