More tidbits: November 29, 2011

Some sad news first. The Wycombe Pub and Grill will be closing its doors this Wednesday (tomorrow) due to family health issues. We’ve gotten to love this unassuming bar – truly a pub in the English sense – where locals gather to share a beer, watch a game and kid around with the bartenders. Wycombe is a pretty small place and we have literally met neighbors for the first time sitting in the Wycombe. We wish Kevin Dougherty and his family well. Hopefully someone will buy the newly renovated restaurant that has only been open for a year and a half. We just hope they get the recipe for the extra crispy wings.

Also sad is that Meil’s in Stockton is for sale, due to health issues of its owner. Yikes. Meil’s is a landmark, for goodness sake. Let’s pray too that a buyer comes along and recognizes the value of keeping things the same at this haven for comfort food. Best wishes to its owner as well.

On a brighter note, we recently bought a special holiday  sausage from Purely Farm at the Stockton Market last weekend. I don’t normally write about specific food products, but wow, this deserves it. Mixed in with the pork are caramelized onions and raisins, a special recipe created by Joanna Michini, one of the farm’s owners. The combination is delicious. Purely Farm raises its own pigs, grazing them on pasture using all natural methods. If you haven’t tried their pork, chicken or lamb, do yourself a favor and stop by their booth at the market on Saturdays and Sundays.

Finally, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton have issued a new installment in the Canal House Cooking series just in time for holiday gift giving. And oh what a gift. This  year the authors are focusing on Italian food. They spent a month in Tuscany researching this book (do try not to be insanely jealous). Already steeped in knowledge of Italian food from all over Italy they were hungry for more, to go to the sources and eat fresh each day. The result is a book full of paninis, pasta, fish, birds (and rabbits), meat, vegetables and, of course, sweets. I love the section entitled, “Why Buy It When You Can Make It?” which includes recipes for salsa verde, fresh ricotta and ragù bolognese. Accompanying the recipes as always are Hirsheimer’s equally delicious photography. You can purchase the Canal House Cooking (vol. 7) – La Dolce Vita online at their website or from

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