ella's bellas

I have had many great and transformative food moments in my life and while it will always be my goal to be able to sit down at anyone's table and eat what I am served, I have, in recent years, been enlightened to the benefits of more restrictive diets and the delights that they have to offer.  The first time I was introduced to gluten-free food, I pretty much ran the other way.  The bread was soggy, almost slimy, and I figured that if I ever had to go that way, I would just avoid those things that contained gluten (bread, pasta) rather than suffer through their poor imitations.

Last month I had the pleasure of shooting Ella's Bellas in Beacon.  This is a vegan and gluten-free cafĂ©/bakery but there is really no point in mentioning that unless you suffer from gluten or lactose intolerance.  The food is delicious and inventive and to be enjoyed by all.  And the crust on the baguette fooled my mom which is no small feat.


get your greens on

There is a lot of poetry to growing food.  Just the act of trust that is putting a seed in the ground so that it can become a plant is crazy, of course.  I also love that, while the first leaves to appear are called cotyledon leaves, the second set are called true leaves.  This makes sense because those cotyledon, or seed, leaves don't resemble what the real leaves of the plant will look like.  Only the 'true leaves' reveal the character of the plant.

My cousin and his wife are starting a new farm here in the Hudson Valley and it's beginning now, in the fall.  I experienced this revelation for the first time a couple of years ago when they built their first high tunnel.  For me, there is nothing more beautiful in January in the East than rows of the most tender and delicious greens you've ever seen (or tasted).  There is more and more information out there about how large scale growing of food is not good for us and even more evidence that it is not necessary.  Not to mention that these greens will blow the pants off of anything you would get at your supermarket or, god forbid, walmart.

So get your greens on, people.  I hear they are pretty good for you.  http://www.obercreekfarm.com/