What ever happened to lunch? A proper lunch. A moment to sit and sip and breathe and restore. Between morning madness and afternoon angst. This month, on the brink of summer, lunch returns through the power of cider. 'Albee Hill' still dry cider, the brand new 2017 vintage from Eve's Cidery, gets the call along with freshies from local farms. Instant picnic.
Today's beverage is Eve's Cidery 'Albee Hill' still dry cider (BUY ONLINE). Summoning fresh strawberries from Indian Creek Farm, local greens from Mandeville's Farm, Stilton cheese from Lively Run Dairy, and French charcuterie from The Piggery. All these farmers are friends and neighbors of Eve's Cidery! Add oil, vinegar, and toasted sunflower seeds.
Autumn and Ezra, your frantic cidermakers and homesteaders, take lunch after a busy morning mowing the orchard and prepping for disgorging in the cidery. It’s a crazy day, and they are going to be a little late for their children’s end-of-school performance. But they don’t know that yet. The kids or the parents.
June is all strawberries and thunderstorms and wild roses. It is also picnic lunches – and nothing makes an instant picnic like cider. So neglected. So overlooked. And I’d like to advocate a revival of the proper lunch, with cider taking its place on the table.
We work long hard days on the farm and it’s so nice to punctuate the beginning of the afternoon with a proper lunch. The work’s not going anywhere so take an hour, some strawberries, a chilled bottle of cider and some convivial company.
Strawberries come and go so fast I want to eat my fill while I can. I love strawberries in a salad. Just toss crunchy lettuce with oil and vinegar, add sliced strawberries, and toast sunflower seeds to toss on top. It’s that toasty, umami flavor that pairs so well with the bittersweet-heavy 'Albee Hill' cider (BUY ONLINE).
Like the new Saucisson Sec, a thick and dry cured sausage, from our local butcher shop, The Piggery, that I'm really in to these days. It is salty and sour and oh-so-fatty and just begging for the silky tannins and subtle fruit of cider. After all these years I’m still enamored with how something so light and refreshing can pack such structure and density with its tannins. Which is really the beauty of cider as a partner for food.
On my cutting board, the Blue Yonder from local creamery Lively Run Dairy is also begging for cider. I have fond memories of eating Stilton and drinking cider in England, and I adore cheesemaker Pete Messmer’s Stilton-inspired blue. I love pairing Stilton and cider. And Stilton and strawberries. And strawberries and cider.
Don’t let those June days pass you by. Take lunch, take cider. It’s cider, after all, so you can go back to work when you’re done.
About The Pairing Issue
If I popped into your house, would I find cider at your table? For a growing number of artisan beverage lovers, the answer is yes! But giving cider a seat at the table continues to keep me up at night. The Pairing Issue is a monthly "how-to" about bringing cider into your life through daily meals and simple friendly gatherings.