Sometimes when I am feeling uninspired, I’ll stand in the produce section of the grocery store and let my eyes gaze over the stocked selections of fruits and vegetables. I’ll mentally log each item into the recipe book in my head and weigh the options. Do I want to steam or caramelize the carrots? Bake or boil the potatoes? Cream or steam the spinach? I can only imagine what the other shoppers must think of me as I stand there leaning against my cart, staring deep into the souls of the acorn squash and coconuts. Sometimes if I stand there long enough I get misted back to reality by the timed sprinklers that shower over the broccoli and lettuce.
Whenever I go perusing at farm stands, it’s much different. I leave my uninspired brain on the curb and feel compelled to buy a little of everything. Suddenly the flood gates open to the plethora of recipes and treats I’ve had stacked and stored in my brain over time and I simply need that bunch of kale, a head of purple cauliflower, that bundle of parsley.
There’s something about farm stands, the way they come in all different shapes and sizes. The way they are the one place I will brave the approaching winter winds to be outside for. I love the smell—the dirt floors, the starch of the potatoes, the roasted corn on the cob if you get there during the right season. I adore the farmers that work some of the stands, their weathered hands making change and bagging asparagus.
On the east end we are incredibly lucky to have such a vast array of options when it comes to grocery shopping. I am thankful for the small stands, the way they always have a bucket chock full of colorful bouquets of flowers. I am thankful for the big stands, the way they have a compilation of items from more than just the current season. I am thankful that I am able to contribute to this year’s turkey day with local fresh ingredients.
There’s just something undeniably spectacular about having so much high quality produce within moments from the fields to our tables. And what with this crummy weather as of late, there’s nothing some fresh baked bread that can’t cozy up a meal.
Fresh Baked Stuffing
Honey White Bread
- 1-1/4 cup warm water
- 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp soft butter
- 6 cups bread flour
- In a large stand up mixing bowl, mix warm water and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. Add milk, honey, salt, and butter, mix to combine. Add 4 cups of flour and using dough hook, mix well. Add in enough remaining flour to make the dough form a ball.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is firm and smooth to the touch. Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
- Punch down dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 loaves. Place each loaf in greased, 9×5 inch bread pan. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Bake bread at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until bread top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Remove breads from pans and let cool on rack.
- ½ cup of cubed celery
- ½ cup cubed carrots
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- Fresh parsley, salt and pepper to season
- Slice one loaf of bread and cube into1 inch pieces. Toast on a sheet pan in 350 degree oven, about 10 minutes.
- Over medium heat, sauté celery, carrots and onions until soft. In a pot over low to medium heat, add toasted bread cubes, sauted vegetables and chicken stock. Stir to coat and allow to simmer until the stock has been soaked up and evaporated and the stuffing comes together. Season with parsley and salt and pepper.
Writer Aiyana Edmund and photographer Kaitlyn Ferris are North Fork natives who together explore and adore Long Island’s sights, smells and sounds, usually found at golden hour. They bring an appreciation of local and homegrown ingredients to their recipes and are inspired by the simple things in life, like manual focus and windowsill grown herbs. See more of their recipes at savorysenses.com.