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I found this great cranberry-quince chutney recipe which would be perfect to spice up your Thanksgiving feast. It was published in Food and Wine Magazine's November issue and I’ve already made it twice. These are the two minor changes I made: Because I couldn’t find fresh or frozen whole cranberries, I used the dried sweetened variety and only added ½ cup. The other addition I would recommend is to add cayenne (or red) pepper to give it a nice little kick. If you can’t find quinces, substitute more apples. Click on the link and adapt it as you see like:

QUINCE-CRANBERRY CHUTNEY, adapted from Food and Wine magazine

Ø      Apples for quinces if you can’t find quinces
Ø      Sweetened dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries
Ø      Add cayenne pepper according to taste


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The following cheese producers will have open houses at their farms:
  • Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery
  • Northland Sheep Dairy
  • Side Hill Acres
  • Sunset View Creamery
  • Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese
  • Cowlick Farms
  • Lively Run Goat Farm
  • Muranda Cheese Company
A Benefit to support Share Our Strength: Operation Frontline
Tuesday October 13th at the Carriage Toni House
1330 Danby Road
Ithaca, NewYork 14850   
Tuesday October 27th at La Tourelle Resort and Spa
Thursday November 12th at Celebrations
$75 per person or $185 per person if you sign up for all three
Sunday October 25th 2:30-5:30 At the Women’s Community Building
Admission: $5 per person
  • Meet farmers
  • Learn about the farms
  • Taste Samples
  • Purchase Meat
  • Recipes and Demonstrations
Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County at 607-272-2292
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U-PICKS (and also grapes and raspberries)
     Ithaca is apple heaven.   We do have the greatest apples here. My favorite apple source is BLACK DIAMOND FARM. They sell their apples at the Ithaca Farmers market.  And have a great web site showcasing each variety.  Every year I look forward to September and October when this farm sells their rare and heirloom varieties. The tiny treasures called Chestnut Crab are a perfect blend of crisp, flavorful and sweet. They also have other favorites with names you’ve never heard of like Engremont Russet. They have samples at the Farmers Market and if you haven’t yet visited their booth I would recommend you go and check them out. Nowhere else on earth can some of these varieties be found (at least nowhere that I know of) and these are apples that have a short shelf life so they can’t easily be transported and sold elsewhere. You need to get these babies locally!!!
 APPLES is one of the truly great wonders of Ithaca. We have Indian Creek and Little Tree Orchards where small trees are perfect for harvesting. It’s a great family activity. You can also harvest the “drops” and use them to make cider. The cider in Ithaca is also terrific. Cornell Orchards has the best in my opinion.  
New York State is the second largest producer of Apples in the United States: Washington State being number one. Cornell University has been a leading research institution in the development of new apple varieties. The Cortland apple was named at Cornell in 1915, The Macoun was named in 1923. The Empire apple, a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh was developed in 1966. Libertywas developed in 1978 and Jonagold, a hybrid between Jonathans and Golden Delicious was named at Cornell in 1968.

U-PICKS Available NOW
345 Shaffer Rd.
Newfield, NY 14867
Apples, pears, raspberries
1408 Trumansburg Rd. (Rt. 96)
Ithaca, NY 14850
Apples, tomatoes
Silver Queen Farm
5386 Stillwell Rd.
Trumansburg, NY14886
1104 Auburn Rd.
Groton, NY 13073
20 varieties of apples
1347 Goose St.
Locke, NY
Apples (many varieties)
Davis Farms
5260 Peach Orchard Point
Hector, NY 14841
Apples, grapes
(U-pick is on State Rt. 414 near the intersection of Peach Orchard Pt.)
Glendale Farm
4590 State Route 414
Burdett, NY 14818
Organic Concord and Catawba grapes
Hoffmire Farms
6515 State Route 227
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Reisinger’s Apple Country
2750 Apple La.
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Apples, raspberries
Twin Oaks Farms
5557 State Route 414
Hector, NY 14841
Apples, Concord grapes (last weekend 10/3-4),
Wagner Farms
1678 County Road 137
Valois, NY 14841
Concord and Niagra grapes,
2673 Sand Hill Rd.
Penn Yan, NY 14527
5876 State Route 14
Dundee, NY 14837
Apples, grapes (table and juice)

The following recipe was passed out a few years ago by Jackie Sherwin of Black Diamond Farm.  I adapted the original recipe which was from the cookbook: An Apple Harvest-Recipes and Orchard Lore, by Frank Browning and Sharon Silva
4-5 tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried apricots chopped
1 cup golden raisins
6-7 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
2 tsp. grated and peeled fresh ginger
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cider or red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
In a non-reactive pot (not aluminum or iron) combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, stirring often.  Add more vinegar if necessary to prevent burning.  Cook for about 30 minutes until the apples are softened and the mixture is thickened.  Taste and add more salt, sugar or vinegar if necessary. 
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Spoon into sterile jars and cover tightly.  Refrigerate for several days and up to two weeks to allow flavors to mellow.  This chutney can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 months.
 We have several trees of tasty apples that don’t look that great since they haven’t been sprayed.  They are perfect for making applesauce and this is one of the easiest ways to turn lots of apples into a delicious dessert. 
Core your apples (I use about 4 pounds in a 12 cup slow cooker) and cut them into large chunks.  Quartering them works for smallish apples.  Add add 1/2 cup water or apple cider and some honey and cinnamon.  Thats all.  Just turn it on to high and wait about 3 hours.  Check and see if the apples are soft and cooked down.  If not, keep cooking them and check again.  Taste for flavor and add more sugar or cinnamon as needed.  Then let cool and put the apples through a food mill. 


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This recipe is adapted from a Gourmet recipe (September 1998).  It is beautiful and uses cherry tomatoes,garlic and basil, several crops that are prolific right now.  The changes I made were to cut out the stick of butter from the custard filling, add  more basil and also add some roasted garlic that is all pureed together in a food processor with the egg and goat cheese.  I also subsituted no-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.  This is elegant and really delicious.  It can also be eaten at room temperature or heated up.



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FOOD AND WINE magazine has a wonderful corn pudding recipe that I tried tonight. It’s a “keeper”. I cut down on the butter; actually I just left it out.  And instead of 6 eggs, I used 4 because I wanted more corn flavor.  The corn is so sweet and tasty now…it’s the perfect time to try this recipe.  The cornmeal settles on the bottom so that it serves as a crust.  I loaded up with sweet Mayan onions. If you want a more elegant presentation try using muffin tins or what I did which was quite simple was to use a small cup as a cookie cutter and carved out single portions.  The picture shows this single portion presentation using chervil as a garnish.
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I  love home grown cucumbers.  There is absolutely no relation to the tasteless varieties you find most of the year in the supermarkets.  These are a Chinese variety called Suyo Long. They are crunchy, flavorful and sweet  with tiny seeds. We bought the seeds from Johnny's Seed Catalogue.  

  This is the first year our cucumbers plants  haven't been gobbled up by the rabbits and woodchucks or blighted by one of the many diseases that attack cucumbers.  So now we are in cucumber heaven.  The best thing to do with these is to eat them sliced with a little salt.   Here are some of the simple and great things I do with cucumbers when I want to do something a little more exotic.



Stay simple with cucumbers and don't salt them until the last minute.  This Greek preparation combines small cubes of cucumber and the same size cubes of good quality Feta cheese and chopped dill.  Right before serving add the salt and toss with a really good olive oil.

Tomato and cucumber salad

This preparation is Middle Eastern.  This is the salad eaten in Arab and Israeli families because where you can eat amazing cucumbers and tomatoes most of the year. This salad is great stuffed into a pita with hummus and tahini. I  make this salad with small cubes of tomato and cucumber, salt and finished with olive oil again.  But in the Middle East you'll see this salad with lots of parsley and scallion and lemon juice.  When you have perfect tomatoes and cucumbers for only a couple months around here, I want to enjoy them unadorned.

Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

 Remember Kayuga Japanese Restaurant on Eddy Street?  We were frequent flyers there and I liked their miso dip so much that I asked for the recipe.  I was rewarded with a little piece of paper on which was written the ingredients but not the quantities.  In the true spirit of intuitive  cooking I'll also pass along the basic ingredients and method and then leave it up to the reader to concoct their own version.  Start with 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of mirin.  Boil together until reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Turn off the heat and add miso a little at a time starting with a heaping tablespoon.  The trick to miso is not to boil it.  I use white miso in this recipe, but you can experiment with different types of miso.  You'll want the consistency to be like ketchup.  It will thicken once cooled.  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a few shakes of roasted sesame seeds.  Then taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar.  This lasts for several days in the fridge. 

Miso can be found in many grocery stores.  Greenstar has it in bulk in the back of their store so you can buy small quantities  and  experiment with different types of miso.  Wegmans has tubs of miso in the cooler section which also containes seitan and tofu.

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August 15th was Julia Child’s Birthday. On the eve of her birthday I enjoyed the movie Julie and Julia based on her life in Paris and the beginning of her cooking career. Meryl Streep was phenomenal as Julia Child. It didn’t take me long to allow Meryl to be Julia…she did such a convincing job. I went to the movie to be inspired to cook some of Julia’s recipes in honor of her birthday. 
Like many of us die-hard foodies who are in our 50s or older, Julia was a major inspiration. I have most of her cookbooks and found two recipes to make yesterday for our Julia birthday celebration. The cake was from her “The French Chef Cookbook”, based on the 119 programs in her first television series. It is called Le Marquis au Chocolat. I used a different glaze and filled it with raspberry jam and it was quite delicious. I also substituted bittersweet for the semi-sweet chocolate.  And I recommend checking after 25 minutes, because 30 minutes of baking time was a little too long in my oven.
The other recipe was from her “Julia Child and More Company” cookbook. Normally I don’t give recipes another look when they require more than ¼ cup or so of heavy cream. But in order to do justice to our Julia I knew that I needed to set aside my prejudices and my health for a day in order to make her Mousse of Scallops and Flounder layered with watercress and salmon which I must honestly confide requires two cups of heavy cream. 
I didn’t skimp on the cream but I made a couple minor changes. I used 1 ½ pounds of scallops and ½ pound of flounder instead of the reverse. I also used regular salmon rather than smoked salmon because I didn’t want the fresh fish flavor to be overshadowed by the smoky flavor of the salmon. The very ingredient in this recipe is bread crumbs.  They soak up the liquid coming from the fish and keep all the flavor in the terrine. 
 I served it cold because yesterday was really hot. And I made a sorrel cream sauce with a little dry white vermouth, lemon and some yellow beets to give it some sweetness. I garnished the plate with a few watercress leaves.

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Purity Ice-Cream is an Ithaca institution. It’s been around longer than most of us …since 1936. I remember when the “Uni-Deli” on the corner of College Ave and Dryden Road served Purity Ice-Cream. When I was in “over-the-top” studying mode as a Cornell student in the 70s, the best reward for a good night’s work was a Purity mocha chip Sunday with hot fudge sauce. The best!!! I also love Mandigan Mint. They have all sorts of great flavors like The Finger Lakes Tourist: White chocolate chunks with hazelnut pieces in chocolate ice-cream. Everyone of course has their favorite but I recommend venturing out of your comfort zone to try something new. Purity also has great homemade muffins.  Expect a line on hot summer days and early evenings after soccer games or softball games at Cass Park. 
There are other great spots for ice-cream, sorbet or gelato if you venture out a bit. On Cayuga Lake in Interlaken you’ll find Cayuga Lake Creamery. This is a small Mom and Pop operation that makes all their ice-cream and sorbets on the premises.   Jeff Kostick and Judy Gonroff offer at least 36 flavors. One of my favorites is Gianduia: chocolate hazelnut ice-cream. They also make a great tiramisu and wonderful pistachio ice-cream. 
Jeff and Judymake excellent use of the Cayuga Lake wines by pairing them with fruit to make unusual and excellent sorbets.   Some of the flavors you might find are: Americana Vineyards Barn Raising Red Dark Cherry Sorbet, Americana Vineyards Sweet Rosie Strawberry Sorbet, Buttonwood Grove Winery Riesling Orange Sorbet, Buttonwood Grove Winery Blackberry Briar Blackberry Sorbet, Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery Solo Peach Sorbet, Cobblestone Farm Winery Merlot Dark Cherry Sorbet, Goose Watch Winery Strawberry Splendor Strawberry Sorbet, Montezuma Winery Cranberry Bog Orange Sorbet. Sheldrake Point Vineyard Summer Blush Chocolate Ice Cream or  Trelevan Merlot Raspberry Sorbet.
 I also recommend their homemade waffle cones.  
Skyland Farm and Gallery
One of the hidden gems of the Finger Lakes is Skyland Farm and Gallery in Burdett NY, 7 miles North of Watkins Glen on Seneca Lake. You must visit this incredible place. First of all, set in a beautiful barn and built around an oak tree, this store is filled with crafts from over 300 artists including many local crafts people. Every craft imaginable is represented here from hook rugs, to metal sculptures, stain glass, and specially crafted broomsticks. It really is more like a museum except that many of the crafts are very reasonably priced. You can savor the wonderful view of Seneca Lake as you lounge in the porch swings or on the comfortable couches spread out on the shady deck or the front garden. The landscaping is unique and really needs to be seen first hand to be appreciated. 

View from Skyland Farm and Gallerly


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Berries are ripe for picking!

From top clockwise are mulberries, black currants, raspberries and gooseberries.

U-Pick Raspberries at: 


 Indian Creek Farm

Who: Alan Leornard and Stephen Cummins
Where: 1408 Trumansburg Road (1/2 mile past hospital
Phone: 273-9544, 592-2801 and 227-6147 I


Silver Queen Farm
Who: Gordy & Liz Gallup
Where: 5286 Stillwell Road, Trumansburg
Phone: 387-6502


Grisamore Farms
Who: Mary Ann Grisamore
Where: Goose Street Road, Locke
Phone: 315-497-1347
Web site:
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Sorrel is a perennial herb that has been used for centuries for cooking in Europe. I grew up eating sorrel soup that my mother prepared if she could find anyone growing sorrel. Now you can find plants at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and also at Early Bird Farm on Elmira Road in Ithaca. You just plant it and that’s it. The leaves provide a wonderful base for this sour tasting soup. The next year you find a more established plant yielding as many leaves as you’ll need. Here is the basic recipe for SORREL SOUP:
½ lb sorrel leaves, washed
2 Tbs. butter
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup ½ and ½
  1. Fry onion in soup pot until lightly browned and soft, set aside
  2. Melt butter and add sorrel leaves and stir them around until they are brown and wilted.
  3. Add broth and potato and cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
  4. Place in blender with onions and blend until a smooth consistency
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Reheat and add ½ and ½

Serves 4-6


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