Wild Harbor General Store

Caroline Gabriel at the Wild Harbor General Store in North Falmouth.

It seems the Wild Harbor General Store has more lives than a cat. This Saturday (tomorrow!) there will be a Grand Reopening at 10 AM. “We will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the chamber of commerce Ambassadors are coming. There will be free samples of Boar’s Head hot dogs,” explained the new owner, Caroline Gabriel.

“Polar Springs is donating samples, as is Hint’s flavored water, which is a still water,” she added. “I think there will be a giveaway every hour—things like a free muffin, our Wild Harbor General Store shopping bags and, of course, a copy of my book, ‘The Fateful Fork.’ ” Years ago, the latter was a focus of a Gourmets and Good Eaters column.

“I want people to try some of these wonderful items, and by giving away some of them, I hope to encourage people to come back,” Caroline said. “In addition to the usual general store merchandise, I want to feature specialty items. These will be from local vendors, with a huge emphasis on natural and organic products.”

“These include freshly baked loaves from Found Bread, hot sauces and salsas from Nobska Farms, fish pâtés from The Clam Man, Chequessett Chocolate, pies from Centerville Pie Company, Kayak cookies out of Hyannis, and frozen Paul’s pizzas,” she listed. “We are offering Speedwell Coffee, which is roasted the day it’s delivered, and they have hooked us up with purified water to come through the brewer. Each cup is ground to order. There will also be a selection of Rishi Teas, which are an award-winning, organic brand.”

Caroline has arranged to have fresh bread delivered daily from New Bedford, and she hopes to be able to carry some products from Pain D’Avignon and Maison Villatte as well. “We are still waiting for our beer and wine license, which should be coming any day now,” she declared. “And, of course, we will be offering a full selection of Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses.”

“My main focus is to be open consistently, year-round,” she stated. “I really want to be able to offer people an alternative to eating chips on the beach! Offering organic grocery products is one way to do this, even if it is just a convenient ‘grab and go’ package. I also hope to work with Compost with me, in order to compost any meat and bread products that we have to discard.”

Don’t forget that the store also sells gas. “In 1830, the store was opened, and it was called the Wild Harbor General Store,” Caroline recounted. “Then in 1930 it became The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company with Groceries and Meat, and shortly after that they added the gas station. Then in 1999, Ray and Susan Rowitz bought it and brought it back to a general store. Since then it has sold two more times, but not the ‘bones’ of the place, so I am able to transform it to a more natural and organic grocery store.”

Check it out tomorrow, if you can, or go in any time you are in the area. Here are a few of Caroline’s recipes that she gave me to print here.

Rooibos Iced Tea

This summer staple of Caroline’s family is brewed daily at the store.. Rooibos, also known as African Red Bush (Aspalathus linearis), makes a refreshing iced tea. It has a pretty red color and a mellow flavor—almost like a black tea but less tannic. Our favorite is Fair Trade organic. Lightly sweetened with stevia, this iced tea is truly hydrating and satisfying.

1 gallon boiled water

5 rooibos tea bags

Pour boiling water over the teabags and let it cool; refrigerate. Serve over ice or as is, garnished with a sprig of mint or lemon balm.

Linguiça Breakfast Sandwich

Our most popular breakfast item, made fresh every morning. The linguiça comes as a large roll (4 inches in diameter) that we slice to one-quarter-inch thickness, so it fits perfectly on the sweet roll. Boar’s Head Cheddar and a freshly cooked egg make this a delicious start to the day. We bake all ingredients in the oven at 350°F.

Portuguese sweet roll, cut in half and toasted

Linguiça, sliced to ¼ inch

Sliced cheddar cheese

Egg

To create the perfect-sized egg that fits on the sweet roll, we have a special “egg pan.” It looks like a muffin pan; however the sides of each cup are straight rather than tapered at the bottom. Spray the pan with oil, and crack an egg in; stir in pepper, and bake for 7 minutes. Lay the round of linguiça on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes; toast the sweet roll. When the linguiça, egg and roll are ready, add 2 slices of cheddar, and enjoy.

Italian Sub

This classic sub is special at the Wild Harbor General Store, because of our fresh bread, which is delivered daily. We also include a homemade dressing, Boar’s Head meats (gluten-free, with zero artificial ingredients, fillers or byproducts) and freshly sliced vegetables.

8-inch baguette or sub roll

4 slices pepperoni

4 slices Capocollo ham

4 slices Genoa salami

2 slices provolone

Lettuce, tomato, onion, thinly sliced.

Options: banana peppers, red or green bell peppers

Slice the bread lengthwise and spread a little mayonnaise on each side. Layer each ingredient on one slice of bread, drizzle the dressing over it all, and top with other slice of bread.

Homemade dressing: olive oil, white wine vinegar, thyme, basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.

In a measuring cup, combine 2 oz oil and 2 oz vinegar. Stir vigorously with a whisk or fork; add a pinch of each herb, and a quarter-clove of minced garlic. Stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saving Grace Chicken Soup

When the store closes, Caroline and her boys head upstairs to dinner. The best nights are when this hearty healthful soup already made. Caroline whips up roasts, burgers, pasta and veggies for her sons who have huge appetites, but she takes great comfort in this warming delightful soup. The soup varies as vegetables are available. Sometimes Caroline uses coconut milk and takes the soup in a Thai direction (with lime juice, lemon grass), but often the soup has a tomato base and leans toward an Italian style.

4 organic chicken thighs

2 TBSPs vinegar

2 leeks

2 carrots, chopped

Eighth of a head white cabbage, shredded

1 red pepper, diced

3 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves minced garlic

2 TBSP dried oregano and basil

1 tsp dried thyme

3 cups crushed organic tomatoes

splash of white wine

Dried sea vegetables (optional: arame, nori, kombu—tear into pieces before adding)

1 cup of organic cooked beans: garbanzo, white bean, lentils (rinsed and drained if canned)

Peel the skin off the chicken thighs and put in a large stock pot; cover with purified water and add vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours; strain, set broth aside. Let chicken cool, then remove meat from the bones and set aside (discard the bones). Slice the leeks and wash them thoroughly; put the pot back on stove on medium heat, and add olive oil. Sauté the leeks, add the carrots, cabbage, pepper and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add minced garlic and herbs; stir briefly, then add the stock, meat, beans and tomatoes. If using, add the dried sea vegetables; simmer for a few minutes, then taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

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