Rona Boyer

Erik Morabito and Erin Cafarelli, two Italian American foodies, have opened a charming cheese shop at the old Wild Hive building at 2411 Salt Point Turnpike in Clinton Corners. They carry many unique items, house-prepared foods (including pizza), coffee and tea, specialty items and, of course, a variety of local cheeses. They also carry D'Artagnan duck products, poultry and eggs from Thunderhill Farms, Meili fresh produce, Wild Hive flours and grains, Hudson Valley naturally raised products, breads from Red Devon and many other hard-to-find gourmet items. 
Sarah Sproule started harvesting sea salt on her rooftop in Manhattan in 2012. Today an 8′ × 12′ Evaporation House with rows of shelving holds 500 evaporation trays of sea water that are filtered throughout the process of evaporation to crystallization. Every tray is harvested by hand, and the crystals are sun baked on locally made organic clay tiles. Every salt crystal is produced and hand-packaged in New York City. A variety is sold at Clinton Cheese & Provisions. 
Mortgage Lifters are amongst the most flavorful heirloom tomatoes. They are red and pink and so big that they average two- to four pounds each. During the Great Depression, an out-of-work Charlie Byles, looking for alternative means of earning money, decided to develop a large and meaty tomato that could feed entire families. Byles planted three Beefsteak, three Italian and three English tomatoes in a circle surrounding a German Johnson Tomato. He cross-pollinated the German Johnson with pollen from the other nine plants in the circle. He saved the seeds, and for six years, he repeated this process. When he was satisfied that he had grown a stable meaty tomato, he sold the seedlings for $1.00 each, which was a hefty sum back in the 1940s. The tomato was so popular that people drove hundreds of miles to purchase the seedlings.
Where were you raised? On the Atlantic coast of France. The beaches of Brittany—at Quiberon, exactly. Ah, you must have been raised on fresh fish! Yes, my father was a fisherman, and we ate fresh seafood most of the time.
I guess it is because Hervé Bochard (chef-proprietor of Les Baux) is from Brittany, the French home of the artichoke, that he seems to procure the very best artichokes and prepares them so well. We always order them when we find them on the menu. Some friends and Gerard and I alert each other when we see it in the menu.
Roasting is probably the easiest cooking technique, with the most satisfying results. Your oven does most of the work while you spend time on the side dishes or dessert. Roasting involves cooking food in an uncovered pan in the oven. It is a dry cooking technique, as opposed to wet techniques like braising, stewing, or steaming. Dry, hot air surrounds the food, cooking it evenly on all sides. Depending on your recipe, you can roast at low, moderate, or high temperatures. It is the ideal method for large cuts of meat or poultry: rib roasts, ham, whole turkeys or chickens, or tenderloins. Smaller cuts, such as boneless chicken breasts or fish fillets, tend to dry out in the oven (they're usually better sautéed). Roasting is also ideal for dense vegetables such as potatoes, beets, and winter squash, as it concentrates their natural sugars and intensifies their flavor.
I have friends who have told me about this place for quite some time, but I have been satisfied with the fish at Adams so I never ventured over there. This week I was in Sharon and stopped by. I was bowled over. It is inspiring to see such a variety of fresh fish. Makes me want to cook.  I bought some filet of sole, and Gerard and I had them "Meuniere" for lunch. I have been back to buy fish twice since then and am so impressed with the quality and freshness that I asked owner Chuck Lee to pose for a photo with one of his whole salmons for you. Chuck tells me he gets fish fresh three times a week in the winter and more often four times a week in the summer. This week was the opening of Shad Roe season, so any aficionados know where to go for it. 
I had not been to Aurelia for a while, so Gerard and I stopped in for lunch last week. I was pleased to find this salad on the menu. This salad featuring octopus, squid and shrimp with confit tomatoes, marinated red peppers and arugula it was quite enjoyable. I understand they are in the process of developing a new spring menu. Susan, please keep this dish on. It should be a summer favorite. 
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