Posts Tagged ‘farm-to-table’

Follow the Cheese to the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail

November 9th, 2011 by Gail

One of the great truths of life is that if you bring a group of people together, they’ll want to eat. No matter the occasion, no matter the location, people enjoy breaking bread together. Sharing a meal breaks the ice and creates a bond.

As the holidays approach, many of us are seeking new flavors for our tables. With holiday gatherings filling our calendars, we want simple dishes that will wow our guests. We want appetizers that will impress without taking hours to prepare.

Say cheese!!!

Visit the artisan cheese makers of the Finger Lakes Region on November 19, 2011.

It’s hard to go wrong with cheese.

A day spent traveling the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is sure to unveil gustatory delights. Opportunities to visit artisan cheese makers in the Finger Lakes Region are few, but these craftspeople are opening their doors to the public on Saturday, November 19, 2011. It’s a perfect time to spend the weekend at our Finger Lakes Region Bed and Breakfast.

The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is comprised of thirteen cheese makers. Folks who follow the cheese are invited to tour the facilities and sample the cheese. Participants include:

  • Cowlick Farm, a Finger Lakes Micro-creamery producing pure Creamline Jersey cow milk.
  • 4 Tin Fish Farm, a micro goat dairy producing farmstead cheese from Alpine dairy goats.
  • Shtayburne Farm, a farm with fat happy cows and fifteen hand crafted cheeses.
  • Sunset View Creamery, a dairy run by the 4th and 5th generations of Hoffmans and a Farmstead / Artisan Creamery.

Following the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is a wonderful way to explore the farming communities of the Finger Lakes Region. It is also a fabulous way to find new flavors for your table. Imagine serving “Across the Pond” from Keeley’s Cheese Company, a semi-soft rind cheese made from raw milk and aged in an underground cellar that you’ve visited. You’ll be able to entertain your guests with stories of your Cheese Trail travels as you all enjoy the cheeses you brought back with you.

Why not make a weekend of it, using our Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast as a base? Visit creameries on Saturday and Finger Lakes wineries on Sunday. Wine is the perfect accompaniment to cheese, after all.

Local cheese should be a part of any stay at Halsey House. Many wineries in the region serve local cheeses to wine tasters. Finger Lakes cheese is also available at a number of local farmers markets and shops, such as the Ithaca Bakery, the Ithaca GreenStar Natural Market, Red Jacket Orchards, and the Trumansburg ShurSave (close to our Finger Lakes B&B). In addition, some creameries are open to the public on a regular basis.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the Cheese Trail on the 19th; you can still enjoy Finger Lakes cheese.  Please visit our Reservations page to reserve a room at our Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast.

A complete list of Finger Lakes Region creameries and dairies is available at the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail.

Let’s Talk Food – The Finger Lakes Experience

May 18th, 2011 by KC Christopher

Travel.  Vacations.  You come, you play, you eat, you sleep.  You experience what is not at home.  And food can be a large part of that experience.  Do you know that favorite foods differ in regions within the same state?  New York gives us pastrami sandwiches, Chinatown and Little Italy in ”the city”, while clear across the state, Buffalo is home to the infamous chicken wings, giros, superb pizza and beef on ’weck.

tender grilled beef and garden-fresh vegetables

And, located in the middle of upstate New York, you will find the Finger Lakes.  An area known for it’s stunning topography, fashioned from glaciers that left behind glittering long, deep lakes, gorges, waterfalls, and plenty of fertile farmland.  Throw in to this mix the culture of a small city that has two reknowned colleges, Cornell University and Ithaca College, and you have progressive thinking that brings us the best in agriculture.  We’re talking organic foods, luscious grapes on the vines turned into award-winning local wines, meat and poultry that is free-range and free of growth hormones.  All locally grown, fresh and healthy.

beautiful vegetarian baked eggplant dish

The locavore movement is alive and thriving in the Finger Lakes.  Restaurants such as Simply Red Bistro,  Hazelnut Kitchen, Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine and Ithaca’s very own Moosewood Restaurant feature menus created with local, organic, seasonal ingredients.  World-class chefs are bringing their talents and families to upstate NY, not only for the quality of life but also to merge their passion for creating delicious dishes with the farm-to-table opportunity these communities provide.

Chef Samantha preparing dinner in Atwater vineyard

Perhaps the best way to experience the natural beauty of our area in combination with the bounty of the field is through Vine Dining. At Atwater Estate Vineyards along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, a table is set in the vineyard overlooking Seneca Lake, and Chef Samantha Buyskes of Simply Red Bistro will prepare the dinner table-side for 24 people.  This popular event is being offered on three dates;  Sunday, July 31st, Friday, August 26th & Friday, September 23rd, 2011.  Book your place at the table and your room at Halsey House and make a memory you’ll long to repeat for years to come.

The Halsey House Goes Locavore in 2011 with a CSA Membership

April 6th, 2011 by KC Christopher

organic local vegetables

a sample of NY farm fresh local organic vegetables at the farmer’s market

Last year Halsey House went locavore with our first on-site organic vegetable garden, made entirely possible by the efforts of our gardener extraordinaire, Erica Ungleich.  Under Erica’s hand, the gardens are filling in and becoming more beautiful at Halsey House.   We are anxious to get started this year with expanded plantings and some new designs.

In 2010, our new crop of herbs and vegetables became wonderful savory breakfast dishes for our guests to enjoy.  This year we will adjust our own garden by adding berries, continuing the luscious tomatoes, cutting back on the zucchinis and green peppers (these multiplied like rabbits!) and nixing the cantaloupe and carrots.

field of cauliflower

a field of organic cauliflower

And for a source of other local organic produce, we are proud to announce our new membership in a fine Trumansburg CSA, Sweetland Farm.  What is a CSA you ask?  Here is the explanation from Sweetland’s own website:

“Community Supported Agriculture evolved to bring farmers, farmland, and a community of members together into a meaningful relationship that equitably meets the needs of all three parties. Farmers need a place to farm and make a viable living. Farmland needs to be enriched and nurtured so that it can yield bountiful harvests year after year. Members need a dependable source of vibrant, richly grown food. All of these needs must be kept in balance. Sweet Land Farm is a CSA-only farm, so everything that we grow is for you, the shareholders. This makes the above-mentioned balance nicely transparent. All of the money that we receive from members is either put into the farm, or paid to the farmers and farm workers. All of the produce that the farmers, farm workers, and farmland produces is distributed to the members. As a member you are truly ensuring this farm’s existence and a small farm family’s livelihood.”

fresh strawberries

juicy fresh-picked strawberries

Look for our new dishes featuring farm-to-table freshness on Halsey House breakfast table this year.  If you have a great breakfast recipe you’d like to share, we’d be happy to give it a try.

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