For Us and Them: The Recipes

Dan Jaffe


  •   Fiddleheads of Matteuccia struthiopteris

  •   Butter, garlic, salt, black pepper and lemon juice


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add fiddleheads

  2. Cook until barely tender (3-8 minutes)

  3. Remove fiddleheads from water and strain

  4. Melt butter into a large pan (don’t crowd the fiddleheads) over medium heat

  5. Add chopped garlic and cook until just fragrant (1 minute)

  6. Add fiddleheads and cook until browned (5 minutes)

  7. Salt and pepper to taste

  8. Sprinkle with optional lemon juice

The Best Leeks Ever

 Leaves (no roots) of wild leeks (Allium tricoccum)  Butter
 Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat a large pan over medium heat

  2. Roll leaves tightly and cut into thin strips

  3. Melt butter in pan and allow to brown slightly

  4. Add leaves into pan, cook them in batches if you have more than the pan can easily hold

  5. Cook briefly, stirring only once while cooking, 1-2 minutes

  6. Serve

 Whole leaves can also be added to soups in the last minute of cooking or chopped fine

and served raw as a final seasoning addition.

Wild Broccoli


  •   Early flower buds of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

  •   Butter

  •   Onion, thinly sliced

  •   Red pepper flakes

  •   Salt and black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil

  2. Drop buds into boiling water and boil for 2-4 minutes

  3. Remove from pot and strain

  4. Melt butter into a large pan over medium heat

  5. Add onion and cook until translucent (3-5 minutes), add red pepper flakes

  6. Add milkweed buds, salt and pepper and cooked until warmed throughout

  7. Serve

Groundnut chips

 Washed and scrubbed tubers of American groundnut (Apios americana)


  1. Bring a pot of peanut oil to 365 degrees

  2. Slice tubers thinly on a mandolin and drop into oil in small batches, do not crowd the


  3. Remove chips as they turn brown and immediately salt and pepper them

  4. Serve warm


Rhus Juice

• Ripe, bright red fruits of staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)


  1. Collect young fruits of Rhus typhina. The older ones often become home to a number of


  2. Place the fruits in a large jar and fill with warm water.

  3. Cover the jar with a paper towel or cheesecloth and allow to sit in the sunlight.

  4. It is best to begin tasting the juice after 10 minutes or so to find the desired strength.

    The brew is often ready within the hour

  5. Do not use boiling water as it will extract a number of very bitter tannins into your brew.

  6. The final brew can be diluted with water, mixed with honey, or drunken as is.

Great Teas

Simply steep these in hot water

Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) Oswego tea (Monarda didyma)
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) Sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora)

Simmer these for 3-5 minutes and then serve

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) Cocktails

Backwoods Hot Toddy


  • 10-20 small twigs of spicebush, sweet birch, or sassafras

  • Spiced rum • Water

• Optional honey and lemon juice


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium heat

  2. Cut birch stems into 1” sections and add to pot. Cook until fragrant (~5 minutes)

  3. Pour 1-3 ounces of spiced rum into warmed mug and add birch tea

  4. Add honey and lemon to taste

Monarda mojito


  • 12 fresh young Oswego tea leaves

  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges

  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup, or more to taste (equal parts raw sugar and boiling

    water, cooled)

  • 1 cup ice cubes

  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum

  • Club soda to top, up to 1/2 cup


  1. Place leaves and 3 lime wedges into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and

    lime to release the mint oils and lime juice.

  2. Add simple syrup, and stir. Do not strain the mixture.

  3. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with

    carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired.

  4. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

Pink Monkey


  • 3 ounces vodka or silver rum

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) rhus juice (or more to taste)

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) ginger beer (or more to taste)

  • Ice

  • 4 lime wedges


  • Fill a strong-bottomed glass with 3 lime wedges and muddle lightly.

  • Add vodka or rum and stir to combine.

  • Add ice juice and ginger beer

  • Garnish with additional lime wedge

    Cucumber Hyssop Hiccup


  •   2 oz. vodka

  •   1 tbsp. lemon juice

  •   1⁄2 oz. light agave

  •   5-8 Anise hyssop leaves

  •   3-5 slices cucumber

  •   2 slices lime

  •   Soda

  •   Ice


  1. Place cucumber, anise hyssop leaves, lime and vodka into a shaker and muddle for 2


  2. Add lemon juice and simple syrup

  3. Add ice and shake for 1 minute

  4. Strain into cocktail glass, top with soda and garnish with additional anise hyssop leaf


Strawberry-Balm Sunday


  •   ~ 2 cups strawberries

  •   1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar

  •   10-15 leaves Monarda didyma finely diced

  •   vanilla ice cream


  1. Combine strawberries, bee balm leaves and sugar in a small pot and bring to a simmer

    or medium heat.

  2. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sauce has cooked down and little liquid remains

  3. Allow to cool completely before serving over ice cream or yogurt.

    Dan Jaffe 



The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently voted to posthumously award the 2017 AIA Gold Medal to Paul Revere Williams. Working through five decades, Williams developed a portfolio of nearly 3,000 buildings located mostly in Southern California as well as the Ritts/Kohl house at 76 North Lake Drive in Chautauqua, New York, featured on the 2016 House Tour.

Born in Los Angeles in 1894, Paul Williams is the first African-American architect to receive the AIA Gold Medal.  And winning the 2017 Gold Medal is not the only AIA honor for him. Williams was also the first African-American architect admitted to the AIA (1923) and the first African-American Fellow recognized by the AIA (1957).