Only in Winter: Double-Duty {or the Whelk}
Maine lobstermen have had a rough year. A warm winter prompted the 2012 lobster season to begin early and in earnest. Throughout the year, lobstermen landed personal bests, but received rock bottom prices - sometimes as low as $1.35 a pound - for the undertaking. There is no easy answer to this dilemma, but lobstermen are a resourceful bunch and have reached for low hanging fruit - the whelk. Traditionally considered an incidental by-catch, this mollusk attaches itself to lobster traps, making themselves ripe for the picking and a great addition to the Blue Hill pantry.

Only in Winter: Cortez Bottarga
Located just 22.7 miles from Chef de Cuisine Trevor Kunk's childhood home, the Anna Maria Fish Company is one of the last traditional wild fisheries in the United States.  Their bottarga {salt-cured and sun-dried gray mullet} is just an example of how this fishery "shares a sense of place and feeds the body and the soul in doing so."

Vintage: Blue Hill Pinot #5
Hand bottled on Tuesday by Hirsch Vineyard's owner David Hirsch, Blue Hill Pinot Noir '11 is elegant, low in alcohol, and, in the words of Jasmine Hirsch, "... an amazing vintage. One of our best ever. Also, it’s the second vintage with our new rockstar winemaker Ross Cobb." The arrival Blue Hill's fifth collaboration with the Hirsch family is a few weeks away, so stay tuned!

Only in Winter: Glowing Fresh Pepper Bitters
Fresh black pepper bitters are the inspiration for Blue Hill New York's January cocktail. The pepper berries are incredibly spicy, and, with a little help from a bit of citrus peel, they create a fantastic neon glow.

From the Market: Three little bowls
 Deborah Ehrlich's masterfully designed bowls ...

Sausage & Beer Chronicles: Thirty-one Days and Counting
Adam Kaye and the entire kitchen crew have plenty to do before Blue Hill at Stone Barn's 8th Annual Sausage & Beer Night on Sunday, January 27th.  First up: Beer-Brined Mustard Seeds courtesy of Bronx Brewery Pale Ale.

Only in Winter: Melts in Your Mouth {not in your hands}
We've gotten our hands on Northshire Farm's Savoy Cabbage, and so can you. Available at NYC's Greenmarkets, Jim Grillo's cabbage ably takes on many forms – from choucroute to slaw. But, grilling the hell out of these wintery beauties (read: burning) over pig-bone charcoal creates a wonderful melted core with hints of porky flavor.

Happy Holidays for all of us at Blue Hill Farm
May your holidays be joyous and delicious. Holiday notes: Blue Hill will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Blue Hill at Stone Barns will be closed Friday, December 21st - Christmas Day Blue Hill Café will have limited hours on December 21st, 22nd and 23rd  {11 am - 3 pm}

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