This time of year, we're all getting a little of that "down to the wire" feeling with gifts and all. There are always those folks on our list that are a little tougher to buy for. We're hoping that with the next couple of posts, we'll make some great suggestions for gifts that are either personalized, unique, are an exceptional value, or just superb, tried and true favorites. The first is a fantastic wooden kitchen board, 14" x 17", made in Dorset, Vt, from sustainable grown hardwoods. You can have it personalized and it can turn into a family heirloom. Does your mom make cookies with your grandkids? Does Grandma lovingly roll out homemade noodles for the family every Christmas? What a lovely gift! Personalize it like we've done in the picture, or whatever suits the recipient. If you order by the 15th, we can make sure you'll have it by Christmas.
Welcome to Acorn Farm's blog.
The season of thankful celebration and giving is upon us and that makes for busy days. Acorn Farm is no exception where a few weeks ago Susan shared her expertise in making chocolate candy. Her presentation is always beautiful and her caramels and truffles are award winning. Everyone went away with the recipes and confidence to try to duplicate what they learned. Susan devoted a couple days to making sure all of her candy is perfect and it was! We love her !!
I just had the privilege of attending my 40th high school reunion. I was hesitant to go. I was a skinny-mini person in high school and now I struggle with my weight, so I was a little embarassed about that, and I didn't know if any of my close friends from that time would be there, as most live out of town. To top off my already mounting lack of confidence---I had picked out a dress and showed it to my 16-year-old daughter (typically my trusted consultant, preventing me from getting anything too weird or unflattering.) She told me it was an old lady dress. I had asked for her honest opinion so she was just doing her job. It deflated me a little but dang it ---it was already purchased and I liked it! I decided to throw caution to the wind and showed up at the reunion, wearing the extra pounds, the "old lady dress," and a boatload of doubt.
I'm so glad I decided to go. It was a perfect evening with some fantastic people, great memories, confessions of secret crushes from back in the day, laughter at our stupid high school selves, and joy! No regrets. I can't wait until the next one!
Through the course of the evening, a group of friends and I were making the rounds to all the other tables and found a girl that used to live in our neighborhood and attended our elementary school. She greeted my friend Lynn and said, "I'm so glad you're here, Lynn. I'll never forget you. When we were at Adams elementary, I was always picked last every time we played anything and you were such a great athlete. One day when they were picking teams and you were a captain, you chose me before you had to and I'll never forget how nice that was."
It was a little gesture that took place close to a half century ago, but to this girl, it was unforgettable and life-changing. Significant enough that 47 years later it was in the forefront of her mind.
What a great thing to be remembered for. Kindness. It costs nothing and multiplies over and over again.
Sometimes our inventory just has to be reduced to make room for new so why not make a party out of it? Le Creuset was front and center at our Save To Share event. Community Sharing benefited from the ticket proceeds and the deep discounts went to the thirty five guests who enjoyed wine and appetizers while shopping. We thank everyone who attended and hope you are enjoying the treasures you found. Check out our events page for upcoming fun events at Acorn Farm.
You can tell from Kathy’s smile that she is right in her element and really enjoys the cooking classes and all of the great people that attend. Karen tempted our taste Buds with cider-poached shrimp topped with spicy apple relish. So so good and healthy too. Kathy made a sweet potato and onion tart that would serve as a great dinner or lunch dish by itself. Next up was a roasted cider brined turkey accompanied with a beet, jicama and apple slaw, rice and sage gravy. Yum, Thanksgiving can’t come soon enough! An apple blackberry upside down cake ended the evening. A great class , lots of delicious food and lots of fun.
Mishpocheh means "family" in Yiddish and Caryn Rothenberg shared her Jewish heritage with us as she brought old family recipes to demonstrate and they were deee-licious!! While interjecting lots of humor into family stories Caryn treated us to Beef Brisket cooked slow in it's own au jus and Keugal sweetened with brown sugar and pecans. Wow! What a wonderful combination for the taste buds. Her carrot souffle was the prize winning side dish. Caryn's chicken soup was amazing and the recipe should hang in every doctor's office - as once you taste it you will forget what ails you! Dessert was Mandel Bread - a biscotti like gem filled with chocolate chips, pecans and dried cherries! Yum yum. Thank you Caryn for a great night of cooking at Acorn Farm.
Our very own Kim Krolikowski returned for her third time showing us all her favorites. From the savory and bright Dill Pickle Soup, to the classic and satisfyingly rich Pierogi. Golabki, the epitome of comfort foods, came next and the evening was wrapped up with Polish Cheesecake. Everything smelled, looked and tasted fabulous. Here is Kim with platters of Pierogi. Smacznego!
It's summertime!---The time for delicious steaks sizzling on the grill. The time when a great steak knife becomes a necessity. We love these handsome steak knives from Tramontina, super sharp with a full tang, partially serrated with a nice wooden handle. Since you can buy them individually, you can purchase exactly the amount you need. Perfect for dinner on the deck!
The answer is .......a fabulous tour group from Acorn Farm. Next May 26th - June 5th, we'll do our second Acorn Farm tour, and this time we'll visit Paris and the Provence region of France. We're hammering out the details now, but we'll have the trip open for registration by the beginning of August. Stay tuned!
Just returned from an amazing trip to Barcelona Spain with my 15 year old Grandson, Austin. We both had so many new experiences starting with him conquering the Metro, to me eating Paella and enjoying dinner at a Tapas cafe.
We shared a rice and a noodle Paella-with no shells (recommended by the waiter) along with Sangria. An outstanding meal!
Even though there was a 50-year difference in our ages, it was fun for me to see things through the eyes of a teenager and for him to think "maybe Grandma is cool after all."
Last week we had a lot of fun at our Texican Tapas class. It was all delicious but one of the standouts was Marty's Put-the-Lime-in-the-Coconut Cheesecake. Oh, my! To quote my husband, "that is the best thing you've ever brought home for me from cooking class."
I'm only a little offended that I wasn't the best thing I've ever brought home for him but I'll get over it. The cheesecake was truly amazing. The crust could have been a great dessert all on its own! And the filling.
Marty's a great cook and we're so glad to have her. She frequently assists Steven when he's teaching a class here and she has set the bar pretty high. When she's out of town and the rest of us fill in for her, it's just not the same.
Unfortunately, I was otherwise occupied the evening of this class but I heard it was outstanding and that is no surprise to me. These two made homemade pasta look simple and they turned out some dishes that were as gorgeous as they were delicious. Isn't that salad spectacular? The lemon pasta was fabulous (or so I hear---there was none left to taste,) the homemade herbed ricotta was a standout, and well, everything was on point and delicious!
Thank you Susan and Theresa!
I love Thursdays. Theresa is here on Thursdays and she loves to cook. She also loves to share what she cooks! Today's treat was an Egyptian Lentil Soup. It was definitely a delicious diversion on a drippy, dreary day. We all love Theresa, with or without the soup!
We've had such fun with our Feasting with Friends series of cooking classes! We had Diane Fikany in on March 16th for a wonderful menu that included her fabulous Baked Shrimp Scampi. As you can see, she knows what she's doing and the dish was as pretty as it was delicious! We enjoyed some great sides as well as a little Aperol Spritz---a fun memory of the trip that some of our staff & customers took to the Amalfi Coast a year ago.
We can't wait to have Diane back next time we do a Feasting with Friends series! She's a delight, as always, and it was nice to have her on the other side of the butcher block for a night!
This morning when I came into the store and started my usual routine; make the chips, make the tea, listen to messages, and sweep outside, I was happy about spending a few minutes out in the sunshine. I started sweeping the front walk and finally pushed the last of all the leaves and twigs toward the curb. I turned around to walk back into the store, and in my path I saw a few little piles of leaves and string that hadn't been there just a few seconds earlier. I looked up to find the little guy pictured above, furiously pulling stuff out from behind our sign and apparently fashioning a new nest for future family members. We continued our little game for a few minutes, with me sweeping and turning around a few more times to find another bit of fluff waiting for me.
It was a nice reminder that in a few weeks, we'll be enjoying all the sights and scents that come with spring. Along with the daffodils and tulips come the fresh breezes that hint of fresh starts, renewal, growth and all those other things in life that are so important.
When you go outside today, soak in that beautiful sunshine and take a deep breath of spring. It does the heart good!
What a fun evening with Paul & Tracy Beauregard as they took us on a 'ride' into the life of a Louisianan. Paul & Tracy brought along their Creole music to set us in the mood, provided the historical significance of each dish they made, and gifted each guest with Mardi Gras beads and colorful napkins. Paul started the evening off with his mouth-watering Cajun crab cakes and remoulade sauce. mmmm,mmmm good! Thank goodness Paul had plenty on hand because everyone was asking for seconds. I may have even seen some ask for thirds. Oh, wait! That was me, haha. Paul revealed that the secret behind a great gumbo is in the roux. He also revealed what it is that makes the beans so tender in his Red Beans and Rice. Tracy made the traditional and oh-so-delicious King Cake complete with the hidden baby, promising the finder a year of prosperity & good luck. Our guest, Rick, found the baby in his piece and won a prize.
Truly a delightful evening! Stay tuned.....our class list for April and May will be out within the next two weeks.
On the eighth of February, we welcomed Beverly Paisley, one of Kathy's dearest friends and her cooking inspiration through the years. She demonstrated how to make her wonderful Hungarian Goulash, complete with an authentic spaetzle. Her flaky, delicious apple strudel brought our class to an end with a sweet memory. It was a fun night....so enjoyable to hear how Beverly's mom's recipes are being passed down and around Beverly was so gracious and we felt priveleged that we were the recipients of some of her family's culinary treasures.
We try to make all of our cooking classes top-notch, but once in a while we have one that our customers just can't get enough of. Our own Kim K., (100% Polish, by the way), taught a Polish class last year, using her family recipes. It was the first to fill up and was SO good, we had to run it again. The encore performance this Monday night certainly did not dissappoint. Her dill pickle soup brought rave reviews from the guests, many of whom are very accomplished cooks. Next came the best-ever pierogies. She demonstrated how she makes the dough, cuts them into small circles and then stuffs then with either a sauerkraut or potato mixture - both delicious. Their side kick was a mouth-watering cabbage rolls, slowly cooked in a tomato sauce with bacon. I believe everyone licked their plates.
As if that all wasn't enough, she then proceeded to teach her outstanding Polish Cheesecake.
Thanks, Kim, for sharing those old family recipes--indeed the most treasured.
You should have been at last Thursday's class. Talk about wonderful!
Teresa Silver, a friend of Acorn Farm and guest chef, presented her delicious Porcini Crusted Filet Mignon with a twice-baked potato. Her appetizer was a mushroom croustade and it was easy to make, freeze ahead, and oh---so tasty! Such a fun evening. It was fun to see some new and young faces, too!
Thanks, Teresa, for coming into our Acorn home and making it a night to remember.
PS - The fudge pudding cake was absolutely "ooh la la"---the perfect ending!
Last May, I had the opportunity to take a cooking class in Florence, Italy. What a fun day! After walking through the markets and picking up the fresh ingredients, we went to a villa overlooking the city and cooked a complete meal.
We enjoyed making bruschetta, pasta, meat sauce, roast pork, roast potatoes, and ending with tiramisu. You can see it in the picture above, and even make it yourself from the recipe below.
What a great way to spend the day in a beautiful country.