October 2012. Before the weekends had specials and soup. Before the building had heat and the pies meat. Before meyer lemon marmalade, marmite guacamole toast and the egg in a glass. Before the snow. Rushing, rushing to be ready for our inaugural pizza weekend, knowing that the crowds were assembling and a coterie of friends advancing on us from around Delaware County, not to mention up I87 from New York City. Among them Gemma and Andrew Ingalls from Brooklyn, armed with camera gear, and Anna Moschovakis from Hobart armed with her pen and a mission from Wilder Quarterly to tell something of Table on Ten’s early story and our hopes for the future.
The idea of being featured in Wilder was … still is … a big deal for us. We’d only been open a few months, the menu and microshop were growing but it was early days. The first chill of winter was in the air and the furnace and heating system were still theoretical entities. The magazine had featured Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Morocco, the Moss Temple in Kyoto, wild foraging in Finland and off-limits geode vaults in the American Museum of Natural History; and now they were on their way to Bloomville in the Western Catskills. And the pizza oven was still curing.
As we now recall with joy and relief (and memories of warm sunshine), everything went off beautifully. Gemma and Andy shot voraciously for two days and roamed the neighborhood, visiting Steve at Burnett Farms and Richard and Holley at Lucky Dogamongst others. The unveiling of the oven saw us jammed to the rafters with friends and supporters, and down to our last scraps of sourdough. Our extended family of local heroes helped with everything from entertaining all-comers, running pizza and wine through the crowd, washing dishes, crafting donation boxes and juggling the phalanx of iPods.
And now, many months later – as the first rays of warm sunlight are once again dappling the picnic table – the Winter 2013 issue of Wilder Quarterly is on the news-stands. And we’re right there amongst the Maine oyster farmers, Vietnamese farm-to-table exponents and Alaskan salmon-fileters.
We’ll have an issue or two for browsing through in the café very soon, as well the full article on the press section of the site.
‘Noise proves nothing. A hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid’ – Mark Twain
The lowly egg. Humans have been shoveling ’em down since we first got our knuckles off the ground. Fragments of fossilized egg-shells have been found in the Lascaux Caves in Southwest France, presumably the remnants of a box lunch packed by Paleolithic Woman for Paleolithic Man, busily noodling his life away on yet another sketch of charging bison. There were eggs in the tomb of Haremhab the Hairless, right there by his sarcophagus in case he got a bit peckish on his eternal ramble through the afterlife. And when Vesuvius blew in AD 79, what were the hapless Romans munching on as they looked up from their breakfasts at an onrushing cataract of molten lava? Eggs.
But if eggs were brought to Mesopotamia by the Nubians in 1500 BC, they were only brought to Table on Ten by Katrin and Jamie Stelmashuck of Last Harvest Farm in the summer of last year: and they proved so fresh and tasty that we have been eagerly devouring them ever since. They are a staple of our baking, the mainstay of the Egg in a Nest and Egg in a Glass. For the Marmite Guacamole Toast, we sometimes poach one and lower it into a bed of spiced, mashed avocado, sprinkle it with black pepper and a little feta.
Last Harvest Farm fits our ideal model for local suppliers. Katrin and Jamie are so local that a fit, athletic man in search of eggs could run up Bloomville Hill Road to the farm and back in a few minutes. But we don’t have any fit, athletic men, so Katrin brings the eggs down in her car. The chickens are madly free-range and all have lovely chicken-smiles on their faces. They are a whole mess of breeds; Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns, Golden Comets, Tetras … and a single Araucana who pops out a bluish-green egg about once every two days. Who knows, you might have unwittingly consumed one of her treasures last time you popped in for breakfast.
We also sell Last Harvest Farm eggs. $3.75 a dozen. Look in the refrigerator, next to the milk.
And by way of an example of Last Harvest Farm eggs in action. Here’s our version of Egg in a Glass.
2 soft boiled eggs fresh herbs (including chives) dried red pepper salt black pepper big tablespoon of Frankie’s olive oil