Eating and drinking in season, I suppose, is partly about living in the moment. But it’s an uncommon bayman who doesn’t dream about the next tide’s haul, a rare home cook who doesn’t fantasize about her next meal, an unusual winemaker who doesn’t hypothesize about the coming vintage.
So please grant me this indulgence to look forward.
First, from June 25 to 27, the inaugural Long Island Wine and Food Festival-an annual coming-together conspicuously missing from our backyard-will showcase our complete gastronomic experience, closing with a waterfront wine-beer-eats bash in Greenport. And, this September 24 and 25, the Long Island wine industry is launching the region’s first-ever wine auction, a dramatic affair for aficionados, critics and auctioneers from Gotham’s biggest wine houses that could raise a ton of money for the Peconic Land Trust and East End Hospice, and will include 10-mile meals, wine salons and an 800-person tasting event that will bring together a dozen East End chefs, including the just-returned local boy Keith Luce, now of the Jedediah Hawkins House, to prepare wine-perfect eats.
We at Edible are proud that this September auction coincides with our second annual Eat Drink Local week, September 26 to October 6, a celebration of the local food chain that involves restaurants, wineshops, breweries, cheesemongers and all the people who feed us. (Think of it like a restaurant week with a mission.)
But don’t let these events distract you from more immediate pleasures. It only takes a few months to grow a tomato (perhaps less if you’ve installed a hoophouse like Marilee Foster), and just a few weeks to rethink your diet as part of a Wellness Foundation challenge.
It takes only a day to make a batch of DIY kefir. Sun tea can be brewed in a few hours. In that time, a diner can enjoy the Stone Creek Inn’s cuisine that’s been luring regulars to East Quogue for 14 years.
You can cook a whole bluefish in 15 to 20 minutes. A Georgica blue claw cooks even faster, and a good shucker can open a dozen clams in a few minutes, or less. (Just ask Ken Homan of Braun, the East End’s largest seafood distributor.) Only a minute, and a corkscrew, separate you from tasting a Long Island rosé (a style of wine our region does particularly well). And it takes just a second to put a seed in the ground.