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Charcuterie at Oyster Club

s g n i d d a f r m e h t e on

winter 2016

m o o l s r i e H le p Ap

Herbal Gifts from the Kitchen cover photo by Winter Caplanson at Zest

The

Soup Kitchen

Chef


Contents

Features 6 Charcuterie at Oyster Club 16 Bare Fruit: Discovering Connecticut's Heirloom Apples 28 Winter Cocktails for Cold Nights 36 Handmade Soap: A Beginner's Guide 41 Herbal Gifts from the Kitchen 50 Destination: Homemade for the Holidays 52 Old School, Old World: Celebrating Italian Holiday Heritage 60 The Soup Kitchen Chef 68 Food Rescue 70 Farm Weddings 72 Past and Present: A Perfect Marriage at South Farms 80 Rustic and Rural Weddings on the Farm 84 Go Local: Unique Wedding Favors 88 Farm Fresh Catering 94 Slow Flowers: Locally-Grown Blossoms

In Every Issue 102 Contributors 103 Recipe Index

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" The first snow is like the first love. Do you remember you -Lara Biyuts


ur first snow?"

Ashley Caroline Photographer at Jones Family Farm


Charcuterie at Oyster Club Chef James Wayman Talks Tradition, Trial, and Patience by Julia Ludovici Pistell and Kelley Citroni Anna Sawin photos

It's hard not to interrupt Chef James Wayman once you get him going; when he gives a nod to a certain method of curing, you want to jump in with more questions. When he makes reference to a local farmer, artisan, or one of his contemporaries, the urge to disrupt his narrative with your own excitement is overwhelming; and, it's out of pure interest in the dishes he prepares at Oyster Club in Mystic, where he serves as Executive Chef. Don't let the name fool you; local, succulent, briny oysters are just one item that sets the restaurant apart from its classmates. Upstairs from the dining room lies a cooler containing Chef Wayman's curing and aging treasures, some of which are still in their R&D phase. Beef ribeye, veal, pork, goose, goat and even bones – it's a veritable Noah's Ark of charcuterie components. Depending on its weight and fat content,

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a piece is cured with sea salt until the moisture is drawn entirely from its center. For example, a bone-in country ham will cure for about 40 days due to the thick protective layer of blubber that sits between the skin and meat. Goat, on the other hand, will cure within two weeks because it's leaner. "It's a fascinating process to witness," Chef said. "Curing creates tremendous depth of flavor that would otherwise go unappreciated." Once a cut is completely cured, it's dry-aged; this takes the flavors with which we are so familiar and gives them intensity and a more refined character using only two temperature-controlled ingredients and time. "Tasting more shouldn't mean adding more," says Chef Wayman. In an industry that demands constant movement, complex technique, and unblinking attention, it throws us to think that the very act of walking away is paramount to successfully curing and aging. It goes against our muscle memory. But, Chef Wayman explains, as North Americans, we're the outliers. Our muscle memory is skewed in a unique way. The last two to three generations have been spoiled (no pun intended) with the conveniences of modern refrigeration. Add that to the instant access we have to out-of-season produce and the popularity and affordability of processed items, and the concept of simplifying the way we cook presents a challenge unknown to most countries. In a way, North American food culture is still a teenager and therefore, still coming of age. This is where Chef Wayman and his philosophy come in.

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Behind each dish is a pair of hands, a plot of family land, traditional practices, and all the emotions that come along with the creative process. At Oyster Club, every move is consciously made to illustrate its mission: to tell a story – to teach the diner that the plate in front of him or her is more than what gets chewed and swallowed. Behind each dish is a pair of hands, a plot of family land, traditional practices, and all the emotions that come along with the creative process. When you enjoy a meal at Oyster Club, you walk away from the table with a full belly, a full mind, and a full appreciation for the work that went in to the end product. Where does this drive come from, though? From almost 30 years spent in the kitchen, the forest, and the ocean. A self-professed "water guy," Chef Wayman grew up in North Carolina and started fishing at four years old; it's been a passion of his ever since. His other interests are an extension of this foundation: swimming, boating, and foraging – in and out of the water. As many accomplished chefs have done (and in this girl's opinion, should do), Chef Wayman started his culinary journey washing dishes in a café in Greensboro. With each new work experience, his confidence and interest compounded.

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"I remember thinking early on that I could do more than what was being asked of me. That's when I decided to go to culinary school." And we are so thankful that he did; attending Johnson and Wales brought him to New England. After cutting his teeth at Boom Restaurant in Stonington (now Dog Watch Café), Chef Wayman did tenures at both Water Street Café – also in Stonington – and River Tavern in Chester. Four and a half years ago, he and his business partner, co-founder and owner Daniel Meiser, opened Oyster Club, following it up with Engine Room as co-owners two years later. The most crucial part of Oyster Club's approach is getting back to basics. From the outside looking in, making prosciutto from a goose leg seems foreign and odd when in fact, it exercises millennia-old practices rooted in making the most of sparse ingredients. While the term "innovative" is often applied to methods that are less prevalent in American pop culture, Chef Wayman shies away from using the word. "We're the ones just catching on," he said. "The system we use for curing meat was born from necessity. The cultures that pioneered these techniques couldn't afford to waste anything as colder seasons approached." With this in mind, Chef Wayman and his team at Oyster Club stay grounded in old-fashioned methods but push themselves creatively within those boundaries. And it's not just with curing – it's fermentation of all kinds, including vegetables, local tofu from The Bridge in Middletown, and beer from Beer'd Brewing Co. right next door in Stonington. Chef Wayman volunteers the fact that often,


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his fermentation efforts go through rounds of trial and error. His team experiments and adjusts time, humidity, temperature, and storage until they're satisfied with item's transformation. A great example of this process is fried porridge. It starts with fermented grain. Chef Wayman recently collaborated with Todd Solek of Farm to Hearth (who bakes bread and rolls of all kinds daily for both Oyster Club and Engine Room) on the purchase of a grain mill – another ancient medium of food preparation. Once milled, Chef Wayman briefly ferments it, "adding a little bit of funk." Then, he prepares a thick porridge with the grain and chills it – just as one would do with polenta. Once it sets up, the firm mixture is sliced and fried, creating a flavor that Chef Wayman describes as "a slightly more developed sourdough." Special events like Oyster Club's and Engine Room's Sunday Supper Series are a wonderful way to showcase new and creative concoctions such as the fried porridge dish. It made its debut on the menu for the most recent installment of the Series – a Fermentation Dinner that took place on October 25 – topped with local mushrooms which were brined, smoked, and preserved in fat. Chef Wayman, by the way, personally foraged the mushrooms. As farm to table dinners grow in popularity, he explains that it's of utmost importance to stay ahead of the curve. The format can lend itself to chefs and farmers constantly pushing their skill sets; but, it can also be conducive to repetition and complacency. Chef Wayman seeks to give "more than just a dining experience," enhancing his farm to table dinners through hosting the farmers

and artisans who make and/or grow the items featured in each dish. In between courses, these individuals address the dining room and talk about their work, methods, products, and philosophies. Diners are able to put a face to their sustenance, ask questions, and learn more about food sources in their communities. This adds an interactive component that resonates with people and drives home Oyster Club's ultimate goal of revealing the tale behind each item served. "Our food has a story – we want our guests to appreciate all the moments in our farmers' and artisans' lives that led to them create the ingredients we use. It speaks for the bigger picture; our patrons leave satiated both mentally and physically," said Chef Wayman. On December 13, Oyster Club will host culinary legend and long-time Connecticut resident Jacques Pepin to craft a traditional French Holiday Feast. "Excited" doesn't do Chef Wayman's sentiment justice; considering his and Chef Pepin's combined talent, it's no wonder the dinner is already sold out. Don't panic; there are two dinners left in this season's Sunday Supper Series: their Fifth Annual Pig and Oyster Dinner (the restaurant's most popular event, by far)

Making prosciutto from a goose leg seems foreign and odd when in fact, it exercises millennia-old practices rooted in making the most of sparse ingredients.

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on February 28 and a Traditional Korean Dinner with the Rhei Maid Company on April 24. These three dinners alone exemplify Chef Wayman's dedication to making sure his patrons try something new every time they sit down. Depth: it's what defines the method to Chef Wayman's – Jay Way, if you will – madness. As his visions and ideas come to fruition, we enjoy depth of flavor, the breadth of the history behind the food, and we learn that there are some unassuming surprises lurking behind the Club's regionally famous oysters. As the weather becomes colder and we seek comfort in hearty dishes, Chef Wayman and his team will be there right along with us, calling upon time-tested methods to formulate new intimations of simple and few ingredients. Personally, I can't wait to try their pasta made with fermented grain – Chef Wayman's description alone had me sold: "earthy and intense." It describes him perfectly, too.

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Oyster Club and Engine Room maintain tight relationships with the makers and farmers from whom they source ingredients. Chef Wayman fiercely advocates for benefits of developing strong connections with people who serve as the foundation of and inspiration for each restaurant's offerings. Follow the links below to learn more; some of the farmers and makers with whom Chef Wayman works include: The Beer'd Brewing Company, Stonington Farm to Hearth, Haddam Firefly Farm, North Stonington Huntsbrook Farm,Waterford The Mystic Cheese Company, Lebanon Provider Farm, Salem Shundahai Farm, Storrs Soeltl Farm, Salem Valchris Farm, Oakdale


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E F R R A U I B T : g r e n n c e s ct c D i

ov in Co i ut's Heirloom Apples

By Jessica Giordani Photographed by Hillary Strater On a dazzling afternoon in late October, my daughters and I take a day-trip up to the Hall Homestead to visit JoAnn Derochers of 18th Century Purity Farm. JoAnn and her husband Paul sustainably farm the 59-acre property. The orchard is home to nearly 90 varieties of pesticide-free heirloom apples growing at both the Hall Homestead and their orchard at home in Moosup. We are among some of the oldest apple varieties in Connecticut. The hillside is lush; the trees share the land with milkweed past its bloom, thickets of tall grasses, and goldenrod. A long, low building in disrepair gives us a peek at old cider jugs through an opening that used to be a wall. In another life, this was the farm’s chicken coop tended to by JoAnn’s grandmother. It’s like we’ve stepped inside a painting. Malus domestica, the apple that we know and love, has spread across the United States over the last 400 years after the seeds were brought from Europe. In that expanse of time, farmers have grown apple trees from seed, and through grafting, have created an astonishing array of these beloved fruits. Apples have been cultivated for a assortment of uses: eating fresh out-of-hand (Cortland, Empire, Westfield Seek-No-Further, Pomme Gris), baking and cooking (Caville Blanc d’Hiver, Idared, Rhode Island Greening, Black Oxford, Goldrush),

and, of course, cider (Golden Russet, Ashmead’s Kernel, Black Twig, Blue Pearmain). In 1905, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cataloged the known varieties of apples grown in the U.S. over the last 100 years, and the number is staggering: more than 14,000! During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were significant changes to the apple economy; temperance reduced demand for cider production. German immigrants introduced beer brewing and the work involved in maintaining an apple orchard became considerably less appealing. The number of varietals dwindled. When we talk about heirloom apples, we are referring to old cultivators of apples – fruit trees that have been cared for and tended to over generations. Heirloom apples are often misshapen and lumpy compared to the apples found in grocery store bins; they commonly have with stripes or spots and unexpected colors. Inside their wondrous and often unfamiliar skins is a world of flavor and texture to enjoy: the candy apple aroma and bright pink flesh of a Hidden Rose is disguised by an underwhelming, brownish skin; the tart, citrusy flavor of a Ribston Pippin is kept secret by a dull and rusted exterior. The world of heirloom apples is one worth exploring.

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Red Delicious

Violet lost her first tooth over the summer, right around the time she turned six. The second came out not long after she began the adventure that is first grade. Missing a front bottom tooth poses a number of minor challenges, the least of which is successfully eating an apple. After weeks of coring, slicing, or quartering apples to tuck away into her lunch bag, she explained to me that she was on a quest for a perfect apple. Not just any old apple (which the Cortlands, Pink Ladies, and Macons in her lunches had apparently become), but a dark red, juicy, delicious apple. Our trip to visit JoAnn was met with extreme enthusiasm. As we trek into the orchard, JoAnn points out the “grandfather tree” to us: a McIntosh planted by her grandfather in 1919. Its spindly branches lean heavily to the west, the largest propped up by a weathered and dried limb from some sister tree elsewhere on the property. The trunk is split open. This tree looks like it has struggled through a century of New England weather and yet it continues to bear fruit. This hearty McIntosh, full of so much history, is a treasure. While many of the apples have been picked for the season, 18th Century Purity Farm's Red and Golden Delicious apples are abundant. JoAnn encourages my girls to explore the rows and help themselves to the apples. My last experience with a Red Delicious apple was at some point in my childhood. My memory of square-ish apples with waxy, tough, red skin and mealy, yellow, often tasteless flesh wasnothing like this fruit.) JoAnn explains that her Red Delicious apples are a very old variety– and they are glorious! Violet has found her apple: crisp, dark red, and juicy. It is precisely what she has been hoping for. And, while her claims of eating 100 of them during our visit may be a bit exaggerated, I’m fairly positive that I spy her eating four or five.

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Gilly Flower

While many of the heirloom apples grown at 18th Century Purity Farm are early varietals ready during the summer months, many others hang on into the fall and don’t reach their peak of flavor until well into October. We visit a Gilly Flower tree, a looming giant on the hillside and heavy with fruit waiting to be picked. The apples are spicy and crisp – reminiscent of a pear. There is a very old feeling about this tree and its apples; they’re not something you stumble across in the produce section. Long before early settlers planted the first apple trees and John Chapman (widely known as Johnny Appleseed) set out barefoot to establish apple orchards from seed across western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and into Indiana, apples held cultural significance throughout Europe. Though the fruit is not specified in the Book of Genesis, Christians widely understand the forbidden fruit in the story of Adam and Eve to be an apple. In Greek mythology, the goddess Eris tosses the Golden Apple of Discord, setting the Trojan War in motion. Apple trees symbolize rebirth and beauty in Norse folklore. Allantide (celebrated October 31) is a Cornish festival with pre-Christian origins where apples play a central role in welcoming winter's arrival. The Gilly Flower apple that I taste in the orchard is a descendant of the Cornish Gilliflower apple; it's like taking a bite of history.

Pick-Your-Own

There is a growing agricultural movement to preserve heirloom apples and introduce them to the communities where they are grown through farmers' markets and pick-your-own operations. At a time when the same four or five varieties of apples fill the shelves of grocery stores, it behooves us to make an effort to search out apples rich with antiquity, tradition, and flavor. While contemporary cultivators of Red Delicious are designed for ease of shipping instead of


Inside their wondrous and often unfamiliar skins is a world of flavor and texture to enjoy...


Chenago Strawberry the enjoyment of eating, and the Honey Crisp (designed by the University of Minnesota in 1960, patented in 1988, and made available to growers in 1991) is ubiquitous, it takes a bit of effort to seek out heirlooms. But, it can be done and it is undeniably worth it. Connecticut is ripe with a beautiful assortment of heirloom apples. A quick internet search will direct you to an orchard in your area during the picking season, and farmers' markets often have apple growers in their line-up. 18th Century Purity Farm is considered among the best heirloom apple orchards in New England, and we are lucky to have such knowledge and options available to our food community. JoAnn and Paul bring their cold storage apples to the winter farmers' markets in Coventry and the Velvet Mill in Stonington where they are enjoyed throughout the year.

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Our last stop of the afternoon is the big barn at the entrance of the Hall Homestead. I want to look at their cold storage room where apples and pears are stored at 35°F with fans blowing to help control humidity. JoAnn enthusiastically pulls out crates of apples that we had missed on the trees: Golden Russets, Caville Blanc d’Hivers, Jefferies, and Newtown Pippins – a complete treasure trove. One of the most exciting types that JoAnn shows us is the Chenago Strawberry. Its juicy flesh has an aroma reminiscent of June's strawberry harvest. I leave the orchard with a half a peck to take home and instructions to cook them down to a lovely strawberry-scented applesauce. Storing heirloom apples means being able to enjoy them anytime from weeks to months past when they’ve been picked. Store them in paper bags in the drawers of your refrigerator and spend the winter months snacking on local fruit and baking up a storm.


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Quick Apple Turnovers Here is a recipe for Quick Apple Turnovers; we hope that it encourages you to seek out heirloom apples to savor during the New England's harsh and unforgiving winter. Makes six to eight pieces These turnovers are a delicious way to enjoy heirloom fruits and they can be made from scratch with minimal preparation time. Although they are traditionally made with puff pastry dough, making puff pastry from scratch requires planning of at least one day before you’d like to bake and multiple sessions of rolling and folding to create those beautiful, flaky layers. This recipe uses pie dough and creates a sort of "cheater's version." Your pie dough needs to have visible streaks of butter throughout (a marbled effect). If your dough looks homogeneous – like cookie dough – you won’t achieve the desired mille-feuille effect.

Pie Dough 2½ c. all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar Pinch of nutmeg ½ tsp. Kosher salt 1 c. (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 12 pieces ½ c. ice cold water In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Omit salt if you are using unsalted butter. Toss cold butter in flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut butter into the dry ingredients. If you don’t have a pastry blender, use your fingers to crumble the butter into the flour. Stop when the mixture looks shaggy and there are bits of butter ranging in size from oats to peas. Sprinkle chilled water over the mixture and fold together with a bowl scraper. Try to handle your dough as little as possible. Your finished dough should have noticeable pieces and veins of butter. Press and knead the dough into a large disk (you may break it up into portions at this point) and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. If you’d like, you can also use a sheet of frozen puff pastry. Look for an all-butter brand such as Dufour for best results. 24

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Apple Filling 4-6 medium sized apples, cored and diced. (I prefer a mix of Caville Blanc d’Hiver and Cortland, but feel free to experiment!)

½ c. granulated sugar 2 Tbsp. brown sugar 2 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder 1 tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. allspice ¼ tsp. nutmeg Juice of ½ of a lemon 2 Tbsp. raisins (optional) 2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped (optional) In a large bowl, mix ingredients by hand and set aside. Preheat oven to 425°F. On a floured surface, roll your pie dough into a large rectangle, approximately 18” x 24” – it should be very thin. With your hand or a dry pastry brush, gently brush any excess flour off of the dough. Fold the sheet into thirds, and then into thirds again in the opposite direction. If your dough has lost its chill, let it rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Again, on a floured surface, roll your dough out to about 1/8” thickness. Using a party wheel or knife, cut the dough into six to eight equally sized squares, depending on how big you’d like your turnovers. Scoop a large spoonful of apple filling on to the middle of each square of dough and fold it over to create a triangle. Crimp the edges closed with the tines of a fork, and place the turnovers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper; top with a sprinkle of granulated sugar. Place turnovers in oven and reduce heat to 375°F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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for by Edwin Williams Bartlett, Carla McElroy photos

here are a few definite things about the weather in Connecticut: among the four distinct seasons, every resident prefers one season over another. And, yes, if you don’t like the weather, wait one day, and it will change. I like to think of the seasons in a different way; to me, winter in Connecticut is all about a warm and inviting fire, the company of good friends, or a great book. Admittedly, I binge watch on Netflix too, but I still have the fire going. Having said that, my challenge was to find some really cool (or should I say hot?) recipes for the winter – but, not just any recipes. The focus here is local, and specifically, Waypoint Distillery of Bloomfield. Having dabbled in the kitchen on occasion as well as having done time behind the bar, I figured I had the street cred to handle my charge. 28

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First up, let’s hit a New England favorite: hot or mulled cider. Traditional recipes call for a variety of spices, but no alcohol. Where’s the fun in that? This one is simple in its ingredients and composition. I enjoy Wintonbury Gin as it is not heavily-laden with juniper; yet, the blend of aromatics used in it complements cider beautifully.

Ingredients Makes three to four servings

• 1 c. fresh cranberries • 4 Tbsp. sugar • 4 c. apple cider • 4 slices of fresh ginger (cut length-wise) • 4–6 oz. Waypoint Wintonbury Gin

Directions: Place cranberries and sugar in bowl, muddle, and set aside. Combine apple cider and lemon juice in sauce pot on low to medium temperature and simmer for 10 minutes. Do not let it boil. Add cranberry mixture and Waypoint Wintonbury Gin. Adjust ginger and gin to taste.

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Three things happen in the winter: it gets cold, it snows, and we all catch a cold or the flu from a co-worker who refuses to take the day off. (Or, from the little Typhoid Marys we lovingly refer to as our children.) The following recipe is not guaranteed to cure the common cold but it will certainly make things more bearable.

Ingredients Makes one serving

• 6 oz. water • 1-2 slices of fresh ginger • 1 slice of lemon • 1 Tbsp. honey • 1–½ oz. Waypoint Wintonbury Gin

Directions: Bring water to a boil. Add all ingredients except the gin. Turn off heat right away and let steep for five minutes. Add gin prior to serving.

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Homemade Cranberry Infused Vodka and More

This tart and colorful tincture lends itself to chilled and warm cocktails; try it in iced or hot chai.

Ingredients Makes 25oz.

• 1 lb. cranberries • 1 c. sugar • 2 tsp. vanilla extract • 25 oz. Waypoint Labrador Noon Vodka (one bottle)

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until cranberries burst. Allow mixture to cool then pour into a glass jar. Pour vodka over mixture, cover, and let sit at room temperature for one week.

See Contributors Page for more information about Waypoint Distillery.

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If you can’t feel your fingers and need a go-to involving less labor, Not Your Mother's Hot Chocolate is your safest bet. Start with your favorite hot chocolate recipe; kick it up a notch or two by adding Waypoint Labrador Noon Vodka and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. If it’s brutally cold outside and you’ve just shoveled the driveway for the eighth consecutive Monday, opt for the spiked whipped cream found at the local package store. (This is not a kid-friendly recipe.) Here is when you stop and say, “Damn, these sound really nice,” and stock up on the ingredients. Do it – you can be back within the hour.

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Handmade Soap: A Beginner’s Guide

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by Winter Caplanson, Sleepy Moon Soaps Photo by Rebecca Piccard Art by Andrea Wisnewski The first batch of soap that I ever made was scented with triple-distilled peppermint essential oil and flecked with dried peppermint leaf. In the shower, its aroma, buoyed by steam, enveloped me. The soap was soothing and gentle to my skin, with a rich, long-lasting lather. I was hooked. Soapmaking became my obsession, then my business, and through nearly two decades, I taught many others to make great soap. From start to finish, a batch of soap takes about three weeks. Let’s get started; you still have time to make your own batches for holiday giving! Know this: making soap is scientific and you must be cautious and exact. Through a chemical process, you are changing fat, mixed with lye, to soap. This process is called saponification during which the lye is expended as it bonds with the fats to create molecules of soap. All real soap is made with lye, but by the time a batch of soap is ready to use, there is no active lye remaining. Quality soap recipes are built to make a bar which is moisturizing, has rich and stable lather, and a long life. To learn more about the art of making soap, read The Soapmaker’s Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch. Cavitch’s recipes perform well and each one makes a manageably-sized batch of about 12 bars. (She has worked them out to be mixed in a Kitchenaid Mixer.) You could alternately hand stir, but using a stand mixer alleviates a beginner soapmaker’s concern that he or she may not be stirring thoroughly and consistently enough. If your mixer has a white-enameled paddle, you can toss it and the mixer bowl into the dishwasher after making soap and return them to food-preparation duty. The recipe that follows uses ingredients you can find in the supermarket, including lard. I always opt for lard when I make soap for our home use, as it contributes to a an enduring, creamy, hard bar. You can learn to render your own lard using local fat back

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which puts to good use a farm product that may otherwise be wasted. Scenting your soap is optional. Essential oils that are not too costly and behave well in soapmaking include: orange, grapefruit, lavender, cedar, patchouli, peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, lemongrass, and ylang-ylang. Here is the equipment you will need to gather for soapmaking:

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Safety goggles and gloves Digital scale: standard and metric Freestanding electric mixer Stainless steel bowl Stainless steel spoon or whisk Silicone spatula Two candy thermometers Empty ½ gallon milk carton Sharp knife for cutting Old towels Small cooler Stainless steel rack for curing

WHEN WORKING WITH LYE: Safety goggles and gloves must be worn for protection! Lye will make glass slippery so be sure to use have bowls you can handle! ALWAYS KEEP CHILDREN AND PETS AWAY FROM DRY SODIUM HYDROXIDE, LYE SOLUTION, AND RAW SOAP! Ingestion of lye can be fatal. One bead of moistened lye can burn through skin; lye solution can burn or even blind you; sodium hydroxide is corrosive to all tissues. In case of contact with skin, wash immediately and thoroughly with soap and water then swab with vinegar to neutralize the effects.

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Farmstead Soap Recipe Makes about 5 lbs. of soap; directions are for a stand mixer. 7.3 oz. sodium hydroxide (lye) 11 oz. distilled water 16 oz. olive oil 3 oz. castor oil 16 oz. lard 16 oz. coconut oil 4 oz. goat’s milk, buttermilk, cream, yogurt, or nut milk 4 oz. fragrance or essential oil (optional and flexible) Prepare work area with protective covering. Wearing safety gear, measure distilled water into stainless steel bowl. In another bowl, measure dry sodium hydroxide. In a well-ventilated area, carefully add sodium hydroxide to water, stirring briskly with the whisk. As soon as lye is dissolved, leave the work area as the fumes can be overwhelming. The reaction between the lye and the water will create a solution as hot as 160°F. Fumes will dissipate quickly. Leave the lye solution in a safe place to cool. (Note: always add the lye solution to the water; never do the reverse. A “volcano” explosion may occur!) Melt the coconut oil and lard, then add the olive and castor oils. Add the milk and stir until the milk is thoroughly incorporated. Let both the oils and the lye solution cool to 115-120°F. It is important that they reach about the same temperature within the desired range. Place the oils in the mixer’s bowl. Add the lye solution slowly, being careful not to spill or splash. Place on the mixer and stir until thoroughly combined; then, set your mixer to speed two. Continue mixing for approximately 10-15 minutes or until soap reaches “trace.” Trace has been reached once a small amount of soap drizzled across the surface leaves a trail. Incorporate essential oils and mix for 30 seconds.


Andrea Wisnewski

Watch cautiously; some essential oils such as cinnamon and clove will cause soap to “seize� or set up quickly, not allowing for an even mixture.

milk carton away then leave the soap for another 12-24 hours to continue drying and firming up before you cut it.

Take the bowl off the mixer and carefully pour the liquid soap into the milk carton. Place soap in cooler, surrounded by towels. Cover and leave undisturbed for 18-24 hours undisturbed (no peeking) to allow saponification to take place.

Cut bars in desired shape, reserving soap trimmings to make into soap balls. Lay the soap in a single layer on a wooden or wire rack with plenty of airspace around each bar. Set soap aside in a dry, well-ventilated room protected from extreme temperatures. Allow the soap to cure for a minimum of three weeks. Store your finished soap in a covered container that is not airtight, as moisture buildup can cause spoiling.

Take your soap out of the cooler and allow it to cool completely. The soap should be firm to the touch. Twenty-four to 48 hours later, peel the

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HERBAL GIFTS

From the

KITCHEN Written and Photographed By El Sherwood


Rosemary’s aroma, its appearan are each

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nce, and its flavor h more distinctive than the next. It rejuvenates hair and skin, acts as a mild diuretic, and diminishes headaches – which makes it the perfect herb to help us through the hustle and bustle of the season. It is literally the ultimate herb in this DIY project. As holiday parties sneak up on us, creating a quick and unique gift is always a challenge. My go-to is typically a bottle of wine (which I usually end up drinking). Whether you’re attending a dinner party or shower, planning a winter wedding, you need a gift for the in-laws, or possibly all three, I am here to help! The best part of this DIY line-up is that you can take what you need from it; each component is wonderful on its own. If you are a winter bride and love the idea of Rosemary Sea Salt favors, then you can stop there. If you are headed over to Grandma’s for the holidays, then you can make her Rosemary Sea Salt and Rosemary InfusedOlive Oil and include a recipecard for Rosemary Bread. If you’re truly looking to impress, make and package all three together. Just be prepared for non-stop praise – and start thinking about what you’ll bring next year!

Rosemary Sea Salt Makes eight cups 8 c. sea salt (one box) 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary for infusing; 3-4 bunches for bottling Directions: Place sea salt and fresh rosemary into a sea Place high-sided salt andskillet fresh three on low to four heat for about bunches of rosemary 10 minutes into astirring high-sided occasionally. skillet on low Remove heat for about from heat 10 minutes and let occasionally. stirring cool completely. Remove Remove from rosemary. heat and let Cover coolin completely. an air tightRemove container overnight. rosemary. Cover in anStore air tight in glass container bottles of your overnight. Storechoice. in glassAdd bottles ½ -1of your sprig of Add choice. fresh½ rosemary -1 sprig to of each fresh rosemary container. to each container. Can be stored Can beup stored to up oneone to year. year.

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Rosemary Infused Olive Oil 8-oz. bottles bottles Makes six 8-oz. ½ gallon Ariston Extra Virgin Olive Oil 15-20 sprigs fresh rosemary Heat Ariston Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seven to 10 sprigs of fresh Directions: rosemary in aExtra high-sided skilletOil overand lowseven heat to for10 five minutes. Heat Ariston Virgin Olive sprigs of fresh Remove from and discard rosemary. Let cool completely. rosemary in a heat high-sided skillet cooked over low heat for five minutes. Pour intofrom 8-oz.heat bottles your choice. one toLet twocool newcompletely. sprigs of Remove and of discard cookedAdd rosemary. fresh into rosemary bottle. Make sure that new rosemary is dry of Pour 8-oz. per bottles of your choice. Addthe one to two new sprigs fresh per Make the new dry beforerosemary adding to thebottle. infused oil. sure (See that Resources forrosemary where toisbuy before to theOlive infused Contributor's Aristonadding Extra Virgin Oil oil. and(See decorative bottles.)for where to buy Ariston Extra Virgin Olive Oil and decorative bottles.) Connecticut Food and Farm

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Rosemary Bread with Rosemary Infused Olive Oil & Sea Salt Makes one loaf 3 Tbsp. Rosemary Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil and more for drizzling 1 tsp. Rosemary Sea Salt 3½ c. all-purpose flour 2¼ tsp. dry active yeast (one packet) 1¼ c. warm water 1 tsp. sugar ¼ c. fresh rosemary, chopped Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let for 10 minutes; the mixture will become bubbly. In asit large bowl, mix together the water, yeast and sugar;With let your hands, combine 1½ tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. of the chopped sit for 10 minutes; the mixture will become bubbly. With rosemary (setting aside1 the rest), Rosemary Infused Olive Oil, your hands, combine ½ tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. of the chopped and flour until fully combined. doughInfused in a lightly-greased rosemary (setting aside the rest),Place Rosemary Olive Oil, large bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm, and flour until fully combined. Place dough in a lightly-greased draft-free area. Let with rise for one hour. Remove the dough from large bowl. Cover a kitchen towel and leave in a warm, the bowl and gently roll into a ball on a floured surface. Let sit draft-free area. Let rise for one hour. Remove the dough from for minutes. Set Crock Potatoball high. the Crock Pot Let with the 20 bowl and gently roll into on Line a floured surface. sit two pieces of parchment paper leaving at least 2” hanging for 20 minutes. Set Crock Pot to high. Line the Crock Pot with over the edge. Place the dough in the pot with two pieces of parchment paper leaving at and leastsprinkle 2” lip hanging remaining salt and rosemary. Drape three paper towels over over the edge.Place the dough in the pot and sprinkle with the top before the lid Drape on; thisthree will paper prevent any moisture remaining salt placing and rosemary. towels over from dripping back onto the loaf. Cook the bread for hours the top before placing the lid on; this will prevent anytwo moisture and from pot. (It will still be a bit pale on the outside.) fromremove dripping back onto the loaf. Cook the bread for two hours Place bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and remove from pot. (It will still be a bit pale on the outside.) and it under broilersheet for five minutes for a crunchier and Placeput bread ontothe a baking lined with parchment paper darker crust. Serve with Rosemary Infused Olive Oil sprinkled and put it under the broiler for five minutes for a crunchier and with Rosemary Sea with Salt. Rosemary Infused Olive Oil sprinkled darker crust. Serve with Rosemary Sea Salt. Click through for Rosemary Bread baking instructions, a blank See template, Resources Resourc for for info info onon where where to to find find ingredients, ingredients, supplies and tag Rosemary Sea Salt tag template, andsupplies Rosemary and links links totag printables to printables to make to make thesethese beautiful beautiful gits in gits your in your Bread template. home kitchen!

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Destination: Homemade Holiday By Rebecca Hansen, Images by Ashley Caroline Photography and Julia Elizabeth Photography

Northeast

Stafford is in the middle of a renaissance; stop by Studio 4 for works, prints, posters, and tees designed and made by young artists Shanti Rittgers, Reena Allen, and Teresa Rogers. Downstairs, Sabor 44's curated selection of specialty foods make charming hostess gifts especially when paired with stunning ceramics by ESP Pottery. Feeling festive? Head to the Arts Center East of Vernon’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival and Sale and Arts of Tolland’s Art Mart; they both run throughout December. Follow the links for days and times.

Hartford and Farmington Valley

Hartford Prints! sells cheeky letterpress cards and a heart-warming “SMALL STATE BIG HEART” line of gifts. This brick-and-mortar store features several CT makers, including Kate Stephen Jewelry, poor & pretty (scrubs and balms), Sabita Teas, milo and molly (fabric and paper designs), and Founders Pomade, among others. HP! also vends alongside other local artisans at holiday markets in the area: the New Britain Museum of American Art’s Holiday Maker's Market and the Hill-Stead Museum Holiday Boutique. HELLO! Artisan Shop & Studio is worth the quick trip over Avon Mountain for an impressive selection of local makings.

Shoreline

Stonington is home to The Velvet Mill, which boasts artist studios and creative small businesses including Beer’d Brewing Co. and juicer Biologic+.

Salt Shop + Press in Mystic Julia Elizabeth Photography

In Mystic, visit Salt Shop + Press, a lifestyle and coastal gift shop full of letterpress, handmade goods, art, and thoughtfully designed items.  Small Potatoes in Norwich has a passion for selling regional wares from candles to stuffed robots. At PopShop Holiday Market, a little further down the shore in Fairfield, you can pick up innovative gifts from M&M Wine Grape Co. (make-your-own-wine kits), Velvet and Slate (accessories), and Stonehill Designs (industrial home decor).

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We always start the holidays with the best of intentions with knit sweaters, masala-spiced liqueurs, and handstamped cards. Then - quite suddenly - it's mid-December, and we're stuck with a dozen unfilled Mason jars and more craft paper than we’ll ever actually use. Luckily, there are dozens of CT shops with wares lovingly made by local hands. Take a daytrip to any of the following three areas, all of which are divine for one-stop, handmade, holiday shopping:

Patti Murphy of Salt Shop + Press Ashley Caroline Photography Connecticut Food and Farm

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Old School, Old World: Celebrating Italian Holiday Heritage The joy of cooking and sharing food with loved ones is central to the DiFiore family. Italian culture and a dedication to the tried-and-true recipes and culinary techniques of my grandparents, great-grandparents, and generations before, guide and preserve tradition while sustaining our sense of togetherness. My father recollects his childhood winter holidays being filled with the rich smells and bright colors of homemade tomato sauces simmering on the stove for hours and seeing his aunts, uncles, and parents hard at work making ravioli and fresh pasta sheets for lasagna.

By Andrew DiFiore Winter Caplanson photos Food Styling Melinda Leigh Kuzmak with Garnet Leigh Designs Maya Oren video

There was always anticipation for the Christmas Eve dinner, withits wide array of dishes such as The Feast of the Seven Fishes – a centuries-old recipe – and anchovy and tomato pizzas. Christmas Day meant a rich selection of meats including handmade meatballs. These are special memories for my father, who vividly recalls the joyful, buzzing kitchen coated in flour from pasta-making. While planning and preparing such an assortment of foods can be daunting, in the DiFiore household, it was (and still is) considered fun, above everything else. The crowded, lively dinner table on Christmas featured a gorgeous selection of classic southern Italian delights: flavorful antipasto, rich, fresh Ricotta and Mozzarella cheeses, a range of olives and cured meats, and a DiFiore favorite – manicotti. Aromas of garlic, oil, anise, and orange filled the house along with the sounds of cannoli shells frying. Like many other families, we developed our own staples including my grandmother’s scratch-made panettone, enoying a Manhattan before dinner, and a final course of roasted chestnuts: a favorite of my grandfather Andrew. The love for old-world cuisine and cooking techniques and the know-how of many generations led my grandparents to open DiFiore Pasta Company (now DiFiore Ravioli Shop) in Hartford in 1982 where fresh pasta, ravioli, sauces, and other Italian specialty foods are still made by hand and sold to the public and local restaurants. In 2015, we opened a second location in Rocky Hill. These days, the DiFiores’ holidays are spent in the kitchen and shop making warm lasagnas and ravioli for cold days. When the flour settles, we still are able to eat, enjoy, and share the same foods we have for generations. Made with care, my family’s food has become a part of many other families’ meals – not just during the holidays but all year round. Food is what brings the DiFiore family together, and we are honored to share it; the satisfaction we get from connecting with others through our culinary heritage drives us to cook and bake, laugh and smile. Connecticut Food and Farm

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The crowded, lively dinner table on Christmas featured a gorgeous selection of classic southern Italian delights.

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Sausage and Spinach Cannelloni with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Peppers Makes four servings (eight cannelloni)

Pasta Dough:

Filling:

3 c. Durum flour 5 large eggs Cold water, as needed

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage meat, removed from casing 1 lb. fresh baby spinach 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 tsp. fresh garlic, chopped ½ c. Ricotta ½ c. breadcrumbs ¼ c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese 1 egg ½ c. white wine (Your choice – remember, if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it!) 1 c. chicken stock 4 Tbsp. salted butter (½ a stick) 1 c. roasted sweet red peppers, cut into ½" strips 2 c. sliced onion 8 4" square pasta sheets

Directions: Place flour in a mound on flat work surface and create a well in the center. Crack eggs into the well. Gently beat eggs with a fork while gradually pulling flour into the egg. When mixture becomes too stiff for the fork, knead it by hand until thoroughly blended; work into a smooth ball. The dough should be smooth but not sticky. If it is too dry, add a few drops of cold water; if it is too wet, knead in a pinch of extra flour. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. On a well-floured, flat work surface, roll dough into sheets the approximate thickness of a penny.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook sausage meat thoroughly, keeping meat loose and crumbly. Place in a large mixing bowl. In same pan over medium heat, add EVOO, garlic, and spinach; cook until spinach is fully wilted being careful not to burn the garlic. Combine with the sausage and add breadcrumbs, Ricotta, egg, and Pecorino Romano cheese. Mix thoroughly. Spoon the mixture onto one edge of each pasta sheet and roll them. Place them together in a casserole dish. In another sauté pan over high heat, add butter and onions. Stir frequently allowing onions to brown quickly without cooking down too far; remember, they’ll finish in the oven. Stir in peppers and cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and white wine; reduce by half. Pour the mix over the cannelloni and bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes. Top with grated Pecorino Romano before serving.

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Roasted Chestnut and Mascarpone Ravioli with Browned Sage Butter and Fresh Pear Makes four servings (two dozen ravioli) Ingredients: 8 Tbsp. salted butter (one stick) 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped White wine 1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼” slices 1 tsp. lemon juice Pasta dough Directions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut a cross-shaped slit in the round side of the chestnuts and place them round side up in a baking dish filled with a ¼" of water. Bake for 25 minutes, cool, and peel. Dice chestnut meat into 1/8" pieces. Place in a bowl and mix in Mascarpone, Ricotta, nutmeg, and salt. There are several different ways to form ravioli using molds, stamps, and specialty tools, but, all you need is a fork, a knife, and a rolling pin. Roll the pasta into sheets approximately 4" wide. Scoop a ball of filling about the size of a whole chestnut every 2" in two parallel rows. Wet the areas between the scoops with water (use a small basting brush or your fingers) and place another sheet of dough on top. Press down around filling to adhere the two pasta sheets. Cut the ravioli into individual pieces and press all four sides closed with the tines of a fork. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer butter until lightly browned; add chopped sage and sliced pear and continue to simmer until the pear softens slightly. Carefully add lemon juice and white wine to hot butter mixture and remove from heat. Place ravioli into water and boil softly for approximately five minutes, stirring lightly. Gently drain ravioli and toss in the browned butter sauce. Top with freshly grated Parmesan before serving.

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Zuppa de Pesce Served as part of The Feast of Seven Fishes Makes four servings Ingredients: 1 2-lb. Maine lobster, cooked, split down the center, legs cracked, and tamale removed 8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined 8 sea scallops 8 Littleneck clams 16 mussels ½ lb. calamari, sliced into ½”-¾” rings 4 anchovies 2 lb. DiFiore Fresh Spaghetti 2 28-oz. cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped 4 oz. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 4 oz. white wine 1 oz. fresh basil, chopped Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for spaghetti. At the same time, in a large, wide saucepan, add the EVOO, garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, clams and mussels. Cover tightly and steam for five minutes over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients – except the calamari – and cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in calamari and simmer for two more minutes. In the meantime, boil spaghetti for four minutes; time these two components so that the pasta finishes boiling and the seafood finishes cooking at the same time. Add pasta to seafood and cook for one minute to finish. Serve in a large, deep bowl garnished lobster tamale (optional) and a whole basil leaf.

Click here for a virtual visit to DiFiore Ravioli Shop

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Lunch is served

: Java-Ancho Rubbed Pork Loin; House-Made Apple Sauce; Scalloped Potatoes; Roasted Squash, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts; Kale Caesar Salad; Lemon Meringue Pie.

Welcome to a typical day at Kitchen on Main in Manchester – one of the most revolutionary soup kitchens in America – led by Chef Ben Dubow, a graduate of Connecticut Culinary Institute. After years as executive chef in a series of increasingly swanky New England eateries and a partnership in West Hartford’s Blue Plate Kitchen, Chef Dubow landed his dream job: Executive Chef and Food Service Director for the Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC), a social service collaborative of 40 religious organizations. At MACC, Chef Dubow’s team serves an estimated 100 meals a day: innovative, delicious, and often incorporating locally-sourced ingredients, at a cost of $2.00 per person. “Why should wholesome, really good food be limited to people who can afford it?” muses Chef Dubow. While soup kitchens have long filled a social service mission of filling hungry bellies, Chef Dubow is wired with the DNA of his hospitality background. "When I invite someone into my dining room, to my table, the experience is as important as the calories they consume. As a chef, I know no other way of feeding people but to feed them well." And banish the thought of a "church basement" atmosphere. Kitchen on Main has been remodeled to be cozy and inviting with honey-colored wood floors and warm wall hues, custom artwork, round tables that invite conversation, and a menu board, updated daily. A quote on the wall reads, "We have FAITH that wholesome food, prepared and served with LOVE, bestows dignity and invites HOPE."

A year into the tenure of Chef Dubow, the kitchen has transitioned almost entirely away from canned, frozen, processed foods. The standard now is nutritious, fresh, and tasty foods that guests enjoy. "The MACC kitchen is about real food for real people and I want them to know it’s not that different from any other food establishment," explains Chef Dubow. Produce and ingredients are sourced from food rescue donated by supermarkets, schools, caterers, restaurants, community gardens, and farms; some is purchased through Fresh Point. The same sources for meats and seafood Chef Dubow used in his restaurant kitchens, he buys from now: Bogner’s and Waybest for meats, and Red’s Best for seafood. Part of the job of a chef is keeping food costs in check so there is profit made on every plate. With an ingredient budget of just $2.00 per plate at MACC, Chef Dubow’s challenge is considerable. But, he doesn’t have to make a profit. Portion size is also recalibrated. "I plan on 2 - 4 oz. servings of protein, which is plenty. At a restaurant, I could never get away with that; it’s not what the consumer expects." Suppliers know the budget Chef Dubow is working with, and will alert him to foods they can sell at a discount: food nearing the end of its use by date or oversupplies that need to be moved along. In the big picture, Kitchen on Main is simply the next iteration of his personal quest to bring local food to the people. "I worked at a corporate restaurant that did as much as you probably can with local food

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within that structure. At a fine dining restaurant, I got to fully embrace local sourcing with a clientele that is willing to pay a little bit extra for those things. But, it doesn’t strike me as necessary that local food has to exist exclusively in the fine dining niche," said Chef Dubow. "It made me wonder if it could be done in the context of a soup kitchen. Yes. Yes, we’re doing it." "The truth is that it does not cost more money to make food that tastes good. It’s about method, seasoning, and care. Most of the great cuisines of the world came out of the cultures of the working poor. It’s about frugality and need, taking time and care, valuing the person you’re serving. Here it’s the same thing: making sure our community is fed, and cared for and loved." Chef Dubow stretches the palates of his guests and says the response has been almost entirely positive. "We do ethnic food pretty regularly: 62 Winter 2015

Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese. Guests might decline an unfamiliar sauce, then see others enjoying it and come back up to ask to have it added to their plate," said Chef Dubow. The Kitchen on Main’s efforts have paid off in a tangible way. One of his daily patrons recently had a doctor’s appointment, and discovered that for the first time in years, she wasn't anemic. Also, her A1C was down significantly. "Her main daily meal is at the Kitchen and she attributes it to its focus on healthier, fresher, wholesome foods – and the elimination of processed foods full of salt and sugar. That’s what it’s all about! Let food be thy medicine." Chef Dubow’s staff includes a paid sous chef and four to six volunteers per shift. A pre-meal meeting involves discussion of the main items and how they’ll be served. The volunteers are not just there to help out; they are responsible for production. They are essential. Just as it


would occur in a traditional professional kitchen, Chef’s team members learn as they go. During service, Chef Dubow is in the dining room – not the kitchen – welcoming guests. He does table visits, speaks with diners, and makes them feel at home. This approach also allows him to triage and assess his guests, in case there is a need for referral to MACC’s Outreach Department. I’m not the only one inspired by what Chef Dubow is doing, and it’s within reach for most to be a part of what’s happening at Kitchen on Main – from volunteering to the donation of food or funds. At $2.00 a plate, a cash donation of $52.00 feeds someone for a month. I ask, "the daily menu looks so good, could I ever stop in and dine, only pay for my meal" Chef Dubow’s answer is affirming, just like everything 64 Winter 2015

else about him. He shares that there are patrons who do that quite often. They pay what they choose to contribute and he and his team take it as a compliment. Of his days heading a restaurant kitchen, Chef Dubow admits, "I miss the adrenaline of working the line; you don’t get that same rush working in an institutional setting. I pick up shifts on weekends at different restaurants to keep my hands in the game and stay sharp. I don’t miss working 80 hours a week, weekends, andholidays, though." Chef Dubow’s metabolism demands the tackling of big challenges. He also oversees the MACC Food Pantry and a Grab-and-Go nutrition program for elementary school children. MACC has started a concerted effort at food rescue, putting to use prepared foods and fresh ingredients that might otherwise go to waste. He has new projects just


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underway, too: a rigorous "Culinary Boot Camp " program designed to train students for work in the food service industry, and a just-launched, full-service catering division. "As much as I can teach in the kitchen, it remains a lab environment. There’s something about interaction with clients in real time, in a real situation like a wedding that offers a huge opportunity for job experience. I’d love to see 12 weeks of culinary training or a 12-week internship in the catering company, if we can generate enough business," said Chef Dubow. "I want to help people build their resumes and gain practicum-based experience, leading to job placement." I invited Chef Dubow to dream...that if a benefactor donated $100,000, how would it get put to use?”That was an easy question.

"I’d fully fund the culinary training program to make it sustainable and buy a few pieces of equipment that would allow us to expand our catering options, and then... don’t quote me on this yet…" When visionaries share their visions you lean in to hear. "I’d do away with our Food Pantry altogether and replace it with a food co-op where everyone can shop. But, it would operate on a sliding scale. We’d all be members, all work, and all have skin in the game. That’s my long term dream." My breath is taken away. I love this dream. "We can’t say the co-op dream?" I press. "That’s a great dream." “You can say it.” Connecticut Food and Farm

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Food Rescue

Paying it Forward Through Community Outreach by Meaghan Sprague Photos by Winter Caplanson

On October 1, 2015, Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC) Charities launched its new and improved Food Rescue Program. Part of the core Mission at MACC Charities is to feed those who are hungry and provide healthy food to individuals facing food insecurity. This is done through the “Kitchen On Main” lunch program, Community Food Pantry, mobile and satellite pantries, as well as outreach to local elementary school children, families, and the homeless in the Manchester community. “Food Rescue” is the process by which MACC Charities is able to do deliver on their Mission. The process involves “rescuing” high quality food that restaurants, farms, and grocery stores cannot use and distributing it to people in need. MACC Charities has partnered with Community Plates, a national non-profit organization, which provides pioneering technology that connects local businesses with volunteers and MACC Charities team members to bring food to those who need it the most. The software allows 24/7 communication between agencies and has the power to disperse volunteers to any location within a few hours. The food that is “rescued” gets distributed in MACC’s Community Food Pantry and Grab-n-Go weekend lunch program in addition to being creatively used in the Community Soup Kitchen. To get involved in this rewarding process, visit macc.communityplates.org and sign up as a Food Runner. New runs are opening up every week as more local businesses get involved!

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When you dream of your wedding day, do you envision a view from the head table of rolling pastures where cows graze, guests in finery strolling through an orchard in bloom, and the dreamy glow of bistro lights strung along the beams of an old barn? Connecticut boasts a number of working farms that offer an earthy setting for a rustic wedding. The natural world dictates the pulse of farm life - sunrises and sunsets, the turning wheel of the seasons, and the life cycles of plants and animals. These are places to begin a marriage in a peaceful and grounded state. The way of life at a farm can mirror what’s at the core of the best of relationships: shared history and an understanding that growth takes time, energy, love, cultivation, persistence, patience, and flexibility. A wedding celebration can also be a time for conscious investment in what you value most. On-farm weddings can bring beneficial attention to a farm’s offerings and added income that keeps a farm profitable. A thoughtfully-planned wedding day menu can focus on locally-grown, seasonal food skillfully prepared by a farm to table chef. There is, too, a growing niche of floral designers creating beautiful bouquets and displays using fresh and vibrant field-grown Connecticut flowers. If you have an affinity for fabulous local food, knowing your farmer, and find romance in the garden, orchard, or pasture, this trio of articles and their accompanying appendices chock full of details and contact information will get you started in planning your perfect Connecticut farm wedding!

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At Hickory Hills Orchards


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Past & Present: A Perfect Marriage at South Farms by Hilary Adorno Photos by Diane Diederich

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Perched atop an impressive 150-acre homestead in what was formerly an 18th Century Litchfield parish, stands an iconic 20,000-square foot New England dairy barn containing a renovated space called the White Barn at South Farms. This registered historic barn has survived more than 100 years in the unpredictable Connecticut climate while most of its contemporaries have been left to deteriorate or dissembled and "reclaimed" for their parts.  Raised at the turn of the century and revitalized by Samuel and Ruth Paletsky in the 1950s, the White Barn lost its battle to commercial farming and was buttoned up. At the height of its production, the White Barn was the hub of a thriving dairy and cattle business. Today, rustic features and repurposed relics pay homage to the property’s origins.

In 2009, Ben Paletsky, grandson of Samuel, put on the proverbial family work boots and set out to breathe new life into the land and space.  Partnering with his childhood friend and neighbor Erica Dorsett, South Farms Agricultural was launched in just five years.  Ben and Erica have transformed the slumbering giant into a visually stunning, multipurpose agri-centric space with boasting rights of Connecticut’s largest historic farm venue.  During renovations, portions of the expansive roof were replaced, wood found stacked in the barn was used to add period-accurate touches, and what couldn’t be found was sourced from regional barn remnants. In a final twist of hometown magic, Adam Harrison, grandson of the contractor who helped build the original structure (John Harrison), lead the charge to put it all together again.  Connecticut Food and Farm

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What stands today is a complex with diverse offerings: The Morris Marketplace June – October Sunday farmers’ market featuring a grill run by Chef Chris Eddy of the Five-Diamond Winvian Farm alongside a variety of farm and artisan vendors offering locally-grown and made goods from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The South Farms Corn Maze A sophisticated computer designed corn maze open seasonally during the Market featuring nearly two miles of GPS precision-cut trails every fall. Pioneer Hops of Connecticut An organization actively growing crops of Connecticut hops for premium brews. South Farms Heritage Breed Galloway Beef Also referred to as the “Oreo” cow, their grass-fed heritage breed beef cattle originates from Galloway, Scotland. South Farms Berkshire Pork A drove of black-coated Berkshire pigs – another heritage breed – offering tender, flavorful meat so extraordinary, the Royal Family at Windsor Castle had a herd.   Above all, The White Barn at South Farms hosts an expansive indoor/outdoor space for special events. Its flexibility caters to all styles of celebration. If guests wish to host a smaller, more intimate gathering, they may use just one of the interconnected spaces of the property’s distinct layout, resulting in a personal, exclusive feel. Conversely, parties of up to 600 are accommodated incorporating the outdoor space, as well. The White Barn’s unique design lends itself to

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all the moving parts of special events – weddings, in particular. While each area has its own feel, they are sewn together by the common threads of Colonial touches and textures. The Parlor Aptly named after the barn’s original milking parlor, this space supports strikingly long tables and large windows. The gorgeous view of South Farms’ far-reaching, grassy meadows and grazing cows makes for a stunning backdrop for both the party itself and professional photography. Uplit wall sconces built from original feed bins provide a lovely bit of nostalgia. The space’s versatility is exemplified by its 16-foot high ceiling which highlights a windowed cupola; it showcases natural light by day and a comforting glow by night from the custom-fabricated corkscrew chandelier. Its height creates an airy sentiment while guests remain cozy. The Bull Room Where the “men” of the original farm were located, this room resides in the oldest part of the barn’s original structure. Over-sized sliding barn doors greet visitors and create a warm, inviting space that can expand or contract, based on the number of guests. It comprises indoor and outdoor space and is ideal for events that seek to use both. The Hayloft Finished in reclaimed stall boards and metal roofing, The Hayloft offers the drama that massive events demand without losing its Colonial roots. Its 40-foot ceilings and wrap-around mezzanine overlooking the lower floor and Parlor allows guests to spread out among different spaces while still feeling part of a whole. One of its most stunning features is its one-of-a-kind chandelier made from a transformed Louden hay carrier. 76

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The Parlor


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The Hayloft

The Bull Room

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A continuing motif travels through the endless list of reasons that make farm weddings special: you can do whatever you want with the spaces available; there are no rules. A farm setting affords special event hosts – the happy couple in particular – complete freedom in the ways they wish to define and share their story. South Farms’versatility is reflected in their catering options, as well. Its team maintains active with relationships with tried-and-true local caterers and can help design a menu that exemplifies the event’s custom themes. Celebrating rites of passage in a way that comprises aspecialy-crafted menu, thoughtfullyconjured favors and design accents, and a distinctive setting – all of which South Farms has made a commitment to provide – resonate with guests in a personal, meaningful way.


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Rustic & Rural: Weddings on the Farm 80

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by Rebecca Hansen Photos by Diane Diederich, Hillary Strater, Winter Caplanson, Anaise Prince Photography, and Simply K Studios


At Barberry Hill, Winter Caplanson photo

Here are seven more picturesque settings for your special day at working, family-run farms in CT: Allen Hill Farm: Brooklyn New to the wedding scene, Allen Hill Farm just began hosting weddings in 2012! It originated as a dairy barn and now is the place to go for Christmas trees. The family, which has run the Farm since 1891, recently planted grapes for future wine production. All of these qualities make for a relaxed, country atmosphere with amazing views. (Max occupancy: 180; outdoor and indoor space and planning services available May – October.) Angevine Farm: Warren Nestled in the hills of Warren, the estate offers

expansive views of the valley below. Angevine has been in operation since 1868 and is run primarily as a pumpkin and Christmas tree farm; it’s currently overseen by fourth, fifth, and sixth generations! (Outdoor space, Justice of the Peace, and planning services available May – October.) Barberry Hill Farm: Madison The magic of Barberry Hill combines two wedding fantasies into one: the beach and the Farm. Along with rolling pastures and orchards, the property offers a bucolic backdrop for your big day. The Goddards of Barberry Hill Farm are fourth generation farmers and have been hosting weddings year-round since 1970. (Max. occupancy: 250; outdoor space, barn, and planning services available.) Connecticut Food and Farm

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At Hickory Hill, Anaise Prince Photography


Bunnell Farm: Litchfield Bunnell Farm’s new barn is ready to take on events, starting with the day you say “I do.” Currently in its fifth generation, the Bunnell family is busiest in the fall with their impressive pumpkin patch, corn maze, and turkeys – who always like to make an appearance in the happy couple’s photos. (Max. occupancy: 100 in barn space only, 200 in barn and outdoor space; outdoor space, barn, and planning services available April – November.) Dudley Farms and Gardens: Guilford Things haven’t changed much at Dudley Farm since the 1800s – or at least it feels that way. This historic space offers spinning, blacksmithing, shepherding, and weaving demos taking visitors back to the 19th Century. Weddings in the Farm’s Munger Barn are small, intimate affairs for couples who want to celebrate the space’s heritage on their big day. (Max. occupancy: 85 on upper level and49 on lower level; outdoor space, barn, and planning services available May – October. Saturday events must begin after 2:00 p.m.) Golden Lamb Buttery: Brooklyn The Booth Family has stewarded the Buttery since the 1940s, but the farm was standing long before. The property is unique as it runs a fully-functioning restaurant. Take advantage of the acreage like one bride did: she arranged hot air balloon rides for her guests! (Max.occupancy: 150; outdoor and indoor space and planning services available April – December.)

At Barberry Hill, Winter Caplanson photo

At Allen Hill Tree Farm, Hillary Strater photo

Hickory Hill Orchards: Cheshire The team at Hickory Hill knows how to pack a punch by creating distinctive events. As a relatively young farm (opened in 1977), the Kudish family brings intense passion to the orchard, making sure to get to know their guests; they personally work closely with the couple. Kate Ann Kudish, a second generation owner, is a professional wedding and event planner in New YorkCity and heads up the Orchard’s wedding services. (Max occupancy: 300; outdoor only April – October.) At Barberry Hill, Winter Caplanson photo


Go Local: Unique Wedding Favors by Winter Caplanson Photos by Jasmine Katz, Kelly Goddard, and Valerie Hamilton-Brodie

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Jasmine Katz photo

Share a taste of Connecticut by sharing with your guests wedding favors sourced from the region’s makers and farmers. Wedding planner Josh Chalmers of Earth2 loves using honey made on the property of the farm weddings he organizes. “At Barberry Hill Farm, we have fun with the display of the favors and actually include photos of the beekeeping, honey gathering, and bottling process so guests can see the hard work. Then, they take home sweet little jars with creative labels,” explains Chalmers. Kia Martinson, wedding planner at ESTOccasions says, “the favors that make an impact are the ones you can eat or drink. Giving something local

represents a sense of the place where you have come together as a couple.” Favors may be included at place settings or centrally grouped and tagged with the guests' name and table number. In addition to honey, here’s a bank of ideas to start you thinking: Wedding Teas: Flowers and herbs have symbolic meanings  for weddings that stem back to Medieval times: chamomile for patience, lavender for devotion, nettles for strength, lemon verbena for unity, sage for wisdom, honeysuckle for devoted affection. Herbalist Stacey Wood of Connecticut Food and Farm

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Valerie Hamilton-Brodie photo

Whole Harmony Apothecary revives these folk traditions by expertly crafting custom wedding tea favors designed to convey the sentiments of the bride and groom. Glass Bottles of Maple Syrup: Kia Martinson adores River's Edge Sugar House in Ashford. Flower and Plant Seed Packets: Portion seeds bought economically in bulk from Wethersfield-based Chas. C. Hart Seed Company into Kraft paper envelopes that you stamp with a custom-made rubber stamp celebrating your day. Preserves: Connecticut’s oldest preserves company is also among the most innovative. Woodstock Hill Preserves’ Champagne Jellies incorporate pure bubbly into jelly in flavors such as Champagne à l’Orange and Pomegranate Champagne, yearround, using in-season, local fruits and berries. Candles: We love Stonewall Apairy's golden-hued, honey-scented, beeswax candles made from the wax of their 277 Connecticut hives. 86

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Northeast Nutmeg specializes in inventing deliciously creative soy candles hand-poured into canning jars and offers custom labeling. Soap: Treefort Naturals crafts 100% natural soaps enhanced by goat’s milk, honey, beeswax, herbal infusions, clays, and essential oils. Oatmeal Stout Beer Soap might be a nod toward a shared interest in homebrew, or Gardener's Grit Soap a couple’s love of gardening, while Sweet Fennel & Tarragon could add an herbal aroma to summer breezes under the wedding tent! Have your selections customized with Kraft wrap, jaunty screen-printed bands, and custom paper hanging tags. Wine: Look for sweet and diminutive 375 ml. bottles from Connecticut winemakers Hopkins or Cassidy Hill Vineyards. Cookies: From Hazelnut Rosemary Raspberry Linzer Cookies to Chocolate Lavender French Macarons and Orange Blossom Meringues, Zest Fresh Pastry makes exceptional treats you can buy by the dozen and package in Glassine bags tied with organza ribbon.


Kelly Goddard photo

Valerie Hamilton-Brodie photo

Valerie Hamilton-Brodie photo

Kelly Goddard photo


Farm Fresh Catering by Laura Graham, Photographed by Nick Caito

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I do: the simplicity of these two words has created one of the most mind boggling industries on the planet. The desire to create a beautiful wedding celebration for family and friends is independent of language, culture, race, or religion. One of the happiest ways to celebrate is to break bread together. So, why not do so with an approach which many already take? Farm to table. Farm to table catering is not only available but with it comes all of the excitement of regular farm to table dining. Great flavor, freshness, and the connective sense of local community create a high-quality dining experience. I sat down to talk to three Connecticut chefs who epitomize this movement and are now available to cater events from an intimate engagement party to a full-scale bells-andwhistles wedding for more than 100 people. Chef Roy Riedl has become quickly known through the local farmers’ market circuit. Having first worked in a restaurant and a traditional catering company, Roy plunked down $2,500 on a small food truck and together with his surprised wife Heather, started a business called Mercado Foods (named after the Plaza del Mercado, a favorite place that they visited while honeymooning in Puerto Rico). Chef Riedl’s first food truck goal was to become part of the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market. As he said, "It was CRFM or bust!" This was a smart goal. His success there has paved the way to his own up-andcoming catering company. After the food

truck, his next move was to buy a trailer with a full professional kitchen inside. It is this mobile kitchen that allows him to come on site and cater for large groups. Roy and Heather are committed to the food truck spirit which has captured the imagination of the international foodie community. Roy’s simple and rustic cooking becomes sophisticated through the high-caliber ingredients he uses and the skill with which he prepares them. Chef Riedl spoke to me about the vulnerability a chef has when he or she cooks this way. In this style, a chef cannot hide behind sauces, purees, or spices; this way, the quality of the ingredients themselves and the chef’s skill and attention to them is revealed. A former mentor at Barcelona Restaurant in West Hartford Adam Halberg once said to him, "don't think about what you can add to a dish. Think about what you can remove." Mercado Foods Catering informally blends into your event. The servers dress like the guests and appear to be part of the party. Food is served on giant tables in large family-style dishes, the same way it would be presented in a home cooked Puerto Rican or Spanish feast. One of Roy's specialties is an enormous paella served in a three-foot wide custom stand. Huge plates of meat and vegetables are created with produce from local friends at Gutt Family Farm and Bogner Meats; local cheeses and breads are served on rustic cutting boards; and, there are no chaffing dishes or food lines. Mercado typically caters for groups of 65-120

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people. By using their method of presentation, Roy aims to encourage guests to engage in discussion about the food as they say, "pass me some of that" or "hey, did you try this?" With the new catering arm of his business, Roy has both the trailer and a smaller food truck. This allows him to cater events while continuing to attend the farmers’ markets. It’s not surprising that the truck’s existing business is all the marketing necessary for Roy and Heather’s latest venture Across the street from Barcelona Restaurant in West Hartford (where Chef Riedl cut his teeth as a sous chef) is Max's Oyster Bar. During his tenure there, former Executive Chef Scott Miller earned the 2011 Chef of the Year award from the Connecticut Restaurant Association. Today, Chef Miller is a managing partner of the Max Restaurant Group helping to oversee restaurants in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida, as well as Max Catering and Events.

In this style, a chef cannot hide behind sauces, purees, or spices; this way, the quality of the ingredients themselves and the chef’s skill and attention to them is revealed. Max Catering is pure farm to table. As Scott said, "we get great ingredients because we have great friends." Years spent in the kitchen have allowed him to build strong alliances. Scott discusses the importance of supporting and nurturing local suppliers as they grow their companies, so they may produce in bulk one day. As he lists some of his local food sources, it reads like a “who's who” of prominent CT names: dairy from Farmer's Cow Cooperative, Mystic Cheese Company, Oakleaf Dairy, and Arethusa Dairy. Herb Holden supplies his beef, Pete Sepe the lamb. High-quality poultry comes from GourmAvian Farms while seafood is hauled in from the docks of Stonington by Gulf

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Shrimp Seafood. Scott pores over seed catalogues with farmer friends at Rosedale and Sub Edge Farms to plan the year's crops. Even the beverages are locally sourced; the Max Restaurant Group has their own pale ale made by Thomas Hooker: Brewtus Maximus. Other local beers from Beer'd Brewing Co., Two Roads Brewing Co., and New England Brewing are served along with wines from Jonathan Edwards and Rosedale Vineyards. Westford Hills Distillery provides some of the spirits that Max Catering serves. Scott emphasizes that while Max Catering has plenty of dishes and menus to suggest to their clients, really anything goes. Recently, a couple asked him to create a wedding menu which comprised half Middle Eastern cuisine and half American barbecue. They told Scott that their absolute favorite falafel comes from Mamoun's in New Haven. The first thing Scott did was go to Mamoun's to try it out. After more than 20 years as a celebrated chef, Scott admits that "there is always someone who will do something better than you do." He will study a fellow chef’s methods in order to recreate recipes. Or, if he receives a request for a dish he has little experience preparing (such as sushi), he will bring in a local chef who specializes in the item(s). Chef Miller’s willingness to embrace and respect other cultures led him to learn Spanish. Scott estimates that in his kitchens, 70% of the staff are Spanish speaking; being fluent helps him establish and maintain close relationships with his colleagues. Being a farm to table caterer takes extra planning, says Jon Hudak from his renowned restaurant Cafemantic in Willimantic. Jon too works hand-in-hand with long time friends who own local farms and businesses which supply top ingredients for his restaurant. "If I plan an event that is a year away, I can do my 92

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As two people start out their lives together, their wedding celebration expresses their personal values, tastes, and senses of humor; it joins two families and their heritages, their hometowns, and their favorite foods and cocktails.

best to have the ingredients planned, but I also need the right customer who understands farming and the vagaries of weather and crop yield. It is one thing to cook farm to table in a restaurant everyday; it’s another thing entirely to cook for more than 100 people for an event planned at least a year out. I can run out today and buy 10-15 lbs. of fresh local asparagus for my restaurant, but can I count on that same produce for a particular day a year or more into the future? It’s unknowable. To enjoy farm to table catering, we need to be flexible and follow the seasons." Vegetables are just one part; supplying the protein is another challenge. Local meats are often twice


the price of meats sourced elsewhere. One way to work around this is to serve more unusual and less expensive cuts. These can be delicious, but butcher’s cuts need to be cooked properly to maximize their potential. With this in mind, Jon mentions Green Valley Farm as a favorite pork supplier and Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm as his preferred purveyor of this seasonal bird. Before his success at Cafemantic, Chef Hudak worked at Grant's – also a part of the Max Restaurant Group and nestled next to Barcelona. Chefs Hudak, Miller and Riedl all knew and supported one other at the time, borrowing ingredients from each other in a pinch.

As two people start out their lives together, their wedding celebration expresses their personal values, tastes, and senses of humor; it joins two families and their heritages, their hometowns, and their favorite foods and cocktails. A farm to table catered meal is just one way a couple can represent their personality and support their local agriculture and its economy. Looking for some inspiration for planning a special event? Let this issue of CT Food and Farm Magazine be your muse!

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Slow Flowers: Locally-Grown Blossoms by Caroline Finnegan Diane Diederich photos

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The "slow flowers" movement is alive and well in New England, and we are here to let you in on the area’s best growers. Let’s start with some basics: what is this approach, and why does it matter? Similar to the slow food movement, the slow flower method emphasizes using locally grown flowers. The definitions of “local” vary greatly, and it’s essentially a personal designation. For example, during the Connecticut growing season (April-October), I choose to primarily use flowers grown within 50 miles of where I live. In the offseason, I expand the definition to include the entire United States. The importance to this school of thought is rather subjective. However, it’s important to remember that traditionally produced flowers take a huge journey from field to vase. Most flowers are grown in South America or Africa, sold to distributors all over the world, then sold to regional ones, who then sell to local distributors. This process is wonderful for those of us seeking a very specific flower to use in an arrangement, but there is no doubt that it’s damaging. Consider the chemicals it takes to grow the “perfect” flower. Then think about the amount of energy it requires to get that flower to your local market. Factor in airplane fuel, refrigerated trucks, rehydrating chemicals, and pesticides – not to mention the virtual monopoly on wholesale flowers and questionable labor practices – and that sad bunch of supermarket daisies becomes even sadder to contemplate. The best reason to buy into the slow flower movement? Fresher, longer-lasting flowers. There is a tremendous difference in longevity between flowers harvested yesterday and those picked a week ago. Also, you’re likely to find flowers that are 96

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a little different from the standard fare. Some of those blooms might actually smell like flowers. By purchasing local flowers, you support your local economy, reduce your carbon footprint, and support a movement that promotes responsible and intelligent land use and stewardship. Plus, you contribute to the creation of flower fields for your local pollinators to enjoy. That alone makes the choice an easy one! Most local flower farmers are easy to find at larger farmers’ markets; some even have Community Share Agriculture programs (CSAs). For example, Eddy Farm in Newington offers a weekly flower CSA with pick-up options at either their farm stand or the West End Farmer’s Market in Hartford. It’s a great way to support the farm and ensures that you treat yourself to gorgeous flowers. If you’re having an event, buying a couple buckets of locally grown flowers and arranging them yourself is significantly more affordable than purchasing traditional arrangements. Make sure to inquire after flower-arranging workshops throughout the season. I co-teach several such workshops with Haley Billip at Eddy Farm. We cover basic arrangements, wedding flowers, and even provide private workshops for individual wedding parties. If you’re using a florist for your event, ask them if they buy local flowers.

Though the prices will certainly be comparable to traditional flowers, you will still be supporting your local farmer florist. If budget is a significant issue, consider taking a workshop and doing it yourself – you will save big time! I hope you embrace the slow flower movement! Maybe you’ll find yourself bringing local flowers in to your home all season long or taking a couple of workshops. No matter how you participate, know that it makes a difference to your local farmer, who is probably spending the winter thinking about next year’s flowers! In addition to Eddy Farm, these Connecticut farms grow and sell beautiful flowers: Eddy Farm Newington Farmer Florist: Haley Billip eddyfarmct@gmail.com Farming land that has been in her family for generations, Haley Billip takes a sustainable approach to growing a wide selection of blooms and decorative greens. She is drawn to unusual and dramatic foliage as well as boldly colored flowers. Her field of zinnias is a sight to behold when in bloom! Eddy Farm offers their customers several floral options including custom à la carte bouquets and arrangements; a flower CSA; workshops; and bulk cut flowers. Connecticut Food and Farm

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Muddy Feet Flower Farm Ashford Farmer Florist: Kristin Burello muddyfeetflowers@gmail.com Muddy Feet Flower Farm is in production from early spring through late fall, with Kristin being especially known for her tulips and dahlias. They provide full service floral design and event planning, design consultations, bulk flowers, and la carte design services. Brambles and Bittersweet Stonington Florist: Carol Mann 860.705.4174 Brambles and Bittersweet uses biodynamic farming principles to grow a wide variety of flowers and small fruits. They do full service floral design, bulk flowers, guidance for the DIY bride, and they will even grow specific heirloom flowers for your event! Butternut Gardens Southport Farmer Florist: Evelyn Lee evelyn@butternutgardens.com Offering seasonal bouquets, workshops, full floral design services for weddings and events, and a wildly popular flower subscription service, Butternut Gardens is known for their English garden-style bouquets and wonderfully fragrant blooms. 100 Winter 2015

They have a varied selection of blossoms available throughout the growing season. Trout Lily Farm North Guilford Farmer Florist: Michael Russo troutliliyfarm@comcast.net With a focus on organically grown blooms, Trout Lily Farm creates floral arrangements for weddings and events, sells bulk flowers for those who prefer to DIY, and welcomes commercial clients. Michael, who has been involved in flower design for more than a decade in addition to being a Master Gardener, is a longstanding member of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association. Pinchbeck Tree Farm Roses For Autism 203.453.2186 While not technically “farmer florists,” we think this endeavor deserves a very special mention. Growing roses, lilies, and gerbera daisies year round in America’s largest heated greenhouse, Roses for Autism is the evolution of a farm that has been in operation since 1929. Facilitating career training and hands-on employment opportunities for adults living with Autism spectrum disorders, the farm is a unique and pioneering social enterprise. Flowers are available to the public via pick-up at the farm or delivery.


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Contributors Hilary Adorno is passionate about knowing all of the details. Her love of history, art, and architecture, along with her savvy detective skills means that no stone goes unturned. These qualities lend themselves nicely to her flourishing jewelry design business Ice Blink Designs, but equate to bad news if you’ve to somethingto hide.

Edwin Bartlett specializes in helping small and medium businesses tell their story and gain exposure.

He firmly believes that every business has the right to page-one search results and uses his know-how to make that happen.

Winter Caplanson is Editor in Chief of CT Food and Farm Magazine and views the coldest months as a port in the storm from the rest of the whirlwind year. Batteries recharged, and from the safe harbor of the blazing hearth, it is time to make grand plans, learn new things, and take on new projects.

Ashley Caroline has a slight obsession with baby farm animals and is a puppy mama and wedding photographer based in Wilton.

Kelley Citroni Kelley Citroni is Editor of CT Food and Farm Magazine. She loves bulldogs, crosswords, and baseball, and carries a red pen in every pocket.

Diane Diederich is a wedding photographer and has been a commercial stock photographer for Getty Images and iStock for more than a decade. She loves the opportunity she has gotten through CT Food and Farm Magazine to meet and photograph the amazing artisans and craftspeople from this beautiful state that she calls home.

Caroline Finnegan is an organic landscape designer, farmers' market organizer, and sometimes florist. She loves leading workshops, thinks everyone has a fair amount of creativity in them, and wishes people would spend more time with their hands in the soil - preferably planting food or flowers.

Jessica Giordani is a lover of butter, hand knits, and letting her kids frolic at farms and markets across Connecticut. She makes pies and other handmade sweets in her tiny kitchen at Lucky Girl Bakery.

Laura Graham is a writer, illustrator, and owner of Drink with Food; she is married to a very patient Italian, and they set a good example for their teenage kids by having as much fun as possible.

Rebecca Hansen is a professional writer, avid reader, and hot cider enthusiast. When not coming up with

clever ways to describe far-off destinations or temporary art exhibitions, she is obsessively cataloging her hardcover collection and filling her home with anything that smells of cinnamon.

Lisa Nichols Is owner and soul creative at Right Click Design & Photography. Mom to four kids, Magazine Design two cats and more antique cameras than her husband would like to admit. Maya Oren is a cinematographic storyteller with an affinity for artisnal cheese. This yogi is regularly found all across the State of Connecticut, likes from-scratch pancakes, and loves good coffee.

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Julia Pistell

has fun in all media: she reports for WNPR’s “Radius Project,” writes for LEGO, hosts a podcast named "Literary Disco", and improvises on stage with Sea Tea Improv. She is curious about all things, including, but not limited to: olive bread, horseshoe crabs, and crumbling historic houses.

Rita Rivera Cover Design

is the owner of Love & Pop, a graphic designer, writer, and illustrator shipwrecked in CT. Three hour tour, indeed. She loves soda pop, comics, cupcakes, and the Bee Gees.

Anna Sawin

is a photographer and one of the leading cupcake aficionados of our time. Best known for photographing families and weddings on the New England shoreline, Anna also enjoys the variety of editorial photography assignments she takes on each year, which have included heart surgery, portraits of 400 elementary schoolers, and lobster harvesting.

El Sherwood

is a lifestyle photographer from the State of Maine and currently resides in New Haven with her veggie-loving orange cat, Razz, and her football-coaching fiancé, Jordan. She co-owns a creative company, E&H Creates, with her sister and together the dynamic duo makes the world a little more beautiful.

Meghan Sprague

is the Community Engagement Manager at MACC Charities. She believes that everyone should have access to healthy, nutritious, and delicious food.

Hillary Strater’s

passion is to capture raw emotion and beautiful moments in time, for whether it is about laughter, love, or a dreamy reverie; each and every photo tells a story.

With Images Contributed by: Anaise Prince Photography Nick Caito Julie Elizabeth Andrea Wisnewski Valerie Hamilton-Brodie Kelly Goddard Jasmine Katz Photography Carla McElroy Rebecca Picard Simply K Studios

Front Cover: Cranberry Apple Spice Cake, Zest Fresh Pastry, Stonington

Recipe Index:

Drinks: Apple Cranberry Mulled Cider, p. 31

Hot Honey & Ginger Toddy, p. 32 Homemade Cranberry Infused Vodka, p. 34 Not Your Mother’s Hot Chocolate, p. 35

Main Courses: Pasta Dough, p. 55 Sausage and Spinach Cannelloni with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Peppers, p. 55 Roasted Chestnut and Mascarpone Ravioli with Browned Sage Butter and Fresh Pear, p. 57 Zuppa de Pesce, p. 59

Sides: Rosemary Sea Salt, p. 43 Rosemary Infused Olive Oil, p. 47 Rosemary Bread, p. 48

Back Cover: French Macarons, Zest Fresh Pastry, Stonington; Wrapping Paper, Patti Murphy Design, Mystic

Desserts: Pie Dough, p. 24 Quick Apple Turnovers, p. 27

Housewares: Handmade Soap, p. 38

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Connecticut Food & Farm, Winter 2016, Issue 3