Savoring the Seasons: Enjoying Locally Grown Food Year-Round

  • McClintock

For The Recorder
Published: 12/13/2016 12:30:14 PM

I was thrilled to hear that Leanne Brown, the author of “Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day,” donated 500 copies of her cookbook to the Franklin County Community Meals Program. That means 500 people and their families, who are clients of FCCMP’s Orange Food Pantry, will get free cookbooks to help them cook healthy meals.

Thank you, Leanne Brown.

I was even more thrilled when I went to World Eye Bookshop and bought a copy of “Good and Cheap” for my own kitchen. Not only is it a SUPERB cookbook full of tasty, easy to make dishes, for every copy of “Good and Cheap” that is sold, the publisher donates a copy to people who need them most.

Who is on your holiday shopping list? College students? Young parents? Older relatives? Friends who like a bargain?

I encourage you to stop by World Eye and pick up “Good and Cheap” for yourself and for many people on your list. When you do, you’ll be giving a gift to other families, too.

Many foods featured in “Good and Cheap” are foods our neighbor farmers grow and produce. Flipping through the book, I saw new ways to enjoy many root vegetables, greens, cabbage, eggs, meats, and cheese produced by local farmers.

Then, I opened it up to a page that said: “Things on Toast.”

Brown says, “I love bread, and toast in particular is my comfort food. Here, I suggest that you take some toast and put something tasty on it. That’s it!” She recommends toasting the bread in a pan with butter rather than using a toaster.

I love toast, too. Especially toast made from bread that’s got a lot of texture and flavor, like sourdough whole wheat bread made with local flour.

Unfortunately, my body doesn’t like wheat bread as much as my taste buds do. So, I avoid wheat, and until recently, missed eating good toast. Then, I discovered an-almost-local producer of the world’s BEST gluten-free bread: Our Daily Bread in Chatham, New York in the Hudson River Valley. They bake many varieties of gluten-free bread that are now available fresh at Green Fields Market and McCusker’s Market.

While you’re there, check out the freezer section for gluten-free pizza shells and pizzas made by Against the Grain, our neighbors in Vermont. The delicious gluten-free pizzas at Hillside Pizza in Deerfield are made on Against the Grain crusts. Actually, these toast toppings would be great on pizza, too!

This week we’re eating...

Toast Toppings

By Leanne Brown from “Good and Cheap”

Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Toast Topping

1 T. butter

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Sharp Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt butter in pan over low heat. Add onion and cook slowly, about 20 minutes. As onions darken, stir occasionally, adding water to loosen sticky bits. When onions are sweet and caramelized, spread them over toast, and top with Cheddar, salt and pepper. Put toast back in pan and cook, covered, until cheese is bubbly.

Korean-Style Spinach Toast Topping

1 tsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch spinach, washed, thicker stems removed

1 tsp. soy sauce

½ tsp. toasted sesame oil

Salt, to taste

1 tsp. sesame seeds

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes. Add spinach and soy sauce, cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, add sesame oil and salt. Mix and taste. Remove spinach from pan and squeeze out excess moisture. Serve over hot slices of toast. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Roasted Vegetables Toast Topping

Leftover roasted vegetables (such as winter squash and leeks)

Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Pepper, to taste

Simply create a ridiculously tall pile of vegetables, then sprinkle with grated Romano and fresh pepper. You can also add any sauce you have on hand, or sprinkle crushed nuts on top.

Local food advocate and community
organizer Mary McClintock lives in
Conway and works as a freelance writer, editor, and book indexer. Send column suggestions and recipes to


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