Woodstock and Hippy Food

On this forty-second anniversary of Woodstock, we wish you peace, love, and lots of granola. To celebrate, we offer up these hippy food recipes beloved by those tie dye-wearing, tree-hugging concertgoers. (And we do, too!)

A Woodstock poster with a guitar, peace sign, and a dove
: Lisa Fischer

Woodstock, otherwise known as an orgy of music, mayhem, and mud, took place 42 years ago this weekend on a bucolic upstate New York farm. Like everyone else whose spent time wishing they’d been there—or rather, wishing they’d been born in time to be there—I imagine it was a weekend of hippiness, flower power, and peace signs.

A slice of butternut squash and Parmesan tart on a white plate with a fork and knife, garnished with microgreens.
This butternut squash and Parmesan tart is made with a tender spelt crust and a creamy squash, egg, red onion, and cheese filling. It’s an elegant brunch or lunch that will earn you endless accolades.

I also sort of assume, given all the weed that was no doubt exchanging hands in that puddly field, that there was a lot of hoppy food like homemade granola, not to mention hashish brownies, being passed among concertgoers with the munchies. (Those of you who were there, am I wrong?)

Banana bread granola tipped out of a glass jar onto a marble surface with a wooden scoop beside it.
This banana bread granola has all the goodness of whole-grain granola, yet tastes like old-fashioned banana bread.

Peace. Love. Granola. How forward-thinking those tie-dye wearing, tree-hugging peaceniks were. Joni Mitchell once commented that the kids at Woodstock “saw that they were part of a greater organism.” And not just in terms of international politics. Long before eating locally, seasonally, and organically became a contemporary mantra, many of these folks were practicing these very principles, one batch of homemade granola at a time.

Three bowls of beef, cabbage, and tofu soup
This warming soup with Korean flavors will fill you up with protein from both beef and tofu, a remarkable amount of cabbage and mushrooms, plus supporting brown rice and a sprout-scallion topping.

Lo some four decades later, much of what that weekend—and that way of thinking—stood for has finally sunk in and become commonplace in our food politics—not to mention our everyday food practices. We’ve come a long way, baby.

So yes, I like to think that this love-fest mentality extended beyond the revelers’ sit-ins and into their kitchens. Though hippy food, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. To some, that means tofu and quinoa and sprouts and other such things that made health food stores in the ’60s smell so funky. (Um, that’s not for us at LC, at least if Fatty Daddy has anything to say about it.)

Two jars of peach and rhubarb jam with some peaches in the background and a plate with a piece of bread topped with the jam.
This peach and rhubarb jam preserves the flavor of ripe, juicy peaches and tart rhubarb, which means you can be reminded of summer even on the coldest winter day.

To others it means putting up their own preserves or minding the seasons at the greenmarket. And to a few upstanding farmers it means respecting nature’s biorhythms and raising chickens, hogs, and cows the old-fashioned, responsible way.

Skillet on a grill filled with eggplant caponata--chopped eggplant, onions, fennel, onions, almonds, basil
This rich, garlicky eggplant caponata, made with zucchini, eggplant, onion, tomato, fennel, and olives is an intensely flavored cross between a side dish and a condiment that pairs beautifully with grilled meats.

Mostly, though, it means anything that brings a more mindful sort of mojo to your kitchen. Rather than observe a moment of silence out of respect for all that Woodstock stood for, a far more appropriate tribute is to slip on your Birkenstocks, saunter into the kitchen, belt out some classic Hendrix or Sweetwater or Joplin or The Dead, and take a cue from these recipes, each hippy dippy in its own inimitable way.

renee Schettler Rossi's signature

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