Cayuga White – This is a crisp, fruity white that would be great with chicken or fish. I was quite impressed; the wine has a complexity that is interesting in the mouth. The tasting notes indicate grapefruit, melon and peach. I must admit I wasn’t able to discern any specific fruit, but the medley of flavors that balanced nicely, and in the end I find prefer wines that balance to those that have strong notes. The Cayuga was awarded a Bronze Medal in the 2008 International Eastern Wine Competition.
The current thinking in food and green living is eating locally. Locavores concentrate on eating foods that are grown within 100 miles of where you live. By doing this, we eliminate the possibilities of being effected by the kinds of food recalls that have been all too commonly lately. Why do you eliminate them? Well, all of our spinach wouldn’t come from ONE valley in California which might eliminate the chances of it ALL being contaminated by the same e-coli germs.
Another good point to this trend is that when your food is grown three hours away there is a higher chance of being at its peak freshness when it arrives at you table. Not to mention the decreased use of transportation and thus oil and gasoline. A substantial benefit when looking at the rising food costs in this country. So, yes! Eating locally is good for us all. But how close up do you want to see your food? We tested those ideas the other day when we ate locally here in the Hamptons.
Mecox Bay Dairy: Ultimately we were not at the dairy at all but at the farmstand next to it. We purchased a piece of the cheddar which was a pale golden and the Mecox Sunrise, a gorgeous triple cream that seemed quite camembert-like. We drove next to the pasture and we looked at the cows, calves and heifers (Jersey’s known for producing a rich milk). They looked very peaceful within view of the million dollar homes.
Iacono Fresh Poultry: Off the beaten path in East Hampton, they have been selling fresh eggs and poultry for generations. And we were there for the poultry. As fresh as you can get it. What did we get? Two chickens about 7 lbs total that were presented to us in the old fashioned way. They were brought to us, carried by their feet with their heads still attached and their throats obviously cut. I have never been presented my chicken like this before. And I am sad to say that I failed to get my chooks on film before they were transformed.
After our approval, they were taken to the back and with a few swift cuts were transformed into the same kind of poultry that I have come to expect. I even went out back and looked over yard where the chickens, mostly Rhode Island Reds, geese and ducks are hanging out. When they see us coming, they come closer to the fence hoping that we will give them a treat. This means that they are not stressing about their approaching doom in the way that your most ardent 11 year old vegetarian would describe to you (and YES, I have been told about it). In fact, the only animals that appear to want to bolt are the two goats on the property. Figure that out if you will.
Wolffer Vineyards: A regular stop for us when we come out the Hamptons. Why? Well, we are in their wine club for one. We stopped here to pick up 2 Reserve Chardonnays, 2 Pinot Gris, 2 Roses and a Verjus. The nice thing for budding locavores to remember is that there is mostly likely wine being produced near you as well. Every state in the Union has at least one winery. And that includes Alaska and Hawaii. So it turns out that there is no excuse for not drinking locally too. The tasting room was nicely appointed so that you can buy a bottle and take it out to the patio that looks out over the vineyard and enjoy the wine right there. Unfortunately, we could not linger! We had cooking to do.
Our choice? Simpler the better was the decision. So we decided to roast the chickens on the grill. I made a rub of paprika, thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper and sprinkled some inside the rinsed out cavity of my two birds. Also inside went half a lemon. The remainder of the rub was massaged onto the skin of the bird with a bit of olive oil to help it crisp.
To accompany the chicken, I prepared a risotto. Using the local asparagus of the household and by that I mean canned which while revolting did mix right into the risotto and really underscored the flavor of the rice’s special ingredient, the Sunrise cheese. We cut off some of the rind, but the rest melted right into the mixture.
The chickens came of the grill. They were superb. Probably the best tasting birds that I have ever eaten. Juicy, crispy and flavorful all at the same time, it was delicious. With our meal we drank some of the Chardonnay and Pinot Gris which set off the tastes perfectly and more than stood up to the rich flavors. The risotto was perfect with the chicken. The cheese was slightly tangier than the normal mixture of cream and parmesan that I would have used. But it was richer and creamier as well. The asparagus? It was there. That is all that I can say about it. My in-laws have traditionally felt that having asparagus in the house all the time was a classy thing to do. But unfortunately, their reliance on canned tends to gross our generation out.
And speaking of generations, the younger crowd was not enthusiastic in their love of this local eating thing. Lillith refused to step out of the car at the chicken farm. And Imelda was a bit freaked out. This carried over to the cooking and eating of the chicken as well. Ultimately they could NOT resist tasting the chicken because the smell was too delicious. Lillith, herself, acknowledged this. But I have to admit that my attempt at a joking with her, suggesting that she join PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) went over like a lead balloon. I guess she just felt a little guilty enjoying food that was LITERALLY running around this morning. Que sera.
I did assure her that the chicken would be used as much as possible. And that like Kosher and Halal butchers, I thanked the birds for their sacrifice. This seemed to help her. And she knows that I will keep my word. The carcasses have been saved. I will make my father-in-law chicken soup from them before I go. Maybe I will even use my mother-in-laws pressure cooker to do so. Cross your fingers that I don’t blow up the kitchen with it.
First, let me say that finding a store in
I was recently referred to a county-run wine store in Sliver Spring, simply known as, the “Montgomery County Liquor” store on
I opened the bottle and poured myself a glass to let it breathe. It was disconcerting when a white foam formed on the top of the poured wine, which can be seen in the attached photo. The first sip was difficult, but I find that is true for most wines. I brought out some cheese, took a bite, and then tried the wine again. The difference was remarkable. The wine tasted much lighter and drier. I found the wine dry (which I like) and the taste “quick” while eating something. Later, while drinking the wine alone, there was a longer aftertaste which was borderline sharp, but I believe typical for a red table wine such as this. It was not an unpleasant aftertaste. I finished the wine the next day and enjoyed it. The taste remained dry and quick, which (again) I like. I will buy this wine again (unless the FDA posts a warning about foaming wines from near the