Hilltown Families

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Roasted Beet Salad Wow, what a wacky growing season this has been! The extremes we’ve been experiencing are challenging. From drought to flooding, cold to heat and heat to cold, the conditions this season have been erratic and stressful to the plants. Our local farmers need our support to weather difficult growing seasons. Look for locally grown produce at locally owned markets and frequent many of the area farmers’ markets. Despite the… Read More

Mushroom Barley Soup I wake up in the morning thinking of the billowing steam from maple sap boiling. I love going to sugar houses to see the dramatic plumes of steam rising, to smell the sweet maple aroma, to taste the first of the season’s delicate, delicious syrup…to experience the promise of spring again. My seasonal rhythms are tied to sugarin’; it marks the final gasps of winter and the arrival of… Read More

Southern Biscuits Enjoyed with Local Western MA Ingredients Biscuits Here’s something you can make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack…how versatile is that!  Biscuits are great any time of day.  They taste best slathered with butter, and even better with local honey or your favorite fruity jam.  When I first met Amy, my choice of bread to go with any meal was a crusty Italian/French-type bread or a dense, whole grain… Read More

Indian Potato Fritters Potatoes Bonda Amy and I were in local food heaven! We were visiting her folks on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It is incredulous to everyone that I chose to go to every farmers’ market within two hours, rather than go for another walk on the gorgeous, tropical-blue-water-white-sand-almost-empty-of-people beach. We did all spend a lot of time together in the woods and salt marshes, watching birds and enjoying the… Read More

Old Creamery Co-Op Gift Basket Giveaway! This fall the Hilltowns became home to another community co-operative grocery store in Western MA: The Old Creamery Co-Op in Cummington, MA! To celebrate this new beginning, Hilltown Families and the Old Creamery Co-op have partnered up to offer one of our readers a gift basket (valued at $150), abundant with a collection that is representative of what you will find when you visit this Hilltown gem!… Read More

Inspiration for family dinner night… SOUP! Last year, Alice shared two of her favorite fall soups in her column, “In the Kitchen with Alice.” Download her recipes for Tomatillo and Fresh Corn Soup and Mediterranean White Bean Soup… then prepare a fresh harvest meal for your family!

For the Love of Cabbage Stuffed Cabbage & Garden Tomato Sauce The weather is softly leaning toward autumn. Though my garden is full of summer’s light and fresh bounty (tomatoes, peppers, basil, zucchini, greens, beans, and dozens of other late summer delights), my appetite begins to lean toward hearty fare. This Italian-inspired rendition of Eastern European Stuffed Cabbage fits the bill for this seasonal transition time, prepared with Fresh Garden Tomato Sauce…. Read More

Pesto and Variations The drought, deer, and heat have slowed down our garden quite a bit, but the list of chores is still long and the available time is still short. We find ourselves creating quick meals from the garden. Pasta with one of many possible pestos is a standard. We have a great variety of greens in our garden, and we’ll make pesto with combinations of basil, arugula, cilantro, mint, chard,… Read More

Sauteed Sugar Snaps and Radishes I’ve so enjoyed the first of this season’s local cukes. At the Creamery, we have the first tomatoes and the first cukes, picked fresh from the Fydenkevez Farm in the valley. I peel the cukes, cut off big chunks, and generously salt them before popping them into my mouth and singing praises. I love the crisp freshness and the bright flavor. Add sliced or chopped tomatoes cut… Read More

Spring Garden: What to do with Chives, Rhubarb & Asparagus CHIVE FLOWER VINEGAR I begin the season of preparing herbal vinegars with Chive Flower Vinegar. We pick handfuls of beautiful, spiky purple chive flowers. We pull the petals off some of the plants to decorate our dinner salad, but the rest get stuffed into a mason jar, covered with apple cider vinegar that we made last fall, and left to brew for… Read More

Fiddlehead Arugula Salad One of the most joyous culinary moments of the year for me is the arrival of the season’s first fiddleheads. It’s among the first of the “just-picked” cooking rituals that will continue to unfold until late autumn. Each year I repeat the simplest of preparation techniques for my first fiddleheads of the season: blanch (cook in boiling water) for 4–5 minutes; drain well; sauté briefly with butter or olive… Read More

Maple Flan We were given some fresh eggs by a friend with chickens. The variety of colors, shapes, and sizes invite inspiration. Hmm … we have some Taproot Commons Farm raw milk to use up. Amy’s going to be happy tonight! Whatever we have for dinner, we are going to end our meal with creamy, delicious Maple Flan. Everything is local except for the vanilla and the sugar for melting into caramel…. Read More

Local Food Heaven I was like a kid in a candy store, or, as my Uncle Mike used to say, “like a mosquito in a nudist colony”! I spent Saturday at Sarasota Farmers Market, buying bags (my own cloth bags of course!) of just-picked produce from local organic farmers located in Southwest Florida. I came home with sacks of oranges (several varieties), grapefruit, limes, and lemons. I got just-picked strawberries (not as… Read More

Soups to Warm Your Tummy on a Cold February Day CBS SOUP Winter is finally upon us (where is the snow?!?), and it’s time for some hearty, warming, comforting foods. I enjoy cooking soups when it’s cold outside because they often take quite a while to cook (helping to heat our house!). I often bake bread to accompany the soup (helping to heat our house!) and they usually don’t require a lot… Read More

Nearly 100 people Engage in Co-op Conversations! We are so excited about the level of interest in the Old Creamery Co-op. Nearly 100 people turned out for six lively “Co-op Conversations” held over the past two months. These small group meetings provided a great forum for members of the Creamery Co-op board of directors to provide an update on how things are going with the transition to a community-owned Old Creamery. Each… Read More

Cure the Winter Doldrums at the Old Creamery Did you know the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA offers a diverse array of fun free events for everyone?  We encourage you to check out our Community Calendar for all scheduled events from now through June. The first Friday of every month is Games Night in the cafe.  Bring your family, your friends and your  favorite games to share or use games provided by… Read More

Why a Co-op in Cummington? In the first few months of working as the Outreach Coordinator of the Old Creamery Co-op I’ve been asked many times, “Why a Co-op?  Why not just keep the Old Creamery as a private business with new owners?”  Well, good questions!  And while we’re at it, “What is a Co-op?” There are many types and sizes of cooperative businesses and most are structured as for-profit businesses.  Whether… Read More

Holy Cow! A Creamery Co-Op! The Old Creamery in Cummington began its long presence in the Hilltown community as The Cummington Cooperative Creamery in 1886.  At that time, a co-op of dairy farmers brought fresh cream from their farms to be churned into butter.  During the Co-op’s most active period, 145 dairies produced 20,000 pounds of butter per month. With the advent of widespread refrigeration and motor trucking in the 1940’s, the needs… Read More

The Old Creamery Celebrates Ten Years On September 19th, 2010 the Old Creamery in Cummington was alive with activity.  Alice Cozzolino and Amy Pulley celebrated their 10th year of ownership of the store with deep appreciation and gratitude for the support of area businesses and residents. More than a hundred people turned out for this special celebration. Friends and neighbors enjoyed Creamery made pizza, cake, and tastings of other Creamery favorites, tasty… Read More

Alice and Amy of the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA write: Stop by the Old Creamery on Sunday, September 19 between 9 AM and 7:30 PM for an in-store celebration. We will be thanking this amazing community for the past 10 years, and will honor the wonderful group of people who have emerged to carry the vision into the future through the plan to create the The Old Creamery Co-op. A diverse… Read More

Amy & Alice of the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA write: Greetings Dear Community! Ten years?!?   Yes!  It has been ten years since we embarked on our Old Creamery adventure.  Come celebrate with us on Sunday, September 19th.  We deeply appreciate your support over the past decade and want to take a day to have some fun and express our gratitude to you, our amazing customers.  Please drop by for free Creamery… Read More

On behalf of the Old Creamery Co-op Steering Committee, Kimberly Longey of Plainfield, MA, writes: Greetings: Just 6 months ago we gathered in Cummington to launch the effort to transition the Old Creamery (Cummington, MA) into a community owned cooperative. Today we’ve reach a major milestone – we are now welcoming founding member-owners to join the Co-op! By joining now you will help us keep the momentum building and move us closer… Read More

Music & Performance Night is Back! At the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA If you are a musician, poet, juggler, tightrope walker, dancer, magician, teller to tall tales or similarly inclined individual interested in being a part of the Old Creamery’s Thursday night performance series during Feburary, March and April, please contact Sean Kimball – (413) 684-1939 ecstaticdin@verison.net.

Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington? It’s Up To You! Photo credit: (ccl) pjmorse. Everyone is invited to a community-wide meeting at the Cummington Community House on Sunday, January 31, 2010, from 3pm-5:30pm to launch the active exploration of turning the Old Creamery into a community owned co-op. Alice Cozzolino and Amy Pulley, current owners of the Old Creamery, will share their vision for the store and reflect on the connection between the… Read More

Amy Pulley of Cummington, MA writes: Greetings all! There is a seed exchange happening upstairs at the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA in the sustainability library. So far, it is going well but there are more folks taking seeds than bringing them. Do you have any extra seeds just sitting in packets, longing to become local food? If so, bring them on down and check out what others are leaving here. There… Read More

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