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 Foodies Top 10 Holiday Gifts From The East to West

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Are you inundated with holiday cyber blasts from the usual? If you stroll down Main Street in Riverhead, a holiday market and gift boutique of edibles and handmade gifts from local artisans are sure to please. In Bridgehampton, Almond restaurant is cooking up a special meal to support a charity and the Topping Rose House is hosting a holiday market with over 50 vendors who will be showing off their edibles and crafts. If you simply cannot peel yourself away from the computer visit Salt of the Earth Seed Company for that certain someone who is a seed saver with a green thumb. Or perhaps some edible reads on wine, food and homegrown cooking to whet your appetite. Have you been contemplating a chicken or egg share for your family? Browder's Birds has it. Or maybe even a Christmas Stollen for a friend who has a sweet tooth; both forks are baking up this German specialty. 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. East End Holiday Markets: Locally handcrafted presents showcasing edibles, jewelry, soaps, pottery, arts and crafts.

    Topping Rose House Holiday Market: On Saturday, December 20th from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, 50 local vendors will be selling beautiful holiday gifts. Show-off your local holiday spirit by tweeting @ToppingRose and #TRHFarmersMarket. On the 3rd Saturday of each month through May they will be hosting an annual Farmer’s Market.

    Address: 1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY. Phone: 631.537.0870 

    Happy Holidays Gift Boutique: Tuesday, December 16th from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Local vendors: Southampton Soap Company, All Natural Bath & Body, Designs by the Sea Jewelry, Backyard BrineBizzy Bee DesignsTemptressYarnHamptons Mermaid CompanyMary Jaffee Pottery, Bonac FarmsValentines FarmLorna's Nuts & GoodiesLulu KnitsDanielle Leef photography.
    Door prizes, refreshments and lots of good, old-fashioned holiday spirit. 

    Address: 832 Scuttlehole Road, Water Mill, New York. Phone: 631.613.6041

    Riverhead Farmer's Market: Every Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. On February 1st, the indoor market opened its doors at the 8,000-square-foot old Swezey's Department store downtown in Riverhead. Hundreds of eager attendees piled in weekend after weekend elbowing their way to vendors. They quickly outgrew the space and moved a few doors down to an even bigger venue for more vendors and shoppers. 

    Address: 221 Main Street Riverhead, New York.

    East End Arts: Holiday Gift Boutique: East End Arts is a multi-award winning 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization serving the five East End towns of Long Island since 1972. East End Arts is committed to building and enriching community through the arts by way of education, support, advocacy and inspiration. At the holiday gift boutique you will find artful gifts made by local artists who are members of EEA. Members receive a 15% discount on all purchases. Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sunday Noon – 4:00 p.m. Closed Monday. Open until December 23, 2014. 

    Address: East End Arts Gallery, 133 East Main Street, Riverhead NY

  2. Almond Christmas Eve: 13th Annual Suckling Pig Roast: Would you prefer eating a suckling pig on Christmas Eve instead of The Feast of the Seven Fishes? For 13 years, Almond restaurant has been getting their hands on a few pigs from some local farmers. Chef Jason Weiner, roasts the pig in a hearth oven, carves them and serves with a couple of winter sides. A portion of the proceeds from the evening goes to the Pajama Program that gives pajamas to less fortunate children. They will also have an à la carte menu available. Call for reservations: 631.537.5665

    Address: One Ocean Road, Bridgehampton New York

  3. Edible Reads: Some of my favorite local folks who know a thing or two about food, wine and cooking homegrown:

    What the Fork are You Eating, by Stefanie Sacks is about what’s hidden in your food, an action plan with 50 time-tested recipes and how small changes in your food choices can make big everyday differences for your health. Stefanie Sacks MS, CNS, CDN is a Culinary Nutritionist, author, radio show host for Stirring the Pot on Hamptons NPR, educator, speaker and consultant. Sacks has been studying food and healing for 25 years, has her Masters of Science in nutrition from Columbia University, is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and is a graduate of Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. 

    I like Pig, by Jimmy Carbone, the owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 and producer of Pig Island, New York City’s definitive annual pork fest, teamed with James Beard Award winning cookbook author Rachel Wharton to create a cookbook (e-book) full of porcine goodness. Every year dozens of chefs come together and celebrate the agricultural bounty of the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) at Pig Island. I Like Pig serves up some of the most popular recipes from the first four years of Pig Island.

    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. The book will be co-published with the Edible magazines group which includes Edible East End, Edible Manhattan, and Edible Brooklyn magazines, all of which will promote the book. Pre-order your book now for the release date of April 2015.

    The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook, by Leeann Lavin features local food, local restaurants and local recipes. This book takes the reader on a private tour of outstanding chefs & artisanal growers of the Hamptons & Long Island. Great book for a cookbook collector or lover of the Hamptons and Long Island food scene.

  4. Christmas Stollen: During Christmas time fruitcakes of all shapes and sizes turn up, especially the American version that weighs a ton and is re-gifted more than any edible gift in history; I happen to like this version. The German fruitcake, Christmas Stollen, is made with dried fruits, nuts, spices and covered in lots of butter and sugar. This version I love and pretty sure you will devour it with all your bite.

    On the North Fork
    Junda’s Pastry offers plenty of holiday specialties and is known for their strudels and stollen.

    Address: 1612 Main Road, Jamesport, NY 11947. Phone: 631.722.4657

    On the South Fork 
    Krieg's Bakery 
    has been baking for the South Fork since 1985. Every Sunday my father would buy a bag of donuts; my favorite was the donut dipped in chocolate and filled with vanilla cream. They also make cookies, pies, cakes, danishes, fruit tarts, bread, gingerbread houses and their renowned holiday stollen, that is made with butter, nuts, green and red cherries, sweet pineapple, black and white raisins, almond marzipan and rum. You can get the top dusted with powdered sugar or leave plain.

    Address: 39 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays NY. Phone: 631.728.6524

  5. Balsam Farms Gift Baskets: Hundreds of different vegetables are grown in fields between Amagansett and Sagaponack. They offer beautiful baskets filled with their own jarred goods and locally sourced specialty items. Your choice of 6 jars (3 large and 3 small) of Balsam Farms products packaged in a farm basket. You can customize your basket by adding: additional Balsam Farms jarred goods, Balsam Farms Trucker Hat, Balsam Farms T-shirt, Balsam Farms Gift Cards, Amagansett Sea Salts and Bee's Needs Honey Products. Phone: 631.316.8784

  6. Long Island Beer Tours: Long Island's craft beer has award-winning breweries, festivals dedicated to the hops, and an active and impressive homebrewing community. Take in all the sights and flavors with a tour and tasting. There is sure to be a Long Island brewery to suit your tastes. Phone: 631.913.3817.

  7. 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. I am a huge supporter of Stephanie. She specializes in growing rare, and endangered heirloom vegetables, herbs, flowers, and has over 350 varieties of tomatoes; she is the tomato whisperer. Anyone who has a green thumb and is dreaming about sunny days ahead will appreciate these open pollinated, NON-GMO seeds.

  8. 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. Last time I was there they offered farm boots and some wool socks.

    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 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday & Sundays Noon – 5:00 p.m.

  9. 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 contribute to the magazine and write a column for What's in Season), Edible BrooklynEdible Manhattan and Edible Long Island. Check out their 80 Edible Publications to subscribe to a local or favorite edible region near you.

  10. Valley Wine Merchants Wine Club: Out East Foodie went west to Oregon this summer and visited with Andrew Turner, the proprietor of Valley Wine Merchants. He is a renowned chef and connoisseur of the best wines of the Willamette Valley and beyond. I am hoping in the near future East will meet West and Valley Wine Merchants will offer Long Island Wines. In the meantime, if you have a sweet spot for West Coast and International wines like myself, the custom wine club that caters to collectors, novices and wine enthusiasts may be for you. As a member you receive 15% off all retail prices automatically. You can read about Andrew in the Oregon Wine Press and The Oregon Wine Country Travel.

    Address: 112 S College Street, Newberg Oregon. Phone: 503.538.5388

 

 

 

Out East Foodie's Top 10 Holiday Gifts from Montauk to New York City

The holiday season is in full swing from the Montauk Lighthouse to New York City's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. If Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't do it for you, this list may gleefully send you on your way to complete your holiday shopping. There is an array of gifts that is sure to feed the stomach and soul with a lot of local love and care. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and happy shopping!

Photography by James Slezak. To purchase this print and other works by James please visit: www.jamesslezakphotography.com

  1. A Love Shared: How does 12 signature sauces by the Long Island Culinary Collaborative chefs sound? And all proceeds of this limited collection of 100 gift boxes go to the ALS research and quality of life care for people with ALS. This was motivated by Chef Gerry Hayden of the North Fork Table & Inn who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. A Love Shared is a collaborative effort to raise awareness about ALS, to promote research for ALS and to raise money for quality of life care for needy ALS patients. 

    Here is what's in the box: 

    Lia Fallon — Mediterranean Fig Chutney / Claudia Fleming — Passionfruit Caramel / Terry Harwood — Ginger & White Soy Mignonette / Gerry Hayden — Red Pepper Jimmy Jam / Keith Luce — Duck Wing Sauce / Sam McClendon — Salsa Verde / Michael Meehan — Pickled Corn Relish / Christian Mir — Ginger Vinaigrette / Joe Realmuto — Townline Hot BBQ Sauce / Guy Reuge — Piccalilli / John Ross — Wild Beach Plum Sauce / Tom Schaudel — Thai Red Curry Broth

    I lost an uncle to this disease and thought this was an amazing effort and gift by the The Long Island Culinary Collaborative chefs as well as Jeri Woodhouse, of a Taste of the North Fork who made the chefs signature sauces. For multiple orders or to personalize your gift contact Jeri Woodhouse at 631.834.1816. Orders can also be picked up at Taste of the North Fork, 53975 Main Road, Southold, NY.
     
  2. A Taste of the North ForkThis is a perfect segue to Jeri Woodhouse of A Taste of the North Fork who for more than 10 years has been making local ingredient-sourced chutneys, jams, mustards, pickles, preserves, sauces, spices and vinegars from her own recipes. Her gift baskets are perfect for the holidays for that special someone who really wants a taste of the North Fork. Visit: 53975 Main Road, Southold, NY. Phone: 631.734.6100.

  3. Sweet’tauk handmade for the holidays fair: Do not let the size of this shop fool you as there are a plethora of magnificent handmade East End products from local artists, artisans and makers. I left there with a bag full of goodies, a one-stop-shop sure to please anyone on your list. Participants include: 41 Degrees North, Amagansett Sea Salt, Billy Wolf K-9 Coatery, Bob Golden Ceramics, Bonac Bees,  Dana Forbes Jewelry, Deborah Frasca, Ditch Ink, East End Fish Prints, Evonne, Glenn Glasser, Grant Monahan Photography, Gula Gula Empanadas, Jane’s Garden Pickles, Joe & Liza's Ice Cream, The Knot House, Laura Michaels Jewelry, Lazy Point Pottery, Let There Be Light, Lorna's Nuts, Made in Montauk, Michelle Minkoff, Miss Amy's Preserves, Miss Lady Root Beer (I used their root beer to poach pears and paired it with Joe & Liza’s Cinnamon Stick and Vanilla Ice cream, delicious!), Montauk Brewing Company, Montauk Community Garden, My Art Is My Temple, Quail Hill Farm Cookbooks and Hot Sauces (all proceeds of sales go to Quail Hill Farm), Red Hook Lobster Pound, Southampton Soap Company, Tauk Boards, Whalebone Creative and Sweet‘tauk’s all-natural lemonade infusions made with locally sourced fruit & herbs. You can grab a taste of their products during the holiday fair on Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm until December 23rd. Location: 34 South Etna Ave, Montauk, NY, Phone: 631.668.5683
     
  4. North Fork Long Island Wine Club: There is nothing better than Long Island Wine Country delivered to your doorstep! I have sampled my share of these wines at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks and the Harvest East End and if you are not local or rather imbibe from the comfort of your own home this is a great way to sample Long Island Wines. The North Fork Wine Club is the only wine club that exclusively ships Long Island Wine from most North Fork and Hamptons Wineries each month. Visit their website to subscribe. Cheers!
     
  5. Jimmy’s No. 43: Anyone who is a foodie at heart loves Jimmy’s No. 43 for it’s craft beer and Slow Food approved locavore haven. But the man behind this establishment—Jimmy Carbone—I love more because his spirit to educate and support locally-sourced food and well-crafted beer is unwavering. He wears many hats and is co-chair for Taste of Tribeca, special adviser for The New Amsterdam Market and for Greenmarkets GrowNYC, co-founder of Hungry Filmmakers, co-creator of The Good Beer Seal and the host of Beer Sessions on Heritage Radio. I always say all roads lead to Jimmy Carbone and if there is a time to go to Jimmy’s No. 43 and visit with the man himself, it is now! Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and in particular Jimmy’s No. 43 pretty bad. Jimmy is looking for a few guardian angels to help Jimmy (Stewart) with “It’s a Wonderful Life” rally and fundraiser. This will run until December 15th and all you have to do is purchase a gift certificate to enjoy great beer. For every gift certificate of $25 or more that you purchase between now and December 15th, your name will be entered into their Rare Bottle Raffle. And they’ll keep adding your name for every $25 you spend (so if you purchase two $25 or one $50 gift certificate, you’ll get two entries; spend $100 and get four entries, and so on). Winners will be notified the week of December 16th (just in time to share with friends and family). Their gift certificates never expire, are transferable—they make great gifts—and can be spent on food and drink all year long. And if you want to support them at a Patron level ($500+) you’ll be invited to special events and receive extra benefits in 2014!  Visit for Some holiday cheer: 43 East 7th St. btw 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Phone: 212.982.3006. Website: jimmysno43.com

     
  6. Farm 2 Kitchen Long Island: Is focused on being the easiest and most convenient way for fresh, local products from Long Island's farmers & artisans to end up in your home. Simply sign-up for free and order at your leisure when you want to receive your farm fresh, artisanal groceries. They serve all 5 boroughs of New York City and Long Island and offer a full range of produce from conventional to 100% hormone, antibiotic pesticide & GMO free products. Besides giving yourself the gift of a free subscription for groceries you can order corporate & personal gift baskets for the holidays. They deliver to offices and homes across Long Island & NYC. Phone 631.223.8854 
     
  7.  Farmigo: Is a People Powered Farmers Market. So what is that exactly? They connect communities of people (workplaces, community centers, schools and other locations), directly to multiple local farms, providing a personalized online marketplace for local, fresh-from-harvest food as well as dairy, pastured eggs, cheese, fish and meat. Members in each food community shop at their dedicated Farmigo farmers market online, pick and choose their preferred items, and then have their orders delivered weekly to their food community site—Farmigo Champions—within 48 hours of harvest. They currently work with over 300 farms in 25 states across the United States. In the tri-state area they are in Long Island, Brooklyn, Harlem and North Jersey. The difference between this and a door-to-door delivery is the community aspect. They recreate farmers market communities where people come together with food as the connection— at the weekly community pick ups— run by Farmigo Champions. Members come together to chat about all things food and to simply connect about life. They are actively building Farmigo Communities across California and New York and are seeking individuals who are interested. This holiday season and for the days to come give the gift of Farmigo to your family and community.  
     
  8. 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, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan and the newest publication on the block, Edible Long Island where they are running a special Edible subscription of 2-for-1. Check out their 80 Edible Publications to subscribe to a local or favorite edible region near you.
       
  9. Ms. Michelle’s Urban Gourmet: When I met Michelle and Christopher it was at the Great Chef’s Dinner and they were one week away from being married. They are a dedicated Gluten Free Organic Bakery Café serving natural, healthy, organic, locally sourced, 100% gluten and soy free, all the time! For the past 3 years they have been growing leaps and bounds and are looking to relocate to a new space and a new grown up name, Ms. Michelle’s Gourmand. It is no surprise as their pastries, pies, cakes, smoothies, breads, tarts, wedding cakes and savory menu are absolutely delicious and would satisfy any gluten fanatic. This holiday season have Ms. Michelle’s cater your next gluten free party from sweet to savory or consider donating to their kick-starter campaign for their newly expanded space (you might get a treat in the offering).  Visit: 572 Middle Road Bayport, NY 11705,  Times: Tuesday - Saturday: 8am - 6pm Sunday 8am - 3pm Phone: 631.472.2524, Visit them on Facebook.
     
  10. North Shore Animal League: Adopting an animal is one of the greatest gifts of all. When Chris and I adopted our girl Trixie it was one of the best moments of our lives. December 5 through Saturday, December 7, over 70 participating Americana Manhasset and Wheatley Plaza stores will donate 25% of designated pre-tax purchases to the participating organization(s) of the customer’s choice. Purchases are not automatically eligible; you must register for a complimentary CHAMPION CARD. Simply designate North Shore Animal League America as your charity of choice and present your CHAMPION CARD when making purchases during the event. 25% will be automatically calculated and submitted to North Shore Animal League America. For more information visit championsforcharity.org or call 800.818.6767. To adopt or make a donation. If you are not in the tri-state area consider contacting your local animal shelter as there are so many animals who need a loving home.