Thursday, August 14, 2014

One Year

It's hard to believe that it has been almost a year since our move. I was surprised that my adjustment to the change took much longer than I had expected. But we are settling in now, enjoying our new space and our new surroundings and even some of our new neighbors.There is always a breeze on our balcony, and I am astonished that the herbs, peppers and all manner of plants in pots are thriving there.

Although we are only a couple of miles from our last home and about 12 miles from New York City, it is a different world up here. Our community is built on a hill on the site of the former Essex County Penitentiary, a dubious honor at best.We back up to Hilltop Reservation, a 285 acre nature preserve that provides habitat for native wildlife and plant species. There are eight trails covering seven miles.

The preserve was built on the abandoned grounds of the former Essex Mountain Sanatorium where patients were treated for tuberculosis. The Sanatorium was built in 1907 on a large parcel of land occupied also by the Essex County Asylum for the Insane, also known as Over Brook. They both were part of the sprawling Essex County Hospital Center. Quite a pedigree, don't you agree?

Although I can do without the wild turkeys, we enjoy watching the hawks swoop and dive and the myriad birds chasing and chirping. And as we walk out of our community up the hill to the reservation we often see a beautiful blue heron taking flight from Prisoner's Pond. On the other hand,if we turn right when leaving the community we can walk right to the center of town filled with shops, restaurants and a movie theater. The perfect combination of city and country.

So, what does all this have to do with a food blog? All that walking makes one hungry.

As summer draws to an end we still have a long weekend on Cape Cod with friends to look forward to, then a trip to St. Thomas in the beginning of November. In the mean time, enjoy the rest of the summer.

Here are some of the dishes we have enjoyed this summer.

Marcella Hazan's Chicken Cacciatora

Biba Caggiano's Fried Green Olives

Radish Canapes with Black Olive Butter

Cherry Tomato Shrimp Puttanesca

Iced Coffee Ice Pops
And a couple of good reads: