Thanksgiving, with food a major holiday component, calls to mind a time of year that was once the subject of great anticipation: nutting season. I’m not old enough to have experienced it first-hand, although back in the 1980s I did explore many natural edibles. Among my favorites was beechnuts, which we harvested and used in chocolate-chip cookies. Outstanding!
But in days long ago, when many folks earned a subsistence living that utilized home-grown vegetables and wild foods, nutting season was an important time. Continue reading
New York’s Historic Inns, Restaurants, and Taverns (Globe Pequot Press, 2016) explores the history of over forty institutions throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley that are still in existence today. Travel to the tavern where George Washington hosted a farewell dinner for his officers at the close of the American Revolution. Eat steak at one of the city’s oldest steakhouses. Rest your head in one of the original houses built by Dutch colonists in the Hudson Valley. Part historical record and part travelogue, the book tells tales about the region’s most historical and storied establishments. Continue reading
The Schenectady County Historical Society and the Electric City Food Co-op are teaming up to host an evening of local food tastings and live jazz (featuring Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues) inside Mabee Farm’s historic Dutch Barn, on Saturday, September 24th.
Mabee Farm to Fork will be held from 5 – 8 pm. Tickets are $25 per person and will include local food tastings prepared by chef Christopher Marney. A cash bar will be available for alcoholic drinks. Continue reading
For more than a century, New York City was the brewing capital of America, with more breweries producing more beer than any other city, including Milwaukee and St. Louis.
In Beer of Broadway Fame: The Piel Family and Their Brooklyn Brewery (SUNY Press, 2016,) Alfred W. McCoy traces the hundred-year history of the prominent Brooklyn brewery Piel Bros., and provides an intimate portrait of the company’s German-American family.
Piel Bros. grew from Brooklyn’s smallest brewery in 1884, producing only 850 kegs, into the sixteenth-largest brewery in America, brewing over a million barrels by 1952. Continue reading
Journeys to Orange County’s most historic inns and restaurants are planned for the 2016 Historic Tavern Trail of the Hudson Valley, beginning April 29th.
There are seven tavern events being held on the Friday of each month from April through October, between 5:30 pm and 7 pm. A cross promotional effort between Orange County history, tourism and economic development communities, these seven Tavern Trail happy hour and dinner events feature local food, a specialty cocktail, and discussions of local history.
The new book Finger Lakes Wine Country (2015 Arcadia Publishing), by Finger Lakes local author Sarah S. Thompson, is a photographic journey covering 150 years of viticulture and winemaking in New York’s Finger Lakes region, and its pivotal role in American wine history.
The book is a regional history of the wine industry, told through more than 200 vintage images from collections of area wineries, museums, historical societies, archives and passionate residents. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast Phillip Bowler of Burlington, Vermont, has tales of Bowler’s Brewery in Amsterdam, started in 1889 by his great grandfather, Harry Fitch Bowler. The brewery went out of business in the 1940s but the brewery building still stands on Route 5/West Main Street in Amsterdam. Phillip Bowler also discusses his own world travels. You can listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center presents the last of their Winter Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 8th from 7 pm – 8 pm. The featured speaker is Craig Gravina, co-author of the book Upper Hudson Valley Beer and co-founder of the Albany Ale Project.
Brewing in the Hudson Valley has a long and rich history dating back to the first Dutch settlers of 17th century Beverwyck – now present day Albany. An integral part of society, brewing was a major trade in Dutch New York. Since brewery equipment was expensive, many of the brewers were wealthy and many were appointed to positions of authority, becoming the city’s founding fathers. Many of the original Dutch brewer’s families continued beer making well into the 18th Century. Gravina will also be signing and selling his book Upper Hudson Valley Beer. Continue reading
Shifting alliances can make strange bedfellows and surprising adversaries. The push to integrate the New York City Plumbers Union as the Civil Rights Act was cobbled together 50 years ago shows how our perceptions and expectations can change with time.
Not long before the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, construction began on what is now the Hunt’s Point Food Distribution Center, the largest food distribution complex in the world. Full integration of the union workers at Hunts Point, supported by many, might have derailed or undermined this important legislation. Continue reading
Utica College Professor Dr. Sherri Cash will present a paper titled “Roots in the Valley: Mohawk Valley Merchants, Settlers, and Indians in the Colonial Ginseng Trade” at a brown bag lecture Wednesday. Continue reading