I have been making this soup for years. And everyone loves this soup.You don’t need to worry too much about exact quantities here. Just use the root vegetables you have around. Full Plate CSA has been supplying us with great amounts of parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and carrots. I also love celeriac in this soup, and butternut squash. 
2 Tbs. butter
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ pound of at least three of the following: parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, butternut and celeriac, or turnips peeled and cut into about a ¾   inch dice.
32 ounces of either chicken or vegetable
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup water
1-2 Tbs. corn starch
½ cup milk or ½ and ½ or cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen green peas
  1. Fry onions in 1 tbs. melted butter in large saucepan until soft and just beginning to brown, remove and set aside.
  2. Add the rest of the butter and some olive oil and fry the vegetables one vegetable at a time over very high heat until fragrant and beginning to brown. 
  3. Combine  all the vegetables including the onions, add a bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste, and the broth and simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy.
  4. Just before the vegetables are cooked mix the cornstarch and water together and add 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to the soup. Let it cook together and add only as much cornstarch as necessary to make a chowder consistency, stirring to avoid lumps. Simmer gently until the cornstarch taste is gone.
  5. Remove from heat and for best results refrigerate at least a day.
  6. Reheat, and when simmering add frozen peas. 
  7. When the peas are cooked, add the milk and remove the bay leaf.
  8. Taste for seasoning. This soup is good with lots of pepper.




We are blessed with many area farmers who supply us with pasture raised natural meat. Most do not use chemicals or hormones but stop short of “organic” certification since this is such an arduous and expensive process. The farmers market (now open only on Saturdays until December 10th) is a good place to find several local meat sellers but there are other options around.
For GOAT meat we have John Wertis’ farm:  BWW.   Doug Gruen, chef of the Blue Stone Bar and Grill has been featuring John’s goat meat in his Indonesian Style Curry which was strongly recommended by Peggy Haine in the Ithaca Times Winter Guide 2008. Call ahead at the Blue Stone Bar to see whether it’s being served as a special that evening.
We also have locally grown BISON from Glenwood Farms which can be purchased now at the Saturday Farmer’s Market or at their farm at 1084 Glenwood Heights Road. They are open Wednesdays and Fridays from 6-8 in the evening and Saturdays from 11-4. Call ahead to make sure someone is there. Their phone number is 272-7809. I made a Bison Shepherd’s Pie from Bon Appetit which was incredibly good. I am posting my adapted version of the recipe for you to try.
If you want to buy local BEEF, CHICKEN,TURKEY,GOOSE, LAMB and PORK we have Autumn's Harvest Farm in Romulus. You can contact them directly or buy some of their products through Garden Gate Delivery which sells many local products and delivers them right to your home.  Their grocery items come mostly from processors and farmers located within 25 miles of Ithaca.  For the next two weeks Marlo, from Garden Gate is waiving the $8 delivery fee so this would be a good time to check out her extensive offerings.
McDonalds Farm and Sabols are long time favorites who sell many cuts of meat at the Farmers market and continue to deliver into town through the winter. You can pre-order from McDonalds Farm and Peter will meet you at his truck at the Farmer’s Market location at Steamship landing on Saturdays. Sabol's Farm has a similar arrangement. If you call ahead to order, he will meet you at the Greenstar parking lot through the winter. Richard's number is 607-869-5896. Sabols also sells through Garden Gate if you want your meat delivered to your doorstep.
High Point Farms is located in Trumansburg and raises grass fed beef, pork and lamb and free range chickens. They sell from their farm on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays 11-2 . They also have ground beef available in the freezer section at Shur Save in T-Burg.
The Piggery is a new addition to the Farmers Market scene. The long lines waiting to buy fresh cuts of pork and homemade sausages and pates indicate that they have a loyal following. If you're looking for a particular cut of meat or some special charcuterie I would recommend you call ahead since they tend make small batches and run out quite quickly.
For more information about Dairy, eggs, poultry and meat farmers located in the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes visit the Local Foods website of Cooperative Extension.
It is more expensive to buy local, pasture raised meats but there are several advantages. 
  • You’re supporting our local farmers who work hard to give us great quality
  • No middle-people are involved
  • You know what you’re getting. Just visit the farms to see for yourself.
  • It’s healthier. Grass fed meat have 2-4 times the levels of Omega 3 than in grain fed animals. And you aren’t consuming unknown chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.
  • And for me, knowing that the animals are humanely treated is particularly important.
The Braised Pork Shoulder with Pomegranate and Quince recipe that I recently tried from Bon Appétit  was a great success .  I made a few changes to keep the ingredients  local and more affordable. Below are both recipes to enjoy on a cold winter’s night. Both should be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated for ultimate flavor.
Bison Shepherd's Pie: 8 SERVINGS
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine September 2008
meat layer
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground bison meat* or ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
vegetable layer
  • 2 cups diced peeled carrots
potato topping
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk OR ½ &½  
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided (about 8 ounces)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Paprika
meat layer
§         Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot over high heat. Add bison; sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pot, then add onions and mushrooms. Sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste; stir 2 minutes. Add thyme and flour and stir 1 minute. Add broth and wine and bring to boil. Return bison to pot. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture thickens and is reduced, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
vegetable layer
§         Cook carrots in boiling salted water just until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl. Set aside.
potato topping
§         Cook potatoes and cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Transfer potatoes and cauliflower to processor and puree, adding reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth. Transfer mixture to bowl; stir in butter and milk, then 2 cups Parmesan cheese. Season potato topping to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Spread meat mixture in dish. Top with carrots. Spread potato topping over, covering completely and swirling with knife to create peaks, if desired. Drizzle lightly with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before continuing.
        Bake pie uncovered until heated through and top is lightly browned, 30- 50   minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika.


Braised Pork Shoulder with Quince
Adapted from Bon Appétit recipe | October 2008
Yield: Makes 8 servings
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed, tied in several places to hold shape if necessary


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large quinces or apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cored, each cut into bite size chunks

2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup apple cider juice
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons red currant jelly
2 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 TBS Pomegranate molasses
Stir paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, coriander, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon in small bowl to blend. Spread spice mixture all over pork shoulder. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in heavy large oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Add pork shoulder and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from pot and reduce heat to medium. Add quince to pot. Sauté until cut sides are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer quince to bowl. Add onions, celery, and carrot to pot. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; sauté1 minute. Add cider and chicken broth. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add red currant jelly, bay leaves, and thyme, then quince. Return pork to pot, fat side up. Cover pot with foil, then lid; place in oven.
Braise pork until very tender and thermometer inserted into center registers 165°F, basting occasionally, about 2 hours 15 minutes. Cool pork uncovered at room temperature. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill at least 1 day and up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer pork to work surface. Cut off string. Cut pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Overlap slices in 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using slotted spoon, arrange vegetables and quince around pork. Boil juices in pot until thickened enough to coat spoon, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with coarse kosher salt,. Pour juices over pork. Cover and bake until heated through, about 30 -40 minutes.











Well the time has come for us all to be managing “crop abundance”. I don’t want to call it “overabundance” or any other term with negative connotation. We need to be happy, delighted, thankful for this time of abundance! My friend Beth was being extremely generous with her bounty of zucchini. I happily obliged her generosity and made some of my favorite zucchini dishes tonight. 

  Continue Reading…



Alsatian Tart, Ravine’s Wine Cellars

(From Keuka Lake Food and Wine Tour Event:  REVIEWED BELOW)






                          Alsatian Tart, Ravine’s Wine Cellars

The pastry is a lazy girl’s version of Julia Child’s butter pastry recipe

1 and ¾ sticks unsalted butter, diced and frozen
2 cups flour
1 t salt
½ cup ice water (more if needed)

Mix flour & salt in a food processor, add frozen butter and pulse 3 times.  Add ice water and turn on processor for approx. 7 seconds or when dough comes together as a clump on the blade.  Remove and separate into 2 flat balls, working quickly so butter stays cold.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.

Work quickly when rolling out the pastry so the butter stays cold and then put it back into the fridge until you are ready to fill it.


3 cups chopped sweet onion
½ pound bacon, diced* see note
2 eggs
½ cup cream
½ cup Swiss or gruyere cheese* see note
3 sprigs fresh thyme ( leaves only)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion until brown and sweet, season with s & p. and sauté bacon until crisp.  Let both cool and then sprinkle at the bottom of a tart pan.  Add grated cheese & thyme. Lastly, spoon on mixture of egg & cream seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.  Put into the oven immediately so the pastry stays cold until it hits the hot oven.  Bake at 450 degrees for appx. 20 mins.  It pairs nicely with Ravines Dry Riesling.  Lisa Hallgren, Ravines Wine CellarsCelia’s notes:

  • I used 6 slices of apple smoked bacon which I first cooked in strips, drained on a paper towel, and then cut into pieces. 
  • I used a fondue mix of gruyere and ementhaller which was already shredded.
  • I used a 9 inch removable rim tart pan and added ¼ cup of 1/ & ½ and some extra cheese to adequately fill the tart. You will have extra dough.
  • To make sure the bottom crust is cooked, place the pan on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • This tart is good, reheated the next day also. 





Keuka Lake wineries are hosting a special “World Tour of Food and Wine” event for two weekends.  Last weekend we enjoyed the first round of this event and it was a great success.  If you missed it, you can still enjoy the same tour on the weekend of April 19th and 20th.  Nine wineries participate in this event and many have exceptional views of Keuka Lake which is probably the most picturesque of the winery lakes. 


  Continue Reading…




Many of us Ithaca old timers remember Abby’s, a restaurant in the Motor Vehicles Plaza that was run by Abby Nash from 1984 to 1990.   It was a sad day for Ithaca diners when Abby’s closed its doors because it was a consistently wonderful place to eat and we all had our favorites.  My favorite dish was Abby’s mushroom lasagna and I was lucky enough to run into Abby the other day. He was hosting a cooking demonstration of his mushroom lasagna.  This is the original recipe for his mushroom lasagna and it really is a delicacy.   It takes a lot of time to make and you need a pasta maker.  But it really is worth the effort.  Abby uses freshly grated parmesan, the highest quality he can find such as Reggiano.  If you want to truly appreciate the different grades of parmesan, set up a blind tasting.  My hands down favorite is the Reggiano. When selecting the variety of mushrooms,; the more exotic the types of mushroom, the better.  You can re-hydrate dry mushrooms such as porcini.  I also like to use porcini powder.  Morels, shitake, oyster, and chanterelles are a great mixture along with some regular brown mushrooms.     If you’ve never made homemade pasta with a pasta maker before, the important thing is not to have the dough be too wet.  Have flour on hand and when you put the sheets of dough through the pasta maker dust them first with flour if needed.  The dough should be smooth so if it gets rough or has holes or is sticky, it probably needs more flour.  Making pasta from scratch does take practice.  ABBY’S MUSHROOM LASAGNA  yield 6 med. servings  Continue Reading…

Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding with Fudge Sauce

Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding with fudge sauce:  serves 8-10 people 

This is a great recipe that uses those really ripe bananas that are beginning to perfume the whole house. Next time you are on the verge of throwing out those brown bananas… don’t!  This is a really quick and easy recipe which can be adjusted easily to suit your wishes






                                                                        Continue Reading…


Japanese Noodle Soup:  Serves 6   This soup is the ultimate comfort food.  If any of the ingredients are not on your “favorite food list”, you can omit them.  Once you have all the ingredients, this soup comes together easily and you only need a salad to have a wonderful meal.  It also has many healthy ingredients and can be entirely vegetarian if you use vegetable broth and omit the dashi.        

                                                                            Jpanese Noodle Soup



   The dashi is in the center and the shichimi togarashi is to the right. *  Note about ingredients:  Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections.  I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for.  The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods.  But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient.  The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE:  "FOOD THESAURUS"

[recipe difficiulty=”easy”]

Japanese Noodle Soup:  Serves 6



8 cups( 2-  32 ounce cartons) chicken or vegetable broth

3 tsp. instant dashi *

1 heaping Tbs. dried wakame (seaweed)*

5 dried shitake mushrooms

1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, cut into one inch by one inch strips

1 small head napa cabbage, cut into slices*

5 scallions, chopped

1 16 oz. bag Pan fried noodle Hong Kong style or any dried noodle*

1 cup shelled edaname (soy beans)

1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped

2 Tbs. miso

Shichimi Togarashi (red pepper and sesame seed spice blend)*

 Cooking Instructions

1.     Heat the broth to boiling in a large pot and add the dashi.

2.     Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms for 15 minutes in a bowl of ½ cup hot water placing a smaller bowl on top of the mushrooms, to make sure they are immersed.

3.     Soak the wakame also in a bowl of 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. It will expand to about 1 cup.

4.     When the broth has come to a boil add the ginger, tofu,edamame and cabbage and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is just cooked.

5.     Once the mushrooms have soaked, slice them and add them to the broth along with the soaking liquid which has been strained of particles.  Also, add the reconstituted wakame which has been rinsed and coarsely chopped. Discard soaking liquid.

6.     Meanwhile, as the soup is cooking, either cook the noodles according to directions or, if you are using the pan fried noodles, fry them in a little oil and add ½ cup water and cover to allow them to steam for 5 minutes.  Then remove the lid and continue frying until lightly brown and crispy, stirring frequently. I do this in two batches.

7.     Mix the miso with a little hot broth until free of lumps and add to soup for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Miso should not be boiled.

8.     To serve:  Ladle soup in a large bowls, sprinkle each serving with scallion and serve the noodles, and shichimi togarashi separately for people to serve themselves.


Feel free to use your culinary expression to add or omit any ingredients.  This is a very free form dish which you can tailor make to your taste.


 Note about ingredients:  Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections.  I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for.  The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods.  But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient.  The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE:  "FOOD THESAURUS"





A Great Gingerbread Recipe

Gingerbread has a homey and wonderful smell as it’s baking.  This recipe is from Bon Appetit May 2004 and it was passed on to me by my friend Meggin who loves to cook and share recipes as much as I do.  It’s called: 

RICH AND STICKY GINGERBREAD WITH MARMALADE and that describes it pretty well except for the crystallized ginger and raisins that add some great flavor and texture.  This is a must try recipe if you love gingerbread.  Meggin likes it with applesauce the way her mother served it.  I love it plain and my family prefers it with whipped cream.  If you’re interested in trying it, click on the link and you’ll find the recipe. Let me know how you like it.  This recipe takes self-rising flour but I use regular all purpose flour and add 1 Tablespoon baking soda and a little salt.

Turback’s Curried Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

Years ago when Turbacks was the first restaurant that served locally produced foods, I managed to get their signature Curried Pumpkin Mushroom Soup recipe. It’s been a favorite with all of us and friends ask for it when they come to visit from out of town. This fall my share from Full Plate CSA included some beautiful and delicious cooking pumpkins. These pumpkins are just the right size to function as serving bowls for this great soup.

½ lb. sliced mushrooms½ cup chopped onions

2 Tbs. butter or oil 1 Tbs. curry powder or to taste

3 cups vegetarian or chicken broth

1 lb. canned pumpkin (or fresh: cooked and pureed)

½-1 Tbs. honey

1 cup evaporated milk

Dash of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

If you decide to use fresh pumpkin, cut off the top first. Then bake for 30-45 minutes until soft (with seeds still inside). When cool enough peel off skin and discard seeds. If you decide to use the shell as a container, then scrape out the seeds and discard (or roast) and scrape out some of the pulp to use in the soup leaving enough to make a sturdy bowl for the soup.

  1. Sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until just cooked.
  3. Add curry powder and cook for 2 more minutes stirring.
  4. Add broth, bring to bowl and add pumpkin, honey and seasoning.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add evaporated milk and heat without boiling.
  7. Adjust for seasoning adding more salt or honey or pepper as you like.
  8. It’s ready to serve.





Raspberry Upside Down Cake

We are fortunate enough to have a bumper crop of ripe raspberries. This long fall means the crop keeps producing and we keep eating. Finding good recipes is always fun and today I came up with this terrific and easy cake recipe.


Raspberry Upside Down Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Raspberry topping:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

3 cups raspberries

Lemon-Almond Cake

 1  8 oz. can almond paste (I use Solo)  minus a couple spoonfuls that you need to taste.

1/4 cup sugar

3 TBS grated lemon peel

1 TBS vanilla

1/2 cup room temperature butter (or melted)

3 large eggs

1 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

For topping:

1.  Melt the butter in an 8 inch ovenproof skillet.  I use my cast iron skillet.

2. Add brown sugar and mix together for a few minutes while slowly frying.

3.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Cake batter:

1.  In food processor mix together sugar and almond paste.

2.  Add butter and mix together.

3.  Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next.

4.  Add the lemon peel and vanilla and process for few more seconds.

5. Sift together flour and baking powder and with a spatula mix into the batter so that is   doesn’t get over beaten. 


To assemble:

 Once the butter brown sugar mixture has cooled, add 3 cups of raspberries and spread evenly over the butter mixture.  Spoon the batter over the raspberries spreading it evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tester inserted into top of cake (not through raspberries)  comes out clean.  Let sit for a couple minutes and then carefully invert unto platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.