Food

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Seriously, where has the time gone? I feel like it was just the first week of our Red Fire Farm CSA and we were looking forward to 20 weeks of local produce from the CSA as well as from our garden. Our garden is still raring to go; I thought that it was dead and gone weeks ago, but a huge new tomato crop has just popped up, and I am savoring each one as it ripens on the vine.

I have to say, between our CSA share and our garden, we have gotten MUCH better at eating fruit and vegetables. I have looked forward to finding out what was in each share and trying to figure out what to do with it. We’ve decided not to do a winter share and to focus more on shopping locally at the Codman Square Winter Farmers Market which has so many great vendors, like Red’s Best for delicious Chatham cod.

Before our CSA is over, I thought I would give a quick update on what we have been getting and what I have been making. Our share from Red Fire Farm has been pretty big every week, and at the height of harvest, it was HUGE.

Even late in the summer, our share was teeming with tomatoes and basil, and we made good use of them with simple flatbreads, complete with store bought whole wheat crust. These were perfect for those endless summer evenings where cooking was not a priority.

pesto pizza

As time wore on, our CSA share became heartier, featuring lots of carrots and cabbage and onions. A quick and simple dinner of braised chicken thighs and cabbage with carrots, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and a bit of orange marmalade made for a nice early fall meal, maybe slightly helping me to look forward to snuggly nights in and comfort food.

 

vegetables and chicken

Our early fall shares looked a little like this. The grapes were a little different from the ones we sorted in California, but they were tart and delicious. Loads of kale turned into chips, and that amazing winter sunshine squash up front? It was part of smoothies and chili and eaten all by its sweet and delicious self.

 

Red Fire Farm CSA

Of course there have been apples, lots and lots of apples from Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown. I only like apples in the fall, and I have been loving these on their own but also in homemade apple sauce and smoothies.

apples

An overwhelming amount of shallots was shared with friends, but we also used them in dressings and slow roasted in sauces and soups.

shallots

 

homemade sauerkraut

And in homemade sauerkraut. . . that I am afraid to eat. Have you ever made sauerkraut? Every week our CSA emails us recipes, and the one for sauerkraut seemed so easy. I decided to make ours with cabbage and apples but then started to fear that I would make it improperly and kill us. So it sits waiting to be eaten. . . if you don’t hear from me for a while, come looking.   all the vegetable soup

And finally, we have the most common uses for our CSA veggies, “all the vegetable” soups and salads. I have taken to eating mixing bowls full of salad again, and it makes my body feel really good. I swear, piles of raw veggies are like a dose of caffeine for me. I am starting to find energy again and hope to keep it up even when this CSA is over. While we loved our Red Fire Farm CSA, we’re thinking next year we might go a little more local and try The Food Project. Stay tuned; I am sure there are plenty of local vegetables in our future.

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Tags: CSA, farm to table, Food, fruit, local food, recipes, vegetables

 

Rodney Strong wine

Our recent trip to Sonoma and Napa included the chance to plan get togethers and have some random run ins with some of the very friendly people we have met on past trips. Since it was Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and an early harvest, the county was buzzing with busy people, but one evening event brought lots of people out to Rodney Strong Vineyards for some of their great wine, an excellent selection of beers, and a band that I can now count in our favorites.

Rodney Strong Vineyards

While the light and heat of our day of canoeing on the Russian River faded, we caught up with old friends and met new ones while listening to the Big Bang, an incredibly talented group of musicians who I wish toured on the East Coast! Pliny the Elder

Rodney Strong wines are always favorites, but the selection of beers at the event was pretty phenomenal, and we had the opportunity to sip Pliny the Elder, a sought-after beer that many East Coast friends were excited to see on my Facebook and Instagram feeds.

peach salad

A simple, excellent dinner of fresh salads and wood-fired pizzas provided the perfect bites to go along with the beer and to prep us for dancing. With the Big Bang in the house, you couldn’t NOT dance.Rodney Strong Vineyards events

A break between music sets and chatting found us on the cool lawn behind the winery with more local beer, this time from Lagunitas, the sun setting  on the vineyards behind us, and lots of grateful silence and being in the perfect moment.

Sonoma sunset

The sun said its goodbyes most gracefully, meeting the dark and twinkling stars on their way in. Temperatures dropped, and we moved closer to the fire for a couple of last songs before we were on our way. What a beautiful way to spend a summer weekend night in wine country!

Thank you to Rodney Strong Vineyards for having us by. We can’t wait to visit again soon!

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Tags: beer, events, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, wine, wine country, wine tasting, winery

During the cooler months, our Sunday nights are often spent in front of a fire and a movie, cozy Sunday supper and good glass of red wine. It’s a great way to unwind, but being home and focusing on the end of the weekend sometimes also brings on the Sunday blues.

Last week we had a very stressful date in court with a nightmare contractor, and before that was even scheduled, we had made plans with a group of friends to try out the Sunday Supper Club at MC Spiedo. It turned out to be the perfect way to get our minds off of the stressful week ahead, and after an amazing meal with great people, we slept better than we had in a long time.

MC Spiedo Supper Club Supper Club Sunday is a phenomenal value, to start. With wine pairings, it’s $65, including tax and gratuity, and the food just keeps coming. The wines poured were really excellently paired with the courses.

We met for cocktails prior to dinner, and I had the Bourbon Month special, which was a delicious blend of Smuggler’s Notch bourbon, apple cider, and lemon. It was autumn in a glass.

meat and cheese board

Our feast started out with a meat and cheese board with farmstead cheeses, pickles, and a killer pate that was mixed with local cranberries.

Next up were the pizzas. There was a pork pizza, a mushroom pizza with blue cheese, and a white pizza with pesto. The crust was chewy perfection, and all of the topics were delicious. My favorite was definitely the mushroom though, the Bayley Hazen blue nutty and salty with spice from the salumi and earthy, meaty ,mushrooms making for an excellent combination.

By the time we were done with the pizzas, we were getting full. The food could have stopped then!MC Spiedo pizza

But the main feast was yet to come! Each Supper Club has a featured protein, and this week was a suckling pig, carved tableside. While I did not enjoy looking at the pig’s face, I have to say, the meat was melt-in-your-mouth incredible. It was so tender and flavorful, served with pickled tiger figs for a nice contrast. There were plenty of sides for us to enjoy along with it.

In addition to a Warm Farro Salad and Roman-Style Cauliflower, we had Polenta Fries, Brussels Sprouts, and a perfect Tagliatelle Bolognese.

polenta fries

Brussels sprouts

 

bolognese

Ooof.  The main course was served with an incredible Sangiovese from Emiglia-Romagna. It had notes of black cherries and cocoa, and it really stood up to the richness of the food. Even a friend who is not usually a fan of Italian reds loved this wine.

Meyer Lemon Zeppoles

While we didn’t think we could eat another bite, we did manage dessert. A Hazelnut Torte and Meyer Lemon Zeppoles rounded out the meal. The cake was a little too sweet for my liking, but I loved the light, lemony zeppoles.

All in all, Supper Club Sundays are a perfect way to enjoy lots of delicious dishes with a group of friends. It won’t make Monday go away, but it certainly helps you to stretch the weekend fun until the very end!

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Tags: Boston, Dining out, events, Food, nights out, wine, wine and food pairing

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