Sorrel is a perennial herb that has been used for centuries for cooking in Europe. I grew up eating sorrel soup that my mother prepared if she could find anyone growing sorrel. Now you can find plants at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and also at Early Bird Farm on Elmira Road in Ithaca. You just plant it and that’s it. The leaves provide a wonderful base for this sour tasting soup. The next year you find a more established plant yielding as many leaves as you’ll need. Here is the basic recipe for SORREL SOUP:
½ lb sorrel leaves, washed
2 Tbs. butter
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup ½ and ½
  1. Fry onion in soup pot until lightly browned and soft, set aside
  2. Melt butter and add sorrel leaves and stir them around until they are brown and wilted.
  3. Add broth and potato and cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
  4. Place in blender with onions and blend until a smooth consistency
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Reheat and add ½ and ½

Serves 4-6




The Ithaca Farmers Market is definitely the “happening place” on Saturday mornings. You can still buy wintered over vegetables like parsnips and leeks but the fresh veggies are also springing up . Asparagus and spinach and lettuce greens are abundant now, as are every kind of flower and herb
Some new and many of the old favorite prepared food vendors are making the choices even more difficult. One great way to maximize the enjoyment is to have a picnic.  With a wonderful selection of wine, bread, cheese and cold cuts , you can have yourself a feast.  THE PIGGERY, which was a sometime vendor last year now have their own stall at the North end of the long arm. They are the only meat purveyor that sells fresh meat. The various cuts of pork are displayed much as you would see it in a European charcuterie. Charcuterie is the French word for both a pork butcher and the products of his labor. A charcutier takes pork and makes sausages, hams, confit, pates, terrines, etc, all of which comprise charcuterie. Charcuterie is the prototypical convenience food. A jar of pate and a baguette is lunch.
For this husband and wife team, Peggy Sanford and Brad Marshall, the Piggery is a labor of love. Brad says his work is the charcuterie business and in his hobby is taking care of his pigs. In other words he works all the time. 
Often they have little samples and I’ve tried several. The smoked sausage ("smoked grillers") are really wonderful as is the liver pate and the sliced ham. I’m hoping to see some more pates varieties made with nuts, prunes and liquors and with a little more assertive spicing.
The Piggery takes good care of their pigs. These are pasture raised heritage breeds who also get fed locally grown organic grain. Peggy and Brad are committed to sustainability and prepare their products in a specially designed off grid kitchen. 
SO….to take the European feasting one step further….buy some charcuterie from the Piggery, some cheese from one of the other vendors and a crispy baguette, and a bottle of wine and what more could you want?
FAT BOYis one of my favorites among several top notch European style bakers. Their plain and semolina baguettes are what you’d expect to find in Paris. They sell out of these treasures quickly. They also have many other varieties of bread including epi, pain rustique, mixed grain, rye  whole barley, sourdough, wheat walnut and Bavarian farm bread.   All are beautiful to behold and worthy to serve at the finest meal. Their pastries, cookies and scones are hard to pass up so my advise is to make your way through a sample of every delicacy they prepare.
And to round out your picnic, stop by NORTHLAND SHEEP DAIRY where Maryrose  Livingston makes European quality cheese. She and her partner Donn Hewes are a team; he working the farm with his team of draft horses and mules and she holding the job of  shepherd and cheesemaker. They sell several cheese varieties and always have samples to taste. I like them all and am very excited to try the Torta de la Serena which Maryrose will begin making soon. Maryrose spent part of her winter interning in Western Spain in the region called Extramadura with one of the few cheese makers left making this cheese with his own herd of grass fed sheep. If all goes well we should be sampling a young cheese in August. This is my all time favorite Spanish cheese.
The Ithaca Farmers Market is open Saturdays 9-3 and Sundays 10-3 
Check out last year’s post for some of other great food vendor tips:  ITHACA FARMERS MARKET POST MAY 08