The Holiday Issue

By Lauren Titus / Photography By Amy Robb | Last Updated August 31, 2016
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Lemon Curd
Make it local! Fresh lemons make a delicious edible gift for the season ahead.

"I think that food ties us to our community, and it's the thing that makes us feel good and connected."

– Kathy Freston

When I think about a time of year made for celebrating local food, the months of November and December immediately come to mind. In Northeast Florida, our growing seasons are just getting going, and we have an abundance of fresh produce at farmers’ markets. With cooler days we are also more inclined to spend time in the kitchen cooking. Gathering at home with family and friends to give thanks for the bounty of the land and sea is especially meaningful during the holidays.

The more I talk to those who grow or raise the food we eat, the more appreciation I have for farming. Farmers set out with the best of intentions, only to encounter many unknowns along the way. Weather, for one, is a major source of uncertainty. As we witnessed from the challenges farmers in California face, rain is integral to a successful yield. However, too much at the wrong time, like we experienced this summer and early fall, can also lead to disruptions in planting and harvesting cycles. Hopefully through the rest of this growing season our area farmers will have the perfect balance of sunny skies and rainfall, to help minimize losses and ensure a variety of local produce and meats will be available for our holiday feasts.

Supporting regional agriculture is a delicious way to add a taste of home to our seasonal tables. In this issue, we highlight other ways to make your holidays truly local as well. If you are in a giving frame of mind, check out our suggestions for homemade edible gifts. Perhaps offering time and energy to local charities is also on your list? We talk about organizations doing good work by growing good food and how you can provide support. Not sure how to address the issue of food waste during holiday extravaganzas? We bring you tips from the pros on being a more efficient cook. And finally we reflect on the idea of gathering; how the realities of modern society have put a new spin on how we gather, both our food and those we love.

During this season of giving thanks, I would be remiss if I didn't pass along my sincere appreciation to all of you, dear readers, who have welcomed Edible Northeast Floridato the area. It has been gratifying to hear your feedback on the stories and images in our first issue. I look forward to ongoing dialogue and continuing to showcase the leaders and heroes of our local food community.

Lauren Titus, Editor



The Chef's Canvas Cookbook

Adam Burnett of Knead Bakeshop studies a canvas at the Cummer Museum in downtown JAX
What happens when chefs look to art to inspire their next culinary creation? A cookbook is born.

Sweet Sculptures

St. Augustine's Chef Nils Rowland proves himself as a master of Edible Art.

The New Food Bank is Banking on Itself

Little hands holding a pea pod in jacksonville beach florida
Non-profits in the region are growing their own sustainable future.

What's in Season

Beets with greens on gray background
Here's a list of local food you'll find in season throughout the year in Northeast Florida.

Sorghum-Glazed Carrots

Sorghum Glazed Carrots close up on a plate
Not too long ago, Sorghum, or sorghum molasses, was a staple sweetener in the South. It can be found in most grocery or health food stores.

Salt-Roasted Beets

Salt-Roasted Red and Yellow beets on plate with green apple gremolata at Black Sheep
This colorful side dish, with Citrus-Herb Goat Cheese and Beet Top-Green Apple Gremolata, uses both roots and greens of the beet - what a delicious way to cut down on food waste!

Beet Kimchi

beet kimchi in white bowl in palm of hands
Use a mandoline slicer to turn the carrots and beets into thin matchsticks.

Come to the Table

In a fast-paced world, have we forgotten the importance of gathering around meals?

Food in the Urban Core

Chef Scott Schwartz stands beneath glass ceiling in the Marble Bank Building in Downtown Jacksonville
As revitalization efforts in the urban core of downtown Jacksonville continue to evolve, the question still remains: which comes first, the people or the food?

Hand-Crafted Edible Gifts

Meyer lemon curd in a jar with a lemon on a wood table
Thirteen hand-crafted edible gifts made from local ingredients for the loved ones on your list this holiday season. 

Composting 101: The Dirt

Composting 101 it's all about the dirt edible northeast florida grow something green
In Northeast Florida, successful gardening is all about the dirt. This is a quick 101 on the most critical elements in working to build good compost.

DIY Linoleum Cut Stamps

diy how to make a linoleum stamp for edible gifts in jacksonville florida
Here's a great way to create personalized labels for your homemade preserves and other food gifts.

Charcoal Water and Why You Might Drink It

Watts Juicery Charcoal Water
Charcoal is all the rage, and charcoal water is revered by some. But where exactly does activated charcoal come from? Can you pull from your fire pit and make your own? Well, not exactly.

Lemon Chess Pie

Chess pies are sometimes called pantry pies, traditionally made in the winter when fresh fruit wasn't available.

Classic Shortbread

Holiday Shortbread on marble with a red background
Just four ingredients, this cookie makes the perfect treat for a holiday tea party or a hostess gift.

Wipe Out Waste

The average household throws away between $1300 - $2400 worth of food each year. This holiday season, keep a few of those dollars in your pocket. Plan like a pro to eliminate food waste with these...

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