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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Beacon Bits -- Good, Better, Best

Earlier this summer, a good friend in Beacon was becoming a US citizen. I thought it would be great to surprise her with something evocative of being American, so my mind went to apple pie, which led me to the Beacon Pie Company.
I had seen the "piecycle" across from the Beacon Theatre many times and had previously spoken to Heidi Bernhart, the owner, in June at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. 
I made contact with her by email ( and ordered the Classic Apple pie to be picked up the next day; it was delivered fresh from the oven! Other than the timely service and the flexibility to make an apple pie a bit ahead of apple season, it was a pleasure to see another women testing out her culinary and entrepreneurial skills for all the foodies in town! Sweet pies are 9" and savory pies come in personal size (5") as well as the standard 9" size. All ingredients are fresh and you can tell each pie has heaping tablespoons of love and pride in the hand-crafted method that was passed down from women across generations. [In fact, I had my own fond memories of The Pie Lady & Son in Nyack when she first started her business in 1996 from her home.] 

Beacon Pie Company is a very good edition to the food scene on Main Street. Can't wait to order the Veggie Curry Pot Pie and the Salted Honey Butter, which always seems to be sold out! In addition to contacting Heidi directly by email or catching her or her partner, Christ, at the piecycle, pies can be purchased at Barb's Butchery and Tito Santana's in Beacon and other locations. I am sure Heidi will be getting very busy for the upcoming fall season, so it's time to sample the variety and begin thinking about holiday orders to place.

Speaking of 'very good', I visited Drink More Good for a BeaconArts meet-up last week and found the cupboards to be filled with teas, spices and herbs and hand-crafted soda syrups and bitters being produced in-house with an ample supply of over 50+ flavors available for purchase. While the syrups are billed as the basic ingredients for making your own soda and cocktail drinks, my own 'foodie' mind went to the other possibilities that eliminate the need to make one's own simple syrup from scratch, which is not always so simple given the exact temperatures for producing the condensed sweetener for many basic recipes. (see recipe below.)

In addition to redefining soda with his local business, Jason Schuler has global interests in mind as he partners with to donate at least $4000 per year in order to supply sustainable water systems where needed by generating funds through two annual fundraisers in town. I learned that More Good products are available in Whole Foods; who knew? And that the production area is available as an 'incubator' kitchen for those who are in need of a professional kitchen approved for food distribution. Local Beaconites can continue to drop into the store during hours and take a seat to drink in the ambiance of yet another success story since the venue opened in 2012 and relocated to its larger space in the last year. The products will make great gifts for friends who can then re-stock their cupboards by ordering online. It is a win-win all around with this social entrepreneurship!

Food for thought:  Doing good is better than being the best. But when all the ingredients line up -- as they do for our local food craftsmen who creatively apply their skills and talents to make something deliciously good for others, it can make you better---perhaps, the best. This trifecta of looking for the good to be better is purpose-driven and goal-directed. It gives meaning to the mundane existence we all face in our daily chores, routines and habits. It reminds me of another trifecta quote  that I came across years ago, which reminds us that to establish a good life, we all need 'something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for'. Two out of three isn't bad, but the search for all the ingredients is the best recipe for 'more good' living!

Simple Gingered Peaches
Slice 4-6 peaches, that have been blanched, cooled with skins and pit removed. Place into a small 'bell jar' and add a generous amount of "More Good Ginger Ale Syrup". Refrigerate. The marinated peaches will be ready to add to vanilla ice cream or for a topping on pound cake with whipped cream for dessert on a summer's day.

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