Savoring the Seasons: Together We Can …

The Recorder, December 1st, 2015 by Mary McClintock.

I magine my delight when I opened my mail and saw Sandy Clark’s handwritten note responding to my “what do I do with …” column. She said, “Last week I opened my refrigerator and saw the makings of a soup.”

Here’s what Sandy made with what she found. Sandy didn’t name her soup recipe, but I call it “Of Course, I’ll Make … Soup”

What kind of “art with found objects” soup are you making this week?

Along with concocting tasty dishes with what I find in my kitchen, I love walking into farmers markets, strolling by the booths, and pulling together ingredients for many meals … soups, salads, desserts, casseroles. Generally, I’m a “take a shopping list” person, but at farmers markets, I go with what inspires me and what my farmer friends tell me are particularly tasty vegetables, cuts of meat, fruit or cheese.

Writing this makes me grin, thinking of the fun I’ll have on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the monthly Greenfield Winter Farmers Market (10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greenfield Middle School on Federal Street). I’ll see you there!
It’s good to grin, because much in the past week has made my heart heavy. In my last few weeks working for the Franklin County Community Meals Program, we broke two records. A record number, 147 households, visited FCCMP’s Orange Food Pantry in one five-hour distribution day. And, the night before Thanksgiving, FCCMP’s staff and volunteers served dinner to a record 105 people at FCCMP’s Greenfield meal site.

Six months of working at FCCMP taught me a lot, and two things stand out: an increasing number of our neighbors don’t have enough food to feed themselves and their families, and the budgets of FCCMP and other local organizations that feed people are stretched VERY thin trying to meet that increased need.

I also learned that many of us want to help our neighbors. Please join me in supporting FCCMP by visiting

This past summer, my friend/writing mentor, Deborah Savage, excitedly told me that her sister, Meredith, was moving from Alaska to live in an apartment upstairs from Deborah in Montague. Meredith arrived in July and started grad school at UMass in September. On Thanksgiving morning, the building where Deborah and Meredith lived was consumed by fire. Meredith’s apartment was completely destroyed and Meredith lost everything. Deborah’s apartment/art studio was not as badly damaged, but she lost much of her artwork (

Please join me in helping Meredith recover from the fire by donating to her gofundme website:

Together, we can help our neighbors.

This week we’re eating …

Of Course, I’ll Make… Soup
By Sandy Clark, Shelburne Falls

I began with 1 large chicken breast left over from a roasted chicken. I cut this up into bite-sized pieces then set it aside. In a large pot, I added about 2 T. of oil. When heated, I added 1 large onion peeled and chopped. Cook until transparent. Add 2 cloves peeled and chopped/minced garlic, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 4 large carrots peeled and cut into rounds, 1 small head of broccoli, cut into segments, 2 T. of Italian seasoning. Cook all this on medium heat for a few minutes. Add 1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken stock, or broth, 1 large can diced tomatoes, juice included. Add 2 cups of cooked chopped into bite-size pieces kale, 1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz. can) drained, rinsed, 1 15 oz. can small brown beans, drained, rinsed, 1 small bunch bok choy washed and cut into bite size pieces. Add chicken pieces. Put all in crock pot. If not enough broth, add enough chicken stock or broth until desired consistency. Simmer on low until desired tenderness of vegetables. I cook it for about 4 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. I serve this with baking powder biscuits. This is a hearty soup using whatever is left over in your refrigerator. If you don’t have broccoli, Brussel sprouts can be used.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College and Brand Promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals. Send column suggestions and recipes to