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….
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….
Late spring 2017, and les collines can now 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 soon-to-open 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 Farm to Food Business Accelerator Program. Jars can also now be found at Domaney’s Fine Wines in Great Barrington, MA. Stay tuned for additions…
Distant shoppers in need of a jar may visit our online store to place an order!
Adams Fairacre Farms, Newburgh
Bartlett House, Ghent
Bimi’s Cheese Shop, Chatham
Blueberry Hill Market Cafe, New Lebanon
Catskill Farmers Market, Catskill (seasonal, Fridays 4-7 pm May through October)
Clove Kitchen Market, Red Hook
Copake-Hillsdale Farmers Market (seasonal, Saturdays May through October)
Ella’s Mercantile, Halcottsville opening July
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
Lock E-13 Living History Park, Fultonville (a Taste NY store)
Millerton Farmers Market, Millerton (seasonal, Saturdays May through October)
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
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
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Great Barrington and now in Pittsfield!
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….
This summer of spectacular weather continues. It’s been a little dry here, but not like western New York where there are some extreme drought conditions. Here in eastern NY it has seemed like a near-endless necklace of perfect days and cooler nights, with just enough heat to make it summer, and a bit of high humidity here and there….
Our use of midsummer is not correct, but feels right: halfway between the solstice of June and the equinox of September. That’s what always made sense to me. Why would midsummer be at the beginning of the summer season? It is in fact astronomical midsummer, the longest day mid-way between spring and fall. Still, I like my way….
A few weeks ago I was awakened before dawn by screaming smoke detectors. Like literally, they are the photoelectric kind that emit screeching beeps with a voice intoning “FireFireFire” in a way that makes you both want to run the hell away and take a baseball bat to them as you leave. They do the trick: no way are you going to sleep through….
Late spring 2017, and here is the latest for the fruits and flavors of les collines— please scroll down to the flavors for individual updates.
If you are really hankering for a flavor listed as sold out til… mailing or calling us or calling a store or two may find you a few jars!
For all our flavors, the fruits that go into those round jars– as well as being incredibly delicious– are very locally sourced, and picked at the height of ripeness.
We are committed not only to sourcing from our simply amazing small local farms and orchards for our star ingredient, fruit, but we also source local businesses here in the beautiful Hudson Valley and Taconics of eastern New York and Berkshire County in Massachusetts for our supporting cast as well. Teas (Harney & Sons, Millerton), all-natural pectin, organic sugar, vanilla beans (Guido’s in the Berkshires and Hawthorne Valley Farm, Ghent), pure cane sugar (Ginsberg’s, Hudson) to name a few. For fruit that must come from outside the Northeast, like Meyer lemons and our other citrus, we work with the wonderful, family-owned Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington. Our jars are American made, our labels and tags as well, and they are printed by local printers; help with design, when it exceeds our limited talents (!) comes from local artists.
Small batch is just that. Big pots on the stove that we stir by hand, measure by hand, jars that we fill and seal by hand. As often as not we have picked the fruit ourselves, and if quantities exceed immediate preserving capacity, into the freezer to hold. For jelly, we extract juice either by hanging the fruit in muslin bags, or steaming.
We have online ordering!!! Please link here to our very simple, very functional site– but stay on this page for information about flavors!!
In May 2016, we introduced our new size, the 13-ounce Mason jar. The 8-ounce globe now has a square-shoulder big brother as well as the much-loved adorable 2-serving, 1 2/3 ounce sampler. Our customers, stockists, and we are loving this lineup! The wider-mouth Masons offer the distinct advantage of allowing for a larger spoon!!
Stay tuned for variations…if a fruit does not harvest well in a given season, another may be up to bat. For example, sadly summer 2015’s gooseberry crop was sparse, leaving us with too few jars of that beauty of a tart jelly…but, plum stepped in to pinch hit and became a star in its own right.
Crabapple Jelly – the little fruit that launched les collines…a perfect blend of the sweet-tart of autumn, this jelly is a classic for roast pork or duck or game hen glaze—my favorite on hot buttered (lots of butter!!) toast!—or with an aged Gouda or Brie for bright canapés. An edible jewel, to brighten shortening days.
Cider Sage Jelly – handfuls of les collines fresh sage are simmered into a deep infusion, then mixed with local apple cider and a splash of fresh lemon juice. We love it with our Thanksgiving turkey—on the plate or on a sandwich of leftovers!—also great to glaze & serve with roast chicken or pork, alongside grilled sausage, with cheese or of course on your morning toast or scone! Awesome in a cheddar grilled cheese, with a strip or two of applewood smoked bacon, of course.
Quince Preserve – this preserve is based on cotignac d’Orléans, a specialty of the French city that is similar to Spanish membrillo. The quince are cooked whole, milled, then cooked again and brightened with fresh lemon juice & zest. A gorgeous pumpkin color, it is a classic paired with Manchego cheese, a perfect trio with very thin sliced Serrano ham. Delicious with most all cheeses and meats; my Spinone Nocci loves it by the spoonful!!
2016: all gone
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Jelly – tart deliciousness! Meyer lemons, limes, and big sprigs of les collines fresh rosemary simmer together a good while for this jelly. A sure antidote to the winter blues and whatever ails you, its sunny citrusness with a note of piney rosemary is wonderful with chèvre—with roast or grilled lamb, poultry, duck, or pork—as a glaze for cedar plank salmon, a blueberry tart or Key lime pie—
Rhubarb Jelly – so pink, so pure, so good on hot buttered toast. The tart rhubarb flavor shines, and the guava color is a welcome salve to the eyes, especially in winter. Try with a soft-ripened goat cheese like Humboldt Fog, or a Stilton or Rocquefort, or alongside cold roast pork—but my favorite is to use for the best jelly donuts ever!!! Perfect sweet-tart taste of spring. 2017: not this year
Rhubarb Preserve with Vanilla Bean & Earl Grey – strong Earl Grey tea infusion with lots of fresh rhubarb and scraped Bourbon vanilla pods is perfetto on an afternoon scone with tea, to marinate and serve with pork tenderloin, as a sauce over ice cream—or as many say, direct from the jar…
2017: back in stock!!
Strawberry Preserve with Lapsang Suochong – one of our favorites– June’s best, with an intriguing smoky note from Lapsang Suochong tea, an ancient Chinese black tea whose leaves are smoke-dried over pine fires. Exquisite on vanilla ice cream or on pound cake with crème fraîche; pair with a sheep or a goat milk cheese like Humboldt Fog.
Sour Cherry Preserve – jewels of June, sweet-tart cherry pie in a jar! To serve with roast duck or goose, stir into crème fraîche to serve on lemon pound cake, make a classic pb&j—or of course just by the spoonful. Wonderful with many cheeses– try with a goat Gouda like Cypress Grove’s Midnight Moon. A beloved classic.
Gooseberry Jelly – this berry stands alone and has thorns to prove it!! In the currant family, gooseberries look like tiny Japanese lanterns (see a photo here). Their tartness is a perfect foil for shortcrust tarts and pairs beautifully with any nut butter. Try with Comté—or with a goat cheddar and pistachios—lovely as a glaze for cheesecake—
2017: expected by mid-late July
Black Raspberry Preserve – an oft-forgot berry. This preserve is rich with a zing of lemon and divine with a bit of brie in puff pastry, on a seared duck breast, or over buckwheat pancakes. Or spoon on fresh grilled peaches topped with vanilla ice cream for a fresh Melba.
2017: expected by mid July
Plum Jelly – we have been using two varieties of this sweet-tart stone fruit of high summer, red and Shiro. Shiro plums are a gorgeous sunny yellow but their juice, and jelly, is a pale blush color. In any shade plum jelly is just swell with your favorite nut butter, or stirred into Greek yogurt. Try with some fresh ricotta—or another young fresh cheese—and toasted almonds.
2017: possibly by end July
Black & Blue Preserve – From the heart of summer, the darkest gems– blueberries, blackberries, and black raspberries, or trois noirs as one francophone friend calls it– join forces for an intensely flavored and dense preserve. Like 3-berry pie, but more so…to pair with mascarpone or other soft fresh cheese– with sorbet and grilled fruit– and of course direct from the jar! My favorite is with fresh ricotta for breakfast, perfetto.
2017: expected August
Blackberry Jelly – a deep jewel from the cusp of August. The big seeds of this big berry are set aside and all the fruit essence retained in this dense, dark jelly. Perfect on a buttered English muffin—in a sauce for roast pork, or alongside a grilled steak—with mascarpone, amaretti & grilled peaches or toasted pound cake & vanilla ice cream—
2017: expected August
Concord Grape Preserve – Concord grape, need I say more? Fresh-off-the-vine Concords are simmered and milled to preserve more fruit and the quintessential flavor of early autumn and childhood that’s unlike any other. The classic for pb&j is also a revelation to the sophisticated palate—try with a blue cheese, or warm and drizzle on a duck breast or pork tenderloin.
2017: 2016 nearly gone
Scots Bitter – for the serious bitter marmalade lover. Hand-cut Seville oranges are long-simmered and finished with Laphroaig 10-year Single Malt for a peaty, smoky note. Wonderful on buttered anything, in a marinade or glaze, on a nut butter sandwich, or simply, straight up!
2017: In! Extremely limited.
Chipped Pears – beautiful local pears & ginger– ginger now being grown locally in the Hudson Valley, Taconics and Berkshires– plus whole lemons become a preserve-marmalade with a kick. Try as a dip for grilled shrimp, or to glaze kebobs; try with a strong cheese like Époisses, or stir into a sweet potato purée.
2017: sold out; some available at Guido’s Great Barrington
Quince Jelly – fragrant quince from the Berkshires and Columbia County. We simmer & strain these difficult but rewarding beauties for this special, lovely-hued jelly. Perfect to glaze chicken, or foie gras; serve with roast poultry or lamb. Try with chèvre & pears, or mascarpone & Marcona almonds.
2016: unavailable– preserve only this year
Heirloom Tomato Butter – Part jam, part magic, an old recipe card provided the inspiration for this not a butter at all glorious preserve that captures the essence of heirloom tomatoes. Slow, slow, slow simmered down with brown sugar and apple cider vinegar til it is a little like heirloom candy. With steak, on burgers, in mayo for your BLT, a ray of August year-round.
2017: expected early July
Hot Pepper Jelly – Long asked for, finally here, an irresistible blend of bell, sweet, and jalapeño peppers simmered with white vinegar and pure cane sugar. Southern style to serve over cream cheese, Northern style over chèvre, either way for a lively apéritif. Beautiful with roasts and cold meats, perfect on a cheese board. Mmmhmmm!! 2017: 2016 is nearly gone
Concord Grape Conserve – Take the amazing flavor of our Concord Grape Preserve and add the brightness of whole organic oranges along with the meaty crunch of walnuts, and you have this delicious conserve. Serve at breakfast, as a snack out of the jar, alongside cold meats or on a cheese board: this conserve goes everywhere and with its bright citrus notes feels especially satisfying in the cold winter months. Sold out
Ginger Preserve – Sweet-fiery, locally grown ginger is the star of this very special, limited edition ginger lovers’ preserve. In yogurt, with cheese, in stir fry, swirl into vanilla ice cream. A spoonful will cure whatever ails you xo
Available spring 2017
Onion Confit – As the French would say, miam! Onions super slow cook with herbs, aromatics and just enough brown sugar. With burgers, steaks, roasts, sandwiches, on cheese plates, this irresistible confit is just heavenly and will be a natural partner for our Heirloom Tomato Butter.
2017: expected August; Masons only
Lavender Jelly – If Provence were a jelly, this would be it. On buttered toast, to sandwich shortbreads, with chèvre rolled in herbes de Provence, with roast or grilled chicken or lamb, to glaze panna cotta. Made with culinary lavender from Lavenlair Farm in Whitehall, NY, this jelly is not to miss.
2017: In, and beautiful
les collines sources from
Don Baker Farm, Hudson • The Berry Farm, Chatham • Et Cetera Farm, Ghent • les collines, Craryville • Common Hands Farm, Ghent • Et Cetera Farm, Ghent • Greig Farm, Red Hook Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Millerton • Hawk Dance Farm, Hillsdale • Hawthorne Valley Farm, Ghent • Hilltop Orchards, Richmond, MA • Little Apple Farm, Hillsdale • Love Apple Farm, Ghent • Montgomery Place Orchards, Red Hook • Migliorelli Farm, Tivoli • Samascott Orchards, Kinderhook • Thompson-Finch Farm, Ancram • Tousey Farm, Clermont •
Yonderview Farm, Copake
For a printable list of all the flavors and tasting notes: