Yankee Skillet Cornbread

This is a job for your grandmother’s cast-iron frying pan! Talk to a southern cook about cornbread, and a New Englander like me may well end up in a verbal disagreement over two aspects: the addition of flour and the addition of sugar. The southern cook will probably tell you that neither has a place…

Fall Farm Market Finds

So many wonderful vegetables! I tried three new (to me) winter squashes this season, two modern and one really ancient. You never know what you’ll find at the farmers market these days. Our farmers are stretching the limits of what one would expect to find in a cold northern climate. But we now have reliable…

Forbidden Rice with Wild Spring Vegetables

 Ramps and fiddleheads join with the first asparagus to create a delicious dish using black forbidden rice. Wild ramps and fiddleheads have made their spring debut in Southern Vermont and at least one of them finds its way to our dinner plates most nights. Whether a simple sauté or soup, or a component in a…

Marinated Grilled Spring Ramps

The Northeast woods offer many treasures in early spring, and ramps are always at the top of my list! These wild members of the onion family, Allium tricoccum, might find their way into a soup. Or, perhaps they’ll dress up a pot of risotto, or liven a stir-fry. Almost every use is enhanced with a quick…

Fiddleheads, Vidalia Onions, and Baby Potatoes

They are only here for a short while, so seek them out now! Our farm stand opened with lots of glorious spring flowers and a nice bounty of fiddlehead ferns! After prepping them, I decided to use the little fiddleheads with baby potatoes and Vidalia onions, which are also in season, although not grown here…

May Day and Fiddlehead Ferns

Welcome May! It poured most of the day, so no May Pole or Morris Dancers this year, although we often celebrate the day even in the rain if its a gentle one! Sometimes we get lucky and May Day is a beautiful sunny day –– not always! May still happens. The rain this week is…

VT. Cranberry Beans with Blistered Tomatoes and Clams

Let’s feast on the end of summer! I spotted an orange tree in Vermont the other day, and that signals some remarkable bargains at the farmers markets! We’ve had a few days of dry, crisp air and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a few trees have started to color. While I always…

Not quite your mother’s Succotash

It’s so much fun to cook this time of year! The farm stand dictates supper, and it’s always good! It’s not surprising that many traditional New England dishes use corn, beans, potatoes, squash, peppers, and tomatoes. These were all gifts of the New World, foods that the First Americans cultivated and enjoyed for thousands of…

New England jonnycakes: traditional, yet ready for the party!

In New England, these little flatbreads have a long history from the indigenous population to today’s dressed-up tables. In New England, these little cornmeal pancakes are called jonnycakes (no “h”), sometimes jonny cakes, two words; in the south, they may be referred to as journey cakes or hoe cakes. They are also known as ashcake,…

New England Lobster Stew

There are certain sacred dishes in New England, and many of them revolve around Maine lobsters. We try to make several trips to the shore each year, and often vacation in Maine. We find that the holiday is punctuated with various lobsters along the way, always at our favorite stands and restaurants. Planning the meals…

Baked Salmon with Ramps & Lemon

Simple additions let the flavor of the salmon shine through! We eat a lot of salmon dishes in our house, and this is one of the easiest and most flavorful. The full flavor of the salmon shines through, with the wild leeks and lemons adding their own unique accents. Another bonus is that it is…

Marinated Spring Vegetables

You can use either fiddleheads or asparagus, ramps or scallions. These spring treasures will add a pleasant freshness to any meal! When local wild spring vegetables are bountiful, we look for every way possible to use them. Fiddleheads make only the briefest of appearances in our Northern woods, but when they start poking their little…

Spring Foragers Supper

Celebrate early spring with the New England’s signature delicacies of fiddleheads, dandelions, ramps, and mushrooms, in two mid-week meals. The season of foraging has begun. Fiddleheads are everywhere, dandelion greens are decorating the lawn, wild onions are poking their heads up, and any day now, the reclusive morel mushrooms will arrive. In the garden, large…

Pan Fried Trout

Native trout brings flavor to the spring plate Nothing says spring to me more than the beginning of trout fishing season in Vermont, and we’re almost there, April 13 to be exact. Once the ice melts, and everything loosens up, it’s time to get your license, clean the poles, and plot your next expedition, even…

Sautéed Watercress & Asparagus with Miso

Watercress is far more than just a garnish on the side of the plate, it’s a superfood! We crave fresh, new greens in the spring, just-picked treasures that name their own season and make us feel good. Asparagus season is one of our favorites, right along with fiddlehead and ramp seasons. But although it grows…

Smelts with Lemon & Capers

Yes, these little New England natives have a funny name, and they don’t look like much more than a mouthful, but these mid-winter natives remain popular. Rainbow smelts are a saltwater fish that, like salmon, spawn in fresh water tributaries, particularly on the Maine coast. These little gems are an extremely popular target of ice…