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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Winter delights

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

It’s going to be warmer in coming days, but I was delighted in recent weeks to see “real snow” without a crusty ice on top. I snow-shoed and cross-country skied for the first time in a few years and enjoyed looking for animal tracks. My outdoor play buddies and I talked about how fortunate we are to live surrounded by woods and fields to explore.

While walking along the Turners Falls canal last weekend scanning for interesting ducks, I ran into Phyllis and Archie Nahman. I congratulated Phyllis on GCC’s library being named for her and Gretchen Watson (see http://web.gcc.mass.edu/library/about-our-name/). And, we talked about this column.

When I asked for recipe suggestions, Archie said they’d had wonderful shrimp with pesto cream sauce on a recent trip to South Carolina. Phyllis said shrimp aren’t local, but they were going to try a similar sauce with chicken.

Ahhhh, now there’s a great idea. I like pesto on chicken and cream sauces on chicken, so why not combined? After roaming around cookbooks and the web and talking with friends, I concocted a simple pesto/cream combo to toss with chunks of cooked chicken and serve over brown rice (see below).

Don’t have any pesto? Come to the Winter Fare Barter Market (see below) and trade some of your home-grown/home-made food goodies with me or other folks who made and froze LOTS of pesto last summer.

Winter’s delights aren’t just outdoors. Last weekend, I enjoyed shopping and visiting with folks at the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market as I distributed leaflets about the farmers market and events happening during the Week of Winter Fare. One woman said, “I don’t need a leaflet, I know you’ll tell us all about it in your column.” I laughed and said she was right!

I love hearing from and running into folks who read this column. Last week, I got a message from Doris Bittenbender from Orange. She said, “A question about the ‘Beet Chocolate Cake’ in your recent column. Is it a cake that one would frost as any ordinary chocolate cake? Or is it more like a coffee cake that you would eat without any frosting? I do some baking each week with my granddaughter and this sounds like fun, especially if it is frosted!  She would not like the beet idea but would probably like the cake.” I told Doris it’s an ordinary cake to frost. I hope she’ll write back to let me know how her granddaughter liked it!

Chatting with Archie, Phyllis, and the woman who didn’t need a leaflet, hearing from Doris, asking friends for recipe advice, talking with farmers about how farmers market sales are going, I am so grateful to have wonderful neighbors who join me in appreciating the delights of eating locally grown food year-round.

Winter Fare Committee Seeks:

Volunteers for the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market on Feb. 2. Contact Devon Whitney-Deal at devonwd@gmail.com or (413) 625-9907.

Barter Market Participants: Bring surplus home-grown/home-made foodstuffs to the Sixth annual Winter Fare Barter Market and trade for someone else’s home-grown goods. Meet your gardening and food preserving neighbors, practice the art of bartering, and bring home delicious food and goods without exchanging money. Open to gardeners, gleaners, foragers, canners, dryers ... even professional farmers! After the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market, Feb. 2, 1 p.m., Greenfield High School.

Community groups to sponsor local food potlucks, recipe swaps, films, panel discussions, and workshops during the Franklin County Week of Winter Fare, Feb. 2 - 10. Send full event information to Mary McClintock at mmcclinto@yahoo.com or call 413-522-5932 BY JANUARY 11, 2013. Include event name, date, place, time, two-sentence event description, any fee, contact person, contact phone number and email address.

This Week We’re Eating …

Pesto Cream Sauce

By Mary McClintock

½ C. pesto

1/4 C. heavy cream

¼ C. chicken broth

Gently heat all ingredients, stir occasionally.

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