Winter on the East End does not mean our farmers are lonely or expect to be forgotten, for our local food scene stays vibrant. And we have plenty to write about. Like cauliflower, one of the brassicas that get harvested in late fall and will last over the winter. Just like pumpkins, once their October heyday has passed, they’re still an important part of the food chain. At this time of year, these vegetable become an important part of the offerings at local food pantries.
Farmer Marilee Foster remembers a time when farmers whose fields then stretched to the sea, put down their hoes and picked up fishing nets. It was a wild west, but it kept them busy. So do CSAs, which East Hampton couple Carissa Katz and Jeremy Samuelson frequent in the summer, but put up the produce of to eat in the leaner months.
Coffee is good year round, especially from Hampton Coffee Company, which has grown exponentially over the years and now occupies a state-of-the-art tasting room, roasting house in Southampton. Other libations include Martha Clara’s fortified wine, Clusters. It’s a rich, deep and satisfying after dinner treat, perfect in front of a fire. So is the new vermouths from Channing Daughters, made with flavorings that reflect the changes in season on the East End. And the guys at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, always moving forward, have sowen the region’s first crop of malting barley that, if all goes well this winter, will be turned into about 60 kegs of suds next year.
So grab your copy at a local market or in the tasting room of one of the wineries. If you spend some time out of town, this would be a good time to sign up for a subscription, and for a time we’re running a two-for-one special. Pick one up for yourself and send one to a friend as the perfect holiday gift.