September began, as it so often does, on September 1. This Saturday morning found me at the Springs Farmers Market where there are many tempting delights (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 27)—particularly the almond croissants, but I was strong.
I bought some plums from Wesnofske Farms, shishito peppers from Paul Hamilton and a white acorn squash from Hampton Farmstead and then I checked out the art exhibition inside Ashawagh Hall. It seemed to be all about little, fluffy clouds. They were cool prints but that doesn’t melt my heart.
I also walked over to the Pollock-Krasner House for a tour. I’m a particular fan of the handmade potholders there, crocheted by Jackson Pollock’s mother.
But no Springs morning is complete without a pop into the Springs General Store. There, at 10:30 a.m., I ordered a bowl of Turkey & White Bean Chili. Too early in the day? Hardly. The workday starts very early at the imaginary farm in my head. I sat at an outdoor table and tucked in. Perfection—not too spicy, but not at all dull. You keep thinking, “what makes this ground beef so good? Oh yeah, it’s turkey. I’m so healthy and these beans are done just right!”
Only if those old gas pumps in the parking lot still worked and doled out gas for 74 cents a gallon could the day get any better. Of course, a more orderly person would start the day with the General Store’s egg sandwich. There’s a chef in that kitchen cooking eggs to perfection! Fried but almost fluffy.
That Saturday night I was off to the Shinnecock Pow Wow anticipating my annual Indian taco. It took me a full hour in line to get my annual fry bread topped with ground beef, lettuce, tomato and onion. Totally worth the wait!
Sunday morning found me at the Sag Harbor Fire Department Pancake breakfast. It’s all you can eat for $10! But I didn’t go back for seconds. I thought I’d worn out my welcome quite enough by toting along my own jug of real maple syrup. (A country girl has to have the real thing!)
I spent the rest of the day testing recipes for my upcoming cookbook with Hillary Davis (The Hamptons Kitchen). My Caramelized Sweet Potatoes were good, really good, if I do say so myself. They were even better when I used the same recipe on that white acorn squash! I can’t wait to try it on Sagaponack farmer Marilee Foster’s white sweet potatoes, but I must. They should be along soon.
I also tested out my Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Pie recipe. It worked well, but I wanted to try it with a somewhat different mix of spices and I’d almost run out of pumpkin. I used some kuri squash pulp along with the remaining pumpkin and…dare I say it, Long Islanders? It too was even better than the original!
And that was only the first weekend of the month! Is this a sign that I should develop a Turkey & White Bean Chili with squash in it? And some corn to get the three sisters thing going on? Challenge accepted!
In the meantime, I think I’ve nailed a recipe for raw stuffed clams. Which only sounds like either an oxymoron or a no-brainer, but, actually, is quite nuanced. Let’s just say that it involves a raw peach and horseradish leaves, and, yes, we’re still talking about food here.
And, though I’ve been making my apple pie for years and it has won some contests, I think it’s better now, with apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice. I think it would make my Great-Great Grandma Weink proud. She’s the ancestor that all the women in my family trace their pie gene to. I never met her, but I imagine that she had “pie hands,” too, so cold they don’t melt the butter in the crust. I didn’t get those and you know what they say—cold hands, warm heart! I guess I’m the opposite.
Stacy’s cookbook The Hamptons Kitchen, co-written with Hillary Davis, is due out from The Countryman Press in July, 2019.
You can follow Stacy’s informed and opinionated foodie adventures on Twitter @hamptonsepicure.