The View cohost channels her inner farmer via her backward in Purchase.
By June Hersh
If you visited the home of Sunny Hostin, the bright and beautiful cohost of The View, you would encounter one rescue cat, two beehives, three dogs, 12 chickens… and an orchard. The only thing missing to complete the “Twelve Days of Christmas” theme is a partridge, which, who knows, she might adopt any day now.
Although Hostin is a city girl by birth, she is now a country girl by choice.
At her Purchase home, Hostin has stepped outside the traditional backyard garden, which she has, of course, but has also dotted her property with chickens and bees. The former is rooted in a family tradition. “I find it pretty therapeutic; that’s why I do it,” says Hostin, who is also a novelist. “More than anything, it reminds me of my grandmother from Puerto Rico, who always gave us chicks for Easter.” Hostin’s not talking about the fluffy, marshmallow version but rather a dozen egg-laying chicks, which yield about a dozen eggs a day during peak laying season. Her eggs are a veritable rainbow, as each hen lays a color associated with the breed. From chocolate brown and robin’s-egg blue to a light pink. She shares her bounty with friends, coworkers on set, and uses them to create her signature frittata (see recipe below). Thinking big and working with carpenter Christopher Froehlich, Hostin’s coop can hold up to 200 chickens (and ducks, which she’s also adopting soon). That’s a lot of frittatas.
Her beekeeping came from a desire to help mitigate her family’s allergies and experience the singular joy of harvesting and enjoying their own hone. The words “If bees die, we die” in a book by Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich (who holds a PhD in the biology of bees), resonated with Hostin, so she decided t give beekeeping a try. With Wilson-Rich’s help, they developed an active hive that yields 100 jars of organic honey every time they harvest, generally twice a year. Although she dons hazard gear, Hostin notes that the bees are truly docile and have gone almost without incident (save one rogue bee, who flew up someone’s nose). She shared her beekeeping passion with cohost Whoopi Goldberg, who now has more hives than Hostin does.
In terms of what’s on the horizon for this gentlewoman-farmer/TV star/lawyer, she says she might rescue a few bunnies from a local shelter, adopt some Nigerian dwarf goats, and add more fruit trees to her grove. When asked if as a Bronx girl she pictured this countrified lifestyle – replete with organic morning eggs, pure honey in her tea, and a Mother’s Day ritual in which she gardens with her kids – Hostin says, “I never imagine it for myself, but now I cannot imagine another way.”
The Sunny Frittata
3-4 medium potatoes (peeled and sliced to a 1/8-inch thickness)
1-2 Tbsp butter
2 onions (thinly sliced)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
4 cups Parmesan
Fried or baked prosciutto
Preheat oven to 350°F. Boil the potatoes in a pot of water, until softened.
Add butter to a skillet and melt, then add potatoes, onions, and salt and pepper.
Cook until onions are caramelized; flip potatoes frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat.
Whisk eggs, cream, milk, and Parmesan until just incorporated. Add prosciutto and then pour into skillet with potatoes/onions. Bake for 45 minutes.
Read this article on WestchesterMagazine.com.