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Talking SCHOP! Labor Day fun firsts

9/16/2016, 2:45 p.m.
AmNews Food editor Kysha Harris highlights foods from her Labor Day weekend vacation.
Corn dog Kysha Harris

I finally made my way back up to visit with friends Lisa and Doug in their Berkshires home for Labor Day weekend. As always the time there is fun, restful, energizing and welcomed. Though we were slightly tethered to ESPN to watch the U.S. Open (Congrats Stan Wawrinka! You are a beast!), we still made it to Great Barrington, an awesome farmers market, hiking trails and my first visit to a county fair, eating well the entire time.

On arrival, first things first, check the garden for what has grown and survived wild animal foraging. There were lots of late summer tomatoes (heirloom, plum, cherry and grape), some cubanelle peppers, squash and the bane of Lisa’s green thumb, radishes. RADISHES!

Of course the plethora of tomatoes meant we would certainly see them at the dinner table that night. Lisa whipped up some tomato and shrimp pasta and her tomato tart with balsamic cioppolini onions, kalamata olives and goat cheese. It was bright, earthy, briny and sweet. (See below for another simple late summer tomato tart recipe.)

The next day Lisa and I were off to Great Barrington for the farmers market (@GBFarmersMrkt) before it closed. Now I love a farmers market, but the convergence of New York and Massachusetts states brought out food producers like none other. The maple cream from Justamere Tree Farm (@farmJustamere), the diverse flavors of R&G Cheese Makers goat cheese, the awesome sauerkraut and fermented products from Hosta Hill (@HostaHill). Oh and the gorgeously simple and delicious smoked blue fish pâté from the fun couple at Good Catch.

Lisa and I were almost…almost…swayed by the long and happy line to forgo our lunch plans for the freshly made tortillas and their fillings from Destino Taqueria. However, whenever I am in Great Barrington I must go to Rubi’s for my Italian-style Cuban sandwich and then to SoCo Creamery for their lemongrass coconut cream ice cream, though I did flip it up with a half scoop of mango lassi.

We finished the day over Lisa’s buttery lobster rolls, sweet corn and slaw and a gorgeous sunset. ’Twas a perfect day!

The next day we were off to the Columbia County Fair—a first for me. As soon as we walked in, there it was, a sign advertising “CORN DOGS.” I did not hesitate. A sweet, hot, cornbread-covered wiener on a stick. That’s just simple goodness right there. Rides? Having none of it! However, the prize-winning produce and the animals, especially Rusty and Red, the working oxen, made it a unique time.

The final day included a hike in Beebe Forest and a light lunch on the deck before heading home. Thank you again for another great escape!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at kysha@SCHOPnyc.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Follow AmNewsFOOD @NYAmNewsFOOD.