With the first crocuses behind us and the passing of mud season, our thoughts turn to warmer weather. In the bar as in the wardrobe, it’s time to pivot from the heavier items that sate in the cold months to spring and summer’s lighter offerings.
Jessica B. Harris
There’s no conspiracy or anything – in fact, people will be happy to tell you if you ask. It’s just that some of the best food on the Vineyard is hidden. You need to find the back door, or the side door, or the dirt driveway with no sign. Timing is everything, too. If you want Back Door Donuts or Chilmark Chocolates or armfuls of wild watercress and bucketfuls of mussels, you need to know what hour, what day, and what season to go hunting for them.
You are what you eat. But new evidence shows you may also be the product of how you eat. In the new book Home for Dinner (AMACOM, $16), author Anne K. Fishel makes the case for putting mealtime back at the center of family life. And while there are plenty of recipes provided, this isn’t just about nutrition.
Beetlebung, Mocha Mott’s, Espresso Love, and the Keurig machine at Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank keep the Island well caffeinated with an array of coffee ranging from Arabica to mocha/java. But it’s tea – not coffee – that has a longstanding Vineyard history going back centuries. After all, we even have a Tea Lane. Originally known as Dye-leaf Road, the way was used by those in search of wild indigo and other botanicals.
Jessica B. Harris
Here I thought I was Ms. Brussels Sprouts. I roasted them, I braised them, I sauteed them, I stir-fried them. Honestly, I was nothing short of a Brussels sprout cheerleader, enthusiastically embracing this cute little brassica that bore the unfortunate burden of a dark past. Once the soggy poster boy for horrid prep-school cuisine, cooked to death by a fateful dunk in a cauldron of boiling water, now the little vegetable was finally caramelizing its way to a sweet and crispy new life.
When Roy was first courting me, he took me blueberry picking. One day he came bouncing down the rocky road to my Waldron’s Bottom rental in a beaten-up boat of a green Volvo that he’d bought off an Islander who’d bought it off another who’d bought it off another. I think that car basically lived in the Alley’s parking lot with a For Sale sign on it. It was the perfect cruiser. With the windows rolled all the way down and the hot sun dancing around the Hula girl attached to the dashboard, Roy ferried me off to his secret stand of blueberry bushes.
August is a fading memory and, mercifully, so is all of the frenetic activity of summer that went by whiplash-fast. Now the flaming hues of autumn paint empty up-Island roads and wild grapes scent the air. Parking spaces can be found on Circuit Avenue. Even the end-of-season sales are winding down. And yet the pumpkin patch is jumping at Morning Glory Farm and the corn maze continues to beckon. The last gleanings of the farms still entice. It’s potluck season – good thing; there’s been enough of a respite from preparing summer meals for house guests that cooking is a pleasure again.
Jessica B. Harris
Somewhere during the hundred-forty days in a row that Catherine Walthers served her family kale, her husband piped up to say, “We should call this book One Thousand Ways to Hide Kale.” Truth be told, in some of the recipes in Kale Glorious Kale, the hearty vegetable du jour makes a cameo appearance: 1/8th of an ounce of juice in a six ounce Kale Mary cocktail comes to mind. But the point isn’t to hide the vegetable, Walters says; it’s to show its