Most folks think of going on vacation to a place where there is something you like to do. The doing could be skiing, antiquing, golf, beach relaxing…..you know the options. There is a whole new world of vacationing that revolves around food. Not just eating it, but going to where it’s grown, selecting from the freshest harvest, and bringing it home. Some folks bring the extra foldable bag in their suitcase and fill it up with trinkets to bring home. Foodie folks bring an empty cooler and a few milk crates and fill them up with a winters worth of provisions. There are staples like garlic braids, honey, jams and maple syrup, or new foods like raw milk to freeze. There are fruits that are easy to freeze like blueberries, store like apples, dry like apricots, or turn into sauce like tomatoes, There are veggies that are easy to pickle or freeze like beets, peas and beans. Fill up the burlap sacks with items like winter squashes and potatoes and your root cellar will be overflowing. The coolers get filled to capacity with locally raised meats and poultry, smoked trout – add a little ice and you’re set for the ride home.
My grandmother always had 3 cases of apples in the garage over the winter that we’d eat out of. She knew the orchards she liked and got to know the owners. Over the years, the day trip upstate extended into an overnight trip with a stay at a local B&B and dinner at a favorite German restaurant. You can experience the route your food takes too. Come to the Catskills, enjoy the fall foliage, cruise the farmers markets and on farm stands, place an order for your Thanksgiving turkey, pick up some local wine or beer and you’re set. So pack light and leave room to fill the car with the fruits of our local farmers labor. It’s a gift to yourself that will keep on giving every time you sit down to a wonderful meal.