Wednesday, October 7, 2015


As I mentioned yesterday, I'm a creature of habit. Although this serves me well in nurturing my skin, it can drive my meals into a stasis. Same dinner, same breakfast does not lead to awakening. Our minds and bodies need dynamism, shifting + ebbing through seasonal cycles. Earth, soil, body, soul. Eating foods at their highest peak and availability in return allows us to function at our highest, devoid of tampering or touch beyond that of our hands. Organic, sustainable, + alive. Straightforwardly, no crap on it, no crap in you.

That's what the duo behind Huckle & Goose believe—farm-to-table meals planned out thoughtfully that bring us back to our roots and the dining table. Mindful meals sustainably sourced from local farmers to be savoured over gatherings + meals shared. Huckle & Goose allows ease in setting the table by moving us away from scrolling around Pinterest or creasing cookbooks so that we can sit at it just a while longer + forge memories . . .

C H R I S T I N E   +  A N C A  |  H U C K L E &  G O O S E 

Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create Huckle & Goose.
C | We’re sisters-in-law who always knew we’d end up going into business together. Anca lives in Manhattan, I live just outside of DC in the Virginia countryside. We used to roll our eyes at anything/anyone that said organic, locavore, farm-to-table... who woulda thunk it’s what we’d end up doing/saying on a daily basis? Our first reluctant farmers’ market outing (more on that in the next question) made us fall in love despite our best efforts, and the rest is history. Truth is, eating seasonally and locally is misunderstood (it’s not just for activists, hipsters, food snobs, etc.), and it’s crazy that a simple thing like changing where you buy your food can have such a lasting impact on so many aspects of your life (and other’s lives).

Problem was, we’d never really cooked this way before. Even though farm-to-table has been trendy for a while now, there’s still a disconnect—we’re not really eating this way. We get a bunch of flowers, a pint of berries, maybe a bunch of kale, and leave the market with more Instagrams than actual veggies in our totes. There’s been such a departure from this way of eating in our culture… and cooking for ourselves in general. It’s become easier to grab Chipotle instead of shoving around some super fresh veggies in a pan. So when we started shopping for an entire week’s worth of food, there was still that bunch of beets going bad in our fridge, even though our Pinterest boards were overflowing and our cookbook shelves were collecting dust! We’re both mothers of two with busy lives, just like everyone else, and there was just no time for meal planning. We wished there was a way for someone to basically take the best recipes off our Pinterest boards and from our cookbooks, tell us what to make every week, spit out a shopping list, and everything else in life would just fall into place a little better.

Q: What inspired the name?
That first pivotal farmers’ market trip was in the summer months and we happened upon gooseberries. We’d never seen or heard them before, never tasted them before. Intrigued, we bought a pint and made a cobbler. Holy cow. New favorite berry. And a few weeks later, they were gone. You can’t find them in stores, they’re not shipped from anywhere else to be consumed year-round, you have to wait for them. They have to be grown by a farmer near you. (This is the same for huckleberries on the West Coast.) 

And so we waited. Then we applied this to every other fruit and vegetable. Tomatoes only when there are tomatoes, and you eat them morning noon and night in the summertime. When you’re about to burst and can’t eat another tomato, then come squash, pears, parsnips, and all the other root veggies just in time for crisp-weather stews and braises. And the cycle begins all over again: you’re waiting for spring, for that first asparagus, for strawberries. No instant gratification. But you’re also present in the moment, what you’re eating is perfect for the season, and it cultivates gratitude, patience, and joy. So by doing something as simple as curating seasonal recipes for our subscribers, we hope they reap the benefits of the “The (Huckle &) Gooseberry Effect.” Good things take time, we can’t rush them, we can’t have them whenever you want.

Q: Why eat seasonal and farm-to-table? Aside from the above, these are probably other top two reasons for us:
It tastes better in some cases and in all cases, it’s more nutritious. When a fruit or vegetable is picked at its prime (as opposed to being picked early so it can travel to grocery stores across the country) nutrients get a chance to fully develop.

When you look the person who grew your food in the eye every week, you take greater care in preparing that food. Farmers will tell you if they’re having a rough year or a good year, if there’s little rain, what’s being attacked by pests, what tastes especially good. You stop and think: holy cow, someone worked really hard to grow this one bunch of radishes. I better get my act together and use them well before they get all soft and gross in the crisper drawer.

It’s hard to fall into a cooking rut when you’re only cooking with a certain fruit/veggie for a few weeks or months.

Q: When you are not working on Huckle & Goose, what else do you like to do? 
Sleep—startup life is no joke. And have picnics with my little family.

Q: What keeps you going? 
Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra? 
The key to a productive day for me is getting my alone time early in the morning before the rest of the house wakes up. I brew a cup of tea, journal, meditate, read, and set my goals for the day. My mantra is to do one thing a day that scares me, even if it just scares me a tiny bit.

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process? 
Need those dark leafy greens to feel at my best.

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health? 
Sleep, kale salads, and drinking lots of water.

Q: What would be an ideal day for you? 
One of my favorite things to do is simply walk through cities. Explore, find little nooks, notice how the sun filters through the buildings, admire the architecture, capture little details. I just got back from Budapest where my husband and I walked and walked and walked, doing exactly this. We went to the thermal baths every morning, then got coffee and lunch, walked some more, had dinner overlooking the city, went out for drinks, and stayed unplugged from social media. We simply relaxed and it was lovely.

Q: What is an aspect of food and meals that is most special to you? 
The power food has on our memories and senses is pretty incredible. Food is tradition and it’s one way we can show each other love. I want my family and friends to remember how they felt at our table. And when we share food with others, it somehow tastes better, doesn’t it?

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet? 
Fortunately, I rarely get sick, but homemade chicken soup with bone broth and tea with good raw honey always do the trick. I use lavender essential oil a lot too for healing aches and pains.

Q: What would be your last meal on Mama Earth?
It would be in the summertime and involve tomatoes and peaches.