A seat at the table

When Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell both lost their jobs in the Recession of 2008 and decamped to a small farming community in upstate NY to start their lives over, they relied on the help of their neighbors to teach them virtually everything they needed to know to start a surprisingly complex “simple life”.

As their farm grew, so did their collection of artisans that make up the lifestyle company they created and named Beekman 1802.



Recipes to Nourish Your Family, Friends, and Community is Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell’s fourth cookbook, and their most personal yet. Based on the beautiful community the authors found when they moved from New York City to Sharon Springs, this gorgeously illustrated cookbook embodies the traditional story of stone soup, in which everyone brings their small piece to the pot to create a sum much greater than its parts.
Every recipe, every story, every page is flavored with the seasoning and spice that only a diverse community can bring and each recipe has a photo shot entirely in natural light. With recipes organized by season and interwoven with imaginative menus, stories of the creative friends and neighbors who are part of the authors’ small town, and tips and tricks for making the varied dishes, readers will turn to this book again and again to nourish their own communities.

Whether roasting a turkey for a November Friendsgiving, enjoying fresh pea pesto and crostini for a springtime supper, there will always be a seat at the table.

It was wonderful to meet the Beekman Boys, Brent and Josh, at a local potluck hosted at the home of William and Susan Brinson at Stony Ford in Campbell Hall. Everyone brought a dish to share. Susan says, “Stony Ford has been a home that’s entertained since 1850s. We enjoy continuing the tradition”.

During the holiday season, or any time of year, have a seat at the table for people you would like to get to know. The shared experience of dining together will create connections.




Chicken Apricot Pot Pie from BEEKMAN 1802: A SEAT AT THE TABLE by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, with Rose Marie Trapani. Copyright © 2017 by Brent Ridge, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, and Rose Marie Trapani. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


Chicken Apricot Pot Pie

During the months of January, February, and March at the farm, the daily temperatures huddle around 0°F and several feet of snow cover the ground. Even though we love winters on the farm, we’d be lying if we said our thoughts didn’t occasionally drift to warmer, more exotic locales. This twist on a comfort food classic is a soul-satisfying vacation from those cold, short winter days.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons ice water

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1½ pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into
1-inch cubes
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup dried apricots
2 cups tomatoes, diced
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup golden raisins teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 tablespoon orange flower water (or use ½ teaspoon orange zest as a substitute)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper


First make the pie crust. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. Coat butter with flour as you grate. Add the oil and mix quickly with your hands. Add the water and bring dough together. Shape into two disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. You only use one disk for this recipe; to freeze the second disk for a future pot pie, wrap it well and freeze for up to several months.

Meanwhile, make the chicken-apricot filling. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned—3 to 5 minutes. If your skillet is not large enough to cook the ingredients in a single layer without overlapping of the chicken, do this step in batches so that the chicken is browning.

Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, apricots, tomatoes, almonds, raisins, saffron, and broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then quickly lower heat to a simmer. (If it starts to boil again, reduce heat further.) Cook uncovered until the chicken is cooked through—20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the orange flower water, cilantro, and parsley. Set skillet aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Add to the skillet and stir to combine. Place the skillet on medium heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken. Taste the filling and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, as the filling is cooling, roll out pie crust large enough to cover a 9- by 13-inch casserole. Spoon the filling into a 9- by 13-inch glass casserole dish and cover with the rolled pie crust. Cut slits in several places on the crust.

Flute the edge of the crust by using the thumb of your right hand to push a bit of the dough between the space created when pinching the index finger and thumb of your left hand together.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.