Oh March, the weather is ricocheting from -5 to 55 and back again. There is more snow coming, and even those not affected by SAD are beginning to feel light- and warmth- deprived. Really good fresh fruit and vegetables seem like a dream. It is late winter in the Northeast….
Mirroring my query last summer of when is midsummer, actually, same goes for midwinter…in my book of course it is midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which is right about now, 5th of February. But officially, midwinter is the winter solstice, go figure. It is also a key word in of one of my favorite carols, more proof that it happens around Christmas rather than a month and a half later as I prefer. Alas I am stubborn so for me, it will stay put where I have put it….
This is the life I picked, home to les collines small batch, locally sourced jelly & preserves, and to daily grace, writing and ruminations on the stuff of rural life in Columbia County, NY.
We are always happy to receive feedback on our creations, culinary or literary. Please visit the Contact page to connect. Hope to hear from you!
This is a post I intended to write many months ago– it was on a list of planned topics I sent to someone in November, with the parenthetical comment: non-political! That I finally got to writing it Inauguration weekend is a chance irony. But wow, what a weekend that was….
Hold on to those horses, we have a boatload of ground to cover. Because I never met a metaphor I didn’t like to mix.
Such a year, such an end of year….
October 2017, and les collines can be found in these amazing, local farm- and business- supporting markets in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
We are delighted to be sending les collines rive droite (of the Hudson) again, to the beautiful new Ella’s Mercantile in adorable Halcottsville, to lovely Historic Hudson way down south in Sleepy Hollow, and to Fishkill Farms, a beautiful spot with amazing produce run by the equally amazing Josh Morgenthau, our peer in the 2016-17 HVADC Farm to Food Business Accelerator program. Down in the big apple, find jars at Gather in Brooklyn, and over Massachusetts way at family-owned Domaney’s Fine Wines and at the Berkshire Co-op in Great Barrington, MA. Stay tuned for additions…
Distant shoppers in need of a jar may visit our online store to place an order!
bold indicates stores new in 2017
Adams Fairacre Farms, Newburgh
Bartlett House, Ghent
Bimi’s Cheese Shop, Chatham
Blueberry Hill Market Cafe, New Lebanon
Clove Kitchen Market, Red Hook
Copake-Hillsdale Farmers Market (seasonal, Saturdays May through October)
Ella’s Mercantile, Halcottsville
The Farmer’s Wife, Ancramdale and Millbrook
The Farm Store at Willow Brook, Millerton (seasonal, spring through fall)
Fishkill Farms, Fishkill
Hammertown, Pine Plains and Rhinebeck
Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Millerton
Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, Ghent
Herondale Farm Store, Ancramdale
Hillsdale General Store, Hillsdale
Historic Hudson Valley, Sleepy Hollow
Hudson Valley Farmers Daily Market at Greig Farm, Red Hook
Irving Farm Coffee, Millerton
Liberty Fresh Market, Amsterdam
Old Chatham Country Store, Old Chatham
Olde Hudson, Hudson
The Placid Baker, Troy
Taste NY Long Island Welcome Center, Dix Hills
Taste NY Market at Todd Hill, Lagrangeville
Two For the Pot, Brooklyn
The Jam Shop, Sharon
LaBonne’s Market, Salisbury
The Berkshire Co-op Market, Great Barrington
Bizalion’s Fine Food, Great Barrington
The Chef’s Shop, Great Barrington
Domaney’s, Great Barrington
Dory & Ginger, Pittsfield
Great Barrington Farmers Market, seasonal, May-October
Nejaime’s Wine Cellars, Lenox & Stockbridge
No. Six Depot, West Stockbridge
Pleasant and Main, Housatonic
Lucy’s Kitchen and Market, Princeton
Winter official two days ago, 5:44 a.m. the 21st. Though weather-wise it felt pretty well underway, with serious snow the Sunday before Thanksgiving and some real cold last week.
The local fruit now is all preserved in jars or awaits in the freezer to carry through a good part of the winter months. Sour cherries, Concord grapes, blackberries; rhubarb, strawberries, pears. And a good supply of local ginger will continue to contribute wholeheartedly to Chipped Pears, and soon our new Ginger Preserve.
Two days til Christmas and space to breath at last. Looking forward to writing in the Daily Grace mode soon. Til then, wishing all a good night xo
November’s moon is the beaver, and this year’s happened also to be the biggest supermoon since 1948. The beaver is also a sentimental favorite, near to our heart.
Here in Columbia County, some perfect clear skies to see this superduper moon, which was nice as it will be another few decades or so til we get one quite so close again. Though I didn’t get a photo, my favorite view was the morning before it was truly full, as it was setting in the hour before sunrise. On a cold, perfectly still and clear morning, it was indeed huge, simply gorgeous.
Though we are a few days into the waning moon now, this post has been about a week in the writing, as my head would end up on the keyboard more than above it. And the long lag since last I wrote….similar excuse…
We’ve been busy though, picking and preserving, tagging, selling, demoing. Cooking up quince, crabapples, pears, and ginger for some of the last best of the season’s flavors: Quince Preserve, Crabapple Jelly, Chipped Pears. No Quince Jelly this year, sorry to say, as the quince crop was all too limited, damaged in part by the same April cold that hurt the apple family.
New on the roster: Concord Grape Conserve: like our dense Concord Grape Preserve, but with the addition of walnuts and oranges. Chunky, sweet, citrusy, divine. Based on one of our old recipe cards, it’s a keeper.
In development, Ginger Preserve, a personal favorite, ready hopefully before Christmas. With the beautiful ginger we are lucky to have from Et Cetera Farm in Ghent, just up the road, we are fully inspired. We will keep you posted.
And in this season of giving thanks, we are grateful for the season’s harvest, for our farms and amazing farmers, for the beautiful fruit and supportive customers who make les collines as much a gesture of preserving love, as about the preserves themselves xo
The fruits of summer are ceding to those of fall: Concords are in, crabapples very soon, pears, quince, apples; all ripe or soon to be. Summer turned to autumn Thursday, following the preceding week’s beautiful harvest moon….
In music, though often referred to as embellishment or ornament, the grace note is a pause between notes that is important, even key to pacing the rest of the piece. It is like the pause for breath in a recitation, or the words you choose not to say, or those that get edited out. For me as a writer, the silence has always mattered as much as the words. Rather than a searching for words to fill the blank page, writing for me feels more like sculpting, where from a big block of language, I chip and shape….