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Berkshire Tidbits: Berkshire Grown Market, Ramen Nights
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
03:28PM / Thursday, January 14, 2016
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Franck Tessier and Rachel Portnoy, owners of Chez Nous Bistro in Lee, are planning a 'Tour of Portugal' with a five-course wine dinner. (courtesy photo)


Berkshire Co-op Market still has deals on holiday fare.
Berkshire Co-op Market
Member Appreciation Day
Friday, Jan. 15; 8 to 8
 
Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington on Friday will host the first of this year's quarterly Member Appreciation days during which Co-op members receive a 10 percent discount on everything in the store.
 
This is the Co-op's thank you to their owners for being owners and for shopping there. Over the course of the day, from morning to night, there will be an atmosphere of celebration with tastings, product demonstrations, giveaways, raffles and general fun.
 
Berkshire Co-op Market, 413-528-9697, is located at 42 Bridge St. in Great Barrington.
 
 
'A Tour of Portugal'
at Chez Nous Bistro
Friday, Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m.
 
This week, Chez Nous Bistro in Lee is skipping its usual winter Manger! Boire! Thursday dinner to, instead, present a 5-course dinner on Friday, Jan. 15, featuring the foods and organic wines of Portugal.
 
Working with Andrew Bishop, owner of Oz Wines, "a unique wine importer who focuses on small, hand-crafted and organic wines," and Berkshire Organics that sells, "exclusively biodynamic, organic and naturally-made wines," Chez Nous owners, baker Rachel Portnoy and chef Franck Tessier, have crafted a Portuguese-inspired, French-executed menu of cod fritters, kale and white bean soup, a saffron-seasoned rice dish with shellfish and chorizo like a Portuguese paella, pork braised in wine and paprika and finishing with an almond flan seasoned with coffee, chocolate and cinnamon.
 
The evening will bring sunlight and warmth in this gray, cold season as our days grow noticeably longer and night no longer descends with brute force every afternoon.
 
Wines poured at the dinner will be available for pre-order from Berkshire Organics in Dalton, at a 15 percent discount for full-case orders of mixed selection bottles. Portnoy asks that people do not reserve online but, rather, call 413-243-6397 and specify that the reservation is for the Tour of Portugal wine dinner. The price is $65 per person plus tax and gratuity.
 
Menu and Wine Pairing
salted cod fritters
Casa Santos Lima Palha Canas Branco (Lisboa)
kale & white bean soup
Santos Lima Espiga Reserva Tinto 2013 (Lisboa)
shellfish, chorizo & rice with peppers, tomato & saffron
Quinta de Porrais Parcelas Branco (Duoro)
braised pork in white wine with paprika & potatoes
Quinta de Saes Reserva (Dao)
mocha, cinnamon & almond flan
Quinta da Raza Vinho Verde (Basto)
 
 
Mass Right to Know GMO
Statewide Labeling Summit
Saturday, Jan. 16, conference starts at 9; summit 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
organic buffet lunch at 11:30 a.m.
 
Groups, organizers and leaders promoting the labeling of GMOs in Massachusetts will meet to discuss and plan the best ways to get the bill currently in the Legislature passed to join Vermont, Connecticut and Maine as states requiring the mandatory labeling of GMOs in all products sold in the state.
 
Mass Right to Know GMO hopes to get the labeling bill passed before state budget negotiations begin later this month but have until the end of the legislative session in July.
 
Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts chapter/NOFA/Mass is co-hosting the summit. The annual conference at Worcester State University is a day of more than 80 workshops, seminars, speakers and exhibits not only for adults but also for teens and children. Go here for details.
 
 
Creative Cooking with Herbs and Spices
at Kripalu Center in Lenox
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 15, 16 and 17
check-in from 2:15 p.m. Friday, dinner at 5,
program begins 7:30 p.m.
and ends Sunday about 11 a.m.
Among its many offerings, Kripalu offers some interesting cooking classes with chefs and educators experienced in creating delicious healthy food.
 
This weekend, Leslie Cerier, the organic gourmet, will be teaching "Creative Cooking with Herbs and Spices," a series of vegetarian cooking classes on using herbs and spices to create all sorts of good-for-you, internationally flavored dishes. Both new and experienced cooks are invited to participate.
 
She will cover creating an herb and spice collection, cooking with them, fixing mistakes and using herbs to flavor oils, vinegars, dressings and sauces.
 
For local commuting Berkshirites, the weekend will cost $355 for classes, all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, all activities at Kripalu such as yoga classes and evening programs, use of the facilities including the whirlpool and sauna.
 
It sounds like such fun on this gray and bitter afternoon. Call 413-448-3400 to register. Kripalu is at 183 West St. in Lenox and Stockbridge, with entrances at and just beyond the corner of Route 183 and West Stockbridge Road.
 
 
Berkshire Grown
Winter Farmers' Market
Saturday, Jan. 16, 10 a. m. to 2 p. m.
 
"Imagine, in the middle of January, being able to buy fresh greens, carrots, watermelon radishes, and a variety of potatoes grown here in the Berkshires," said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. "That's our vision for the winter farmers' markets."
 
The farmers' market will take place this Saturday, Jan. 16, from 10 to 2 in Great Barrington. About two dozen farmers, food artisans and activists will be there with beets, carrots, garlic and onions, greens including kale, mushrooms, potatoes, winter squashes, turnips and other root vegetables.
 
"We'll be selling lettuce heads, mesclun mix, mustard mix, braising mix, arugula, pac choi, and spinach, which we grow in an unheated greenhouse, along with vegetables grown in our field under low tunnels," said Jan Johnson of Mill River Farm. "It's not easy to grow greens in December and I'm pleased that we're finally making it work. Now we just have to sell them. The retail opportunity presented by the Berkshire Grown markets is really important to us."
 
"If each of us buys directly from a farmer," Zheutlin said, "we build the local food economy."
 
Local purveyors will also bring local cheeses, fresh local eggs, grass-fed beef and pork, chicken and goat meat. There will be Berkshire Mountain Bakery breads and other baked goods including Matt's gluten-free cookie bars and Caroline's Scottish shortbread cookies and maybe crumbs, fermented and preserved products such as jam, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut and tempeh as well as honey, maple syrup and SoCo Creamery ice cream. North Plain Farm will grill their own sausages to eat. SoMa Catering will make their wood-fired pizzas to order. And, this month, there will also be omelets made to order.
 
There will be live music and The Nutrition Center's Food Adventures program will engage children with hands-on snack-making using seasonal, local ingredients.
 
Vendors committed to attend the market are:
 
Asia Luna                                                               JK Custom Furniture & Design
Berkshares                                                             Matt's Cookie Bars
Berkshire Mount Bakery                                          Mountain Girl Farm
Berkshire Wildflower Honey/Mill River Farm               MX Morningstar Farm
Caroline's Scottish Shortbread                                 North Plain Farm & Blue Hill Farm
Chaseholm Farm Creamery                                     R&G Cheese
Cricket Creek Farm                                                 Rock City Mushrooms
Hawk Dance Farm                                                  Rolling Rock Farm
Hillhome Country Products                                      Sky View Farm
Holiday Brook Farm                                                Soasa Designs
Hosta Hill                                                              SoCo Creamery
Ivyopal                                                                  SoMa Catering
Jennings Brook Farm                                             Square Roots Farm
                                                                            Trusted Roots Farm
 
The market will be held at Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road in Great Barrington and will be equipped to process EBT cards/SNAP benefits on site.
 
Iredale Mineral Cosmetics and Williams College are major sponsors of the market. And there has been generous support from the Berkshire Co-op Market, Downtown Pittsfield Farmers' Market, Guido's Fresh Marketplace, Kimball Farms, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College among others.
 
 
The Meat Market
Hosts Ramen Nights
Saturdays starting Jan. 16, 6 to 9:30
 
The Meat Market, 389 Stockbridge Road/Route 7 in Great Barrington, sounds very excited about their new evening dinner idea: Japanese ramen noodles and a movie.
 
How will these events differ from an evening at home spent slurping 10-cent noodles — are they still 10¢ a package? — briefly boiled or at least softened in hot water with a flavor packet, in front of your TV on your living room sofa or recliner?
 
"Our ramen," Meat Market spokespeople proclaim, "begin with housemade noodles and broth,." TMM ramen gets sprinkled with "fresh green sprouts and watercress," then are topped with "pickles and a soft boiled egg and finished with sake-marinated pork belly."
 
Local, pastured, grass-fed pork, of course, with a vegetarian ramen option also available.
 
The traditional dinner may or may not include salad and a dessert of Japanese mochi/pounded sweet rice ice cream. Stay tuned, the dinner and the evening is being fine-tuned as it is being developed.
 
For parties of four or more who reserve it, instead of individual ramen bowls, the group can gather around a hot pot of shabu shabu to cook their own slivers of fresh vegetables and pork or beef — or, maybe, both if TMM allows it — to their liking in steaming water, to eat with an array of Meat Market-made dipping sauces over a bed of rice. No bottled long-shelf-life condiments, here.
 
The cooking process creates a broth that diners then pour over bowls of soft, gluten-free glass/mung bean noodles to devour last, not unlike ramen. As of this writing, there is no vegetarian shabu shabu option. Japanese beers and sake will be available for sale.
 
All this served to the dulcet or violent tones of each night's samurai film. This week's and subsequent week's films are yet to be determined. As are prices and a bunch of other items.
 
Call The Meat Market, 413-528-2022 for more details. And they say to keep calling, week to week, as Ramen Nights might change over time.
 
 
Cooking at The Chef's Shop
in Great Barrington
Sunday, Jan. 17; 3 to 5 p.m.
 
This class has been postponed to be rescheduled at a later date.
 
This Sunday, Julie Gale, chef and owner of At the Table Cooking School in Hillsdale, N.Y., will be teaching a comfort food classic class as part of her "Cooking at The Chef's Shop" series. She will be making beef barley soup, turkey pot pie and oatmeal raisin cookies as food for warming in winter.
 
For more details call 1-800-237-5284 or 413-528-0135 or Email@TheChefsShop.com.
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