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Food / Dining

Lou and Lucy’s Leftovers: To brine or not to brine the bird

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let the eating begin. Next week we will be thrown into the eating season, starting of course with Thanksgiving. I think Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite holiday meals. Steeped in tradition, not stuck in it. Lots of family or not. Good food and not a ton of the added pressure and expense that seems to come along with Christmas. I hosted Thanksgiving last year at my house, but …

Drink up: Smart cocktail shaker could be the key to the perfect drink

Friday, November 21, 2014

Making the perfect cocktail is serious business. Like baking, it requires precision, the right tools and a tested recipe. But the makers of the B4RM4N, a new smart cocktail shaker, are hoping their invention is all you’ll need to become a skilled bartender. The B4RM4N works by syncing with an app on your smartphone that’s loaded with hundreds of recipes for popular cocktails. …

Good reading, good eating: New cookbooks offer intriguing dishes for holiday feasting

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some people need only one cookbook — if that. Occasionally they want one to answer questions such as how long to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. But other people yearn for the cookbooks with intriguing recipes and vivid pictures of luscious dishes. Leafing through new cookbooks makes for happy private moments, especially at this …

Valley Bounty: Pies

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pies Last week, I won a raffle at the Montague square dance — a maple pecan and sweet potato pie! Following gleeful eating, I began thinking about my Thanksgiving dessert menu. The list of possible local ingredients is …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley: Two versatile wines meet the Thanksgiving challenge

Friday, November 21, 2014

Editor’s note: Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley is a new monthly column written by Warren Johnston, who seeks out quality wines in the $10 range available locally. Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier, $12.99 7 Deadly Zins, Zinfandel, $15.99 …

Local wine and beer tastings

Friday, November 21, 2014

TASTINGS Liquors 44, 238 King St., Northampton, Saturday, 4 to 6 p.m., Southern Comfort Provisions, 30 Crafts Ave., Northampton, Saturday, 2 p.m., Element Brewing; Sunday, 2 p.m., Eden Ice Ciders; Tuesday, 4 p.m. Moonlight Meadery WEEKLY EVENTS: Cooper’s Corner Liquors, 31 Main St., Florence: Friday, 4-6 p.m., wine; …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: First impressions

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You can only make a first impression once. At The Mick, the bar at the entrance of the Delaney House on Route 5 in Holyoke, they make a good one. My friend Chris and I arrived at The …

Chef’s Best: For Hanukkah, these are some pretty sweet latkes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

During college, I took a class on global populations and food (affectionately known as “pops and crops”). I’m sure it was a fine class, but really only one lesson has stuck with me in the 25 years since. …

Minnesotans gripe over grape salad being named classic Thanksgiving dish

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — It seemed an innocent enough premise: The New York Times Food section Wednesday featured a state-by-state guide to traditional Thanksgiving dishes of the 50 states. But snuggled between Michigan’s Baked German Potato Salad and Mississippi’s Ale-Braised Collard Greens With Smoked Ham Hock was a culinary land …

Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time? Some tips

Friday, November 14, 2014

The potatoes are wrong. The football game’s too loud. The kids aren’t dressed right. Thanksgiving can, of course, be a great joy, but with so many beloved traditions on the line it can also be prime ground for …

A do-ahead cornmeal biscuit to sop up your gravy

Friday, November 14, 2014

These rich cornmeal biscuits aren’t just an easy and delicious way to have fresh bread at the Thanksgiving table. They also let you get a jump on your dinner prep. The biscuits can be prepared up to the …

Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Lou gets fancy

Friday, November 14, 2014

You want elegant? I’ll give you elegant. I served a beautifully plated persimmon salad Wednesday night that had a wow factor of 10. Persimmons are not normally on my radar when food shopping but I had just read an article that suggested always buying one ingredient you have …

Valley Bounty: Cooking with leeks

Friday, November 14, 2014

Leeks Soft and malleable in both texture and flavor, leeks have a delicate Allium allure that doesn’t overpower dishes (or leave you crying) like onions can. Slow-cooked in butter, they’ll warm your kitchen and melt into a wide …