Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving in East Hampton

I love East Hampton in the winter. The history of this place is bathed in pale light, and bare trees etch the sky in the afternoon...
Main street is devoid of tourists.And Louse Point - an awful name for a beautiful place - harbors no hoards of summer sunbathers. At this time of the year, East Hampton gives the brief illusion that it is what it once was - a haven for artists and writers looking for some space in which to paint large canvasses and write books. The Hamptons, in those days, were filled with fishermen and farmers who were willing to be good neighbors and trade food for paintings in some cases. A local family out there came into a couple of Jackson Pollack's that way before anyone had ever heard of him. It's a place where you can still find an independent book seller on Main Street, with creaky wooden floors and people who smile at you and say hello.It's where I purchased "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver - a book which had been on my "list" for too long, and which I started reading on the plane home. I may be the last person in the food blogosphere to read this book, but if by any chance you happen to have it on your list as well and haven't gotten around to reading it - it's time. She writes about a year in which her family lives by the locavore's credo. Her arguments in favor of S.O.L.E. food (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) are cogent and well researched. It's something I posted about here, when I wrote about Amaltheia Dairy's organic goat farm.

I must confess that I feel something close to giddiness when I see the many streams that are currently feeding the local food movement. As a health care practitioner, I couldn't be more pleased, and I say "It's about time!" The high cost of cheap food is nothing short of insanity, and I don't believe that we are a nation so bereft of ingenuity and insight that we cannot come up with a better plan. Fortunately, the word has been getting out - in books, movies, magazine articles, as well as on TV shows and radio programs. If Congress cannot figure out how to craft a reasonable bill addressing health care (is anyone surprised?), then your local farmers can. We can start with the simple fact that what you put into your body might - just might - have something to do with what you get out of it. Think about putting 20 octane gas in your car. Would you do it? Then look around you at all the people who have been sold the idea that it's OK to put the equivalent of 20 octane food into their bodies. It gives me the shudders.

But back to East Hampton.......
It's a locavore's definition of heaven. The roadside markets are filled with the produce of the season, including pumpkins as far as the eye can see, giant cauliflower.......even purple ones.....
And even bigger turnips!
And my sister, who lives in East Hampton year round, wouldn't consider buying her food from a regular grocery store until the dead of winter, when the farm stands have shut down. So our Thanksgiving feast consisted of a turkey from a local farm, roasted brussel sprouts, carrots and purple cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and white potatoes from the farm stand, and baked goods made with eggs from a local farm.

I love my sister.

And when I get her recipe for the walnut cake she made, I will post about it. (I photographed it with my cell phone. Don't expect miracles!)

Did you get to eat any food for Thanksgiving which was produced locally?

16 comments:

glamah16 said...

Your Thanksgiving sounded wonderful!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

We're lucky here in Rhode Island that the farm stands stay open until Thanksgiving, just to give us those wonderful winter squash and Brussels sprouts. And apples -- the local orchard stays open right through the winter. So glad you got to have an East Coast Thanksgiving; there's nothing like it.

toni said...

Hi Courtney - Yes, it WAS wonderful! I hope yours was, too.

Lydia - Yes, yes, and yes again! I love the east coast - even the rain that we got. My spirit drank it in - along with the wine and cider, of course!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Smiling...I love my dutch winter because I can see through the forests for miles....gives new meaning to seeing the wood for the trees!

toni said...

Oz - Thanks for stopping by my blog and introducing me to yours. And thanks for "taking me with you" to the "convention"!

candy said...
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Penny said...

Toni, Loved Animal, Veg., Miracle. I have traveled through the area of Virginia where Barbara has her farm. Beautiful country. As is East Hampton. Glad you could spend time there with your family.

toni said...

Penny - I'm sure that country has to be beautiful - it's so rich and productive.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Those are some beautiful photos! One of the reasons I love New England so much is because of all the easily accessible local foods!

toni said...

Oh Jenn, you are so right! We have farmer's markets here - many of them. But without a clear demarcation of the seasons, there are things available at times of the year when it just seems so wrong!

Cynthia said...

I am looking forward to that walnut cake recipe.

As Courtney says, you Thanksgiving sounds wonderful.

I recently made Gourmet's date and walnut bread, and it was good; hence my excitement at the thought of your sister's walnut bread. :)

toni said...

Cynthia - So am I! I'm waiting for her to send me the recipe...Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...
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myfrenchkitchen said...

I have never been to East Hampton and seeing your beautiful pics here is having me put it on my list! I have to agree with you - I love winter too, the quiet from tourists, the soft pale ambiance all over, the different beauty of snow and ice and mist...
Ronelle

Toni said...

Ronelle - East Hampton "out of season" is wonderful!

Rachael said...

I love this post. Thank you for including it.

And being me, I have to point out, those aren't turnips, they're rutabega. (I can only imagine how much this conversation would amuse my father...lol)