Kitchen Porch - Martha's Vineyard - locally inspired, seasonally influenced, thoughtfully sourced
Culinary Experiences
We can make the world a better place, one neighborhood at a time.

The solstice is my one of my favorite holidays. When the kids were little, we would light candles and float them down the Tiasquam River and then go home and make suet cakes for the birds. This Friday I have invited a few neighbor kids to my house to make Gingerbread Houses. I’ll let you know how it turns out. It is my little way of cherishing our children and bringing a little light into my neighborhood.  A reminder to myself that there is joy and hope in a world of unpredictable and capricious peril.

Hunting season is part of our culture here on Martha’s Vineyard and the hunting season continues this week with “black powder week”. It is when hunters limit their rifles to the use of black powder.  Some hunters I know only hunt during this period. The sounds of the black powder guns have a softer puff than the modern rifles. A friend who is hunter and often stops in this time of year as he is “passing through”, called me last night to tell me how low the deer season is. “Just too many acorns” he said.  I know about abundant acorns as my husband Rich, gathered barrels full of acorns this year to feed the pigs. We wondered what makes a good acorn season better than another, but one thing we do know is that an abundance of acorns in the diet of pigs makes the pork taste of deliciousness. We also know that by eating acorns and roots, their meat is filled with good fats and carbohydrates. I asked my friend why too many acorns make for a lousy deer season.  “No need for them to move around. They have plenty where they are, so they stay put.” (and rightly so). My friend and I often exchange meat for sausage. He gives us half a deer. A good sausage needs a good amount of fat and deer meat has none.  We have so much fat from the pork, we need more lean meat to make a good sausage. We mix the venison with the pork and fat for one hell of a good sausage.

John Bagnulo and I will be offering a five day Metabolic Boot Camp in April on Martha’s Vineyard! This retreat will focus on the importance of metabolism and nutrition for life long health. I am so excited that we have secured the week. It is not too early to reserve the date. We will be sending out accommodations information as soon as we have it as we are working on a great deal for all of those from beyond. The rate for the week will be $749. Early Bird Special: $649 – Sign up by January 15th and save $100! Price includes all meals, (only fruits and vegetables this week), 2 lectures daily, 6 cooking classes, yoga, hikes, special sights, and all the fresh vegetables you can eat!

My friend Cindy Doyle shared this recipe with me. I adapted it to be gluten and dairy-free. It is super easy, nutritious and loaded with deliciousness: Ginger Harvest Soup.

And speaking of soup recipes, I posted several recipes this past month.  Over Thanksgiving we made this soup from the turkey stock. My son keeps asking for it: Spicy Chili Soup.

Last week I offered a cooking demonstration for Easy Holiday Entertaining offering some recipes to make our holidays a bit easier, including great healthy dips to bring to parties.

We are still receiving tons of kudos on the Swine & Dine weekend and glowing from being among some truly great people during the Porks & Knives week. We have met with the Harbor View Hotel and will be offering it again next November. It is not too early to mark your calendars and send us an email that you want to be included. Marnely Rodriguez-Murray, author of the food blog Cooking with Books, attended our Swine & Dine Grand Gala Dinner event on Saturday night. She shared her experience on her blog - Local: Swine & Dine Dinner.

I have loads of preserved lemons and spices if any of you need stocking stuffers for the cooks in your hearts. Call me and I will deliver!

May your weeks ahead be full of light, beatitude, and cherished moments. May 2013 bring us more gun control, more funding for mental illness, more inner peace and joy for each and every one of us!
Image Credit (gingerbread):  wickenden
Jan Buhrman
Kitchen Porch

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