12/24/12 1:06pm
12/24/2012 1:06 PM

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Dhonna and Bobby Goodale, center, at Riverhead Kmart where they took a dozen children Christmas shopping Monday.

The diva philanthropist strikes again. Weeks after Dhonna Goodale of Flanders showcased her home’s holiday spirit on a TLC Christmas special, Ms. Goodale and family set out to do what they do best this Christmas Eve: give unto others.

On Monday, Ms. Goodale, her husband Bobby and their two children, visited Kmart in Riverhead to do Christmas shopping for local homeless and foster children in need, a ritual the family has carried out for the past 17 years.

More than a dozen children were present at the Riverhead store Monday to be reminded of the “reason for the season” and each received three school outfits, underwear, outerwear and a couple toys.

The kids also received $5 in cash, which Ms. Goodale instructed them to give to someone else in need.

“If you keep it then that’s on your conscience,” she told the children.

Ms. Goodale said she and her husband don’t exchange Christmas gifts at all.

“This is my Christmas, because I was one of these children,” she said. “For me, this is really, really very special.”

The Goodales were joined at the event by several volunteers, including educators and social workers. Even Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves helped with the shopping between 12 and 1:30 p.m.

“I don’t know what each of your situation is,” Ms. Goodale said to the children before they began to comb the aisles. “But I went from welfare to philanthropy and you can grow up and make a difference. Anything you want is obtainable.”

gvolpe@timesreview.com

12/23/12 7:59am
12/23/2012 7:59 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Peconic Bay scallops seviche.

The North Fork is a beautiful peninsula of land surrounded by Peconic Bay, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The wetlands, varying salinity, tides and temperatures have created a seascape unique in the world. And the well-drained sandy soil and long growing season have favored agriculture for centuries. As the crush of population moves east, many of our long-developed resources have dwindled, but their traditions hang on. I have enjoyed being a professional chef on the North Fork for the past 40 years, year in, year out and year round. The foods that keep appearing over and over again are ducks, oysters, scallops, clams, finfish and myriad plant foods — including the wine.

As time moves on into the 21st century we sometimes forget that duck farming was a major industry, with production peaking at six million ducks in 1968 from over 30 producers. Greenport was once the oyster capital of the East Coast, with production peaking at about 25 million pounds of oyster meats in the 1930s. Commercial fishing has changed as aquaculture replaces the dwindling supply of wild fish. And the large crops of wholesale potatoes, cauliflower and cabbage have been gradually replaced by specialty farms that seek to compete in a changed marketplace.

But our cuisine, or the art of cookery using the foods and traditions of our area, has evolved into a distinct art form based on these wonderful ingredients. This Christmas dinner is a celebration of some of these special foods. The recipes are intended to serve eight people.

First Course

Peconic Bay Scallop Seviche

Combine in a bowl the juice of 3 limes and 1 teaspoon lime zest. Toss 1 pound of fresh bay scallops in this mixture and add 1/2 cup diced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

At service time, remove the flesh from 2 avocados and cut into half-inch cubes. Lightly toss these in a bowl with the juice of 1 lime. Remove the leaves from 1 bunch of fresh watercress. Cut 1 cup of cherry tomatoes in half.

Place watercress in the bottoms of 8 martini glasses. Add the avocado next and place the scallops and tomatoes on top, pouring the sauce over all. Garnish with a little chopped cilantro.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | A cup of oyster stew is ready to serve on a plate covered in hand painted insects.

Soup Course

Oyster Stew

Purchase 1 pint of fresh shucked oysters. Spray a sauté pan with no-stick and cook 1/4 pound of pancetta at medium heat. Remove to a paper towel, chop coarsely and set aside.

Add to the saucepan 1 tablespoon butter, 2 chopped leeks (white part), 2 minced scallions and 1 cup chopped celery. Season with 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook covered at low heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon flour and stir it into the mixture, continuing to cook another 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream and bring to a simmer.

Add the pint of oysters with their juices and gradually bring back to a simmer. Add the reserved pancetta and check for seasoning. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup crushed pilot crackers. Garnish with pilot crackers and serve.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Putting the garnishes on the Long Island duck.

Entrée

Brined/Steamed/Roasted Duck

Purchase a fresh 6-pound Long Island duck from a local retailer. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity and remove the surrounding fat. Trim the wing tips, the tail and the flap of skin near the neck. Save these for another use and rinse the duck under cold water.

Prepare a brine by combining 2 cups orange juice with 2 cups water. Add 1/2 cup coarse salt, 12 bruised peppercorns, 1 bunch fresh thyme, 1 bunch fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger. Heat this mixture just enough to dissolve the salt. Add a cup of ice cubes to cool.

Place the duck in a glass or plastic container and pour the brine over it. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Make a glaze by adding to a small saucepan 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Bring this mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the duck from the brine and dry with paper towels. Place it on a V-rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. With a sharp pointed knife, cut a diamond pattern of shallow cuts in the skin. Place in the cavity of the duck 1 quartered orange, 1 bunch of thyme and 1 bunch of rosemary. Tie the legs and wings close to the body with butcher’s twine.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and pour it over the duck, letting the water end up in the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil and place in a 400-degree oven. Cook for 45 minutes and remove the duck from the oven.

Pour off the water and fat and replace the duck in the roasting pan on its rack. Brush the duck all over with the glaze and put it back in the oven, turning down the heat to 375. Let it cook, brushing it with glaze every half-hour, for 1 1/2 hours. If it begins to get too dark, place a loose piece of foil over the breast area. When finished, the duck should be a dark mahogany color and the legs should move easily when squeezed.

Remove duck from the oven and let it rest, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Cut off the string and remove the herbs and orange from the cavity. Carve the duck at the table or cut it into eighths and partially debone.

Orange Sauce

Purchase 6 navel oranges and squeeze the juice from 4 of them. Remove the zest from 1 orange and set aside. Peel remaining 2 oranges and cut the sections from the membranes.

In a small saucepan, bring to a boil 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Cook until it begins to caramelize and turns golden. Add the reserved orange juice, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1/4 cup minced shallots and 1 cup chicken stock. Simmer until reduced by one-third and swirl in 2 tablespoons cold butter. Add back the orange sections and the zest along with 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as triple sec or Grand Marnier.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Raspberry trifle for dessert.

Dessert

Raspberry Trifle

Begin by making a plain pound cake. Cream 1/2 pound butter with 2 cups sugar for 5 minutes, using a paddle and a mixer at medium speed. Beat in 5 large eggs, one at a time.

Place 3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl and combine with a whisk.

Combine 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Turn the mixer on to slow speed and alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Spray 2 loaf pans with no-stick and divide the batter between them. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool slightly and turn out cakes on a rack to cool. Wrap and refrigerate.

To make the trifle, make a syrup by bringing to a boil 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (Chambord, framboise). Remove syrup from heat and let cool.

In a bowl, place 1 cup raspberry jam, 2 tablespoons Chambord and 4 cups fresh raspberries. Combine them gently and set aside.

In a mixer, whip 2 cups heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold in 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar.

Slice the chilled pound cake into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Cut the slices in half to make squares. Fill the bottom of a trifle dish with pound cake (some pieces of cake will have to be trimmed) and brush with syrup. Spread the raspberry mixture over this and then a layer of whipped cream. Repeat with two more layers. Garnish the top with 1 cup fresh raspberries and chill for 2 hours.

(The pound cake recipe was adapted from Ina Garten and the trifle was adapted from Martha Stewart.)

John Ross, a chef and author, has been an active part of the North Fork food and wine community for more than 35 years. Email: johncross@optonline.net.

 

12/02/12 5:18pm
12/02/2012 5:18 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Santa waves hello to the crowd during Sunday’s annual Lions Club Christmas Parade.

The annual Riverhead Lions Club Christmas Parade went off without a hitch Sunday afternoon as firefighters, girl scout troops and Santa himself marched down Main Street on the balmy December afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Local girl and boy scouts troops marched in the parade Sunday afternoon.

The parade, a decades-old tradition, kicked off at 1 p.m., with the Riverhead Veterans of Foreign Wars, government leaders and the high school marching band leading the march along Main Street.

The Riverhead Fire Department and ambulance corps volunteers followed behind, with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the end of the parade waving to excited children in the crowd.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The Riverhead High School marching band played holiday tunes as they made their way down Main Street.

After the parade, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter handed Mr. and Mrs. Claus the giant “Key to Riverhead,” saying that Santa could now get into houses without chimneys to deliver presents to the good boys and girls in town.

See our photo gallery below for more photos from the parade:

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | 3-year-old Jalice Mitchell talks to Santa for the first time at the annual Riverhead Lions Club Christmas Parade.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead veterans lead the annual Santa parade down Main Street Sunday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Dancers with the New York Dance Center in Calverton perform at the Christmas parade Sunday.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead fire trucks finish up the parade route on the Peconic Riverfront Sunday afternoon.

12/01/12 4:30pm
12/01/2012 4:30 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Nancy Reyer and her mom Evelyn Reyer stopped downtown to see what her friend Allison Pressler, right, was up to and were surprised to find that the theme of the Riverhead High School Interact Club was dedicated to Nancy’s son Michael Hubbard and New Beginnings Brendan House Saturday afternoon.

It was a damp, chilly overcast day in downtown Riverhead Saturday, but inside the windows of the vacant storefronts, downtown was abuzz with activity.

East End Arts’ third annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest brought community and artist groups downtown to put a cheerful face on downtown’s pallid shopping scene.

The Peconic Community School, a new alternative school in downtown Riverhead, got a jump-start on the festivities Friday, decorating a window on the southeast side of downtown with a diorama depicting Grangebel Park and the River & Roots Community Garden, where students often do work on field trips.

Not far to the west, People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves, who last year won the contest with their “Occupy North Pole” display, were hatching a new plan: “Curiosity’s Christmas,” a depiction of Christmas on Mars with a full-size alien in a Santa Claus suit. Marvin the Martian, Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons and characters from Dr. Who were also planned for the windows.

This year, said Lauren Sisson, whose husband Mark Sisson hatched the idea, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves had morphed into the “Society of Alien, Non-human, Terrestrial and Android Clauses.”

Next door, 12-year olds Julia Eager and Evelyn Jaffe were decorating their window with the theme of “Arctic Foxes,” a forest Christmas party for wild animals.

The two hatched their plan after being involved with River & Roots Community Garden’s window last year.

“My mom brought home an application a while ago, but it took us a million years to get an idea,” said Evelyn.

Julia had just returned from a 10-day vacation to Boston, where she drew pictures of birds that she was now painting to add to the winter scene.

Not far down the street, Amie Kennedy was decorating the community garden’s window with a simple painting of tree and a message of peace.

“[River & Roots co-founder] Amy Davidson wanted to do something simple this year,” said Ms. Kennedy.

Sharing their window was a group of friends of Michael Hubbard, a Riverhead High School student who was badly burned in an accident two years ago.

Their window, titled “Michael’s Dream,” depicts “Brendan’s House,” a long-term care center for kids facing the same hurdles as Michael, in a house to be renovated on Sound Ave. in Northville.

Students from Riverhead Rotary’s Interact Club at Riverhead High School were decorating the window.

“This was the perfect project. If we win, the money will go right to the house,” said club advisor Carole Kirchhoff.

Visitors to downtown Riverhead have until Dec. 20 to vote on their favorite windows at the East End Arts Gallery on East Main Street.

See more photos below:

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11/22/12 12:00pm
11/22/2012 12:00 PM

Greenport resident Sam Sifton, national editor for The new York Times where he previously served as a food critic, recently published his first cookbook, ‘Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well.’

Greenport Village resident Sam Sifton, national editor of The New York Times, has been talking lots of turkey this holiday season.

A former restaurant critic for the Times, Mr. Sifton chose preparing a great Thanksgiving dinner as the theme for his first cookbook, “Thanksgiving: How To Cook It Well.”

In the book, Mr. Sifton, 46, who served as the Times’ restaurant critic from 2009 to 2011, mostly uses the written word to describe the perfect holiday dinner, though he does include a few line drawings. He said he avoided lavish photographs in the book, released by Random House this October, because he wanted to stick with a theme as timeless and traditional as the holiday itself.

“The thing about those food porn books, as good as they are sometimes at getting you excited to cook, it goes out of fashion after a little while,” Mr. Sifton said this week. “What I’m arguing for is not the new trend of turkey… The only people who really need new ideas for the turkey and new ideas for the side dishes are the people that put out food pages in newspapers and magazines. Those of us at home just need to know how to make a really good plate of mashed potatoes or a sweet potato dish or a good roasted turkey. That’s what this book is about.”

SAM SIFTON

In addition to providing traditional recipes, Mr. Sifton writes about certain things he believes should be eliminated from the holiday feast. He doesn’t support the idea of serving appetizers at Thanksgiving because he believes they get in the way of the meal by taking up valuable stomach space, wasting dishes and forcing you to spend extra time cleaning.

Mr. Sifton suggests serving oysters to kick off your Turkey Day meal.

“Laying in a few dozen bivalves to eat while the turkey rests on a sidebar is in my view a brilliant solution to the fidgety issue of serving food in advance of the Thanksgiving meal,” Mr. Sifton writes. “Consumed with a sparkling wine, outdoors if possible, oysters provide a direct and visceral connection to aquatic harvest, and to the true history of Thanksgiving in America.”

If you get your oysters from Pipe’s Cove, vegetables from Latham’s in Orient and a fresh turkey from Miloski’s Poultry Farm in Calverton, Mr. Sifton said, he believes your holiday dinner will be “pretty marvelous.”

Taking a walk after the meal, spending some time outside and sparking the fireplace also contribute to making a holiday dinner extra special, he said.

“[That’s] Thanksgiving on the North Fork,” Mr. Sifton said. “There’s no better time of the year out here.”

Mr. Sifton and his wife, Tina Fallon, a real estate agent and theater producer in Brooklyn, currently reside in the Red Hook neighborhood there and have also lived in Greenport Village part-time since 1999. They’ve bought and sold a few houses there over the years, and they’ve spent many Thanksgivings in the village with their two young daughters.

Mr. Sifton’s love affair with the maritime village began sometime in the mid-1990s when he was desperate to find a custom part for a boat he kept in Sag Harbor.

While he waited for the part, Mr. Sifton said, he bumped into an old friend, David Berson, captain of the Greenport-based electric tour boat Glory.

“I had known him when I was in high school because I worked on the schooner Pioneer at the South Street Seaport Museum from the time I was in middle school until the time I was in college,” Mr. Sifton said. “I knew him from the harbor. There were a lot of other New York Harbor rats that washed up in Greenport.”

Mr. Sifton said Greenport has had a special place in his heart since that day.

Over the years, the village has also become a part-time home to his in-laws, who stay with him and his wife when not in Florida.

“I’m out here to cook in my house with my family and take advantage of the great farms and fish and the bounty of the North Fork,” he said.

Although he enjoys dining out, Mr. Sifton said, he’s no longer in the business of naming his favorite restaurants. And since becoming the Times’ national editor a year ago, he now has to pay for his own meals.

“I can’t imagine a bigger change than from being the restaurant critic, where you’re out six nights a week eating in restaurants all over the city and all over the globe, to being national editor, when you’re in the newsroom many, many hours a day, every day, and not writing so much,” he said.

Mr. Sifton has been promoting his book the past few weeks, making talk show appearances in between covering Hurricane Sandy and the election.

When asked how his own Thanksgiving preparations have been going, he said “terrible.” As of last Friday afternoon, he hadn’t called Miloski’s to order his turkey.

“In every interview I give, in every appearance I’ve made, I talk about the importance of planning, the importance of gaming everything out, and this year I have done none of that,” he said. “I’ve got to play a little catch up if I’m going to have a good Thanksgiving.”

jennifer@timesreview.com 

11/11/12 7:55am
11/11/2012 7:55 AM

Below is a list of Veterans Day-related ceremonies taking place on the North Fork today:

Annual Veterans Day Ceremony presented by Combined Veterans of Riverhead, 11 a.m. at the World War I Monument on the Suffolk County Historical Society grounds, 300 West Main St., Riverhead. Refreshments follow at American Legion Post, Hubbard Avenue.

Calverton National Cemetery Veterans Day ceremony, A patriotic ceremony honoring military members and veterans is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the cemetery at 210 Princeton Boulevard in Calverton.

Ceremony to dedicate Southold Town Volunteer Firefighters’ Memorial, 1 p.m. at Jean Cochran Park, Peconic Lane, Peconic, hosted by Southold Town Fire Chiefs Council. Seven members who died in line of duty will be commemorated: Eugene Lessard (Mattituck), James Parker Wickham (Cutchogue), Keith Purcell (Southold), George Matthias, Richard Sycz, and Edward Bellefountaine (Greenport), and Frederick Gagen (East Marion).

JOHN NEELY FILE PHOTO | Brian Smith of Post 2476 of the V.F.W. at last year’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony in RIverhead.