Fall Harvest

PIcking Rainbow Chard in our school gardens for product knowledge class.

PIcking Rainbow Chard in our school gardens for Product Knowledge class.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino

Lunch at Bread Alone

Lunch at Bread Alone

A weekend hasn't gone by yet without a stop for gelato!

A weekend hasn’t gone by yet without a trip for gelato!

I had another food filled weekend here at school. Friday afternoon in Product Knowledge class we sampled just about everything green.  We learned all the different lettuce types and salad greens from bitter radicchio to sweet mache.  Our chef prepared some sauteed greens and raw salads to show us the versatility within the lettuce family.

Anheuser Busch Theater for Product Knowledge

Anheuser Busch Theater for Product Knowledge.  This lecture hall has a full kitchen in the front for class demos and guest chefs.

Mache greens

Mache greens

Before every class a few student volunteers help prepare the  tastings for lecture.

Before every class a few student volunteers help prepare the tastings for lecture.

These mache greens are hydroponically grown so they ship in a box with soil. They are so delicate and fragile that to prepare them we cut the leaves off the top and avoided washing them.  Just a small amount of water pressure would damage them.

These mache greens are hydroponically grown so they ship in a box with soil. They are so delicate and fragile that to prepare them we cut the leaves off the top and avoided washing them. Just a small amount of water pressure would damage them. Mache has a sweet, mild grassy flavor.

Before class I helped set up these demo plates of raw lettuce and salad greens.  Since we often sample the food in a simple cooked preparation or with other components it is important to see what it looks like in its raw form.  We also need to the quality and condition factors for each product in this class.

Before class I helped set up these demo plates of raw lettuce and salad greens. Since we often sample the food in a simple cooked preparation or with other components it is important to see what it looks like in its raw form. We also need to learn what quality and condition factors to check  for for each of the products in this class.

Swiss chard.  This green is often used in similar applications to spinach.

Swiss chard. This green is often used in similar applications to spinach.

Rainbow chard or Bright Lights.

Rainbow chard or Bright Lights. This one was picked right before class so that it retained its bright colors and vibrant leaves.

Escarole and radicchio varieties

Escarole and radicchio varieties

Arugula...one my favorites! I love its peppery taste.  At home I make lots of salads with arugula, top pizzas with it and make pesto.

Arugula…one my favorites! I love its peppery taste. At home I make lots of salads with arugula, top pizzas with it and make pesto.

At first we were confused why this coffee was part of our daily tasting since we were studying greens.  However, it turned out this New Orleans native coffee is ground with chicory.  The chicory family of greens includes the bitter greens like endive, radicchio, frisee, trevisano, etc.  This coffee was like dessert  Our chef combined the strong coffee with sweet and condensed milk.

At first we were confused why this coffee was part of our daily tasting since we were studying greens. However, it turned out this New Orleans native coffee is ground with chicory. The chicory family of greens includes the bitter greens like endive, radicchio, frisee, trevisano, etc. This coffee was like dessert because our chef combined the strong coffee with sweet and condensed milk.

We compared the sweet delicate flavor of mache to the overpowering bitter flavor of radicchio (left).  Our chef also prepared two delicious salads.  A classic arugula salad with Parmesan cheese and balsamic and a Romaine salad with carrot-ginger dressing.

We compared the sweet delicate flavor of mache to the overpowering bitter flavor of radicchio (left). Our chef also prepared two delicious salads. A classic arugula salad with Parmesan cheese and balsamic and a Romaine salad with carrot-ginger dressing.

Spring greens

Spring greens

Spinach sauteed with garlic and shallots and swiss chard sauteed with soy sauce and ginger.

Spinach sauteed with garlic and shallots and swiss chard sauteed with soy sauce and ginger.

On Saturday some friends and I headed into Rhinebeck for a late lunch and some shopping. It was a beautiful fall day to enjoy all of the great local food Rhinebeck has to offer.

The Beeckman Arms is an established inn in Rhinebeck.

The Beeckman Arms in Rhinebeck is the oldest operating inn in America.

Beautiful fall trees lining the streets of Rhinebeck.

Beautiful fall trees lining the streets of Rhinebeck.

Pumpkins all over the town from Halloween.

Pumpkins all over the town from Halloween.

Spent the afternoon in Rhinebeck with friends eating and shopping!

Spent the afternoon in Rhinebeck with friends eating and shopping!

Bread Alone in Rhinebeck makes a fantastic cappuccino.

Bread Alone in Rhinebeck makes a fantastic cappuccino. I’ve gotten one every time i’ve been there.

This was the best thing I've had at Bread Alone.  A simple pesto, arugula, oven-dried tomato and mozzarella on toasted multi-grain bread. It was perfect!

This was the best thing I’ve had at Bread Alone. A simple pesto, arugula, oven-dried tomato and mozzarella on toasted multi-grain bread. It was perfect!

My favorite - gelato! This was a combination of half salted caramel and passionfruit.  They had so many new flavors to try this week but I loved the passionfruit so much last time I had to get it again.  I guess i'll just have to go back...

My favorite – gelato! This was a combination of half salted caramel and passionfruit. They had so many new flavors to try this week but I loved the passionfruit so much last time I had to get it again. I guess i’ll just have to go back.!

We went into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar store...only culinary students would find this place entertaining on a Saturday afternoon!

We went into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, Pure Mountain…only culinary students would find this place entertaining on a Saturday afternoon!

Shopping in Rhinebeck...there are lots of culinary and home good stores.

Shopping in Rhinebeck…there are lots of culinary and home good stores. Again, really not many people my age except culinary students find these stores entertaining.

We wanted one of everything in most of these stores...especially the cook books.

We wanted one of everything in most of these stores…especially the cookbooks.

Beautiful pottery

Beautiful Polish pottery

More cookbooks

More cookbooks

We ran into this store hosting a a book release for Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi Illustrated by Wnedy Hollender

We ran into this store hosting a book release for a new foraging cookbook.

This was at Blue Cashew, a kitchen supply store in Rhinebeck.

This was at Blue Cashew, a kitchen supply store in Rhinebeck.

They had samples to try of their food.  Even though I had just finished lunch I tried this drink and one of their truffles.

They had samples of their food to try. Even though I had just finished lunch I tried this drink and one of their truffles.

The drink I tried was a Raspberry Lemon Balm Agua Fresca...naturally sweet and herbal.

The drink I tried was a Raspberry Lemon Balm Agua Fresca…naturally sweet and herbal.

They had a beautiful spread of foraged bites!

They had a beautiful spread of foraged bites to try.

They had both sweet and savory choices.

They had both sweet and savory choices.

Pesto spread

Pesto spread

Herbal truffles

Herbal truffles

I have to say I was a little hesitant to try one of these truffles at first, but it surprised me.  It tasted like inside of a Fig Newton cookie.

I have to say I was a little hesitant to try one of these truffles at first, but it surprised me. It tasted like inside of a Fig Newton cookie.

Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide & Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi Illustrated by Wendy Hollender

Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide & Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi Illustrated by Wendy Hollender

It is such a beautiful and colorful book to look at.

It is such a beautiful and colorful book to look at.

We found another chocolate shop. Krause's Chocolate Shop in Rhinebeck.

We found another chocolate shop! Krause’s Chocolate Shop in Rhinebeck.

I will definitely be coming back here! They had lots of candy and chocolate packaged for gifts.

I will definitely be coming back here! They had lots of homemade bagged candies and chocolates to buy.  This store reminded me of the candy shops found all over Cape Cod.

Sunday morning I drove into Rhinebeck again with some friends for the farmer’s market.  It was absolutely freezing so we stopped for coffee and sampled some pastries for breakfast as we walked through the market.

Fresh cranberries

Fresh cranberries

Pears

I bought some of these pears…they were fragrant and crisp.

I had to buy more creamed honey for my brothers. They love it!

I had to buy more creamed honey for my brothers. They love it!

You can find any kind of apple you are looking for at this farmer's market.

You can find any kind of apple you are looking for at this farmer’s market.

Red shelled beans

Red shelled beans

IMG_2703

Radishes and cauliflower

Potatoes and butternuts

Potatoes and butternuts

Root veggies and greens

Root veggies and greens

More apples...I bought some of these Honeycrisps!

More apples…I bought some of these Honeycrisps!

Orange cauliflower

Orange cauliflower

Greens and fennel

Greens and fennel

Turnovers for breakfast.  This is an apple turnover.

Turnovers for breakfast. This is an apple turnover.

I got a blueberry turnover.

I got a blueberry turnover.

This turnover was crunchy on the outside and flaky on the inside with a yummy blueberry filling.

This turnover was crunchy on the outside and flaky on the inside with a yummy blueberry filling.

There are lots of places to get apple cider products including donuts.

There are lots of places to get apple cider products at the Farmer’s market including donuts.

I love apple cider.  The addition of pear added a unique, sweet flavor.

I love apple cider. The addition of pear added a unique, sweet flavor.

This piping hot cider was the perfect solution for staying warm while walking around the farmers market.

This piping hot cider was the perfect solution for staying warm while walking around the farmers market.

Sunday night I attended a Slow Food Harvest Dinner here on campus. I am interested in joining the slow foods club, so I thought the best way to learn more about it would be to go to one of their events.  The Slow Foods movement aims to support local farmers and business.  All of the food for this dinner came from a combination of nine farms here in the Hudson valley.  Not only does supporting the national slow foods movement promote success of local businesses and farms but it ensures you are buying the best, seasonal products available.

Our campus is so beautiful, especially in the fall.

Our campus is so beautiful, especially in the fall.

Fall sunset

Fall sunset

The Slow Foods Harvest DInner was held at the Caterina de Medici restaurant on campus.

The Slow Foods Harvest DInner was held at the Caterina de Medici restaurant on campus.

The restaurants are closed to the public on Sundays and occasionally Mondays. This provides a space for student organizations to use.

The restaurants are closed to the public on Sundays and occasionally Mondays. This provides a space for student organizations to use.

There was a reception at 5:00 in the front of the restaurant (with drinks for students over 21) and the seating was at 6:00.

There was a reception at 5:00 in the front of the restaurant (with drinks for students over 21).  The seating for dinner was at 6:00.

All of the tables were decorated with fall center pieces and colors.

All of the tables were decorated with fall center pieces and colors.

The tickets for this dinner were $15 for students.  It was a three course dinner with either wine or cider pairings depending on your age.

The tickets for this dinner were $15 for students. It was a three course dinner with either wine or cider pairings depending on your age.

Fall harvest dinner menu

Fall harvest dinner menu

These were the centerpieces on all of the tables.

The centerpieces were made up of fall fruits and vegetables.

Maple candies

Maple candies

The first apple cider pairing was from Meadowbrook Farm.  It was slightly effervescent and crisp. It was my favorite out of the three pairings.

The first apple cider pairing was from Meadowbrook Farm. It was slightly effervescent and crisp. It was my favorite out of the three pairings.

The first course was called "Seven Sweets and Seven Sours." It included pickled vegetables, cheeses and preserves.

The first course was called “Seven Sweets and Seven Sours.” It included pickled vegetables (red cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots, beets and shallots), cheeses and preserves.

The second cider pairing was much sweeter than the first.  It was from Minard Farms.

The second cider pairing was much sweeter than the first. It was from Minard Farms.

For the second course a has a mushroom risotto stuffed sugar pumpkin on a bead of balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts.  It was delicious!

For the second course I had a mushroom risotto stuffed sugar pumpkin on a bead of balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts. It was delicious!

This was the alternative dinner option.  The main entree was a autumn smoked pork roast with  a root vegetable puree, fennel and pork apple jus.

This was the alternative dinner option. The main entree was a autumn smoked pork roast with a root vegetable puree, fennel and pork apple jus.

At the end of the second course the student president of the Slow Foods club explained were all of that night's food came from. All of the farmers and purveyors were invited to the dinner.

At the end of the second course the student president of the Slow Foods club explained where all of that night’s food came from. All of the farmers and purveyors were invited to the dinner.

The last cider pairing was a tart apple pear cider from Migliorelli Farm.

The last cider pairing was a tart apple pear cider from Migliorelli Farm.

The third course, dessert, was my favorite! A quince, caramel, mascarpone, brown butter financier.  Garnished with roasted pecan and a baked apple chip. The perfect way to end a fall dinner.

The third course, dessert, was my favorite! A quince, caramel, mascarpone, brown butter financier. Garnished with roasted pecan and a baked apple chip. The perfect way to end a fall dinner.

Stay posted for updates on this weeks classes and eats! Thanks for reading.