In Our Winter 2016 Issue

By Dana Jackson / Photography By Betsy Robson | Last Updated November 15, 2016
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edible nutmeg winter 2016 cover


As the year draws to a close and winter stretches out before us, it can be easy to mistakenly assume that the quiet Connecticut landscape is sleeping. Although it seems hushed in comparison to the warm days of summer, the forest is still full of activity, its denizens largely occupied with their relentless pursuit of food. Chipmunks and squirrels raid each other's forgotten acorn stashes; birds bounce upon empty bird feeders and stare into our windows with indignation; deer dig hooves into the snow to uncover the now-frozen delicacies of a months' old summer bounty.

Of course, we're hungry too, and winter can sometimes feel equally sparse for us, with the lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other offerings of summer. But we would be in error, again, to assume that Connecticut's food production is asleep during these winter months. In fact, some of the year's most delicious, nutrient-rich food makes its appearance right now, joining us on our holiday tables and escorting us into a new year. From local dairy products, like milk, butter, and cheese, to ethically raised animal products, like beef, pork, and eggs, to preserved fruits and vegetables from the season past, Connecticut is brimming with local foods for our winter kitchens.

In this issue, I'm happy to highlight some of those: businesses like Churncraft, in New Canaan, which is striving to bring homemade butter back into our homes, or local author Derek Dellinger, who brings fresh attention to some decidedly unfresh (but well-fermented!) foods. I also hope you'll enjoy reading about the tumultuous history and uncharted future of the American chestnut tree, which long provided the New England winter staple featured on our cover: roasted chestnuts.

With the seasonal end to many of our state's farmers markets, winter may find us seeing less of our local food producers, but their offerings are neither less abundant nor less nourishing during these months. And the success of their mission to provide Connecticut with sustainably produced, local food is no less critical. I hope you'll join me in reaching out to, visiting, and supporting your local farmers and food producers this winter with as much gusto as we did all summer. After all, a well-stocked winter pantry provides one of the great pleasures of the season. Cheers, happy holidays, and the best of the season to all of you.

-Dana Jackson, Editor & Publisher

Baldanza Café

Soup at Baldanza Cafe
Although easily missed, accessed via a brick-lined alley that hides it from the clamor of New Canaan’s busy Elm Street, BALDANZA Cafe is bustling.

Caseus Bistro’s Jason Sobocinski

Jason Sobocinski
An ever-growing presence in Connecticut’s culinary scene, Caeseus Bistro‘s founder and owner Jason Sobocinski has a story to tell.

The Return of the American Chestnut

Bill Adamsen
David Bingham makes a small X with his knife in each of the American chestnuts, then microwaves them until he hears five small pops signaling all have burst from their shells. It’s easier than...

Blue Earth Compost Anything That Grows, Goes

Compost on the doorstep
Blue Earth Compost picks up compostable materials from homes, businesses, and events, and delivers compost in return.

Churncraft, A New Canaan Family’s Mission to Make Better Butter

Churncraft Butter
What is old is new again, so goes the saying. The Frey family of New Canaan is counting on the spirit of those words, along with the explosive growth of the local food movement, to ignite interest in...

Pecan Sugar Cinnamon Butter, Homemade Compound Butter

pecan, sugar, cinnamon butter
Winter is a great time to put some homemade butter to use, and the sweet, nutty flavor of this compound butter is perfect for spreading on banana French toast or pancakes.

Baked Apples

baked apples
Baked apples make a special breakfast treat on a cold winter morning, or you can put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on them and serve them as a dessert.

Interview with Derek Dellinger, Author of The Fermented Man

Derek Dellinger
Derek Dellinger, author of "The Fermented Man," decided to eat nothing but fermented foods for an entire year, exposing a surprising truth: fermented foods are much more a part of our lives than we...

Vegetarian Chili

vegetarian chili
Everything is better on a cold winter’s day with a bowl of warm vegetarian chili, prepared with some fresh local ingredients and enjoyed over table-talk with loved ones. Growing up in Toronto, my...
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