It is hard to find words to adequately explain what a magical place the town of Woods Hole, MA is. I hope to, at a later date, tackle the subject in full as its own writing project.
For today though, I want to focus on a single way in which I’ve managed to capture a taste of this town’s magic, not through words but through food: by way of freshly picked berry jam and fresh bread in the summertime.
This past August, for a period lasting two weeks tops, wild black raspberry and raspberry bushes were lush with fruit. Between the bushes in my grandmother’s back yard and the ones along the streets of town and the bike path, I was able to collect quarts of three different berry types. Some were sweet, some tart, and all slightly warmed from the summer sun. I collected as many as I could, eating some on my walk home and saving the rest for jam.
In addition to being the best time/place for fresh berries, summertime in Woods Hole is also the best time and place for fresh bread. Perhaps you are thinking: summertime? for baking? who wants a hot oven turned on inside during the hottest months of the year??, but in my experience, summertime is best for bread because the warmth of the room lends itself to a livelier, bubblier pre-ferment (like the funky bubbly alien child pictured above). Bubblier pre-ferment means better bread.
Though not pictured above, freshly baked sourdough made from a local starter is also a perfect way to literally capture the taste of the town (by capturing wild yeast).
Speaking as someone who is always thinking about how best to capture moments and emotions, I think this bread/ berry combination did a pretty damn good job of carrying the essence of the time, the place, the feeling.
Baguette Recipe: https://tasteofartisan.com/french-baguette-recipe/
Jam recipe: I honestly cant remember exactly what I did, but it was essentially fresh berries, granulates sugar, and lemon juice & jest cooked down. I will come back and edit this blog post when I have an exact recipe.