About

Put Simply

Plate to Plate is a blog about growing, buying, cooking, and eating the beautiful local foods of western New England, with a focus on the northern Berkshires, southern Vermont, and the surrounding area. Lately, I’ve also had a strong interest in cooking Asian foods of many varieties — Lao, Thai, Sichuan, Malaysian — inspired, in part, by a recent trip to Southeast Asia.

At Plate to Plate you’ll find my musings on food and simple living, along with my colorful photos and uncomplicated recipes incorporating ingredients local to me here in western Massachusetts. I also write about local farms, farmers’ markets (some of my favorite places on earth), restaurants, and local-food-related adventures. In the sidebars, you’ll find links to local farms, producers, purveyors, and retailers. If you’re from outside the region, Local Harvest is a great place to start finding ethical food near you. If you’d like to submit a link, please get in touch.

But There’s More!

I’m Frances Duncan and I’m at the helm of Plate to Plate. Every once in a while my husband Dan, a lover of all things yeasted (bread, beer, and so forth), will chime in with a report from his side of the table. But mostly it’s me.

Frances with some swiss chardDuring the day (and, admittedly, sometimes during the night) I earn my keep working as a freelance web designer, and I’ve been blogging on and off for more than ten years, a fact that makes me feel somewhat elderly. Though Plate to Plate debuted officially in May 2009, the earliest posts were culled from the Deliciousness category in one of my first blogs, Gritmedia. When that category started getting bloated, and my interest in local foods and sustainable agriculture reached an all-time high, the idea for Plate to Plate was born.

I’m a casual cook with no formal training, and though I love to plan a menu and flip through glossy food magazines, I can’t seem to complete a dish without putting my own spin on it. My cooking tends toward the healthful: I love whole grains, minimally processed oils, and fresh, tender vegetables — spinach and kale are my favorites. I spent over half my life in various stages of vegetarianism, and was afraid of butter for longer than I’d care to admit. These days, I’m more of an omnivore with strong veggie proclivities, and my love for cheese and ice cream — and pretty much anything cooked to a nice char on a grill outside in summer — knows no bounds.

It’s important to me to support the people who grow, raise, or otherwise make the food I eat, which is why I seek out farmers and purveyors who support sustainable and otherwise responsible agricultural practices. That said, I’m absolutely no angel, and could never describe myself as a die-hard locavore. Living in New England it’s nearly impossible to anyway: our growing season is microscopic. I do what I do, and believe what I believe, because it’s important to me. You should do what you do, and believe what you believe, because it’s important to you. (But if you can, try to be a little less sappy and sentimental than I am — it’s for your own good.)

In other words, no judgments. I love food, and I love the landscape and the people who make my food. I hope that comes through in my writing, and I hope you enjoy it.

Three Cheers

This is Plate to Plate’s third fourth incarnation, and a couple of people behind the scenes help make it all happen at the very, very beginning. The resources list would be quite paltry without the original legwork of Carleen Madigan at Storey Publishing. And the original design was conceptualized by my darling husband, Dan.

Get in Touch

Questions, comments, hatemail, and anything else can be directed to platetoplate (at) gmail dot com.

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