We’re roving through rural New York this long weekend. After driving through the Green Mountains of Vermont, over countless hills and through countless valleys, we came into the Catskills with its countless rivers, having passed through the little towns where my mother’s mother and mother’s father were born and raised—Kingston, Callicoon Center—and where they married and started their own family—Liberty.
Our first stop was Kenoza Lake, where we visited our friends Deborah and Jed in their pewter-blue-painted farmhouse, fixed up with many windows, a writing room for him in the attic, a studio for her in the old barn or chicken house or mudroom adjacent the kitchen. We arrived for a late lunch in the sun: plates of lox and ricotta, sourdough bread, babaganoush, hard-boiled eggs, farmhouse cheeses from around the corner, white wine for some, Coronas for others. For dessert, we went into the hilly acres of bushes heavy with blueberries and huckleberries. Because of all of the rain this summer, and the general cloud cover, we picked berry by berry, rather than cluster by cluster. There were still plenty of berries for Jack.
Deborah and I went into Jeffersonville to check out the small farmers’ market, where she bought striped Romanesco zucchini and a big head of romaine.
Deborah is a wonderful vegetarian cook. For dinner, after their favorite aperitif—Campari with pulpy orange juice—she served Swiss chard pie (I’ll post a recipe soon…) in a buttery crust, quinoa with pinenuts and golden raisins, and roasted cauliflower with ginger and herbs—out of which she coaxed extraordinary carmelized flavors.
Our next stop will be Margaretville and Roxbury, for Aaron and Kelly’s wedding. We hope these thunderheads roll on by.