The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project Celebration at Jimmy's No 43

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The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project is an effort to support food diversity and to revitalize a pumpkin’s reputation from the porch to the kitchen. Over a year ago, I collaborated with pioneer farmer Stephanie Gaylor and her partner, Cheryl Frey Richards of Invincible Summer Farms and Salt of the Earth Seeds, to start the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project that is championed by the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium (LIRSC), their not-for-profit that is dedicated to education, advocacy and research to foster and nurture local seed systems.

The mission of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project is to preserve, restore and bring culinary awareness of this local variety.

The project is made up of various food system shareholders or “Ambassadors”—such as chefs, growers, schools and eaters—who advocate for the dynamic use of this regional pumpkin across a broad spectrum of organizations to elevate this historical heirloom that has an incredible and versatile flavor for sweet, and yes, savory dishes.

Our official launch of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project was at the 2nd Annual Seed Swap in February of 2016, hosted by the LIRSC. Since then, due to the efforts and enthusiasm of the Ambassadors, the pumpkin is once again growing in popularity.

Some notable happenings:

Edible School Gardens planted the pumpkin at 25 schools. The Blue Point Brewing Company created a LI Cheese Pumpkin Beer, and Eat Local NY, partnered with Maya's Jams to create Jams and Syrups. Slow Food East End co-hosted a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Market Dinner at 18 Bay Restaurant that honored Susan and Myron Levine, and on Sunday, October 30th is co-hosting with the LIRSC, a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Barn Social Potluck at the Naugles Barn at Hallockville. (get your tickets here). Seed Breeders, like Ken Greene of Hudson Valley Seed Library partnered with Glynwood to grow out the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin for their Kitchen Cultivars that promotes biodiversity and food. Some chefs around the tri-state area are replacing acorn and butternut squash for the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Publications like Edible East End have written extensively about this original pie pumpkin. (you can read my most recent What's in Season article here) And some home gardeners from Long Island to France grew this historic regional pumpkin for its indelible qualities.

For those of you who missed the Slow Food East End, Market Dinner, or, are not available on October 30th to attend the Barn Social Potluck you are in luck.

We partnered with Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy's No. 43 in NYC, to celebrate the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project. See below for a description of the days events.

Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project Celebration

Join us for a three day celebration of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Saved from near extinction from local seed saver, breeder and botanist Ken Ettlinger, the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin has emerged once again as the region's top pie pumpkin.  Come learn the incredible story behind this amazing variety with distinguished guest panelists such as Amy Goldman Fowler, Ken Greene and Johanna Kolodny and Derek Diguglielmo. Sample dishes, desserts and beer all made from the pumpkin. Take part in a dessert competition or chef's cook-off.  Join us for a 5 course dinner by five NYC renowned chefs!

November 12

  • Salon, Tastings, Dessert Competition
  • 12pm - 3pm
  • $15

November 13

  • Chef's Cook-off
  • 12pm - 3pm
  • $20

November 14

Join us in the celebration! November 12-14, 2016 at Jimmy's No. 43 in NYC.  Your ticket purchase goes towards protecting regional varieties such as the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin for generations to come.

Tickets start at $15. if you buy all (3) days you get $10 off.  CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT BIODIVERSITY!

Out East Foodie's Top 10 Holiday Gifts from Long Island

We all can use some holiday cheer. Whaddaya say? To help ease your shopping woes for the pickiest and luckiest of folks, a holiday market in Bridgehampton and in Watermill has a plethora of edible and artisanal gifts that are sure to please. If you simply cannot peel yourself away from the cyber madness, visit Salt of the Earth Seed Company for that certain someone who has a green thumb, and if you received an incredible bonus this year (lucky you) and are looking to invest in something innovatively sweet, check out Sweet'tauk Lemonade. Oh, you want to whet your appetite for a special holiday meal? There is a list of imbibing reads that will have you chopping and supping. Have you been contemplating a chicken or egg share for a family member, maybe even a subscription to a community supported brewery for your beer loving friends? Yep, it's all there. These are just a few of my favorites to put you on your merry way. Let your local love shine, and support those who are the makers, the folks that enrich our souls with love and special care. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. Happy shopping!

  1. Salt of the Earth Seed Company: All heirloom seeds are grown on the North Fork of Long Island by farmer Stephanie Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms. She specializes in growing rare, and endangered vegetables that are on the verge of extinction. Anyone who has a green thumb and is dreaming about sunny days ahead will appreciate these open pollinated, NON-GMO seeds.
     
  2. Kerber's Farm: Is a stylish "hamptons style" farmstand, minus the Montauk Highway crawl, that was revitalized in 2013 by the Huntington native Nick Voulgaris III, who has fond memories visiting the farm as a child. They make their own jams, pies, and jars of honey from their own bees. Some of the items are offered in specialty gift baskets. There is even a homemade apple pie kit that includes a dish and all the ingredients packaged in a sustainable wooden crate. While you are at it, grab a few of their apple cider doughnuts for the ride home.

    Address: 309 West Pulaski Road, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: 631.423. 4400
     
  3. Sweet’tauk Lemonade: In 2012, Deborah Aiza, Founder and CEO of Sweet’tauk began making their premium lemonade in Montauk, NY and selling it at farmer’s markets and through their seasonal Montauk storefront. They built their initial following through self-distribution throughout the Hamptons, before successfully launching in Whole Foods Market Northeast Region and over one hundred independent markets in the NY metro area. Now, the next generation of lemonade, is raising growth capital on CircleUp, a leading online marketplace for private equity investing. Sweet’tauk lemonade is fresh squeezed, cold pressed, and never heated with less than half the sugar of other lemonades. It is the best lemonade I have ever tasted. And I am sure it will have sweet returns.

    Contact: Deborah Aiza   Phone: 631.668.5681  Email: deb@sweettauk.com   Web: www.sweettauk.com
     
  4. cHarissa: A Moroccan spice that is truly good on anything. This past June, cHarissa took first place in the “Cooking, Dipping or Finishing Sauce” category at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show and brought home the prestigious sofi Award. Earl Fultz at age 88, and his late wife, Gloria Elmaleh, started their business, cHarissa, to make and sell Gloria's Americanized version of the traditional Moroccan seasoning harissa. It truly is never to late to follow you dreams. Earl now 91 is spicing it up more than ever with—hot and mild—dry and oil based rubs that are available online and select retail stores.
     
  5. Edible Reads: Some of my favorite local folks who know a thing or two about food, wine, cocktails and heirloom vegetables.

    Long Island Food: A History from Family Farms & Oysters to Craft Spirits, by Tom Barrit, a prolific food blogger and Long Island native who serves up an eclectic bounty with a side of history that will entice appetites from Nassau to Montauk. He explores how immigrant families built a still thriving agricultural community, producing everything from crunchy pickles and hearty potatoes to succulent Long Island duckling. Experience the rise and fall of Long Islands bustling oyster industry and its reemergence today. And meet the modern-day pioneers in community agriculture, wine, cheese, fine dining and craft spirits who are reinventing Long Islands food landscape and shaping a delicious future.

    Behind the Bottle: The Rise of Wine on Long Islandby Eileen Duffy tells the story of Long Island wine from the people who made the region what it is today.  Long Island’s wine country draws 1.3 million visitors a year for their award winning and highly acclaimed wines. This book profiles owners, winemakers, and personalities from around the country and the world who make Long Island one of the hottest wine regions in the country. Eileen Duffy, Edible East End’s deputy editor, holds a diploma in wine and spirits from the International Wine Center and has been writing about food and wine on the East End since 2003. Anyone who is interested in Long Island wine should have a copy of this book.

    Forager's Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients, by Amy Zavatto is a handy guide to imbibing the great outdoors through 40 inspiring recipes that is divided into seasons. There are great tips on how to best forage and preserve berries, herbs, flowers and other tidbits along the way. Forager’s Cocktails is a great tool for getting the most from backyards, parks, and woodlands. Get ready to craft one-of-a-kind cocktails. Cheers!

    Heirloom Harvest: Modern Daguerreotypes of Historic Garden Treasures, by Amy Goldman grows heirloom fruits and vegetables—an orchard full of apples, pears, and peaches; plots of squash, melons, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and beets on a two hundred acres in Hudson Valley. She is a premier gardener with a strong focus on preserving our agricultural heritage and supporting biodiversity of beautiful and rare heirlooms.The images taken by photographer Jerry Spagnoli have a timeless beauty that is luminous. An inspiring book for anyone who appreciates the fragility and strength of nature. Would be a beautiful addition to a gardeners book collection.
     
  6. Edible Communities Publication: Edible Publications is in 80 distinct culinary regions throughout the United States and Canada. They connect consumers with family farmers, growers, chefs, and food artisans of all kinds. Locally, in the tri-state area we have Edible East End (I'm a contributor to the magazine and the columnist for What's in Season), Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan and Edible Long Island. Check out their 80 Edible Publications to subscribe to a local or favorite edible region near you.
     
  7. East End Holiday Markets: Locally handcrafted edibles, jewelry, soaps, pottery, arts and crafts.

    The Haygournd School Holiday Bazaar: Homegrown for the holidays, a food and craft bazaar that will feature:
    Backyard Brine, Browder's Birds, Bizzy Bee Designs, Chef Giovani, Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake, Danielle Leef Photography. Designs by the Sea, Diaspora Books, East End Light, Goodfood, Hamptons Handpoured, Jesus Chris if our King Church, j-lilli designs, Ketsy Knits, Lavender of the Hamptons, Le Fusion, Lois Ooliver Handmade Goods, Lora Lomuscio Ceramics, Marilee Foster Beans, Mary Jaffe Pottery, Michelle's Urban Gourmet, Nofo Crunch Granola, NYR Organic, Old School Favorites, Peaceful Planet Yoga, Rustic Ladybug, Sew Enthused Creations, Southampton Soap, Stars Café, Temptress Yarn.

    Address: Hayground School, 151 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton  When: December 5th, 10am-4pm

    Holiday Gift Show with Southampton Soap Company and Friends: Three days of handmade holiday shopping featuring local artisans. Southampton Soap will give back 10% of their sales to their favorite charity each day. Last year was a great mix of food and craft. A perfect time to stock up on some gorgeous soap for you and those on your list. Make for a beautiful smelling stocking stuffer.

    Address: 832 Scuttlehole Road, Water Mill, New York. Phone: 631.613.6041   When: Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 4-8pm; donation to the The Retreat; Saturday, Dec. 19 from 10-3pm; donation to Flying Point Foundation for Autism; and Tuesday, Dec. 22 from 4-8pm; donation to i-tri Girls.
     
  8. Patty's Berries and Bunches Pure Local Honey and Edible Pepper Wreaths. You can pick up some of Patty's honey from her hives as well as these clever holiday dried pepper wreaths. Once the holiday season is over use these dried peppers throughout the year in your cooking.

    Address: 410 Sound Avenue, Mattituck, NY.  Phone: 631.298.4679
     
  9. Community Supported Everything: By now, we are all familiar with a CSA (vegetable share), and in recent years an egg or poultry share, but what about a Community Supported Brewery? Yep! You heard it hear. If you buy all three share you have a perfect meal.

    Golden Earthworm Organic Farm: Their full-season program runs for 26 weeks from June through November, which is the range of the local growing season on Long Island. Produce is picked fresh from thier fields, washed, boxed up, and delivered to your designated pick-up location every week. The shares contain 6 to 10 items, depending on the season and availability. Certified 100% Organic.

    Address: 652 Peconic Bay Blvd Riverhead, NY 11901  Phone: 631.722.3302 
    Email:
    info@goldenearthworm.com

    Browder's Birds: The Browder’s Chickens are certified organic by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC. Their hens are fed certified organic laying rations and live on a certified organic pasture benefiting greatly from the ability to forage daily. They have a pretty snazzy outdoor pantry of their own brines, pickled eggs, duck eggs, Christmas quiche, mayo, golden honey and dry rubs.

    Chicken Share: Their Chicken share runs for 20 weeks for a full share & 10 weeks for a half share and guarantees you a chicken each Saturday during your share time frame. 

    Winter Egg Share: Receive 2-dozen organic eggs twice a month.  

    Gift Certificates: These can be used to purchase organic chickens, organic eggs, and other products in season. If you want to shop from the comfort of your home they are offering free shipping for that special someone. They ship to the lower 48 states only, all others should call Holly and Chris at: 631.599.3394 for shipping information.

    Address: 4050 Soundview Avenue, Mattituck, New York. Hours: Fridays 3 - 5pm, Saturday & Sundays, Noon - 5pm.

    Bigalice Brewing: For $125 here is what you get for their Community Supported Brewery (CSB)
    Two new, empty half-growler bottles (each bottle holds 32 ounces), Two half-growler fills each month for 6 months; choose from any beer on tap, A Big Alice Brewing tote bag, 10% off merchandise and First opportunity to purchase special bottle releases.

    Address: 808 43rd Rd, Long Island City, NY 11101   Phone: 347.688.2337   Hours: Wed-Thurs, 5-9pm; Friday 5-10pm; Saturday, Noon-10pm; Sunday, Noon-8pm

    Moustache Brewing Co: For $150 here is what you get for their Growler of the Month Club: One 64oz Moustache Brewing Co. amber growler, One fill per month for a year in said growler, $1 off additional fills, Free birthday pint, 10% off all merchandise, Other perks and offers.

    Address: 400 Hallett Ave Riverhead, NY, 11901, Hours: Friday, 3-7pm; Saturday, 1-6pm; Sunday, 1-5pm
     
  10. Tend Coffee I have to admit, I'm a coffee snob. And I'm sure many of you would proclaim the same; coffee time is sacred to me and it needs to be good, real good. My first sip of this java jolt was at the Westhampton Farmers Market. Their coffee subscriptions are perfect for those with a refined coffee bean palate. Each subscription is based on pound, bean and grind.

    Address: 924 Montauk Highway, Shirley NY, 11967   Phone: 631.772.4707   Email: info@tendcoffee.com
    Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 6am-8pm; Sunday, 7am-7pm