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CAPTURE CREATIVE CONNECTICUT FOOD AND FARM

Professional photography for the agricultural and food service industries.

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CONNECTICUT FOOD AND FARM WITH SOUTHBURY BAKING CO.

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in this issue

THE MARSHMALLOW:

FOOD OF THE GODS

ALEXANDER FOX

ALMOST AS GOOD AS GRANDMA’S:

HUNGARIAN SOCIAL CLUB’S CABBAGE DINNER

WINTER CAPLANSON

BRETT A. MADDUX

THE GOOD DINER

SMALL WONDERS:

MICROGREENS PACK A BIG PUNCH

AMELIA LORD

KIDDING AROUND:

GOAT YOGA AT KINGDOM KIDS FARM

GENA GOLAS

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SPRING 2018 | VOLUME 12

BEHIND THE BRAND

KAELA HEASLIP AND GREY KUPIEC

HOLLY M. LAPRADE

HOMEMADE MARMALADE

CITRUS PRESERVED:

WINTER CAPLANSON

DUCKY DEVOTION

AMY HOLOMAKOFF

SPRING INTO JUICING

92 108 130 144

HILARY ADORNO

OF HORSES AND HEROES

THE GOLDEN YEARS

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GOAT YOGA AT KINGDOM KIDS FARM BY GENA GOLAS LISA NICHOLS PHOTOS

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When you’re going to a yoga class at Kingdom Kids Farm, you’d better be ready

for anything.

You might get yelled at or jumped on. Someone might chew on your hair or even poop on your mat. No, this is not the behavior of your fellow yogis, but of the others in the barn—the farm’s baby goats. At Kingdom Kids Farm in Danielson, owner Michelle Lyon and her family are passionate about their goats. On their 85 acres, the Lyons breed and raise Nigerian dwarf goats—26 does and four bucks—to support their homesteading lifestyle, and Michelle considers each goat as much a part of the family as her four children. The Kingdom Kids goats are lovingly raised for milk production for use in goat’s milk soap and other body products for the Lyons’ two businesses—Sparrow Soaps and Just a Farm Girl. Sparrow Soaps products are sold at 35 locations in Connecticut and throughout the United States. The Lyons operate other

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businesses as well: baby goats are bred and sold to people interested in homesteading; the family designs their popular Flower Crowns and Tutus calendar, parlaying the idea of a newborn photo shoot into 12 months of goat kids dressed up in tulle and fresh flowers; and a farm stand on site sells the farm’s own honey and fruit from its orchard, while selling syrup, pickles, and jewelry from other local farmers. If all of that doesn’t make Kingdom Kids sound like enough of a destination for you, they are preparing to offer their second season of Goat Yoga.

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Last year, Michelle and her longtime friend Sherry Guastini, owner of Insightful Wellness, a yoga studio in nearby Putnam, decided to collaborate and bring goat yoga to Kingdom Kids. Goat yoga caught on nationwide a year ago, after a farm in Oregon dreamed up the idea. For an introspective solo practice like yoga, the social baby goats can seem like an unusual pairing, but no one at goat yoga seems to mind. Before class, participants are in the barn, talking quietly amongst themselves, some stretching lightly to ready their bodies for practice. Immediately, everyone’s phones

“Then the go come out, eager to snap pictures of the babies. The energy in the room changes and you can’t help but smile as the goats jump on each other, roam from person to person, and playfully head-butt one another. Before class even starts, a goat poops, scattering “goat berries” across a mat. There may have been a few laughs, but everyone takes it in stride, and someone swoops in quickly to tidy up. This is just part of goat yoga, and the staff at Kingdom


oats enter.”

Kids is prepared. The porous plastic rug under the yoga mats serves a purpose, so any goat pee can seep through and disappear to the barn floor below if it can’t be wiped up. There is always a staff member on hand during class to clean up or, if all else fails, scatter some goat food across the barn floor as a distraction. Five goats join today’s class: Rosie, a brown and white baby, who is the smallest of her quintuplet siblings;

brown-coated Oscar, the biggest and oldest goat in the room at two years old; Sven, born this year on New Year’s Day; Gwen, one of quadruplets, born a couple of days after Sven during a snowstorm; and Pipsqueak, aka Pippy, Gwen’s brother and the smallest of the quadruplets. Pippy is the Lyons’ house goat, wearing a plaid sweater to keep warm in the barn, clearly there just for the snuggles. If snuggles are what the goats are after, the yogis are happy to oblige, breaking form between downward dogs and child’s poses to pet the goats or just watch as the animals skip around the barn.

“The happy distraction of a goat climbing up your leg during tree pose forces you to practice mindfulness and more deeply turn your focus inward, away from the goats.”

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IF

SNUG

t ARE WHAT THE GOATS ARE AFTER,

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GGLES THE YOGIS ARE HAPPY TO OBLIGE. u

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“THIS ANIMALASSISTED THERAPY REALLY IS GOOD

MEDICINE.” 14

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“Over the years, I’ve heard so many people say they really want to try yoga but feel intimidated,” said Sherry, who teaches most of the classes. “Since Michelle and I have started offering goat yoga classes, I’ve seen people sign up for a class who would never have considered going to a yoga studio. We keep our classes beginnerfriendly but modifiable for more experienced students.” Goat yoga has proven to be an accessible entry point for yoga novices. With a goat bleating in your face or jumping on your chest during Savasana, the mood in the barn is understandably light. One of the babies, Sven, bounds from body to body in the middle of class, greeting each yogi and pausing briefly to

chew on one of their sweater hoods. “What are we doing?” someone asks, trying to regain their concentration after pausing to pet him. “We’re watching Sven!” someone else answers, and Sherry calls out a new pose to refocus the group. Goat yoga also attracts more serious yogis, as the happy distraction of a goat climbing up your leg during tree pose forces you to practice mindfulness and more deeply turn your focus inward, away from the goats. Whatever your yoga ability, Sherry said, “everyone leaves feeling refreshed from breathing, more comfortable after a good stretch, but also with joy in their hearts and a smile on their faces from having deepened their connection to the natural world through pet therapy from the goats.”

This animal-assisted therapy really is good medicine. Petting animals lowers anxiety and elicits relaxation in the body. Michelle knows that goat yoga can mean more for a person than simply coming to pet a goat. “You never know what someone is going through,” she said. “Maybe that person just lost a loved one. Maybe they just found out they have cancer. We feel, for one hour, if we can be a part of that [therapy], whether people think it’s silly or not—how can you not smile with a baby goat?” Come to goat yoga at Kingdom Kids, and really come prepared for anything. Yes, you might get poop on your mat, you might choose to not do a whole lot of yoga, but you will certainly get to love on a goat and leave knowing you’ve done well, supporting a hard-working, sincere family and a whole bunch of their “kids.” 

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“PETTING ANIMALS LOWERS ANXIETY A 16

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AND ELICITS RELAXATION IN THE BODY.” CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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SPRING GOAT YOGA AT KINGDOM KIDS FARM

651 COOK HILL ROAD DANIELSON, CT 06239 Classes, which are $25 each, can be found on their Facebook page. Dress in layers and bring your own mat and an old blanket. Space is limited to 25 participants. Well-behaved children over age 12 are welcome. 18

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CLASS SCHEDULE

Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. Friday, April 13, 7 p.m. (candlelit class) Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. (Mother’s Day special) Friday, May 18, 7 p.m. (candlelit class) Saturday, May 26, 10 a.m. (Memorial Day weekend)

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PHOTO BY C.S.

SPENCER

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.” ~Marty Rubin

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S

ma ll W

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Won de rs MICROGREENS PACK A BIG PUNCH BY AMELIA LORD TERESA JOHNSON PHOTOS

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E

very winter, as the season wears on into spring, I crave green growing things. Inevitably, I declare my intentions to start my own indoor microgreen farm, envisioning trays upon trays that cover every sunny surface in my home. For those unfamiliar with the term, a microgreen is a young vegetable green that has moved beyond the sprout stage to develop its first small leaves. Sometimes referred to as “vegetable confetti,” these tiny plants can be used to add flavor and color to dishes, especially in early spring when the first harvest of the season has yet to make it to our grocery shelves. After a failed attempt at micro-gardening that involved simply throwing together a bunch of seeds with approximately the same growing time, I gave in and swallowed the expense of buying packages of petite arugula and purple radish microgreens from the grocery store. It feels like a splurge to use an entire container on just one salad, but it’s an effective way to fend off the late-winter doldrums. Buying microgreens is a completely acceptable solution, but a continuous indoor harvest is within reach if you’re willing to invest the time and effort. YouTube has scads of videos on microgardening, but also consider consulting the

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reason “The I ’m so passionate

about growing salads is, as a chef, the first impression you make in a restaurant is

the salad.” book Micro Green Garden: Indoor Grower’s Guide to Gourmet Greens, by New London resident Mark Braunstein. The first half is available to read for free on his website, markbraunstein.org. The process is simple: collect the plastic containers like those that berries are sold in, fill them with potting soil, scatter seeds on top, and keep them covered but ventilated for a few days. Once the greens have sprouted, uncover them, keep them well hydrated, and give them plenty of light until they are ready to harvest. As long as you keep your home comfortably heated (no cooler than 50 degrees at night and no warmer than 80 degrees during the day), microgreens can flourish given adequate water and light. Be aware that this approach can be costly. Microgreen seeds need to be either organic or untreated. And while buying enough seeds for a summer garden is not very expensive, microgreens grow in such density that a home grower plows through many more seeds than you’d expect – a regular seed packet might yield only one miniscule tray’s worth of greens. The best solution might be to purchase from a grower readily available greens like peppery arugula, gorgeous red beet, pea shoots, and

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“Chefs have been clued in to the wonders of micro punch of flavor, bright color, and a lettuce mixes with kale and cabbage micros. Then you can save your sunny window ledges for specialty micros that are difficult to find elsewhere and a bit delicate for the retail market (basil, lemony sorrel, carrot). Chefs have been clued in to the wonders of microgreens for some time – they offer a concentrated punch of flavor, bright color, and a new dimension of texture to a dish. Research has shown that they can even have up to 40 times the nutritional value of their mature counterparts. On Tiny Acre Farm, a four-year-old venture

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in Woodstock, farmers Callah Racine and Matt Skobrak grow edible flowers, mixed baby lettuces, and shoots, the hardier and slightly older form of microgreens. Unlike other growers, Tiny Acre grows its shoots in heated high tunnels and directly in the ground. In addition to being economical, this method results in healthier and stronger plants, because the roots have more room to spread out in the earth. Callah and Matt did not set out to start a


ogreens for some time – they offer a concentrated new dimension of texture to a dish.” farm. Callah, a brewer, moved to Woodstock to help her cousin start a brewery, and Matt worked as a chef at a restaurant down the road. The pair started growing microgreens so Matt could bring them to work and use them in dishes. Having studied and begun his chef career in Vermont, Matt found the food culture a bit of an adjustment upon returning to his home state of Connecticut. Restaurants in Connecticut have a desire for locally grown

produce on the menu, but the farm-to-table infrastructure has yet to fully take off. In Vermont, Matt said, “farmers would just show up at the back door of the restaurant with whatever they had.” Using this as inspiration, Tiny Acre began offering restaurant subscriptions, dropping off their harvest on Wednesdays, thereby giving chefs enough time to incorporate the new items into their weekend menus. Farming has freed Matt from the confines of a restaurant schedule, but allows him to continue working with food and other chefs. “The reason I’m so passionate about growing salads is, as

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a chef, the first impression you make in a restaurant is the salad,” Matt said. The quality of every aspect of a salad makes a difference, no matter how small. Tiny Acre Farm grows four different varieties of shoots, creating a high yield that can satisfy the appetite of many wholesale accounts. Their lovely pea shoots, sunflower microgreens, mung bean sprouts, and purple radish micros are available to the public year-round at the Willimantic Food Co-op and the Fiddleheads Food Co-op in New London, and throughout the summer at It’s Only Natural Market in Middletown. Tiny Acre Farm has more than 50

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restaurant accounts throughout the state and regularly makes deliveries into Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Microgreens can—and should—be used in all kinds of dishes, but be sure to leave them raw, as it would be a shame to lose all those flavors, colors, and textures to a hot pan. Sunflower sprouts have wonderful toothsome leaves, which Callah likes to eat right out of the ground. Try them in a salad with some dense fruit, like persimmons, or stuffed into a sandwich. This recipe for summer rolls from Matt is easy, light, and fresh. The pea shoots are a great mix with the green apple, and the sweet, earthy

squash gives his nutty satay another dimension of flavor. If you prefer the sauce on the thinner side, Callah suggests adding a splash or two of coconut milk. To make it gluten-free, substitute equal parts tamari for soy sauce.


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Green Apple Pea Shoot Summer Rolls with Butternut Satay Sauce CHEF MATT SKOBRAK, TINY ACRE FARM

BUTTERNUT SATAY SAUCE

• 1 cup diced butternut squash • ½ cup good-quality smooth peanut butter • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 2 tbsp garlic chili sauce • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger • Juice of 1 lemon

Put the squash in a small pot with enough salted water to just cover it. Over medium heat, boil the squash until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool. Combine all the ingredients, including the cooked squash, in a blender and puree until smooth.

GREEN APPLE - PEA SHOOT SUMMER ROLLS • 8 rice paper spring roll wraps • 1.5 oz pea shoots • 1 green apple • Zest of 1 lemon Julienne the green apple, and place it in cold water with a bit of apple cider vinegar to prevent it from browning. Place lukewarm water in a bowl large enough to submerge spring roll wraps. Soak one wrap at a time to soften it, about 15-30 seconds, and transfer the softened wrap onto a cutting board. In the center of the wrap put a layer of pea shoots, green apple, and lemon zest, leaving enough wrap on the sides to roll over the filling. (Note from Matt: this isn’t an exact science. Add as much filling as you are comfortable with. The idea is not to tear the wrap when you roll it. It might take a few tries to get it right.). The instructions on the spring roll wrappers offer handy step-by-step tips on how to wrap.

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The Good D

Written and photographed by Brett A. M

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Diner

Maddux

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PREVIOUS PAGE: THE AUTHOR OUTSIDE COLLIN’S DINER IN CANAAN. THIS PAGE: NICK MARROLETTI LAUGHING WHILE SPOONING OATMEAL AT QUAKER DINER IN WEST HARTFORD.

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“It seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience/ which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I ’m telling you about it.” – FRANK O’HARA,

Having a Coke with You (1960)

he good diner is the one you are in. It does not matter where. You are surrounded by family—real or imagined, a friend who tells a story about meeting his wife all those years ago, or one who draws the waitress as she glides between the tables, the same waitress who brings coffee, black and hot as you like it, dressed in light that streams through any window. The good diner opens early and closes after lunch. Or the good diner never closes, is open through the night for wanderers to find her booths and make a home there. The good waitress has seen it all—drunk teenagers and the lonely elderly, tender addicts and parents out for Sunday morning breakfast. She smiles, or she does not smile, and you love her just the way you loved your mother.

owns that one and has the personality of a man who has worked in a diner in a college town since the ’50s. He is firm and funny, wild-eyed with joy and experience, and when he shakes your hand, you feel the bones move.

Every morning I would wake up and go to another. Thread City Diner in Willimantic, Elm Street Diner in Stamford, Dad’s Restaurant in Wallingford, Mo’s A few years ago, I started Midtown in Hartford, and on going to the good diners of and on. I would invite friends Connecticut to write poetry. to join me to discuss life and The first was O’Rourke’s in art and love and death, the Middletown, where they sold experiences that shape us all, T-shirts that said “dinersaur” or I would go alone and write. with sketches of stegosauruses At each place, I took black eating pancakes. Brian O’Rourke and white photographs of the

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people or places I saw and at the end of 2016, one hundred of the poems and a few of the photographs formed a book entitled regent (Silk House Publishing). The photographs and poetry were an attempt to capture a process for which I had no name— the need to get out of my house and be in the world, to make art and talk about art with others, to share love and conversation and coffee with friends and total strangers. I had written poetry for years, since the goddess Haley Thompson had given it to me at the University of Iowa, yet I had no experience with Connecticut diners. But my mother had just died and I was not sleeping much and I knew if I stayed in my house all day and night that I would never make it out alive. The good hour is just before the morning, just before the rest of the world wakes, when the

light is out just barely and there is quiet in the trees. Then the birds come. Then the neighbors shift in beds beside lovers, amble down creaky stairs, take the dog out for the first walk of the day. The good hour is the one when the truth starts to crawl out from under the blanket of the night, where time moves slowly, and the drive to the diner is against no traffic but the fog. I do not know how many diners I have entered. I cannot tell you anything you do not already know. The Pantry in New Haven has cinnamon roll pancakes that could make you believe in a god. Shady Glen in Manchester will serve you ice cream at any hour of the day. A.C. Petersen will too, even at breakfast when the waitress asks “Are you sure?” and I say I am and she is wearing a uniform that was pulled from some closet in 1950 and never put back. Olympia in Newington, where each table has a jukebox, lights its sign up in the darkness and is

“ The good diner is the one you are in. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE.” open to give you milkshakes on late evenings. Quaker Diner is home—whatever home is—where I have done weeks-long, self-imposed residencies and the food is less important than the ambiance of the space. There are maybe six tables and a row of stools, and each day they write advice on the chalkboard above the fry cook, and the waitress, from the Philippines where I did the Peace Corps, is friendly with me until I break up with the girl she likes and then she hates me and every time I enter she gives me the look that says there is a place I will go when I die. The good diner is the one on the shore in the winter when the tourists have left and anyone who remains knows the waitress by name. The good diner is the one in a college town that stays open through the summer after the kids have gone home. The good diner

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TOP: NO MINIMUM ON CREDIT CARDS IS CLAIRE’S CORNER COPIA IN NEW HAVEN.

BOTTOM LEFT: BEN MCCARTHY LAUGHING AT ALLEGRO CAFE IN HARTFORD. BOTTOM RIGHT: MAYA OREN LAUGHING AT O’ROURKE’S DINER IN MIDDLETOWN.

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“The good hour is the one when the truth

starts to crawl

out from under the blanket of

the night, where time moves

slowly, and

the drive to the

diner is against no

traffic but the fog.”

TOWER GRILL IN WATERBURY. CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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is Shoreline or Georgie’s, where they take care of the vegetarians; it is Lakeside in Stamford, where they make their own donuts and their back wall is made of glass and outside you can see the lake and beyond that the trees; it is the Olde Bluebird Inn in Easton, where they make fresh muffins every day and serve them to you hot and covered in butter, and at a table nearby an older woman tells a story about how much she loved her husband and I write a poem about that; it is Town & Country in Bloomfield, where my friend’s grandfather used to bring him on Sundays before church; it is Sarah’s on Main in Portland, which serves the greatest home fries you will ever eat, and where the owner has the same birthday as me and there is a shelf full of hot sauces from which to choose.

The good friend is the one who joins me at 7 a.m. on a weekday to sit and talk over coffee. If I can recommend anything, it is waking early enough to spend an hour in the slowness of the morning with a person you love in conversation, one on one, about the things that truly matter. Imagine that. Imagine a friend you have not seen in days or weeks or months or years, and saying “I miss you, want to grab breakfast and catch up?” and getting all the small talk out of the way in the first 20 minutes before the conversation opens up into a world of beauty and truth so endless that you want to sit with them for hours. The good friend is all of you; is Ony, who encourages me to keep going when at first I need it; is Curtis or Christa, who let me lay bare my mistakes and love me; is Rose, who fills my book; is Sean or Brooks, who I

CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT-RIGHT: OLYMPIA DINER IN NEWINGTON. NICK’S LUNCHEONETTE IN WEST HAVEN. SPEEDY DONUTS IN NORWALK. FORD NEWS DINER IN MIDDLETOWN. NEXT PAGE: JACQUELINE’S RESTAURANT IN BETHEL.

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“...y

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o r years f

, w o n m

e r a u o w he n y

a g o od

u kn o w o y f i d e k s a

r b place for

. . . t s a f eak

and you say you know a few.” MO’S MIDTOWN IN HARTFORD. CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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grew up with and who visit Connecticut to share Iowa with me; is Chen or Tim or Constanza or Hutch, who bring their talents to breakfast and fill my backseat and my memory with their brilliance; is Alycia or Winter or Hanif or Lorenzo, who barely know me at all at first, but agree to get breakfast with a relative stranger and are open with their hearts so often that we become family. The good friend is family, in a diner or anywhere, the family we build for ourselves if we pay attention. And every morning I can see my family again, and they will love me as much as they ever did, and they will forgive me when I need it. If I try, if I am patient, I will see. The good smell, like the good art, clings to you long after you have gone—grease and butter, ink and paper, bacon and eggs. If you close your eyes and breathe, hours later, you will know how these people and these places stay warm on your flesh at any distance. Maybe this is why. Maybe that process does have a

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name, making a family of your own choosing wherever they will have you. Maybe every good night is born out of longing, some faded black and white photograph, a memory of breakfast with someone you love, how the waitress tells you she misses her daughter. Maybe this life does go on after all, your family so near to the place in your heart where the strawberry pancakes live. Maybe this is ordinary. Some bell always ringing in the corner of a morning, years from now, when you are asked if you know a good place for breakfast and you say you know a few. And you can go there. It does not matter who you are. Somewhere there is an altar where the blessed and the holy drink their coffee black and give their love to you. You have family there. You always will. This is the good diner. H

STAMFORD DINER IN STAMFORD.

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“

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~ RUTH STOUT

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PHOTO BY LISA STONE KIM

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Almost as Good as

Grandma’s HUNGARIAN SOCIAL CLUB OF ASHFORD’S STUFFED CABBAGE

WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY WINTER CAPLANSON

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What if you could buy a ticket to go home again?

What if you could get back to the aroma of plum dumplings and stuffed cabbage in your grandmother’s kitchen, filled with the cheerful bantering of the ladies’ native Hungarian tongue? And you could take your children, too, to show them this time that was your childhood in eastern Connecticut, when the longer it took to slow cook dinner and the more steps were involved, the prouder cooks were of it. Not only is it possible, but it’s also eagerly anticipated each year. And it will only cost you $20.

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The Hungarian Social Club of Ashford’s Stuffed Cabbage Dinner is held each spring to celebrate Freedom Day, the 1848 Hungarian Revolution to achieve independence from Austria. The revolution was quelled under the combined forces of Imperial Austria and Russia, but it was a defining moment in Hungary’s struggle for freedom. For the Hungarian-Americans of the region, it’s

important to commemorate the sacrifices that Hungarians have made, and the Ashford event provides a reason to gather, cook together, and eat dishes almost as good as Grandma used to make. It’s a time to raise a glass of the dark red Hungarian wine Egri Bikaver, also called Bull’s Blood, or Caraway Apricot Palinka, a traditional fruit brandy with origins from Hungary, invented in the Middle Ages. CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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“If you see an old-time family in Ashford, they’re going to ask, ‘When is the Stuffed Cabbage Dinner?’” said club member and lifelong Ashford resident Esther Jagodzinski. “It’s a link to our past and part of the wheel of the year for us.” Stuffed cabbage is a meal with so many steps that modern cooks are unlikely to make it often, if at all. The secret to authentic Hungarian cabbage lies in the

Pennsylvania. But because of factory accidents and the hazards of working underground in dangerous tunnels, many of the workers wanted to be farmers once they saved enough money. In 1956, when the Hungarians revolted against the former Soviet Union, Hungarian-American state legislator and Ashford resident Joseph Zambo worked to clear a path for political refugees to

“THE LONGER IT TOOK TO SLOW COOK DINNER AND THE MORE STEPS WERE INVOLVED, THE PROUDER COOKS WERE OF IT.” special blend of exquisite paprika and European spices. Recipes for this dish with rice, ground meats, and beef-base tomato sauce often sneakily leave out that *one* secret ingredient that gives it Grandma’s signature taste, making it known only to those who watched and learned from her how to prepare her “direct from Europe” dish. The history of the Hungarian influx into Ashford began early in the 20th century. American capitalists had recruited skilled workers from Hungary for work in coal mining and manufacturing in New York, New Jersey, and

come to Ashford. Ashford offered affordable farmland and jobs to a growing Hungarian-American community. A short drive down the newly constructed Route 89, for which Zambo had pushed, brought workers to textile factory jobs in Willimantic, where they worked for countryman Zoltin Paloczi, supervisor of the American Thread Company factory. Enjoying the protective arm of factory bosses and legislative power, Hungarians thrived in Ashford. While fathers worked at the mills, children and mothers worked on the farm, sold eggs and

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milk, and butchered their own animals and the livestock of other farmers. The Hungarian Social Club of Ashford, founded in 1935 with the first wave of immigrants, grew to 75 members and became one of the most popular social venues in the area for members and non-members alike, holding legendary beer dances with bands and offering critical networking opportunities. 54

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“There was no human resource department then,” Esther recalled. “Life was rubbing elbows within the community; ‘you’re in my club so I’ll get you a job at the factory,’ or ‘I’ll give you meat, eggs, and milk for your family if we have some to spare.’ It was all person to person: ‘My father sells insurance and he needs somebody in the office, he might give your kid a job. I’ll buy insurance from you, then, and

that car I need from another club member who works for a dealership.’” The networking of social clubs, granges, and churches was paramount to success in rural Connecticut, especially during the Depression of the 1930s and following World War II, due to the scarcity of some store goods and the need to build the economy with local


transactions and job offerings. Many immigrants needed to support one another in the face of New England prejudice, which was aroused by their limited English language skills and non-protestant religions like Roman Catholicism, Orthodox, or Reformed. Residents of Hungarian ancestry contributed significantly to the community. Twenty-five percent

of the founders of the Ashford Volunteer Fire Department were of Hungarian descent. They have been veterans of foreign wars and have served in state and local government. Many of the roads in town are named after the original Hungarian-Slovak families: Karosi, Nagy, Molnar, Seles, Varga, Zaicek, and Campert. Today, Joseph Zambo’s grandson Michael Zambo is the first

selectman of Ashford. St. Philip the Apostle, a Roman Catholic Church in Ashford, was built by Hungarian and Czech-Slovak immigrants, literally with their own hands. Every day, as they went about their work in the fields, the farmers would set aside stones they found, and every weekend they shaped those into the walls of the church that still CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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stands today. Even the children took part in the building. The church’s distinctive Byzantinestyle copper onion dome, an unusual feature in New England, is commonplace on churches in Hungary. The Hungarian Social Club of Ashford’s Freedom Day Stuffed Cabbage Dinner provides a link to the past and an opportunity to teach visitors and members about important events in Hungarian history. It’s also a fundraiser that gives the

community a way to support its continued existence, even when club membership now numbers less than a dozen.

“When civic organizations like this disappear through lack of support, like an old country store, everyone misses it, everyone is sad,” Esther said. “Without these annual dinners, the community would move further and further away from the Eastern European Diaspora—its Czech-Slovak, Hungarian, and RussianUkrainian traditions. These are the people who came, settled the rural town, built the church, and worked the farms and factories. They were the grist and toil

of the community in the 1930s and for the next 50 years. That part of our community is more and more a memory every year.

When people enter the club for our events, though, the sounds and the smells bring back their childhood and their connection to their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.” But when they gather, expect some squabbling over recipes: whether beef or pork should have been used; how much rice, if any, to add; extra vinegar or none; whether to put neck bones on the bottom of the pot or even beef ribs. “My family certainly didn’t have excess beef ribs to add in,” Esther quipped. “You may as well call for prime rib for all we could afford. The tomato sauce, cabbage, and parsley came from our garden, and the pork may have come from a farm pig. Each Eastern European immigrant family has their own authentic recipe for stuffed cabbage, and the sights and smells of that encoded information in our brain is what brings back the organic culture as we follow the kitchen footsteps of our ancestors.” The regional differences of Hungarian culinary culture may explain the variation between recipes. Or it could be that your grandmother’s recipe was Americanized at some

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point, substituting Crisco for lard, or walnuts for hickory nuts. When people say, “This doesn’t taste like Grandma’s!” as they are wont to do, there is emotion behind it. It’s not just about the food; they’re fighting to protect the very personal memory of the traditional family feasts of their youth. This year’s Hungarian Social Club of Ashford Freedom Day Stuffed Cabbage Dinner is scheduled for April 22, beginning at 12:30. Tickets are $20 each and sell out fast. Watch for availability on the club’s Facebook page.

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There will be Hungarian music and a small program in both English and Hungarian commemorating Freedom Day and the experience of Hungarian Immigrants over the last century. A generous appetizer table will be loaded with scratch-made specialties like cucumber salad, red cabbage, pickled beets, cream cheese and Hungarian paprika dip, and a baked ham carving station. “A guest or two has been known to tuck a slice in their handbag to take home for making soup with,” Esther joked. “It’s a tradition.”

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VULIKA’S STUFFED CABBAGE

On the community dining tables you’ll find bowls of sour cream and hearty, seeded dark rye bread with butter. Although the event is BYOB, there will be coffee and tea available. Also featured will be the Hungarian pastry people travel miles for, as well as Esther’s own family stuffed cabbage recipe. Here it is, just the way her grandmother made it.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CABBAGE • 2 heads green cabbage • ¼ cup white vinegar • 4 ounces butter, sliced thinly • 3 cups soup stock of choice (chicken or vegetable usually) • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce MEAT AND RICE FILLING • 1 cup white rice • 1 large onion, chopped • 2 tablespoons butter 60

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• • •

1 pound ground pork, ham, or daisy roll ½ pound lean ground beef or veal Salt and pepper to taste

TOMATO CREAM SAUCE (makes 3 cups) • 1 onion, chopped • 1 tablespoon fresh flat parsle chopped fine


E

ey,

• • • • • • • • •

4 tablespoons butter ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar ½ teaspoon pepper 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock ½ cup sour cream or heavy cream Onion powder, crushed caraway seed, paprika to season

FOR THE POT (stovetop method) • 2 tablespoons lard, bacon grease, butter, or oil • Flat spare rib bones, extra cabbage leaves • Flat dish to weigh down stuffed cabbages (submerge into liquid) • Extra scraps of chopped cabbage, meat, onion, parsley from preparations

*Optional additions: 1 jar or bag of drained sauerkraut, 1 cup chopped smoked pork bits for a meatier sauce *Instead of Tomato Cream Sauce you can use simply 1 quart of plain tomato juice to cover and cook cabbages How to Make It

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This recipe is traditionally served with an extra spoon of tomato-based sauce and small dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley.

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TO PREPARE THE CABBAGE Remove cabbage cores with a long thin knife. Place cabbages into a large pot of salted water, making sure they are fully submerged. Add vinegar. Boil cabbage about 30 minutes or until leaves fall freely from heads with a simple poke of a fork. Remove cabbage and allow it to cool. Carefully peel off each leaf one by one. Set aside and allow leaves to dry. An alternate method is to use tongs to carefully remove leaves one by one from boiling pot as they pull away from the cabbage head. Only about 15 leaves per head of cabbage are usable for perfect cabbage rolls. The remainder you will have to slice or piece together to make rolls. Imperfect leaves may fall apart while cooking or removing from pan.

leaves with a small paring knife so they are easier to roll. Stack two leaves together, one on top of the other, so that the stems align. Add spoonful of filling and gently roll. Once a shape is formed, push on both sides. Line a deep roasting pan with excess cabbage leaves and place rolls side by side. Once the dish is full, place butter slices and spoonfuls of tomato sauce in between rolls. Pour stock of choice over rolls until submerged. Cover rolls with more leaves or aluminum foil. Bake 40 minutes or until boiling. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 1 hour. Serve with tomato cream sauce (see recipe), if desired.

If cooking on stovetop, line bottom of pot with 2 tablespoons of lard or small amount of oil, flat rib bones, and extra cabbage leaves to prevent bottom cabbages CREATING THE from burning. Simmer rolls CABBAGE ROLLS on stovetop for 2 hours on Heat oven or electric roasting medium-high heat. Do not pan to 350 degrees. Flip cabbage hard boil or cabbage leaves may leaves so the stems face up. fall apart or burn on bottom. Shave some of the thickness of the stems from the cabbage

TO MAKE THE PORK AND RICE FILLING Cook rice and allow it to cool. Fry onion in butter and add pork. Cook until pork is slightly browned. Allow mixture to cool and season with salt and pepper. TO MAKE THE TOMATO CREAM SAUCE Fry onion in 1 tablespoon butter in small saucepan over medium heat until tender. In a separate large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat and add flour. Cook about 20 minutes. Add onion, salt, sugar, and pepper, mixing constantly. Gradually add tomato sauce and chicken stock and bring sauce to a boil. Once boiling, add sour cream. Season further with paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper, if desired. Optional: Add ½ teaspoon of crushed caraway seeds to the tomato sauce and sautÊ minced green pepper with the butter and onion.

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Vegetarian Option BUCKWHEAT KASHA FILLING • 2 cups unroasted buckwheat kasha • 1 large egg • 7 tablespoons butter, melted • 1 medium onion, chopped • 1 medium potato, grated • 1 carrot or parsnip, grated • 1 tablespoon minced parsley • ½ minced green pepper • ½ teaspoon crushed caraway seeds (optional) • Salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika to taste Cook in 1 quart tomato juice such as Sacramento.

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The Marshmallow FOOD OF THE GODS By Alexander Fox Christopher Fox photos 66

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T

oday the marshmallow is thought of simply as a garnish, a binder for s’mores, or a filling for lava cakes, but this tasty treat is actually more than four thousand years old.

In Ancient Egypt, the root sap of the mallow plant was mixed with fruits and nuts to create a primitive sort of Rice Krispies Treat. These desserts were highly coveted and exclusively consumed by the Pharaohs, who were deified as gods on earth. That’s right: marshmallows were once literally food for the gods. Four thousand years later, modern store-bought marshmallows bear little resemblance to their ancient ancestors.

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To begin your own journey

into a world of pure imagination, you’ll need some equipment: • • • • •

A kitchen mixer with whisk attachment A candy thermometer A clean kitchen towel Cookie cutters A sheet pan or 9-inch x 13-inch Pyrex

Long-gone mallow sap has been replaced by gelatin, a far more abundant and stable ingredient that allows for greater production. According to the National Confectioners Association, Americans today buy more than 90 million pounds of marshmallows every year – more than 5.8 billion individual marshmallows – making the United States the world’s largest consumer of these sweet morsels.

“I started baking allergy-friendly treats when my husband was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2013,” she said. “I’ve always baked, but when he was diagnosed, it was like starting from scratch.” Stephanie explained that as awareness of food sensitivities and different eating habits spreads, alternative ingredients are becoming far more accessible, inspiring a baking process more like chemistry than a culinary art.

“That’s right: marshmallows

were once

In order to get more in touch with the marshmallow of yesteryear, I needed a Marshmallow Maestro, someone who, if born 4,000 years earlier in the Lower Nile Delta of Egypt, would literally have been a dessert chef for the gods. If ever there was such a person, it’s Stephanie Bairos-Horn.

literally food

“I look in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook to learn the science behind an ingredient and then make it allergy-friendly. Many of my friends are vegan or have obscure allergies and I don’t want them to not eat something or feel left out,” she said. “But I don’t want the food to taste like crap. I hate it when someone says ‘Hey, this is good for gluten-free.’ I don’t want it to be good for gluten-free, I want it to be good no matter what.”

for the gods.”

Stephanie is the owner and operator of The Mindful Oven, an allergy-friendly baking service founded in 2014 that caters to a customer’s sweet tooth and allergies.

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While Stephanie takes inspiration from her children, she warns that marshmallow production is not a family affair. “You don’t want to do this at home with kids,” she said. “With the hair and the hot molten sugar, let the kids pick out flavors and then send them to school.” You’ll need the space and the concentration, she said, as marshmallow creation has moments of quiet and chaos. Stephanie explained that the flavor in marshmallows is “just plain vanilla,” so they’re really a blank slate; you can blend whatever flavors you want. And while the marshmallow is a catalyst for your culinary mind, this recipe sticks with the tried and true vanilla bean marshmallow. You will need: • ½ cup room temperature water • 1½ cups sugar • 1 cup corn syrup • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt • ½ cup ice-cold water • 6½ tsp kosher gelatin • 1 vanilla bean pod • ½ cup corn starch • ½ cup confectioners sugar

“this recipe sticks with the tried and true vanilla bean marshmallow”

Step one requires you to “bloom” the gelatin for three to five minutes. In the mixer bowl, sprinkle the gelatin into ice-cold water. The gelatin will not dissolve unless pre-soaked. Stephanie’s protip for making sure you have an even bloom is to mix the gelatin with a fork by scraping the mixture against the side of the bowl. This will ensure that you don’t have any unappetizing clumps of raw gelatin. While the gelatin is blooming, begin the syrup. In a small saucepan, mix the water, sugar, corn syrup, and Himalayan salt. The corn syrup acts as a medium to heat up the sugar and the water at the same rate, so don’t try to be healthy and take it out or the sugar will caramelize (you’re making marshmallows—the time for healthy choices is over). Once those ingredients are in the saucepan, heat the mixture to 240 degrees. This is the most pivotal step—240 on the dot! To make sure you are getting an accurate reading, a candy thermometer is the best tool. At 240 degrees, the sugar enters the “soft ball” stage, reflecting the sugar’s pliability when dropped into a cold liquid, which is exactly what we will be doing in the next step. When ready, turn the burner off and add the syrup to the mixing bowl with the speed on low. Then set the mixer to the highest speed possible and set your timer for 10 minutes. A cautionary note: at 240 degrees, what you have just created is culinary napalm, so BE CAREFUL when pouring! To prevent splattering, aim for the bowl and not the whisk. During Stephanie’s demonstration, she wrapped a kitchen towel around

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“nothing tastes quite like a fresh homemade

marshmall 72

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low” CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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the mixer to dampen the noise and to stop searing gelatin from flying around the room. When I made my own, I made sure the towel was wet to keep it from falling off. While the fluff mixture thickens, add the beans from one vanilla bean pod into the bowl. Vanilla beans can be bought just about anywhere spices are sold; look for pods that are plump and glossy. To extract the seeds, use a paring knife to bisect the pod lengthwise. Once opened, use the knife to scrape the seeds out and into the mixer. Don’t throw away the pods when you’re finished. They’ll still have a lot of flavor and can be used to infuse some vanilla into your day. I soaked them in some milk for my morning coffee. Next, in a small bowl combine the confectioners sugar and corn starch and dust the pan with the mixture. Be sure to save some for later. When the timer goes off, turn off the mixer and pour the mixture onto the dusted receptacle to cure for at least four hours. Once the mixture has settled into the pan, sprinkle the rest of the confectioners sugar and corn starch mixture over the top. After four hours have passed, the marshmallow fluff can hold its shape. Use cookie cutters to divvy up the marshmallows. Unlike cookie dough, you cannot recombine the excess marshmallow fluff due to the corn starch and confectioners sugar, so Stephanie recommends repurposing the scraps into a lava cake filling or cubing it up into mini marshmallows for hot chocolate. Marshmallows have a three-week shelf life, but the longer they sit, the more they will begin to taste like the store-bought variety, which is why, Stephanie explained, store-bought marshmallows have that specific taste—they are just past their due date for freshness. “I won’t even sell mine if they have been on the shelves longer than three weeks. Instead I trade them out with fresh batches.” While today’s mass-produced marshmallows are on the simple side, nothing tastes quiet like a fresh homemade one. If you want to try some for yourself before making them at home, you can find Stephanie’s Mindful Oven marshmallows at Brookside Bagels in Simsbury or order some on her Facebook page, The Mindful Oven.

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The

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Golden Years OF HORSES AND HEROES

MITCHELL FARM EQUINE RETIREMENT

BY HILARY ADORNO WINTER CAPLANSON PHOTOS CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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health of the horses at Mitchell Farm.”

“No expense is spared when it comes to the 80

L

ike a lot of young girls, I fell in love with horses the first time I set eyes on them. Lucky for me, my older sister was a devoted equestrian, so as soon as I could, I tagged along on barn trips. I spent the day kissing horses’ noses and playing with alfalfa-scented barn kitties, and as I grew older, I even learned to love the physical demands associated with horse care. I asked for a horse every single day, and finally, when I was 13, I was presented with a skittish Thoroughbred named Uptown Strutter (Struts). She was far from entry level, but I was fearless and determined to win her affection and trust. She went from spooking at everything, routinely throwing me off, to letting me wrap my arms and legs around her neck, walking around with me attached to her like a parasite. We would bareback swim across the Naugatuck River and go on day-long rides all over Litchfield County. She was my best friend and taught me about responsibility, accountability, and the rewards of hard work. When I was 16, Struts was diagnosed with navicular disease, a degenerative, chronic condition. The vet came to the house and announced her diagnosis and prognosis simultaneously: Struts could never be ridden again. I watched her get on a trailer, and because I was afraid to know the truth, I never asked where she was taken. In my dreams she went to a place like Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement in Salem. Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement is a not-forprofit farm where horses and ponies can live out their golden years. It is lovingly overseen

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by its visionary founder and executive director, the aptly-named Dee Doolittle. Dee’s love for horses started early with her experiences at the Glastonbury Pony Club. She continued to ride through high school and then took a break to attend Becker College and UMass Amherst, studying preveterinary and animal sciences. Returning to Connecticut, she worked as a veterinary technician alongside the esteemed Robert Baratt of Salem Valley Veterinary Clinic. She also returned to riding, showing on the Connecticut Hunter & Jumper Association circuit. Wanting to round out her business experience, Dee took a position at Steed Read Horseman’s Classifieds, a publication focused all things related to horses—training, tack, feed, clinics, shows, and boarding— distributed throughout New England and beyond. It was here that Dee and the Steed Read team found an enormous and devastating gap in the equine world when calls kept coming in about finding homes for retiring horses. This prompted Steed Read’s owner, Dana Stillwell, to found Greener Pastures, a rescue network connecting older horses with barns willing to care for them through end of life. Creating a match was tremendously satisfying, but the horses in need greatly outnumbered the places able to accommodate them. Dee often wondered about the horses for whom they were unable to find suitable homes, and it was out of sadness and frustration that a seed was planted in Dee’s head, and a slow germination began. At this stage in her life, Dee was no longer competing, but serendipitously, she and her


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“Mitchell Farm E

hors

their 82

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Equine Retirement is a not-for-profit farm where

ses and ponies can live out

r golden years.� CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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“Once they are accepted into the program at Mitchell Farm, retired horses are never asked to work again; they are simply

enjoy the rest of their lives.”

there to

husband rented a house on a horse farm in Salem. The farm and surrounding property were leased to another, but one day, Dee received a phone call from her landlord telling her that the farm tenant was leaving. From there, Dee was given the first right to lease the whole enchilada, and the seed was finally able to sprout! Dee sought mentorship through her established network of equine professionals. She wrote a business plan, quit her job, and applied for nonprofit status. By August 2004, Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement was taking in horses, and within the first year, all slots were filled. Initially the farm took in the necessary ratio of paying boarded horses to cover the cost of retired horses, but over time Dee systematically replaced boarded horses with retirement horses, and it wasn’t long until the barn was full of retired horses exclusively. Once they are accepted into the program at Mitchell Farm, retired horses are never asked to work again; they are simply there to enjoy the rest of their lives. Dee’s primary concern is the happiness, health, and welfare of the horses, ranging from backyard ponies to Grand Prix jumpers from all over the country. Today, there are 30 retired horses, three donkeys, two cats, and four dogs. Dee’s team at Mitchell Farm consists mostly of volunteers. Needing to distribute the demands of maintaining the farm, Dee brought in a barn manager, Melissa MacDonald. Melissa’s vital role includes managing all the horses, maintaining feeding, grooming, healthcare, property maintenance, putting together shift schedules, and turnout. Mitchell Farm sits on 50 acres and has 13

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“Dee’s primary concern is t

health, and welfare o

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the happiness,

of the horses.�

separated turnout areas. Another challenge, which is faced by most farms with more than one horse, is figuring out which horses can be have turnout time together. Since these are retired horses, some more delicate than others, it is very important to circumvent avoidable injuries. A complex schedule is maintained to make sure every horse can get outside every day the weather cooperates. With Melissa managing the barn, Dee is able to focus on fundraising, as without it, Mitchell Farm couldn’t survive. When retirement horses are accepted at Mitchell Farm, their owners make a one-time donation and monthly pledges to the general operating fund for either the remaining life of the horse, or for six years. After six years, no additional funding is expected, although some people kindly continue donating. The average lifespan of a horse is 25 to 30 years, although there are some extreme cases, like Shayne, an Irish Draught/Thoroughbred, who lived to the ripe old age of 51. In the case of my horse Struts (who would have been retired at the age of 12), she could have required care for upwards of an additional 12 to 15 years. No expense is spared when it comes to the health of the horses at Mitchell Farm. If a horse gets sick or needs special hoof care, it is all covered. The major fundraising event for Mitchell Farm is their annual Music Festival, celebrating its 11th year this September, with featured acts Aztek Two-Step, Jonathan Edwards, and Jon Pousette-Dart. The event typically draws between 600 and 750 attendees, who enjoy food trucks, music, dancing, and interacting with grazing retired horses. This year, Dee is organizing a lobster dinner and clambake the day after the Music Festival to continue fundraising throughout the entire weekend.

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In 2013, Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement received its accreditation by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, obtainable only by facilities providing “a safe haven for animals in need for any amount of time, following the principles of a true sanctuary.” This certification required a rigorous peer review of every aspect of Mitchell’s operation, its governance, transparency, accounting, insurances, and business plan. Dee also recruited a first-class, well-rounded board of directors, including doctors, an attorney, business owners, nonprofit operators, and lifelong horse people. I asked Dee to tell me about a few of her favorite rescue stories, and she recalled the story of Bonz, a 16h Chestnut Thoroughbred. Bonz started life as a racehorse with a record of $48,000 in lifetime winnings (which indicates he was not tearing up the track). After being found “stabled” in a shipping container in New York City, he was rescued by Green Chimneys, a therapeutic school in Brewster, New York, specializing in animalassisted therapy for children with special needs. As Bonz got older and arthritic, he became too cranky for work, so he was brought to Mitchell Farm, where he lived out of the rest of his days with no shipping containers in sight. Then there’s Gryphon, a 31-year-old Black Tennessee Walker who has been at Mitchell Farm for 11 years. He was previously abused, and his new owner worked tirelessly to earn his trust and show him love. When it was time for him to retire, she brought him to

Mitchell Farm, and today Gryphon greets everyone happily, demonstrating no longterm repercussions from his traumatic earlylife experience. But not all of Dee’s favorite rescues are horses. Dee always wanted to rescue a donkey, so in 2014 she went to Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue in Mystic to see the donkeys they’d recently saved from an auction. That’s when she fell in love with a donkey named Maude. But Maude was not alone; beside her was Ivy, a pathetic, anemic, depressed donkey. Dee couldn’t leave Ivy behind, so she went home to Mitchell Farm with the pair. Unbeknownst to Dee, Maude was more than pleasantly plump, and shortly thereafter Maude gave birth to Denver, named for the city Dee was in while she watched his birth remotely. Maude, Ivy, and Denver are all happy mascots at Mitchell Farm. I want to personally thank Dee for the dedication and love she shows these deserving animals. Without her, they likely would not have the beautiful life she has provided for the 90 horses and ponies that have been served by Mitchell Farm over the last 14 years. Too often, people acquiring horses and ponies do not consider the big picture, or do not have the means to care for a large, out-of-service animal—and that is when they scramble to find options. Considering Mitchell Farm already has an extensive waiting list, I encourage anyone with a large animal to make a plan for their future. They deserve it.

To learn more about this fantastic organization, its fundraisers, and how to volunteer, go to mitchellfarm.org.

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CitrusPreserved

HOMEMADE MARMALADE

BY HOLLY M. LAPRADE LISA NICHOLS PHOTOS

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WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MARKET FOR QUALITY FOOD PRODUCTS, IT’S EASY TO PLACE YOUR TRUST IN A BRAND MADE BY SOMEONE WHO RELOCATED TO PARIS FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO DINE ON THE BEST FOOD THAT MONEY COULD BUY. “I once moved to Paris just to eat,” explained Maureen Estony. “I dined in the finest restaurants at night and in neighborhood cafés in the morning. I stayed until the money ran out.” Thankfully for the rest of us, Maureen eventually returned to the United States to settle in Woodstock, a picturesque town nestled in Connecticut’s bucolic Quiet Corner. There, she fulfilled her desire to own a small business by purchasing Woodstock Hill Preserves, which today stands as the oldest preserve company in Connecticut. Maureen had initially stumbled upon the now 40-year-old compa-

ny’s products at a local farm stand and was immediately struck by their presentation and distinctive flavor. “They were absolutely the best preserves I’ve ever had,” she recalled. “Everything about the jar was beautiful, and I knew this was the real deal.” Maureen now single-handedly crafts an impressive line of all-natural, handmade preserves in her home commercial kitchen. The products are prepared in small batches and then sold online and in select locations throughout the state. During citrus season, which runs from November through June,

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DURING CITRUS SEASON, WHICH RUNS FROM NOVEMBER THROUGH JUNE, MAUREEN FOCUSES HER ATTENTION ON THE LABOR-INTENSIVE BUT HIGHLY REWARDING PROCESS OF MAKING HOMEMADE MARMALADE. 96

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Maureen focuses her attention on the labor-intensive but highly rewarding process of making homemade marmalade. “It’s not the hardest thing to make, but it takes a really long time,” she said. “I can be prepping for four to six days. But it’s quite a beautiful process and an absolutely exquisite preserve.”

The most time-consuming part of the preparations may very well be the process of eliminating the pips from each individual piece of fruit. There can be up to 50 pips in each orange, Maureen said, but the beautiful part of a marmalade-making session is that absolutely nothing is wasted during the process. “These are all jewels, put them all aside,” Maureen instructed. “It’s like


fishing. It’s truly a labor of love.” Marmalade can be made from any combination of citrus fruit, including lemons, limes, grapefruits, bitter or sweet oranges, mandarins, kumquats, and bergamots. The end result is a sweet, tart, and slightly bitter combination of jellied citrus juice and tender peel. Maureen explained that Seville

oranges are her citrus fruit of choice for her Woodstock Hill Preserves brand, which she refers to as “the perfect, most classic marmalade.” Seville oranges have a distinct, bitter, or sour flavor and a high level of pectin, which is ideal for jams and jellies, and they’re treasured worldwide for their key role in traditional English bitter orange marmalade.

“The peel itself leaves a tingle on your tongue,” Maureen said. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, when peeling citrus fruits for use in marmalades, “be sure to include some of the white membrane found just under the skin,” as this is where most of the pectin is located. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch that gives jams and jellies their “set” CTFOODANDFARM.COM

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“Marmalade

CAN BE MADE FROM ANY COMBINATION

OF CITRUS FRUIT, INCLUDING LEMONS, LIMES, GRAPEFRUITS, BITTER OR

SWEET ORANGES, MANDARINS, KUMQUATS, AND BERGAMOTS.

when they cool, as helpfully explained in an article on thespruce.com. During a recent interview from her office, Maureen was eager to share her personal recipe and also divulged the name of her favorite orchard from which to purchase the coveted Seville oranges. The fruits have a narrow window of opportunity and are only available between November and March, according to Maureen. “If you time it well, you can get a nice supply. But once they’re gone, they’re gone,” she cautioned. “It’s getting very hard to find these particular oranges because there isn’t a lot of market for them.” The good news, Maureen explained, is that Seville oranges can be used year-round, as they “freeze beautifully without compromising quality.” The secret to freezing the fruits is to be sure they are dried completely after rinsing and to store them in an airtight container. This year, Maureen purchased her treasured stockpile of Seville oranges from the Orange Shop, an orchard in Citra, Florida, that prides itself on carrying “rare and unique citrus varieties,” according to its website. “This is a very unique orange. It’s quite extraordinary when you cook it,” Maureen noted. The oranges can be ordered online at floridaorangeshop.com and are sold in quantities of 12-15 individual fruit per tray. Prices for this season are $38.99 (1 tray), $54.99 (2 trays), $66.99 (3 trays), and $79.99 (4 trays). Another helpful tidbit of wisdom from the Orange Shop’s website: “The peel color starts out greenish

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in the beginning of the season and gradually turns pale yellow, but don’t fear; they’re just as good in November as in March for every cooking and baking recipe.” After the marmalade is prepared, it typically sets overnight and is shelf-stable for one year. The jars only require refrigeration after they are opened and must be stored in a cool, dry location.


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“...THE beautiful

IS THAT

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P

a


When the time comes to enjoy your new creation, the options are limitless. Although marmalade is most often spread on toast, it can also be used in sauces, puddings, baked goods, and ice creams. Preserves also pair particularly well with a variety of cheeses. As a final note of warning courtesy of The Orange Shop, it is important to note that Seville oranges are not meant for eating like regular oranges. “They are sour and bitter, which is desirable for the recipes that call for them!” Maureen recommended this website as a reference for those who wish to try their hand at making homemade preserves. Maureen’s marmalade can be purchased online at WoodstockHillPreserves.com or by phone at 860-830-JAMS. 

marmalade absolutely

PART OF A

-MAKING SESSION

NOTHING IS WASTED DURING THE PROCESS...

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Maureen’s Recipes SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE

• 18-20 small to medium Seville bitter oranges • 3 cups water • 3 tablespoons lemon juice • 7 ½ pounds sugar Note: At the beginning of cooking, put small plate in freezer for doneness test, after cooking.

Prepare the oranges 1. Wash oranges under warm water with a fruit brush. 2. Cut oranges into four equal pieces. Trim off the white center pith from each quarter and put aside. (Later, scrape for juice, as every drop of juice is precious. The remaining pith is great compost.) 3. Halve the oranges again and squeeze the juice into a large stainless-steel bowl. 4. With a fork, pick out pips inside. Keep the pips to use when cooking. 5. Slice the peel into long narrow strips, about a quarter inch wide, or thicker if you like.

Pressure cook 1. Put peel and orange juice into pressure cooker. 2. Add 1 to 1 ¼ cups water. Be careful not to add too much. (Refer to the manual on your cooker.) 3. Pressure cook for five minutes. Peels should be softer, but still firm when done. Note: A pressure cooker softens the peel quickly without compromising flavor or color. 4. When done, use quick release for steam. Slow release may make peels too mushy.

Prepare pips 1. Make two to three cheesecloth bags and fill with pips. 2. Fold the cheesecloth two or three times over so no seeds leak out when cooking. 3. Divide the pips into the bags and tie securely with cooking string. Large tea infusers work too.

Make marmalade 1. In a good stainless-steel pot, add the prepared orange peel and juice (about 5 pounds), water, lemon juice, and pips in cheesecloth bags. As it begins to heat, pour in sugar, stirring constantly. 2. Once sugar dissolves, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Do not stir while the marmalade is boiling. 3. After 8-10 minutes boiling, do a freezer test for setting point.

Freezer test Spoon a teaspoon of the hot marmalade onto the freezer plate and put back in the freezer. In three minutes, tip the plate to one side. If marmalade is set, it will ripple when tipped. If the marmalade is too thin and runs down side of plate, return to boil for another 3-5 minutes.

Pour When you reach your set, ladle marmalade into sterilized jars. When filling jars, do not fill to the top. Leave a quarter inch of head space so a vacuum seal forms. Wipe any marmalade from the rims of the jars. Center lids on jars and twist on until fingertip-tight.

Water bath 1. Place hot jars in pot of hot water. Water should cover jars with head space of one to two inches. Be careful when putting jars into hot water. If jars have cooled too much, they could break in hot water. 2. Bring water to boil. Boil for 12 minutes. 3. Remove jars and let cool. 4. Test the seal pressing on center of cooled lid. If jar is sealed, the lid will not flex up or down. If it is not sealed, refrigerate immediately, reprocess, or enjoy now!

Freezing instructions Follow the recipe through pressure cooking. Let cool. Freeze orange peels and juice in 5-pound blocks, in airtight containers. Freeze pips in separate bag. Keep frozen until you’re ready to use. Pull out a block, thaw, and cook.

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BLOOD ORANGE MARMALADE • 2 ¼ pounds blood oranges • 7 cups water (use 1 cup in pressure cooker) • 3 tablespoons lemon juice • 2 ½ to 3 cups of sugar • 2 Sure Jell Certo liquid fruit pectin pouches (6-ounce pouches) Note: Put small plate in freezer for doneness test, after cooking.

Prepare the oranges

Make marmalade 1. In a good stainless-steel pot, put orange peel and juice, remaining six cups waters, and lemon juice in a pot. 2. As marmalade begins to heat, pour in sugar. 3. Once the sugar is dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil and pour in pectin. Bring it back to a quick full boil. Boil for one minute.

Freezer Test

1. Wash oranges. 2. Cut oranges into four equal pieces. 3. Trim off the white center pith from each quarter and discard. 4. Cut each quarter again and pick out pips and discard. 5. Slice the peel in long narrow strips, about a quarter inch wide, or thicker if you like.

Spoon a teaspoon of the hot marmalade onto the freezer plate and put back in the freezer. In three minutes, tip the plate to one side. If marmalade is set and done, it will ripple when tipped. If mixture is thin and runs down side of plate, return to boil for another three to five minutes. Depending on how much juice is in the orange, you can add another pouch of pectin, boil for another minute, and freezer test again.

Pressure cook

When you reach your set, ladle into jars. When filling jars, do not fill to top. Leave a quarter inch headspace so a vacuum seal forms.

1. Put peel and orange juice into pressure cooker. 2. Add 1 cup water. Be careful not to add too much water. (Refer to the manual on your cooker.) 3. Pressure cook for five minutes. Peels should be softer, but still firm when done. Note: You can prepare the marmalade with strips of peel or you can cut into smaller pieces. For uniform small pieces, use a food processor on pulse for only a couple seconds. Do not over chop.

Wipe any jam or jelly from the rims of the jars. Center lids on jars. Twist on the bands until fingertip-tight.

Water bath 1. Place jars in pot. Water should cover jars with headspace of one to two inches. 2. Bring water to boil. Boil for 12 minutes.

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IT IS

“ spring

The

AGAIN.

earth is like

a child THAT KNOWS POEMS

by heart.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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PHOTO BY C.S. SPENCER

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Ducky Devotion

WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY WINTER CAPLANSON

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A

duck’s universe begins and ends with water: buckets of water from which they drink and dunk their heads, puddles of rainwater where they can dabble their bills into the mud, and most of all water deep enough in which to SWIM! You’ve never seen anything more joyful

tors that take down chickens, like foxes and domesticated dogs, by getting out onto the water. Ducks are able, literally, to sleep with one eye open, resting half of the brain at a time while still keeping watch for predators. I love being able to free-range my ducks, 24-7, as many days of the year as our pond has

least several hundred gallons per duck and with enough surface area that they can get some good swimming in. No one who has seen how ducks take to water would deny them a pond. They also provide a great service in virtually eliminating pond weeds, moving about pond edges like little Roombas,

“ You’ve never seen anything more joyful than than a farm duck let back onto the pond at ice-out. Though I kept chickens for decades, I’ve come to prefer my laying ducks! If they have access to deep water like a pond or lake, they can elude most of the preda-

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a good amount of ice-free water. Even without protective fencing or a livestock guardian dog, we lose only a few ducks a year, primarily to bald eagles. Ducks really should have access to a decent-sized body of water, at

nibbling at the shoots and bobbing their heads beneath the surface to rip weed roots from the shallow parts at the bottom. Ducks are extremely cold-hardy, loving both rain and snow, and are more disease-resistant than


chickens. Ducklings don’t need the vaccinations that hatchery chicks are given. Ducks also are not as susceptible to external parasites like lice and mites because they spend so much time in the water it drowns any parasites that might be present.

far more quickly than chickens do. Adding new members to a chicken flock will result in squabbling and confrontation that can get quite serious, but newcomers to a duck flock will become integrated without drama sometimes within minutes, and always by the next day.

tensity of chicken manure, doesn’t need to be composted to mellow, and is easily washed away with a hose or steady rainfall. Fortunately, ducks are not as destructive to the yard as chickens. With their shovel-like bills, they love to root around in loose soil for mosquito larvae and grubs, and they take

a farm duck let back onto the pond at ice out.” Ducks are quieter than chickens— or at least the males are. While female ducks have a boisterous, laugh-like quack, drakes have more of a buzzy, low voice. No loud cock-a-doodle-do here! They welcome new flock members

Ducks do have a reputation for being messy because they poop a lot. However much you are imagining, they poop even more than that. A duck drinks about a liter of water per day, resulting in a lot of soft, watery manure. The upside is that duck poop lacks the burning in-

positive delight in finding slugs and snails. There’s none of the scratching, hole-digging mayhem of a flock of hens. Happy ducks also need a good chunk of land to range and graze. The more grass and bugs they have

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“A duck’s universe begins and ends with water.”

access to, the less feed ducks will consume. And they’ll give you healthier eggs! Good egg-laying duck breeds can out-lay chickens. Duck eggs are about a third larger, richer in flavor, and slightly more nutritious than chicken eggs. Pastry chefs prize duck eggs because their high-protein whites add heft and loft to baked goods. Due to their thicker shells and membranes, they also have a longer shelf life and are less likely to break. I use them just like I would a chicken egg, though. And if you prefer to keep all females, you don’t need a drake for your ducks to lay. Ready to get your own duck flock underway? You’ll need at least two. Like most animals, ducklings do not like to be alone. There are many different kinds of pure breed domestic ducks, but I favor the heritage breeds—Swedish, Welsh Harlequin, Campbell, Cayuga, Indian Runner— for their hardiness and beauty. Consult a comparison chart like the one at Metzer Farms for a rundown of each breed’s origins and characteristics. I take special delight in my little Duclair dualpurpose ducks, bred for both meat and eggs. They are a little smaller and less heavy-bodied than some of the other breeds, and they’re able to fly farther and with more agility. You can buy ducklings at many local feed stores in the spring or online from a hatchery that can ship just-hatched ducklings to you. You may also be able to buy them from local farmers, already past the age of needing to be brooded. My favorite way to add ducks to my flock is to let a broody chicken hatch and care for them! Fertile laying duck eggs take 28 days to hatch, a week longer than chicken eggs, but a good broody hen will wait it out. You can buy fertile duck eggs online. At night, I swap out the chicken eggs the broody has started setting on for the fertile duck eggs. If a hen kicks an egg out of the nest, don’t put it back in. She likely knows it’s a dud and a rotten egg will bring bacteria to the whole nest. When the clutch has hatched, the hen will provide all the heat and care they need. The hen is the first thing the ducklings will see and they will instantly bond to her and think she is their real mother. She will show the ducklings what to eat and drink by picking up and dropping tasty morsels of food and clucking. The hen may be alarmed when the ducklings instinctively jump in the water bowl and splash around, but she will tolerate it, at least for a while.

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“My favorite way to add ducks to my flock is to let a broody chicken hatch and care for them!”

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Ducklings should be fed an un-medicated chick crumble. And they drink more than three times as much water as chicks, so be sure and check several times a day that they have clean fresh water. They also grow very fast. By day four or five, their oil gland will have developed and you will notice them using it when they preen. Although there is all sorts of advice warning that ducklings should not be allowed to swim until they are feathered out, I fill an inverted metal trash can lid with water for them to paddle in when I see them begin to preen. Whatever you use should be shallow, or have stones added, to allow them to climb out to get dry and warm.

I find that the mama hen will tire of her ducklings’ strange, wet ways and be ready to part with them earlier than she would chicks. Watch for this and be prepared to add a heat lamp for warmth if they still need it. Lacking a mama hen to do the work for you, if you have ever raised day-old chicks, raising ducklings is much the same. Your secure brooder area will need a heat lamp as, like chicks, ducklings need an environment of about 90 to 95 degrees at the start. Reduce the temperature by five degrees per week until they are feathered out and the brooder is at roughly room temperature.

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“Good egg-laying duck breeds can out-lay chickens.”

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Adult ducks must be fed pelleted chicken feed, as the laying mash gets stuck in their bills. I feed mine inside their duck house, even in summer, because ducks will not head to bed without bribery. I get them in the habit of going in there so that I can close them inside when needed. Drinking water must be available at all times and needs to be dumped and replaced at least twice a day, as it soon gets full of muck and feathers. Ducks cannot swallow their food without water and need to be able to fully submerge their heads. This keeps their eyes, bills, feet, and feathers in good condition while they splash and preen.

“When you are overrun with eggs, I find people are always eager to buy them, chefs especially.” Ducks appreciate some shade in summer, but winter shelter need not be as draft-free as chickens require. The enclosure should include 1-inch welded wire fencing that is sunk into the ground at least 8 inches to prevent predators from digging underneath. The top should also be covered. Duck houses don’t need perches because ducks sleep on the ground. And since domesticated ducks don’t really fly, doorway access, food, and water all need to be kept low to the ground. Free-ranging ducks lay their eggs absolutely anywhere, including in the water, so I close my ducks in at dusk feeding time during laying season. I collect eggs and let the ducks back out in the late morning, as they don’t seem to lay as early as chickens do. When you are overrun with eggs, I find people are always eager to buy them, chefs especially.

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Here four

Connecticut chefs share

their favorite duck egg recipes:

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INGREDIENTS • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme • 5 cups vegetable stock (hot in a pot) • ½ cup finely chopped shallots • ¼ cup duck fat and/or butter • 2 cups Arborio rice • ½ cup white wine (preferably a fruity, wetter vintage) • 2 cups finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips • 4 duck eggs • Salt and pepper to taste Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook shallots in 2 tablespoons butter or duck fat in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until absorbed. Stir in 1 cup broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering risotto and adding broth, about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition absorb before adding next, until rice is just tender and creamy but still al dente, 18 to 20 minutes (there will be leftover broth).

COOK PROSCIUTTO On a parchment-lined baking sheet, lay prosciutto out in a single layer and bake until crisp, 13 to 15 minutes.

Add a little extra stock then a few good handfuls of cheese to thicken it back up. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste (you should need less salt than pepper). Set aside and hold warm.

MAKE RISOTTO Add 1 teaspoon thyme to hot stock, reserving the rest for garnish.

Crumble crisp prosciutto and fold into risotto, reserving some for garnish.

“Bacon, Egg, and Cheese” Risotto Serves 4. Chef Jonathan Lane, J. Christians, Wallingford

PARMESAN CRISPS Place cheese by the heaping tablespoons about ½ inch apart onto a baking sheet lined with oiled parchment. Bake until cheese is golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. POACH DUCK EGGS Bring the remaining stock to a low simmer. Crack eggs into four separate small bowls. With slotted spoon, stir stock in a clockwise direction and gently pour one egg at time into the vortex. Remove the first egg at 5½ minutes to warm plate, and repeat with three remaining eggs. TO PLATE Place risotto in bowl, top with a parmesan crisp, crumbled prosciutto, a poached egg, and thyme. Each diner can cut their egg into the risotto and enjoy!

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Duck Egg Vegetable Fried Rice Serves 2. Chef/Owner John Bourdeau, The Owl Winebar, New Preston INGREDIENTS • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil • 2 duck eggs • ⅓ cup large diced onion • ⅓ cup medium diced carrot, blanched or previously frozen • ⅓ cup frozen peas • 2 cups cooked medium grain rice • 4 tablespoons soy sauce • 1 teaspoon agave • Pinch of white pepper

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In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil and gently scramble eggs. Remove and reserve on a plate. In the same pan over medium heat, add ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add carrots, peas, and rice and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add more oil if needed. Add soy sauce and agave. Toss. Add eggs and pepper to taste.


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INGREDIENTS • ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus a splash • 4 pieces thinly sliced Speck ham • 1 bunch asparagus • 4 duck eggs • ¼ cup white vinegar • Salt and pepper Preheat grill or oven to 425 degrees. FRY THE SPECK In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil to shimmer. Fry the speck until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on cooling rack. COOK THE ASPARAGUS Trim ends and peel stalks if tough. Dunk in boiling, salted water for 1 minute and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Let dry. In a medium mixing bowl, toss blanched asparagus with splash of oil and salt and pepper. Grill until warm and grill marked, or roast in a 425-degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Duck Egg with Grilled Asparagus and Cris Serves 2. Chef/Owner John Bourdeau, The Owl Winebar, New Preston

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spy Speck

POACH DUCK EGGS Bring vinegar and 6 quarts water to low simmer. Crack eggs into four separate small bowls. With slotted spoon, stir water in a clockwise direction and gently pour one egg at a time into the vortex. Remove the first egg at 5½ minutes to warm plate, and repeat with 3 remaining eggs. PLATE Plate 1 egg on 6 spears of asparagus, top with Speck and cracked pepper over dish. Serve.

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Crispy Duck Egg with Pea-mesco, Hash, and Shiitake Bacon Serves 4. Chef Jason Welch, Turpin Meadow Ranch, Wyoming (but CT native!)

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CRISPY EGG • 4 duck eggs • ¼ cup salt • ½ cup white vinegar • ¼ cup flour • Salt and freshly ground pepper • 1 egg, beaten • 1 tablespoon milk • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs MAKE AN ICE BATH Bring 2 quarts of water, salt, and vinegar to a boil. Gently place 4 duck eggs into water and cook for 6 minutes making sure the water stays at a slightly rolling boil. When 6 minutes are up, place the eggs into the ice bath. Let chill for 2 minutes. Take eggs out of ice bath and peel. BREAD EGGS Beat egg and milk together in a bowl. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Place panko in a third bowl. Dredge eggs in flour, dip into the egg mixture, and then coat in panko.

FRY THE EGGS Heat 7 to 8 cups vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat until a candy thermometer registers 350 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, place 1 panko-coated egg into the oil and fry until golden brown, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer the fried egg to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

“PEA-MESCO” SAUCE • 2 cups thawed and cooked frozen peas (cooked fresh peas are even better) • ¼ cup toasted Italian or other crusty bread • ¼ cup toasted cashews • 1 teaspoon paprika • ¼ cup sherry vinegar • 1 garlic head • ½ cup olive oil plus 2 teaspoons (add more if needed) • Salt and pepper to taste Cut the top off the garlic head, drizzle on 2 teaspoons olive oil, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Cover the bulb with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Add 2 tablespoons roasted garlic and all remaining ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. If too thick, add more olive oil. Season to taste.

HASH • 1 large onion • 1 teaspoon olive oil • ½ pound fingerling potatoes • Salt Heat a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the oil and onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan, turn heat to medium-low and let cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for about

30 minutes or until the onions are a rich, browned color. Add a little water if needed to prevent sticking. In a large pot, combine salted water and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pot and transfer to a cooling rack and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes to dry. Cut into ½-inch pieces. Combine onions and potatoes in a small sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are a nice, golden brown color.

SHIITAKE BACON • ½ pound of fresh shiitake mushrooms • Olive oil • Salt and pepper Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice shiitake mushrooms paper thin (no more than ⅛ inch) and place in a bowl. Gently toss to coat with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mushrooms evenly out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in oven and cook until shriveled and crispy, usually about 30 to 45 minutes. Check every 10 minutes and stir the mushrooms to promote even cooking. They are done when golden brown and taste like bacon. When done, remove from oven and transfer mushrooms to a plate with paper towel on top. Let cool to room temperature; mushrooms will crisp up as they cool.

TO PLATE Spread Pea-mesco sauce in a small circle on plate. Place hash on top of sauce, centered as much as possible. Place egg on top of hash. Sprinkle shiitake bacon around the egg and garnish with pea shoots (optional).

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Asparagus and Duck Eggs with Chorizo Oil, Ham, and Hollandaise Serves 4. Chef Xavier Santiago, Trattoria Toscana, Manchester DUCK EGG HOLLANDAISE • 2 duck egg yolks • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (juice from about ½ lemon) • 6-8 tablespoons butter • Pinch of salt • Pinch of smoked paprika Gently melt the butter over low heat, getting just warm enough to melt – you don’t want it hot. Set melted butter aside. Combine duck egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and paprika in blender and blend for about 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle about two teaspoons butter into the blender, blend well, and repeat until all of the butter has been incorporated. Your sauce should be thickened and a beautiful deep yellow. Add salt to taste.

CHORIZO OIL • 3 ounces soft or dry chorizo (usually found in the cured sausages section) • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tablespoon paprika Finely mince the chorizo into ⅛-inch cubes and sweat in olive oil over low heat. Use a wooden spoon to press down on the chorizo to render out the chorizo fat, about 10 minutes. Remove the crispy chorizo from the oil and set both aside in separate containers.

COOK PEAS Add a handful of fresh shelled or frozen peas to a saucepan of boiling water. Cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and run cold water over to stop the cooking.

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BUTTER BRAISED ASPARAGUS • One bunch of asparagus, hard part of stalks cut off (white asparagus preferred) • 1 teaspoon minced shallots • 2-4 tablespoon butter (will vary with amount of asparagus) • Sea salt • Squeeze of lemon Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter. When butter is hot, add shallots, reduce heat to low, and sauté until translucent. Add asparagus and cover the pan with a tightfitting lid to keep the steam in. Cook on low for 8 minutes, test for tenderness, adding more time as needed depending on how soft you like your asparagus. If the pan is dry, add more butter or a tablespoon of water. When cooked to your liking, remove asparagus, pour the shallot butter over the top, and sprinkle with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.

SUNNY SIDE UP DUCK EGG • 4 duck eggs • 1 tablespoon olive oil Heat a frying pan on medium-low heat and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Crack the eggs into the pan. If the oil starts to spit, reduce heat. Cook until the tops of the whites are set but the yolk is still runny.

TO PLATE Compose on plate: Sunny side up duck egg, butter braised asparagus, peas, thinly sliced Mangalica ham, and crispy chorizo. Drizzle duck egg hollandaise and chorizo oil over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley or microgreens.


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Written by Amy Holomakoff Photography by John Shyloski

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As

the snow melts and sleepy plants unfurl from their wintery slumber, our bodies, too, reawaken. And after a long season of hibernation and holiday meals, people searching for a way to shake off the lingering winter blues (and bloat) need look no further than juicing. Juicing is a delicious way to help restore, detox, and invigorate your body. The process removes the vegetable’s fiber and leaves behind a concentration of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body can absorb easily, giving you a boost of energy. Among these nutrients are phytonutrients, which are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One popular spot for fresh, organic juices is The Stand in Fairfield, run by owner Carissa Dellicicchi, who is known affectionately around town as the “Juice Queen.” The Stand sources as much of their produce from Connecticut as possible, including Sport Hill Farm (Easton), the Westport Farmer’s Market, Riverbank Farm (Roxbury), and Gilbertie’s Farm (Westport).

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"Now is the perfect time for juicin return, offering leafy greens, succ

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ng, especially as farmers’ markets culent berries, and fragrant herbs."

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Juicing is a delicious way to help restore, detox, and invigorate your body.

The Stand offers a menu with six veggiebased juices and one seasonal. Their most popular is “The Stand(ard),” a combination of kale, celery, cucumber, and apple. For the less adventurous, they offer the “Freshie,” a delicate juice of cucumber, apple, and lemon. Then there’s “Root Veggie” (carrot, beet, celery, and greens), “Sunny” (golden beets, carrot, and turmeric), the “Nasty” (their cureall with all greens, garlic, ginger, and cayenne), and “Remedy” (cucumber, celery, romaine, lemon, and seaweed). The menu also includes juice shots, like wheatgrass and ginger mixed with lemon, cayenne, and turmeric; smoothie blends; various lemonades; and fresh sunflower seed milk, which they make from seeds harvested from a local farm. Now is the perfect time for juicing, especially as farmers’ markets return, offering leafy greens, succulent berries, and fragrant herbs. But with so much great produce readily available, you’ll need to find a way to keep everything fresh. “The key to preserving our harvest of local, fresh ingredients year-round is freezing,” Carissa said, so when you have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, you should juice them and pour the juice into an ice cube tray. Then freeze, seal in a zip-lock bag, and store in the freezer to add to smoothies later. You can also freeze fresh berries in a single layer on a sheet pan, put them in a zip-lock bag, and store in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. When choosing a juicer, you want to pick one that not only handles firm veggies like apples or beets, but also delicate ones like spring greens. Different styles of juicers are designed for different styles of juicing,

but Carissa recommended a pair of good, general-purpose juicers: the Breville Juice Fountain Elite (around $450), and the Omega Nutrition System Electric Juicer (around $400). Some juicers may cost less, but those usually aren’t as efficient at extracting and they’re likely to leave you with pulp in your juice. You also want one with a good seal, so juice doesn’t wind up splattering out and staining your cabinets. If you don’t own a juicer, or aren’t quite convinced you need to add one to your kitchen arsenal, don’t worry. You can get your feet (and hands) wet by starting off blending your veggies with water and straining them through a fine mesh colander, nut milk bag, or cheesecloth, although Carissa warned that this method sacrifices some of the chlorophyll and other nutrients. Carissa said that fruit juice should be kept to a minimum to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high. Instead, try blending fruit in smoothies. Keeping the fiber from the fruit in a smoothie will help slow the body’s absorption of sugars. It’s really important to clean fruits and veggies well before using them. You can wash or soak them in a mixture of white vinegar and cold water at a one to 10 ratio. For waxy fruits or veggies like apples, citruses, or cucumbers, allow them to sit in a cold water/vinegar bath for 10 minutes. Carissa recommended waiting to wash until right before use to prevent greens from wilting as quickly. If you’re eager to start experimenting with juicing, here are some delicious recipes to get you started.

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The Stand’s “Remedy ” Juice MAKES ONE TO TWO SERVINGS

• 1 head of romaine • lemon • 1 cucumber (thoroughly washed and with cap removed) • 3 celery stalks • sprinkle of dulse flakes Clean all produce thoroughly in a 1:10 solution of vinegar and cold water. Let lemon sit for 10 minutes in solution to help remove wax. With juicer speed on low, juice lettuce. Switch to high and juice lemon, celery, and cucumber (in that order). Stir in a sprinkle of dulse flakes— and enjoy! Drink fresh for best flavor and highest nutrient content. May be stored in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator up to one or two days.

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B

r r e

B y r lend r e h C y MAKES AROUND 2 CUPS • 1 juice cube • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries • 1/4 cup cherries (fresh or frozen) • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 2 cups non-dairy milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Drink immediately.

Blood Orange-Carrot-Beet Juice MAKES AROUND 2 1/2 CUPS • 4 blood oranges, peeled • 4 medium carrots, caps removed (around 2 cups) • 1 medium beet

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With juicer speed on high, juice beet and carrots. Switch to low and juice blood oranges. Drink fresh for best flavor and highest nutrient content. May be stored in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator up to one or two days.


e c i u J n e e r G n i a r t S / d Blen MAKES AROUND 2 CUPS • 1 cucumber, peeled and cubed • 6 romaine leaves • 8 mint leaves • 1 handful of spinach • 1 lime, peeled and seeded • 1 green apple, cored and chopped • 1 one-inch piece ginger, skin removed (optional) • 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend on high until well combined. Strain through nutmilk bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh sieve into container. Squeeze out remaining juice. Compost the pulp. Put lid on container and store in refrigerator until chilled. For best results, shake and drink same-day. May be stored in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator up to one or two days.

Carissa Dellicicchi was raised in the small farm town of Canterbury, Connecticut and grew up on on homemade recipes and veggies straight from the garden. In 2005, she opened the doors to The Stand’s original location in Norwalk. Catch Carissa at one of her cooking classes or pop-up vegan dinners. For more info visit her at thestandjuice.com. 

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STANDING OUT as a brand in the food and beverage industry today’s high-visibility culture presents a challenge for business owners. For Jeremy Staub, founder and owner of Box 8 Creative, Connecticut’s only niche food and beverage branding agency, it is a challenge happily accepted.

Founded in 2009, Box 8 has made its name helping Connecticut-based companies shape their identities. There’s no one too small or too big, and the creative group touts a list of clients ranging from single-owner food trucks to large restaurant groups. And although there are a variety of graphic designers in the state, only Box 8 has chosen to focus on creative work and branding for the food and beverage industry. The company’s founder and owner, Jeremy Staub, started out doing graphic design work for local law firms and real estate companies. The focus on restaurants began shortly

thereafter, when Jeremy started working with the Barteca restaurant group (which owns Bartaco and Barcelona) to clean up their design. As the chain of restaurants grew and chefs left to start their own food ventures, Jeremy was there to help them with their branding. In 2011, Box 8 began to grow, and now includes six full-time staff members and a rotating pack of office dogs. Box 8’s work goes well beyond logo and website design. They’re most passionate about opportunities to create comprehensive branding systems that capture the essence of a restaurant or product, while highlighting the characteristics that make them unique. For example, NoRA Cupcakes first approached the group about a new website, but after an initial research period and conversation, Box 8 helped them refine their entire visual identity. Their new logo features NoRA’s signature pink and black colors but also incorporates a marker like

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those used in online maps to pay visual homage to the fact that the company’s name is a reference to their location in Middletown. The group also designed the cheeky “Taste Bud Advisory” stickers stuck to the back of every cupcake box to add a cool, consistent visual feel. It’s small details like this that help fill in the big picture of who a company is, what makes them special, and, ultimately, why customers would want to engage with them.

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Focusing on this type of detail is important, as people are increasingly eating and buying based on visuals. Box 8 notes that 70 percent of people engage with a restaurant for the first time on their mobile devices, to view menus, see the food, and get a feel for the atmosphere. The right branding can even help to boost sales; after updating their packaging with Box 8, Canton’s Giv Coffee sold out of bags a year ahead of time.

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Increasingly, restaurateurs are eschewing the more traditional restaurant style details – the white tablecloths, candlelit tables, and cursive script menus – in favor of bolder, more experimental trends, like high-quality food photography and a large social media presence. “Operators are younger now and typically more daring,” Jeremy said. Box 8 is also seeing greater business from established restaurant groups looking for a makeover. To Box 8, crafting a modern brand identity that echoes a company’s past is just as welcome a challenge as starting from scratch.

“...THE CREATIVE GROUP TOUTS A LIST OF CLIENTS RANGING FROM SINGLE-OWNER FOOD TRUCKS TO LARGE RESTAURANT GROUPS...” “We want to take brands that have been around for 10 to 15 years and make them more like themselves,” Jeremy said. “The idea is to make the brand look timeless and minimalistic, clean, and classic.” Box 8 has expanded its range and scope as local clients grow to distribute their products nationally and internationally, and as the group has taken on more clients from outside Connecticut in markets like Boston, New York, and even Atlanta. When asked what is particularly special about the food scene here in Connecticut, the group expresses in resounding agreement that, if you want to see restaurants doing it right, now is the time and Connecticut is the place. Given the affluence of the state and its location between New York and Boston, the foodie culture in Connecticut has come to demonstrate the level of quality of either of the larger cities.

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Looking ahead, while restaurants and food trucks have been and will always be central to the Box 8 niche, the company has welcomed opportunities to widen their role in the food and beverage industry by taking on several productbased clients. The group has developed custom branding and packaging for distribution companies like Calabro Cheese, Whole Harmony, and Giv Coffee. Jeremy said the group looks forward to getting involved with a few of the industry’s rapidly expanding subsets, including breweries and distilleries. Regardless of who approaches Box 8 or what they sell, the most important thing to Jeremy and the group in taking on potential clients is the match. Their favorite past projects are those during which they had highly interactive and

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collaborative relationships with their clients. Box 8 also has a shared passion for the potential to positively impact the state, and the group appreciates the value that clients like Two Roads Brewery (Stratford) and Brewport (Bridgeport) provide, both as employers and as contributors to the local industry. While standing out is a principle goal in branding, one gets the sense when talking to Box 8 that we are all in this together. “We would call them our friends,” Jeremy said about the nature of their relationship with their eclectic and growing list of clients. “We get happy birthday texts,” added Sam Angermann, a member of the Box 8 creative team, as a point of pride.

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Behind the Pages

our contributors

Hilary Adorno was born and raised in Litchfield County, Connecticut. During the 90s she lived in the beautiful states of North Carolina and Colorado, but missed the charm and history only an original colony offers. Returning to Connecticut in 2000, she now resides in Lakeside, Connecticut, one of four “principal communities” in Morris – because only in Connecticut will you find a town with a population of 2300 subdivided into four parts. Winter Caplanson, our Editor in Chief, will be getting her hands dirty as an old barn on her farm is renovated to become a rustic food photography studio for Connecticut Food and Farm. Megan Collins is a novelist and poet who teaches creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Her novel, Persephone’s Sister, will be published by Touchstone/ Simon & Schuster next year. When not writing, reading, teaching, or editing, Megan is watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show and hanging out with her husband Marc and golden retriever Maisy. Alexander Fox is a selfproclaimed up & comer. Alexander writes creatively and manages a small business, Chalk Mercantile, on the Connecticut shoreline. Christopher Fox, a left handed introvert from Long Island, is a recent Illustration graduate from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, a college of the University of New Haven. He has a special love for film photography, therefore incorporates analog formats into his photosets. He spends much of his time painting, drawing, 156

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sculpting, and taking trips into New York to see gallery shows. He can be found on the weekends in city’s main streets photographing people going about their daily business with a 35mm camera. Gena Golas is thrilled to be back in the pastry kitchen after a brief but fun stint on the savory side. This spring she is anxiously awaiting local produce to use in her pastries, the return of her town’s farmers’ market, and for something (anything!) to emerge from her garden at home. Kaela Heaslip is a South Jersey transplant who now calls New Haven home. She is a communications professional who spends her free time traveling, eating all things cheese, and exploring new restaurants. Amy Holomakoff is a fledgling blogger. Her Instagram @theroadiechef has over 2,000 followers and tracks her many adventures in plant-based eating. When not in the kitchen, you can find her enjoying the spring air, riding her bike, or at a yoga class. Teresa Johnson helps couples, families and businesses to tell their stories through candid, colorful photographs. When she’s not telling stories with her camera, Teresa can be found at an archery competition...or spoiling her mischievous cats. Grey Kupiec was born and raised in the New Haven area. In addition to a steady diet of local craft beer, he maintains his health and figure with a strong commitment to Buffalo wings, tacos, and noodles. When not out enjoying the area’s growing food

and drink scene, Grey spends his time traveling, writing, playing music, and occasionally working at his communications job. Holly LaPrade is endlessly contemplating what she’d like to be when she grows up. Currently a marketing manager by day, a freelance writer by night, and a rare disease advocate all the hours in between; she also enjoys classic rock and treasures uniqueness in every aspect of life. Amelia Lord is a chef and cooking instructor. Farming is supposed to be in her blood but it may have skipped a generation. She manages to disguise her not-verygreen thumb from her houseplants, but they all figure it out...eventually. Follow her on Instagram @ameliatilord Brett A. Maddux is a poet from Hartford and creator of the Instagram series @dinersofconnecticut. His first poetry collection, regent, was released in 2016 by Silk House Publishing. He is currently at work on his second collection. He does not have a website but, if you would like to discuss art, poetry, life, death, or eating ice cream for breakfast, he encourages you to email him at brettamaddux@gmail.com. Lisa Nichols is a photographer/designer now living in the Hartford area. Lisa dips her toes into many facets of photography from publication to babies, food and restaurant, to personal projects studying segments of her environment. She also loves cats, naps, and coffee, not necessarily in that order. Please visit her Right Click Photo+Design to learn more.


cticut , Conne phic a r e Riv ’s gra Rita Farm Magazine ns sig d Food an retty much de o murder p , r ing t designe ile listen if that’s h w g in everyth and is not sure g or s in mysterie When not writ ly be found . ke g li terrifyin she can most and , da pop g o s in n h c ig s u e m d way too d. drinking ver her husban o g fawnin is an oski d music l y h S t an John od, restauran o r of the f l ia a r d cre to ed Donut edito n a … r e laz raph photog French Toast G ent way s u s o a e h sp ra and infam wich. H d n a came S n Baco ehind a ife in b e im t hef ’s kn ch too mu h time with a c him binge d ug not eno l most likely fin on an eating ’l r u o o Y s . u cio at’s hand gly Deli re in NYC. Wh sk? U g in h c u t ya n a wat e m v you g ad y in n k in in k r s d and aying and a e for st mbing, his recip ycling, rock cli ood measure. ,c rg Running sprinkled in fo s s yoga cla ies , Red Sk d his r e d Sny mplete Jake hy, recently co and spends his rap hy, Photog anograp hotographing e c O in Masters job hunting, p eer at a local e gb spare tim re, and pourin u t c archite y. brewer ts turn, though g earth ’s e n in a Sto awaken e, Laur spring, to the ap h s en in he during t to get the gard to sessions, ho ls and goa lient outdoor p ll around the c g e in hit ba plann a little w tions that this g in s a h and c aspira ason ugh” se rse. Her golf cou he “break-thro re mocked et na might b handicap dow olf course e h t m t ho e g to ge that her ne.” Hope t c a f e by th k at olly La d on “F ra’s wor is locate ernal! See Lau et .com. springs ography t o h p e n laurasto

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Connecticut Food & Farm Magazine, Spring 2018, Volume 12  
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