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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Saturday, March 20, 2021

MAKE IT: Frances’ Scones

Frances’ Scones


An Irish Scone

Several years ago, I was able to go with my daughter, at the time, one of the Wild Irish Acres Dancers, on a trip to Ireland. During that magical trip, we visited the Rathbaun Farm, a working sheep farm in County Galway. After watching the farm’s border collie round up the sheep, we went inside the farm’s thatched cottage for some freshly baked scones, prepared by Frances, and topped with farm-fresh whipped cream and preserves. Every time that I make Frances’ scones, the scent of them baking brings me back to the farm in Ireland.

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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Maple

Adirondack March Maple Syrup EventsWhat is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is the sap from maple trees that has been collected, heated, and concentrated down to a sweet liquid. This is different than what is sold at the grocery store as “pancake syrup,” which is primarily corn syrup. 

Sugar Maple Trees begin to produce sugary water called sap when the temperatures reach above 40 degrees F during the day and below 32 degrees F at night. The freezing and thawing temperature fluctuations push sap through the tree so that it has the nutrients needed to grow. You can read a more comprehensive explanation of this process here. 

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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Support Your Local Maple Syrup Producer as Sugaring Season Begins 

Maple Weekend Canceled Again This Year

Across the North Country, the traditional sugar-making season is underway. Most northern New York maple syrup producers get busy tapping their trees in late February or early March, in preparation for the greatly-anticipated four to six weeks of sap flow generally expected to begin in mid- to late March and continue on into April.

The sugar-making season and the weeks that follow are an extremely important selling period for maple syrup-producing farm-families. Many of them participate in Maple Weekend, an annual event championed by the New York State Maple Producers Association (NYSMPA) and supported by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cornell Maple Program, as an opportunity for individuals and families to visit one or more of our family-run maple sugaring operations and see, first-hand, how sugar maple trees are tapped and sap is collected and boiled into pure, delicious maple syrup.

For many producers, Maple Weekend marks the start of their annual retail sales. Unfortunately, it appears that, once again, the COVID-19 pandemic will be seriously impacting those sales. Maple Weekend has been canceled again this year.

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Saturday, March 6, 2021

MAKE IT: MB’s Hearty Vegan Lentil Soup

PLANT-BASED DIETS

MB’s Hearty Vegan Lentil Soup

I love food that is inexpensive, filling, healthy, and flavorful. This recipe hits all of my requirements. For more of a kick, feel free to add some cayenne powder! Servings: 5  

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Make it: Herbed Focaccia Bread

Herbed Focaccia Bread


A recipe for baking an herbed foccacia bread, an Italian yeast bread backed in a sheet pan and flavored with olive oil and herbs. It is simple, easy, and smells absolutely incredible when it is cooking.

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Sunday, February 7, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Winter Squash

What are Winter Squash?

Winter squash is a group of several species of annual fruit in the genus Cucurbita, including the popular butternut, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squash. What we call “pumpkins” are also winter squash. Winter squash is different from summer squash, like the zucchini, because it’s harvested and eaten when the seeds are matured and the skin has hardened. Due to their hard rind and sweet dense flesh, they can be stored for long periods in cool dark storage, up to a year from harvest.

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Saturday, February 6, 2021

Make it: Puréed Parsnip Soup

Puréed Parsnip Soup



My grandmother loved parsnips, and would use them in her cooking like most people would use carrots. You could find them in her red flannel hash, in soups and stews, and even mashed, in heaping bowls, alongside the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Although I did not appreciate parsnips when I was a child, I have grown to love them almost as much as my grandmother did. This simple recipe, which beautifully blends the earthy flavor of parsnips with the sweet acidity of tomatoes and the sharp bite of peppercorns, reminds me of her.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

CCE Essex receives $385k USDA grant to expand local food buying

Hub on the HillCornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Essex County was awarded a $385,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the Local Food Promotion Program. Funds will be used to expand CCE Essex’s existing Farm to School program into a Farm to Institution program, working with schools, hospitals, senior centers, retirement homes, correctional facilities, colleges and universities, and early child care centers.

One avenue for reaching project goals will be to build upon Adirondack Harvest’s wholesale and local food outreach capabilities, through marketing and promotion, web development, and networking. CCE Essex staff will also collaborate with Adirondack Medical Center, Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District, Harvest New York, and the Hub on the Hill to accomplish project goals. 

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