After more than three years of employment, Seacoast Eat Local announces the departure of its Director of Programs, Jillian (Hall) Eldredge. Jill will be leaving her post at Seacoast Eat Local in order to pursue a full-time grants management position with the Foundation for Healthy Communities in Concord, NH. Her last day of employment will be Friday, March 1.
During her tenure with Seacoast Eat Local, Jill oversaw the expansion of the organization’s programs and staff. Most notably, this included the creation of the Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM) Program and the hiring of its year-round, full-time coordinator, Celeste Gingras. Other successes included the awarding of the organization’s first federal grant, the USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program grant, and the establishment of defined employee evaluation, policies and benefits programs. Among the many joys of her position, Jill most thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the relationships she was able to build with staff, farmers, consumers and others. We know she will not be a stranger at markets or local farm stands!
The entire Seacoast Eat Local team of board and staff members have worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition without interruption of services for staff, farmers, funding partners or consumers. The organization has every confidence in its continued success moving forward and is excited for a new chapter in its development. Please stay tuned for future hiring announcements!
In the interim period, Shelly Smith (Program Coordinator) will be the primary staff contact for Seacoast Eat Local.
Cabbage is one of the most widely available and inexpensive vegetables on the planet. It comes in many varieties and can be grown at different times in the season, which is key to popularity up here in New England, where the weather is so very unpredictable. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but cabbage is very versatile to cook with; it can be eaten raw or cooked, stuffed, baked, sautéed, chopped up into coleslaw, or stirred into hearty soups and stews. It really is only limited by your imagination, as it works well with almost any other ingredient.
Cabbage is also rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and potassium, and can last about a week in the refrigerator by itself. When you’re buying cabbage, you want to look for fresh, crisp-looking leaves, with heads that seem heavy for their size.
A friend of mine recently told me she hates cabbage and can’t seem to find any good way to prepare it, so I thought I would also add a great recipe to either warm you up to cabbage with, or maybe shake up your normal cabbage-preparing routine. Enjoy!
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples Serves: 4
- 1 medium red cabbage, cored, quartered, and shredded
- 4 firm cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- Combine the cabbage and apples in a large bowl. Add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss well.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and saute until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and apples, stir well, and add the wine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently under the cabbage is tender, about 40 minutes. Add a little water as needed to maintain a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve hot.
Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook
This past weekend, I attended my first farmers market as a Seacoast Eat Local Intern, and I had so much fun! One component at the market that I loved was the smell of the broth from one of the vendors. The next day I went home and found an incredible soup recipe, and I thought what better thing to write about than how to make homemade soup, particularly in this cold weather. I also am currently fighting an illness, so luckily I had leftovers of this, and I hope it brings comfort to any of you battling illness right now. This is a recipe I found from Taste of Home, and it turned out absolutely delicious for me! Also, I would recommend visiting your next farmers market to pick up some of the ingredients for this soup!
- 2-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
- 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 4 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1) Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches, skin side down; cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; remove and discard skin. Discard drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons.
2) Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes.
3) Transfer chicken to a plate. Remove soup from heat. Add noodles; let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones.
5) Shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to stockpot. Stir in parsley and lemon juice.
6) Adjust seasoning with salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove bay leaves.
(Ultimate Chicken Soup, Taste of Home.)
I had a wonderful first experience at the winter market this past Saturday at the Exeter High School, and it was so lovely to meet with many of you that stopped by the SEL table throughout the day.
One of the very first things I noticed about the environment of the market was the wonderful smell of onions and garlic! It got me thinking about some good recipes to really highlight some of our winter vegetables. I overheard some customers at market saying that they were running out of ideas to work with cold-season gems, so I wanted to share a roasted shallots recipe with you all. This recipe is for a side dish that pairs best with game birds, steak, chicken, and turkey. I can almost smell that deliciousness from here! Enjoy!
· 12 shallots, peeled
· 4 cloves garlic, peeled
· 1 cup olive oil
· 4 springs thyme
· 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 250°F
2. Combine all ingredients into a shallow baking dish, toss to mix well.
3. Roast, stirring occasionally, for about 1 ½ hours, or until shallots are soft, carnalized, and a deep golden brown.
4. Discard thyme and rosemary springs and serve.
Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook, Sally Ann Berk
Today, for my blog, I thought I would talk about a wonderful program known as “Harvest of the Month.” The goals of this program are very simple- seasonal eating, healthy diets, and supporting the local economy. The harvest for the month of February is cabbage. Despite the fact that it does not sound all that exciting, cabbage packs a wide variety of nutrients- particularly vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate! Therefore, it might be worth trying this month! A simple cabbage recipe, that is one of my personal favorites, is braised cabbage. The recipe below yields four servings, and requires the following:
- 1lb cabbage (1 head)
- 3/4 stick of butter (6 Tbsp)
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste, any herb or spice, or even bacon!
- Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch-wide ribbons and place into a wide pan with the water.
- Cook, covered, over medium heat until the cabbage is tender, approximately 10 minutes.
- Drain the cabbage and toss with butter, salt, and pepper.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, check out how beautiful this vegetable is!
Join Seacoast Eat Local and Vernon Family Farm for the next installment of our very popular local foods workshop series!
Come see a small scale commercial mushroom production operation at Vernon Family Farm. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a working farm and learn about the process of
producing oyster and shiitake mushrooms for a commercial market. Taste hot mushroom broth, see a fruiting room, and harvest your own fresh cut shrooms to take home with some mushroom broth! Vernon Family Farm’s store will be open and cozy with a wood stove and warm broth. Bring an above average attitude and you might just meet some fungies.
Saturday, March 16
10:30am-12pm at Vernon Family Farm
Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and space for this event is limited! Please contact the staff of Seacoast Eat Local with questions.
Hey everyone! My name is Aimee, I am excited to be one of Seacoast Eat Local’s new interns! This is my first time working with Seacoast Eat Local, and I am looking forward to working with a wonderful organization that puts a strong emphasis on healthy and locally sourced foods.
A little bit about my background, I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire of the Nutrition and Dietetics program. I have a dual major in Ecogastronomy, in which I study sustainable food systems and how they impact various aspects of life- including nutritionally and economically. As you can see, I devote my studies to food and sustainability.
My interest in Seacoast Eat Local stems from my desire to work in the field of community nutrition and public health. I have done some work at a local food pantry that puts an emphasis on locally grown food, and I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Through my work at this food pantry, called the Waysmeet Center, I discovered where my strongest interests regarding nutrition were and have been working to expand my experiences in it.
Before college, I grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. I often went to farms to find different vegetables with my parents and friends, and those trips were always enjoyable. I remember being interested by all the types of foods at farms and farmers markets that could not be found in our regular grocery stores (typically Hannafords or Market Basket) and I am excited to work at the farmers markets with Seacoast Eat Local and spread my excitement about food!
If anyone has anything they would like to see on this blog, do not hesitate to reach out! I hope to see you at the markets soon!
Also, this is a picture of me at one of my favorite farms! Parlee Farms, in Tyngsboro, MA, has a pick your own flowers and blueberries in the summer time! I am in their beautiful flower field, and fun fact- it was pouring in this picture!
Hello there! My name is Melissa, and I am one of the Seacoast Eat Local interns this year. This is my second time around with SEL, having interned over this past summer at the farmer’s markets, and I’m very excited to be working in a great environment and be totally surrounded by wholesome, locally grown foods again!
I am a senior at UNH in my last semester of the Nutrition and Dietetics program, as well as a dual major in EcoGastronomy, which is the study of sustainable food systems and its impact it has socially, economically, and nutritionally. I can’t wait to graduate, and while I haven’t sorted out my exact dream job, I feel a strong pull towards community nutrition and sustainable local foods—so you could say this job is a great fit for me!
One of my favorite parts about the markets would have to be watching the young kids get all excited about being able to pick out the fruits and veggies they want at the market, and seeing them have the same excitement about picking fresh carrots as I’ve heard some little kids get excited about candy. It warms my heart as a future nutrition professional, and makes me think about how I was raised around food. I didn’t have parents who were really into it and brought me every week to help them pick out our groceries like I see many children with their parents, but instead grew up the rather “conventional way”. I grew up in Hooksett, NH, a nice town in the middle of Concord and Manchester, but spent most of my time in either Hooksett or Manchester. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Manchester market almost every weekend of the summer when I was about 11 or 12, and though the market is pretty small there, I loved everything the market had to offer, and wished I could have spent more time there. But my parents just weren’t into it, and I was pretty much only allowed to go there to grab a little snack after they picked me up from the nearby summer camp. Looking back on an adult and experiencing the market every week now, I’m so happy for all of the little kids I see running by with our wooden tokens, racing to find a bundle of carrots or rhubarb, sort of wishing I had the same up-bringing, but knowing that it only enriches the advice I will give to parents as a future dietitian, because I believe that once the children think it’s fun and are on-board with healthy eating choices, the rest of the family just sort of follows suit, and it leads to better chances of a healthy lifestyle sticking in a family over a longer period of time.
I’m looking forward to this spring with SEL to experience a spring harvest for the first time, and I’ll be sure to provide some fun, interesting blog posts in the future for recipes and nutritional information, so if you have a request in mind, don’t be a stranger! Come visit me at the Rollinsford markets, I would love to meet you and chat!