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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Tasty cures for cabin fever


Several friends commented on Elmer’s chef Son Tremé’s “Inspired Kale” that I shared in last week’s column. Sophia Bonnie Wodin (formerly of Heath, now living in London, Ontario) said, “The way I’ve cooked kale for many years is similar. The sweet is generally fruit juice and balsamic vinegar. Salty is tamari, and hot is peppers from our own gardens (dried or fresh). The taste is always different, depending on the balance of ingredients, and delicious.

“We’ve used this method with kale, broccoli, sweet peppers, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, and celery, sometimes in combinations of veggies, and sometimes individual veggies. Sometimes, we add protein foods, other times it’s just a side dish.”

Garth Shaneyfelt from Greenfield wrote to ask “Does Son’s recipe really call for 4 oz. (1 stick!) of butter for 1 bunch of kale?”

That’s what Son had written in his recipe, so I passed Garth’s question on to Son. Son’s response: “Yes! That is a good ratio for kale to butter. Once the whey is reduced in the cooking process, it’ll be about three ounces. Normally, I would prepare 1/2 lb. of fatty meat plus a T. of oil or butter. It’s the perfect amount of fat for a dish without any protein. It may sound questionable, but it’s all good.

“My background is in culinary nutrition, so I am always interested in what food does in the body and how biological processes work in general. In the recipe, I was just replacing the meat with a different protein in order to attract some vegetarians. Of course, S.A.S.H. is a free-style cooking method and one could replace its ingredients with smaller or larger amounts or omit them altogether.”

What variation on S.A.S.H. have you tried?

What cures for cabin fever are you enjoying?

Here’s Carolann Zaccara’s tasty cure, the Cabin Fever Pork Stew she served at the Winter Fare Soup Café (see below).

Got local pork or beef? If not, get some at Hager’s Farm Market or Wheel-View Farm in Shelburne, Upinngil Farm Store in Gill, and the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Greenfield High School.

A Place at the Table, Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m., Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity Street, Amherst. Amherst Cinema and Food Bank of Western Massachusetts sponsor special screening of “A Place at the Table” and panel discussion about domestic hunger with Congressman Jim McGovern and UMass Professor Julie Caswell. Film focuses on stories of three real Americans struggling with food insecurity. Tickets for special March 7 screening available at Amherst Cinema box office, 28 Amity Street, Amherst, or online at Tickets are regular admission. Advance purchase highly recommended. Film opens for full run at Amherst Cinema on March 8 through at least March 14.

Envisioning a Better Greenfield: A Community Workshop to Kick Off the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan, Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Four Rivers Charter Public School, 248 Colrain Road, Greenfield. Free. Refreshments served. For information, visit

This Week We’re Eating ...

Cabin Fever Pork Stew

By Carolann Zaccara, Wagon Wheel, Gill

Cut pork butt into chunks. Dredge in flour, salt and pepper. Brown in a mixture of butter and olive oil in the bottom of a large heavy pot. De-glaze pot with dark beer (I used Berkshire Brewing’s Cabin Fever). Add in diced onion, carrots, turnips, parsnip and rutabaga. Add fresh thyme and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Cover by 1 inch with stock (I used pork and vegetable stock I made with the pork butt bone). Bring to a simmer and cook for 1\2 hour. Add potatoes, butternut squash, and apples. Simmer until pork is tender and potatoes are soft. Add salt, black pepper, and a little hot sauce.

Often I make this with Wheel-View Farm beef rather than pork.

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