JUNE 19TH CSA: Our demo is with Alex from Calendonia Spirits - he will be creati...Read more >
Our May Supper Club, last night, brought together two dear souls, and cu...Read more >
Haven's Kitchen is very excited to be hosting our very own CSA site this summer,...Read more >
Everyday the staff at Haven’s Kitchen gathers around the farm table in our tea...Read more >
JUNE 19TH CSA: Our demo is with Alex from Calendonia Spirits - he will be creating two signature cocktails using Bar Hill Gin. We will be selling ricotta, focaccia, and a seasonal spread, along with a beer, wine, and specialty cocktail bar.
Week one of our CSA was a great success. Twenty-six sacks of vegetables arrived just in time for members to begin rolling in to pick up their shares. The first installment included a generous helping of red leaf lettuce, dinosaur kale, turnips, radishes, mint, garlic scapes, broccoli, zucchini, and yellow squash.
Nick Westervelt, from Clawhammer Farm, joined us in welcoming members with a grab bag of assorted cuts of pork, beef, and lamb. Everyone got a kick out of reaching into a box of “mystery meats”, that turned out to be lamb chops and bacon, and it was a real treat to get (free!) sustainably raised proteins to compliment our vegetable shares.
Some members came and went with their provisions, while others stayed and caught up over a cocktail and a piece of freshly baked focaccia with house made ricotta. The gathering was just what we hoped for and set a lovely tone for a warm and wonderful, Wednesday evening.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Leah, Louisa, and Nate, friends of mine who are sharing this season. They planned to cook their vegetables together that night and invited me along.
We strolled towards the West Village and stopped along the way, picking up Parmesan and fruit, bottles of rosé, and other ingredients to round out our meal. Then, when we reached the apartment, my very favorite kind of cooking ensued – without any recipes or restrictions, everyone grabbed a cast iron pan and wooden spoon and started cooking.
Some cooks took the lead, while others asked ‘what can I do’? Nate cleaned lettuce and sliced radishes and Leah sautéed shrimp with herbs and garlic scapes. Louisa cut plums and tore mint leaves. I braised turnip greens with bacon then roasted pork tenderloin with balsamic onions. Two more friends arrived.
We used a almost everything we had in our totes and within no time at all, had a rustic summer meal set out on the buffet. We broke bread and poured wine. We filled our plates and sat in silence, savoring the freshness of everything we ate. Eventually the room refilled with laughter, but for a few moments, you could feel the quiet gratitude as everyone filled their bellies.
This is exactly the way we like to cook at Haven’s Kitchen – no pretense, only joyful congregation, with a little bit of lemon juice, salt, and rosé. Success.
Because of the impromptu nature of this gathering, my photos are lacking, but please check back next week for a post on a backyard Brooklyn dinner with my dear friend, Shaina, Public Programs Manager at Stone Barns.
Julia Sullivan: Currently Operations Manager at Haven’s Kitchen, and our opening Chef back in 2012, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2009, worked at Stone Barns, Per Se, Franny’s and was a private chef in NYC and the Hamptons before joining the Haven’s Kitchen opening team.
Tonight kicks of the start of our twenty-two week CSA season. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In practice, CSA is when a group of community members subscribe to a weekly share of vegetables grown on a local farm and pay up front, in order to ensure a certain amount of income to fund operations in the year ahead. Beyond that, CSA payments are a form of insurance – in the event of a drought or blight, the farm has income to rely on. CSA members enter into this agreement with the understanding that they will receive the produce that is available on the farm each week. Farmers are inherently encouraged to diversify their farm in order to keep their members happy and well fed throughout the season. Shares are intended provide vegetables for a family of four, so many members will divide shares.
This season, Haven’s Kitchen partnered with Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, New York. Once a week, for twenty-two weeks, Katchkie will drop totes full of farm fresh produce for our CSA members to pick up. In hopes of putting the ‘community’ in CSA, we are hosting cooking demos and cocktail hours each week so that our members can engage with our chefs, farmers, and distillers, as well as one another, and maybe learn a little something about the ingredients sent their way.
This season, I subscribed to our CSA in order to reconnect with cooking for my community and myself. Something interesting about cooks, chefs, and other industry professionals, is that we spend very little time cooking at home. You might say, ‘neither does the average American,’ but for folks who devote their lives to food, who train tirelessly behind a hot stove, who sacrifice nights, weekends, and holidays to cook for others, you may think we would take some time to cook for ourselves. Right? Not often.
The truth is, we do eat, and often quite well. If we work in places with cooks that care, we eat staff meal, sometimes twice a day. We eat out – we explore, we save and we indulge, and sometimes we just indulge. In the two years following culinary school, I ate at more Michelin starred restaurants than most people do in a lifetime.
So, we eat at work, we eat out, we work long, off hours, and while no one is going hungry, we rarely take the time tend our own hearths – to cook food at home, for ourselves, our friends, or our families. We miss out on the reason that many of us started cooking in the first place.
My resolution this season is to utilize my farm share each week in a way that nourishes my relationship with home cooking and my bonds with friends and family. I want to share the experience with you through photos and recipes. I will introduce you to other Haven’s Kitchen CSA members – like Ian, a friend who will divide a share with me, Nate and Leah, who will divide a share also, and our chefs Dave, Cindy, and Marie, who bought shares as well. I stocked my kitchen, in preparation, with lemons, vinegar, sea salt, and olive oil, and I hope to use up every last bit of dry goods in my long neglected pantry – now all I need are my vegetables. See you tonight!
Our Haven's Kitchen team is very excited to be attending Much Ado About Madoo in Sagaponack, NY on Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15!
Described as an "ever changing masterpiece" by the New York Times, Madoo Conservancy is,"Dedicated to the study, preservation, and enhancement of madoo, the ever changing, horticulturally diverse garden with historic structures established in 1967 by artist, gardener, and writer Robert Dash in the village of Sagaponack, New York. At Madoo, a unique living tribute to the artistic imagination of its founder, we seek to continually engage, educate, and inspire our visitors within this ever-changing, entirely organic environment."
Haven's Kitchen will be participating in a number of events for this fundraising weekend, and hope to see you there!
Julia will be teaching a Potager to Party demonstration, and Alison and Lela will be talking about Haven's Kitchen, selling Granola, and lots of other fun goodies!