Thursday, September 19, 2013

Canning your own Crushed Tomato Sauce

Every fall something primal comes over me and I feel the need to can or ‘put up’ produce for the coming winter.  This likely goes back to visions of my paternal grandmother, a country girl from Ontario, who despite having strayed a long way from the country, nevertheless took it upon herself to can up a storm every September.   She made all kinds of pickles, but the one fresh vegetable that remains in my memory were her pints of Tomato Sauce.  To be honest, I never quite figured out how she used the Tomato Sauce.  We were as Anglo as you could get: even Spaghetti sauce was a novelty in our household and in hers, un-heard-of.  Perhaps Nana made tomato soup.  But she certainly never attempted a gumbo or anything remotely foreign.  Fast forward to my kitchen last weekend.  I was back in Nana country for a few hours and in my head danced visions of winter curries and pasta sauces and cioppinos.  And all it took was a little time and some glorious tomatoes from the farm stand down the road.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wild Mushroom and Sausage Hash with Poached Eggs

The 3 lb Gourmet Collection
is irresistible to Mushroom Lovers
All summer long, I’ve been working with Jane Maguire and John Quigley on their burgeoning Long Island Mushroom Inc. business.  The two have supplied restaurants that are at the very top of the Hamptons food chain.  And they’ve been at local farmers’ markets in Greenport and Shelter Island.  They’d be in more of these were it not for some of the restrictive policies that make farmers’ markets not nearly as competitive as they should be.  But never mind.  With products like their 3 lb. Gourmet Basket showcasing three varieties—Maitakes, Blue Oysters and Shiitakes—they’re going places.  If you’re a restauranteur, you’re in luck.  Given 24 hours notice, Long Island Mushroom Inc. promises delivery to any locale on the East End.  Just call 631 876 5401.  If you’re a consumer, they’ll be at the Farmers’ Market in Greenport and you can also find their offerings at Sang Lee Farm in Cutchogue, Garden of Eve in Riverhead, Country View Farm in Southold, and Schmitts Farm in Laurel.   I love their mushrooms and am constantly on the outlook for ways to serve them.  Today, I am going to share with you an ideal mushroom dish for Fall.   It’s a personal sacrifice too. Because once a recipe gets published here, that’s usually it for our house.  But in this case, I can’t imagine not making this again and again.