Northshore Magazine

Northshore November 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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89 imported the cheesemaker, not the cheese," says Christina Mignogna of her husband, who also teaches cheesemaking techniques at Appleton. "The cows are treated with so much love and have their own personalities. It shows in the quality of the fresh cheese." For freshly baked bread or unforgettable desserts, there is no place like A&J King Bakery in Salem. The bakery works with produce from Cider Hill and Brooksby Farms to make seasonal tarts and cakes for pre- orders. Its multigrain bread, made with local grains, is ideal for a healthier stuffing. "It's a huge hit, along with our whole wheat," says retail manager Tara Alton. But remember, they stop taking orders the week before Thanksgiving. Other than that, it's first come, first served. Karen Scalia of Salem Food Tours says her favorite spices for Thanksgiving are sage and freshly grated nutmeg. Choosing the right cin- namon is important as well. "For my savory dishes, Ceylon. For baking, Saigon," she notes. "The nice thing about Saigon cinnamon is it's naturally sweet." Touting the wares of Salem Spice on Pickering Wharf, Scalia can't stop with her list. "OK, two more. Pepper : Love it coarsely ground. And ginger." And don't forget spice for your cocktails, she notes. Add ginger and salt or cinnamon and sugar to the rim of your favorite cocktail or cider. "Cider makes a lot of sense when paired with savory Thanksgiving dishes," says Al Snape, owner of Far From The Tree Cider in Salem. It's similar to having a bite of tangy cranberry sauce after heavy gravy. One sipping option is Bog, a cider made from sweet apples and tart Cape Cod cranberries with rosemary, sage, and thyme. Another is Apple of My Chai, a cider made with black tea, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and orange peel. Keeping it relatively local, Snape and his wife, Denise, are experimenting with heirloom apple varieties at their orchard in Maine. In Ipswich, Russell Orchards serves up local fruit wines and hard ciders inside its cozy tasting room. All are made on the premises from the orchard's own fruit. In 2015, with a surplus of pumpkins, the farm began making pumpkin spice wine. "You can only feed the horses and chickens so many pumpkins," says owner Doug Russell, laughing. Try the farm's recipe that combines their hot mulled cider and Pumpkin Spice wine. Now, let's talk turkey. Instead of choosing from frozen birds stacked high in the grocery store, visit Raymond's Turkey Farm in Methuen for a preordered White Holland turkey. "Here, they're raised like they used to be years ago, with no hormones or antibiotics," says Jim Rischer, whose father, Raymond, started the farm in 1950. The bird will likely be more expensive than a grocery store version; however, Rischer says, "if you ask anyone who's had one of ours, they'll tell you there's quite a difference." Half of the 20,000 turkeys sold by the farm each year are for Thanksgiving. If serving a whole bird isn't your thing, turkey is perfect for pot pies and soups. Chef Daniel Gursha of Ledger Restaurant in Salem is so into local ingredients that in addition to the fresh produce supplied to Ledger by about a dozen local farms, he also gets excited about fall foraging. "You can walk around the woods and get hickory or walnuts during the late summer or fall," he says. Come Thanksgiving time, roasted acorn squash is Gursha's jam. After he adds maple syrup and Urfa, a Turkish chili that has notes of raisin and coffee, his squash are both grilled and roasted. "I get some color on them and a little bit of smoke and cook the glaze on there, so that it's boiling right into the meat. Grilled acorn squash is a really seasonal, local dish," says the chef. "Think about it: You have maple and squash, which are all things from this area." Head chef Paul Callahan of Brine and Ceia Kitchen + Bar, both in Newburyport, says you should never underestimate a quality turkey. For quality produce, he only has to go down the road to Tendercrop Farm in Newbury. "It's good Americana," says Callahan, adding that fall is his favorite time to cook. "There's just so much more to eat and so many more techniques. It's more comfort based." Though corn is often thought of as a highlight of summer, it's versatile and great in porridges and puddings. Cold nights make it even more delicious. "I think it's underused," says Callahan. "There is so much more to do than boiling." Brenden Crocker of Black Arrow in Manchester-by-the-Sea gets hyperlocal. He uses turnips, squash, parsnips, and carrots right out of his father's garden about an eighth of a mile from the Central Street restaurant. "He leaves it on his picnic table for us," says Crocker. No matter what new spin we put on it, eating locally connects us to the area's agrarian past. It's a New England tradition and contributes to our shared sense of place. P R O A D V I C E

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