I just returned from a family vacation, as many of us do this time of year. Mine was up in the lovely yet tiny town of Poultney Vermont, which is home to Lake St. Catherine. My family has been visiting this lake since 1956, when my mother started sleep-away camp up there at the age of 9. A love affair was born and 55 years and two generations later, we are still dedicated visitors.
Being in a rural area like Rutland County is always a breath of fresh air for a city dweller. Every couple of miles or so you pass by one of those little farm stands that sells organic veggies that were grown right behind it. Drive about five minutes away from your cabin and if you look carefully, you will find a small cardboard sign that leads the way up the side of a hill to a small farm where you can buy freshly lain eggs. And when I say fresh, I mean fresher than any NYC lifer can imagine. We actually go into the hen house and remove the eggs from underneath the chickens! Pay? It’s the honor system. For each dozen, you stick two bucks into the tin can sitting on the counter at the entrance. How many of you can say that you’ve ever had to wash an egg before you cracked it open?
Opportunities like this really make me appreciate the importance of the CSA. For city dwellers, a “fresh” egg really could mean a lot of things. You really have no way of knowing how recently lain the eggs are. In fact, did you know that uncooked eggs never go bad if uncracked? And they don’t need to be refrigerated either! In Vermont, within a five-mile radius, you can find locally grown and freshly picked eggs, blueberries, wine and a variety of CSA favorites. Here, on the other hand, the nearest farm is at least 20 miles away in Suffolk County.
I always had this idea that each zip code in New York City should be required to have a community-run farm. I think it would be a great way to make the city a little more self-sustaining, increase neighborly bonds and sense of community, and give city dwellers an opportunity to have some really local produce. Of course, I know this is just a pipe dream and the amount of red tape involved is endless. Oh well, at least the Forest Hills Farmers’ Market is well underway!
In any case, because of this lovely vacation I took, I was unable to pick up my shares last week so my sister did in my stead. I thought she would be willing to share one of the recipes she used with her adopted vegetables and fruits with all of us so here she is:
In continuing the tradition of being a miniature (even though I’m taller) version of Benni, I will write a guest blog post about a delightful bread loaf that I made this morning, using fruit from my sister’s co-op share.
I call the bread I made this morning my Summer-to-Fall Bread of Smiles. The base of this bread is actually a secret family recipe – another thing that is not my own, but that I will artfully expand upon and pass off as original. It is my cousin Mickey’s AMAZING banana bread recipe, sassed up with some hazelnut extract, nutmeg, peaches and nectarines!
I do not, and never have, claimed to be a food photographer.
1 cup sugar