Northshore Magazine

November 2014

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

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Page 183 of 259

182 At Appleton Farms in Ipswich, the farmers have finished harvesting the last of the cold-weather crops (onions and winter squash), planted and mulched next year's strawberries, and cleared sections of the field to seed rye and peas to protect the soil during New England's long winter. The cows have moved into the dairy barn to wait for the first signs of spring, and Carolyn Grieco is busy in the farmhouse kitchen creating a Thanksgiving feast for the tillers of the land. During the fall growing season, the farm encountered a heat wave and a mini tor- nado, which could have proven ruinous for crops. But as Mother Nature would have it, there was little damage done. Truly a boun- ty to be thankful for, the harvest yielded over two hundred varieties of fruit, vegeta- bles, and flowers, giving self-proclaimed farm chef and frequent Appleton Cooks! educator Grieco fresh, simple ingredients to create a rustic, yet festive, meal. "This side dish has five different squash varieties, which all come from the farm," notes Grieco as she cuts into a Red Kuri. Shallots, red and yellow onions, and the largest leeks I've ever seen await their turn on the chopping block. A mix of both mild and strong flavors, these members of the Allium family will comingle with Appleton Farms' heavy cream and Alpine cheese to create a delectable gratin. While Grieco prepares these dishes, a turkey roasts in the oven, warming the large kitchen and infusing the air with an aroma that con- jures memories of Thanksgivings past. Grieco has a long-standing love affair with North Shore farms. Growing up in Stoneham, she got her first taste of farm cooking at Smolak Farms in North Andover, where she learned how to make all kinds of fruit pies. She went on to study at Newbury College's culinary program in Brookline, graduating in 1990. It was there that she honed her pastry making and cooking skills. Today, she is an independent farmstand bakery consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and runs her own Above, Appleton Farms produces more than two hundred varieties of flowers, fruits, and vegetables per year. Opposite, scenes from Appleton Farms, including pandowdy (an old-fashioned New England dessert), Caroline baking at the earth oven, and the Thanksgiving menu

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