A small, storefront restaurant and take-out operation offering a fresh take on the iconic Central New York fish fry is earning positive word-of-mouth and bringing diners to Solvay.
A reader of my food stories in the Syracuse New Times reached out to sing the praises of Basil Thai Cuisine restaurant in Phoenix, Oswego County, and suggest I check it out. That was more than a year ago. I heard more enthusiastic reviews and made a mental note to check it out when out that way. But I'm rarely out that way.
Maple Pecan Refrigerator Cookies
I've probably killed a tall tree or two over the years, printing out recipes from favorite websites like Epicurious, Food52, the Food Network, etc. I've also been socking away pages of recipes clipped from magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Cook's Illustrated, Real Simple and others.
Until recently, I kept all these recipes in a big, fat, three-inch thick heap, stuffed inside an old Cook's Illustrated magazine until the magazine came apart. Then one day, I could no longer stand it. I pulled the recipes out, went through them one by one and downsized the pile to make it more manageable. Bye-bye recipe for cassoulet. I might order cassoulet at a restaurant, but clearly I'm never going to make it. So long, recipe for dark chocolate chunk sea salt cookies. We've got enough cookie recipes to carry us through the afterlife.
It's fall, but I'm conflicted. I don't want to plunge headlong into braising and roasting and soups, stews and slow cooker meals because we'll be eating them for many months to come. So as long as there are still tomatoes at the market, I'll have one foot in summer and one in fall.
Fall is here. September has been summer-like, but darkness comes sooner each day. The evening air is cool and leaves are slowly starting to change color. Farm crops are being harvested and roadside stands are aglow with the red and orange of apples and pumpkins.
The Central New York calendar is full of all sorts of fairs and festivals and other events to celebrate fall. Here are three events coming up this weekend that are sure to please local food enthusiasts.
Family friendly brunch – and a walk in the woods
Pancake breakfast meets Sunday brunch -- with a French accent -- when Baltimore Woods Nature Center, Marcellus, hosts its first Homegrown Community Brunch on Sunday (Oct. 4). The event takes the place of the EnvIRONmental Chef autumn fundraiser of past years. That event is on hiatus, according to marketing coordinator Stacy Drake, but could return another year. The goal this year was to offer a fundraiser that draws families.
Guests will enjoy French-style waffles and frittata prepared by chef Joelle Mollinger, of Joelle’s French Bistro, Skaneateles. Other locally sourced menu items include pancakes, sausage, apples and apple cider, coffee and milk. Children attending the brunch can order the Miss Hiss Secret Special, a menu item inspired by Baltimore Woods’ resident pine snake. Food producers donating goods and ingredients to the menu include Simple Roast Coffee, Kriemhild Dairy, New Hope Mills and Byrne Dairy.
After breakfast: Get outside and enjoy the autumn splendor. Baltimore Woods is home to more than six miles of trails that encompass woods, meadows, streambeds, ponds and scenic overlooks. Proceeds from the event will support educational programs at the nature center.
Time: Two seatings, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 10 a.m. to noon Sunday (Oct. 4)
Place: Baltimore Woods Nature Center, 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus
Tickets: $9 for adults, $6 for children ages 5-12; kids four and under eat free. Purchase tickets in advance at www.baltimorewoods.org. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door.
Autumn Barn Party with local (and Philadelphia) flavor
Cazenovia native Jen Capozzi, a self-described “baker, herbalist and hostess,” returns to Central New York on Saturday (Oct. 3) to celebrate the harvest at an Autumn Barn Party hosted by Greyrock Farm.
Capozzi owns and operates Barlume Apothecary, a kitchen and storefront in South Philadelphia where she cooks up events and hosts private dining events. She is collaborating with local producer Food & Ferments on the barn party, which will feature craft cocktails, savory and sweet small plates and music. Food & Ferments is owned by Carly and Dave Dougherty, of Truxton. They produce fermented foods (sauerkrauts, kimchi, kombuchas, beet kvass and other products) for sale at the Central New York Regional Market, Cazenovia Farmers Market and other locations.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and horse-drawn tours of Greyrock Farm, a year-round, full-diet CSA. Capozzi’s menu for the evening is vegetarian and gluten free. Expect savory plates like kobucha squash-ginger risotto topped with fennel pesto, cider butternut squash soup with sage millet sweet bread and rosemary roasted portobello mushrooms, with arugula, lentils and Food & Ferments beet kvass-balsamic dressing. Capozzi’s twist on s’mores for the evening’s bonfire will include homemade rosehip marshmallows, black cumin dark chocolate truffles and pistachio shortbread cookies.
Time: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3
Place: Greyrock Farm, 6100 E. Lake Road, Cazenovia
Tickets: $65, must be purchased in advance. Tickets will not be available at the door. Purchase tickets online at http://www.barlumeapothecary.com/
Open house at Mighty Whimp – the Stazzone Family Farm
On Saturday (Oct. 3) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mighty Whimp – the Stazzone Family Farm, will hold its second annual “Whimpfest.’’ That’s an open house, where visitors can sample goat milk (12 p.m.), goat cheese (1 p.m.) and goat milk ice cream (2 p.m.). Other items produced on the farm, including eggs and goats milk personal care products, will be available for sale.
Mighty Whimp - the Stazzone Family Farm is owned and operated by Daniel Stazzone and Raymond Trumble-Stazzone. Guests are invited to explore the farm property and visit the goats, lambs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and llamas.
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 3); rain date Sunday, (Oct. 4)
Place: 36 Pine Tree Road, Hastings, 13076
RSVP: If you plan on attending the open house, email Daniel and Raymond at firstname.lastname@example.org
You love goats. You love how they bleat as they greet you. You love how frisky and friendly and sometimes naughty they are. They nibble the buttons on your shirt and climb all over you and your car and clamor for your attention.
One of the things I miss the most about working downtown is the Downtown Syracuse Farmers Market. I've been trying to get there for more than a month now, but relentless rain on Tuesdays has kept me away.