Dishing: Cool culinary finds

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Local wood

Chappaquiddick, our island off our Island, is home to Chappaquiddick Wood Co. and Zach Pinerio, who grew up spending summers fishing and hacking around Chappy with his three brothers.

After attending the University of Vermont, Zach worked as a finish carpenter in Vermont, followed by a six-month stint crafting bowls with Andrew Pierce in Woodstock, Vt. But the Island was calling, and he jumped at the chance to return to the Vineyard to work as a property manager at the Chappy Beach Club. He moved back full-time, and soon started Chappaquiddick Wood Co.

At CWCo Zach creates exquisite bowls and hardwood products (serving utensils, coasters, cutting boards) using whole trees from all parts of Martha’s Vineyard. Over the course of a few months, Zach will fell a tree, mill it, core it to create his bowls and boards; then dry, sand, and finish them to produce truly local wood products. Zach loves the idea of the history of these trees — some of which may have been here when there were still whaling captains in Edgartown.

“The most interesting wood here,” he says, “is sugar maple. When I mill it, honeybees will land on it and coat themselves in the sawdust. During the drying process, it smells like a candy shop.” 

All of his products are finished with food- and allergy-safe walnut oil and are intended to be used and shared daily. Zach’s bowls are available at the Carnegie, Nell Boutique, and Rosewater Market, all in Edgartown, or find your heirloom bowl on his website: chappaquiddickwoodcompany.com.

Pie anytime

It doesn’t matter what time of year or day, when it comes down to it: We can eat pie anytime. Pie for breakfast — it’s a thing. Pie is the blue jeans of the dessert world.

For the past seven years, Pie Chicks has become our own tried-and-true piemaker. Chrissy Kinsman started the company after what she described as a “terrible day at work”; she came home frustrated and on the verge of tears. “I want to make pie,” she declared to her husband. He told her she should do whatever she wanted. The next day she began doodling the logo for Pie Chicks, and by 2013 she launched the company. 

Pie Chicks is now an Island staple, sold this time of year at the West Tisbury fall market at the Agricultural Hall, both Cronig’s Markets, Tony’s Market, Ghost Island Farm, and Alley’s Store. 

Chrissy’s pie crust recipe is a riff of her grandmother’s lard-based, flaky pie crusts. Chrissy makes her pies with high-fat European-style butter and ethically sourced palm shortening. The fruit is lightly sweetened, with a dash of fresh lemon. Pie Chicks makes over a dozen different fruit pies (strawberry rhubarb, apple, triple berry, among others) in 6-inch and 9-inch sizes. “I am not sure why, but blueberry is the favorite among the fruit pies,” Chrissy says. Chrissy and her Pie Chicks team also make gluten-free versions, and for the refrigerator, tangy Key lime pie and chocolate cream. 

piechicks.com

Who’s growling?

If you’re heading to a party and you are not a fan of wine, punch, or eggnog, why not BYOG? A fresh Island-made draft beer from one of our local breweries? Offshore Ale and Bad Martha both sell growlers of beer. Growlers were said to have been named in the late 1800s, when customers wanted to bring home some beer from the pub and beer was put in a galvanized pail. The growl sounds were said to be the sound of carbon dioxide escaping the pail. 

Growlers come in heavy glass jugs — 64 ounces of your favorite fresh draft — that are not only cool-looking, but returnable — no dreaded single-use, and it doesn’t need to be shipped off-Island to be recycled. Sounds like a delicious win-win. Both breweries have good old-fashioned six-packs as well.

Offshore is open year-round in Oak Bluffs, with oysters, pizzas, and good homemade pub food. 

Bad Martha is open weekends in the fall, with events during Christmas in Edgartown weekend, and closing for the season after Christmas. If you are off-Island in Falmouth for a day of errands and shopping, Bad Martha Brewery just opened its year-round brewery on East Falmouth Highway.

Offshore Ale, 30 Kennebeck Ave., Oak Bluffs; offshoreale.com

Bad Martha, 270 Upper Main St., Edgartown, badmarthabeer.com

Cool kitchen art

There is nothing better than summer flowers year-round. Artist Tara Reynolds of Chilmark makes that possible with her colorful flower collages.

Tara started experimenting with collage techniques at Savannah College of Art, and really figured out her own style once she returned home to the Vineyard. One thing that always reminded her of home was the big tomato cans full of wildflowers that you see for sale on the side of the road and at the Farmers Market. She thought they would be a great subject matter and something that would really stand out on someone’s wall, especially in a kitchen.

Tara calls her process collage painting. She draws with acrylic paints on paper, then cuts her drawings out. She then applies the cut-out pieces to a canvas and outlines the image with black ink to make it pop. 

For the tomato cans, she pieces together hundreds of flowers at a time, so when she goes to “fill” the tomato can, “It’s almost as if I am making a floral arrangement right on the canvas,” says Tara. 

Look for Tara at the Artisans Festivals and online at tarareynoldsartmv.com. 

Smoky goodness

The Fish House Market and Takeout shares the former Hot Tin Roof building with Black Sheep Mercantile and MV Wine & Spirits at the main entrance to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. The Fish House, in its second season, is no longer just a fish market. Founders Tyler Gibson and Shane Laderoute (who are married) expanded the kitchen and menu this year, adding Chef Everett Whiting as the third partner/owner. Along with fresh local seafood and butchered meats, the takeout menu runs the gamut of seafood specialties from fish tacos, a killer fish sandwich, and lobster roll to burgers, smoked pork carnitas, and smoked brisket sandwich. 

On the retail side, the Fish House creates housemade smoked fish spreads, perfect for the holiday season. The classic bluefish pâte, made with a cream cheese base, is full of flavor — a true classic. The other two smoky spreads are an exciting surprise: the smoked salmon and caper spread is made with hummus and is dairy-free. This is a delicious twist, giving a complex, lemony taste — surprisingly delicious. The third spread is smoked swordfish made with a baba ghanoush base — an eggplant, tahini, and olive oil spread — with sun-dried tomatoes and lemon, also loaded with tasty, unique flavor. The Fish House will be open through the end of the year, and offers takeout dinners and catering services.

Fish House, 17 Airport Rd., Edgartown; thefishhousemv.com

Are you nuts?

OK, what food item is at every party, everywhere, anytime? Nuts! Usually mixed nuts to satisfy everyone, including those not eating carbs, doing the high-protein diet thing, or those afraid to try the stinky cheeses. You can never go wrong with nuts, but you can go right with Martha’s Vineyard Nuts. Anne Zenker moved to the Island from Connecticut in 2017, and decided to start making fresh Island-roasted M.V. Nuts, using a recipe she had been developing over many years, feeding friends and family. Martha’s Vineyard Nuts is a nice balance of high-quality jumbo roasted cashews, pecans, and almonds, with a sweet and spicy taste with a hint of orange. This is not your grandparents’ canned nuts — highly addictive, just perfect. 

Anne makes her nuts at the Larder’s commercial kitchen, and sells them at about 10 locations around the Island, including Bad Martha Brewery, where she creates custom pecans for one of their brews. She also makes small grab-and-go packs for wedding gift bags. 

mvnuts.com