Refrigerator Look Book: Jill Blakeway
It turns out that when Jill Blakeway, the director of the YinOva Center, is not tending to the needs of New Yorkers with her acupuncture needles or imparting her healing wisdom via her books and blog, she’s tending an overflowing garden (and refrigerator) at her home in Chatham, New York, 3 hours north of the city.
Here’s a glimpse into her refrigerator—and the many recipes and tricks she employs to make sure none of her spectacular produce goes to waste.
What’s in the glass bowl on the top shelf? Gazpacho that Noah, my husband and YinOva’s co-director, made. Our vegetable garden is in full swing, and we have rather a lot of cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. So gazpacho is a great way of using them up. The little bowl is all we have left. Emma, our daughter, took a bucket of it to college.
That sounds like a great way to make friends. Did Noah also make whatever is in those little jars next to the bowl? No, those contain pickled capers. They were a gift from our friend Oddy, who runs a restaurant on Jerusalem Beach in Kefalonia, Greece—his mom made them. We put them into Greek salad, and they taste of sunshine.
Back to the cucumbers— you have so many! Yes! Regular readers of our blog will know I’ve been trying to use them up. Noah and I can easily pick 20 cucumbers a week from the garden, and so all of our friends and YinOva staff are sick of getting them as gifts. I’ve made a note to grow fewer cucumber plants next year.
What’s in the foil and the purplish mason jar next to the cukes? The aluminum foil is wrapping the last of this bread, which is a recipe I made up to use up a glut of summer squash. The jar contains jam our daughter Emma made.
Wow! You have an entire family of impressive cooks and bakers. But on to the kombucha…you’re a big fan? I have a bit of a habit. But I feel guilty because it’s expensive. So, on the middle shelf behind the cucumbers there’s a glass bowl with cheesecloth on top. That contains a SCOBY from Getkombucha.com, so that I can start to make my own. If it’s a success, I’m going to bring it into the office for everyone.
You seem to be drawn to controversial beverages. Raw milk? Raw milk can be quite controversial, and if I ever mention it on Facebook, people pile in to comment that I’m crazy to drink it. But I trust Hawthorne Valley as a supplier—their farm store is about a 15-minute drive from us. I wouldn’t serve it to pregnant women, small children, or anyone with weak immunity though.
One more question: Is that an entire drawer of flour? Yes, I find they keep longer if I keep them in the fridge. I like to bake gluten-free, so in the box is amaranth flour, chick pea flour, xanthum gum, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, and teff flour. I also use coconut oil for baking. I love Babycakes vegan cupcakes and the secret to them, according to the cookbook, is coconut oil. —Lisa Elaine Held
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YinOva Center, 74 E. 11th Street, btwn. Broadway and University, Union Square, 212-533-2255, www.yinovacenter.com