Monday, January 9, 2012

Be Still My Shocking Pink Heart...

The thing that worried almost more than anything else about my move north was "Where would I buy fresh, local food in the wintertime?"   I worry about food just about more than anything else.  Why?  You'd think I was starving to death.  Oy.  Far from it.   I'm just so accustomed to having an abundance of fresh, local food around me all the time - New York City person - and assiduous patron of the greenmarket network - that I was for so many years.   Hudson has an exceptionally good farmer's market which stays open until the week before Christmas and then closes until sometime in March.   But those dreary winter months.  What to do?????
Enter Michael Harris and Christopher Haupert of the knock-your-socks-off, ice cream shop, Lick at 253 Warren Street.   I've been patronizing Lick,  since it opened, whenever I'd come to Hudson for a visit.  Lick serves the most unusually flavored (personal favorite is chocolate halvah) - and classically flavored - ice cream, frozen yogurt, smoothies, and sundaes from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.   I digress.  Hurrying summer, when winter has yet to really materialize.   Well, Michael and Christoper have just opened an indoor version of the Hudson Farmer's Market at the hibernating Lick. Check out Lick The Market for a list of participating local farmers, products, days of operation, and hours. They have done the citizens of Hudson a great service with this market.   Not only does Lick provide a nice variety of food options but it's something like the Rialto - a place to meet your neighbors and hear the news of the week.

Lick's shocking pink interior provides the perfect backdrop for fresh produce and flowers.

Among the first customers to walk through Lick The Market on opening day were long-time Hudson residents, artists Tony Thompson and Margaret Saliske, pictured with Michael.

I followed them by a few minutes and purchased kale, smoked bacon, fresh ricotta, among other items.
I came home, tasted the ricotta from Maplebrook fine cheese, Bennington, Vermont, and fell madly in love.  Tangy, sweet and ultra creamy - this ricotta is made from the whey of very - VERY - happy cows.   To showcase its fabulousness  I ate it practically neat with just a drizzle of vincotto.  Vincotto, one of my go-to condiments, is a result of a long, slow cooking of grape must (freshly pressed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds and stems).   The ricotta was accompanied by kale cooked with chopped bacon, chopped garlic, minced hot pepper (I used Thai) in olive oil until tender.  I added a few splashes of water at 10 minute intervals to insure that the kale was cooked to the right consistency.  I finished it with a spritz of red wine vinegar.  Taste for salt and add as desired.

I can't wait to see what Lick The Market will have in its bins and cases at the end of this week.

SUSANSIMONSAYS:   When I returned from a few days Christmas holiday on Nantucket I made what is quite possibly my favorite, quick, wintertime dinner with a few things leftover from the December Hudson Farmer's Market.   I used two long-life products to make this dish.

Boil your choice of  waxy-fleshed potatoes - unpeeled - until mashable.  Meanwhile, saute thinly sliced Savoy cabbage in butter and olive oil, in a medium skillet, until tender.  Add dry white Vermouth, freshly ground white pepper, salt, and a few fennel seeds while cooking.  You may need to add some water to achieve just the right consistency for the cabbage.   Transfer the cooked potatoes to the cabbage and coarsely mash  them in with the back of a dinner fork.  Combine the vegetables and keep at low heat while you poach an egg.  Transfer the hot potatoes and cabbage to a warm serving bowl.  Top with poached egg, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and a few dots of Sriracha sauce.  Consume with pleasure.

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