September 10, 2010
Cooking with Fire at Stony Creek Farm
Posted by Shira Bocar
Despite a growing movement towards getting to know where our food comes from, it's remarkable how much distance now exists between we cooks and our heat sources. Gas ranges with automatic ignitions, electric ovens with built in thermostats, and magnetic induction cook tops are all convenient for busy life, but what would happen if you stripped that all away and instead relied on a stack of firewood, a pile of newspapers, and a box of matches?
I recently did just that during a weekend stay with friends at Stony Creek Farm in Walton, New York, (The same farm that was featured in our September issue's "Acres Away.") where we returned to our more primitive roots, soot and all.
1 We packed a few essentials and headed north for our weekend. Our remaining supplies were gathered right there on the farm – eggs straight from the coop, garden vegetables, and milk so fresh that it was still warm. Meat, cheese, and other items were available at the “honesty-shop” general store. No electricity meant candle light after dark, and oil lanterns lit the way for the occasional midnight firewood run. An insulated cold box protected our perishables (with the help of a few frozen hot water bottles).
2 Honey bears for sale at the "honesty-shop." (The butterfly was free.)
3 Success! Our first meal cooked by candlelight on the cast iron stove: spicy tomato sauce with chopped zucchini over rigatoni with loads of fresh basil and grated cheese.
4 The coffee was ready about 1 hour after we started the fire in the morning. . . but the wait made it taste even better.
5 Saturday evening was pizza night – everyone congregated around a large outdoor stone pizza oven and swapped stories.
6 We left the baking to the pros, Kate and Dan Marsiglio, the delightful couple who operate Stony Creek.
7 Guests were invited to make their own pizzas using farm fresh toppings.
8 We saved left over vegetable scraps for our fine-feathered friends. (Turns out chickens love pizza crusts and don’t really care for asparagus.)
9 A bed of cabbage soaking it in.
10 By our last day, we were feeling adventurous and popped the metal grate off the outdoor grill and arranged it over the still smoldering remains of a campfire.
11 We grilled vegetables and a giant round of farm sausage. And sadly began packing for our trip home.
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