Recipe: Violet Beauregarde’s Revenge
Twice a month, Berkshire County native Alana Chernila, mother of two, and author of the cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), contributes a thoughtful and heartfelt essay/recipe created exclusively for Rural Intelligence readers. Her first cookbook has achieved top-seller status, and Chernila has a new one in the works, titled “The Homemade Kitchen,” due out this year.
Yesterday, my husband and I walked up Hurlburt Hill in Ashley Falls with a group of friends. It was a gorgeous day, full of breezes and sculptured clouds, and every so often we’d turn around to admire the view and try to identify the curves of mountain below us.
“That’s definitely Mount Everett. And beyond… that jagged one? I think that might be Monument.”
It looked like the whole world was at our backs. But really it was just a small part of the county. And we had walked much farther than we could see from that hill. But as we reached the bench that marks the state line where Massachusetts meets Connecticut, we’d done it. We’d walked the length of the entire county that week.
The idea began a few years ago with one long walk through our own neighborhood. What if we walked the roads we drive every day, changed our perspective, slowed down? What if we stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants, visited museums and old houses, and experienced being tourists in our own home?
It was quite a week. If you’d like to see what we saw, spend a little time here. You’ll see that although we walked nearly 80 miles over the course of the week, we weren’t roughing it at all. I walked with a little pack that held a swimsuit (it was a hot week!) and a nice dress to change into when we got to that night’s destination. We ate some amazing meals, and drank some equally wonderful cocktails. We had picnics in stunning gardens, and walked down roads more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. And the best part is that now that it’s over, I don’t have to leave and go home. I’m already here.
One of my favorite drinks of the week was a summery refresher at the new restaurant Eat on North. We had a fantastic meal there (duck tacos—yes, yes, YES), and it started with this beauty that I got to sip in one of their hundreds of gorgeous chairs. Many of the county’s restaurants have been celebrating the recent accolades of Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Greylock Gin this summer (voted #1 craft gin in the country by the The New York Times!), and if you ask for that restaurants’ #summerofgreylock special, you will not be disappointed. Eat on North calls theirs “Violet Beauregarde’s Revenge,” and it’s as blue and delicious as the name implies.
Violet Beauregarde’s Revenge
(created by sommelier Dan Thomas of Eat on North in Pittsfield, Mass.)
Handful fresh blueberries
Half a lemon
½ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Greylock Gin
Place blueberries and lemon half in cocktail shaker or mixing glass and add simple syrup. Muddle ingredients to release oils. Add gin and about 8 ice cubes and shake. Strain mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.