Kitchen Porch - Martha's Vineyard - locally inspired, seasonally influenced, thoughtfully sourced
Culinary Experiences

 “Any loss of life is tragic; sadly, nature is dangerous, and these things occur. The best thing we can do for those who did die is make sure this city recovers for those who come out of this and build a better life for those left behind.”

~ Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

It is hard to realize the devastation and damage, when we here on Martha’s Vineyard paled in comparison to the destruction suffered by our East Coast neighbors.

At least 74 people are dead and more than 8 million people along the east coast have lost power. Whole neighborhoods have been razed. Those without power might not get it back for a week or more.  In New York City, an all-time record storm surge of almost 14 feet left tunnels and basements underwater.  West Virginia had 3 feet of snow this week and when it melts, tremendous flooding is anticipated.

Reading Bloomberg’s quote today in the New York Times, I feel a way for me to build a better life is to push our politicians to take these severe weather changes as a call to action. The presidential debates have not addressed climate change, and this is not only unfortunate, but dangerous. As a member of our local board of health, I believe it’s time to find our own effective ways for emergency preparedness and look for alternative energy and independence.

Visiting the Farmer’s Market last week in New York City, I found varieties of apples, pears and grapes. Wanting to preserve this moment in the life cycle of the grapes, I got busy making juice. The grapes are the kind I had as a kid with tart skins, mouth explosions of flavor, and loads of seeds. There were both varieties in green and red. Grape juice is a quick, easy way to preserve this wonderful fruit. I juiced it in the Breville and made popsicles and froze the rest.

“I hate, hate, the notion of a secret recipe… Recipes were made to be shared. That’s how they improve, how they change, how new ideas are formed and older ones made ripe.”
~Molly Wizenberg, A HOMEMADE LIFE


When I read this, I thought how true it rang for me. Recipes that sound interesting to me are my inspiration and I take liberty to embellish and create my own. I am not sure that I have ever created anything from scratch without the influence from some recipe.

I do not follow a recipe. That is why I am not a baker.

When I was making grape popsicles, I was also making lamb chops for dinner.  I had loads of shallots and put them on the stove to cook slowly. Once they were nicely caramelized, I added the grape juice, a few sprigs of thyme and mint and reduced it down to a thick sauce. I smeared the purple “grape ketchup” across the plate before placing the lamb. This is how I start many of my meat sauces: with shallots and a fruit. It is not original or even close to cutting edge, but it is something that is quick and easy and offers subtle flavors for almost any center of the plate.

I know some of you “just want the recipe” so here it is: Lamb Chops with Grapes and Thyme, but I can’t claim it as mine. I am sure someone can, but honestly, I am not sure I can claim anything as mine! As I read a recipe, I am just propelled to recreate it or simply be inspired by it.  The end product often doesn’t even come close to resembling the inspiration.

Many friends and readers ask me for recipes. I never feel as though they are my recipes and I feel challenged when asked to write it down exactly as I make it, as I am just not good at it. But I love recipes that inspire and provoke. So continue to share your favorites!

Swine & Dine

We are gearing up for our very special week of piggery and all things pork.
Porks & Knives
is for food professionals and amateur salumimakers. Join us for our master class.

And for those who just love pork, join us November 16th or 17th, or both for all you can handle at all of our Swine & Dine events! For visitors from “off island”, the Harbor View Hotel is offering a very special rate - a link for rate is available along with additional information on the Porks & Knives page.



Jan Buhrman
Kitchen Porch

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