Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, that means, if you follow Polish tradition, you'll be eating a lot of doughnuts today. But not just any doughnuts.
Paczki is a special jam or jelly-filled fried pastry made with butter and eggs in the dough. They're rich, light, delicious and most people have forgotten how to make them.
That bothered Lisa Mendel. Lisa is the organizer of the Polish cooking classes taking place once a month on Sunday mornings at the Polish National Alliance in Adams. She decided to ask Melissa Langenback, who teaches breadmaking at Different Drummer's Kitchen, to give a class on making the lighter-than-air treats.
So on a frozen February morning, a dozen ladies from the community gathered to learn to make paczki from scratch.
LENOX, Mass. — The Lenox Library hosts its second annual Spring Tonic: Celebrating All Things Locally Grown on Saturday, March 24, from noon to 4.
The event hints at the green season to come while promoting locally grown products and healthy living. The family activity will include an indoor farmers' market, live bluegrass and jazz music, sign-ups for farm shares and a drawing for a gift basket of farm goodies.
At noon, a panel of health experts will speak on "Eating Healthy at Every Age." At 12:30, the indoor farmers' market will open, featuring local vendors selling their wares and farm shares. Vendors will also have samples, recipes and brochures to give away. Local bluegrass musicians Andy Gordon and Paul Rice and the jazz group Too Human will perform. Attendees who visit all the vendors will have the chance to enter a drawing of a gift basket full of local farm bounty.
Hundreds of people attended last year's Spring Tonic, and this year's plans are bigger and better. The event is free and open to the public.
As spring approaches local farmers are planning their crops and deciding what food to grow for our communities. On Thursday, Feb. 16, from 5-7 p.m. at 107 Main St., North Adams, members of the community are invited to meet many of our local farmers from cheese makers and beekeepers to Community Supported Agriculture and farmers market growers.
Local farming is seeing a come back in our region from people keeping chickens in their back yards to farmers growing produce that's sold in local markets and restaurants. It's the connection to the land, and the community, that helps our local agricultural economy grow. Our local farms also do more than just sell their bounty. Farms work with the local food projects to make sure that what isn't sold does not go to waste but back into our community to feed people who might not otherwise have access to fresh, local produce.
As a core group member of Hoosac Harvest, I'm looking forward to this event that will include Berkshire Farm Apiary, Wildstone Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Wild Oats Market, Many Forks Farm, Country Dream Farm, Berkshire Grown, Berkshire Food Project, North Adams Farmers Market and more.
Hoosac Harvest will also be present and is looking for community members to help fulfill its mission of a vibrant food system in which all members of the northern Berkshire community participate and have access to locally grown, healthy, sustainably-produced food. Hoosac Harvest currently raises funds to subsidize 20% of the CSA shares at Square Roots Farm, enabling low-income community members to participate fully. We need people power to do more including growing a row in a backyard garden for the local food pantry to a cadre of volunteers to help with gathering unharvested produce from local farms to serving on the core group.
Joins us on Thursday for this free event and meet the farmers, mingle with friends and celebrate the bounty of the Northern Berkshires.
Participating farmers include Wildstone Farm, Square Roots Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, and Country Dream Farm. Also participating are beekeeper, Tony Pisano, Sunshine Bagels, Wild Oats Market, North Adams Farmers Market, Berkshire Grown, the Berkshire Food Project, and more.
February Is Chocolate Month in the Berkshires
By Stephanie Farrington On: 10:58PM / Saturday February 04, 2012
Joshua Needleman of Chocolate Springs in Lenox pulls out a tray of sweets.
February is "Chocolate Month" in the Berkshires. This is the second year for the countywide effort to sweeten the winter doldrums.
The event kicked off with a low-key party at Chocolate Springs in Lenox on Saturday. Citing the success of last year's event, well-known chocolatier Joshua Needleman hopes people will join in as the month progresses.
So far, Essencials Salon and Medi-spa will be participating with a special "sweet and salty chocolate facial scrub" available for the month of February.
More special offers and events will be posted on the website as they are announced.
If Chocolate Springs offers a special on its fabulous hot chocolate, you'd be smart to get in on it. Joshua's hot chocolate is the best you've ever had, pure bliss in a cup.
We may have another month or two to get through before the Spring arrives but Chocolate Berkshires is doing its best to be sure this month is a sweet one. For more information, chocolateberkshires.com.