Tag Archives: Culinary History

Celebrating the Holidays in 18th Century Johnstown


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The goal of every museum and historic site is to make history come alive in the imagination of the public. The past few days have witnessed a number of celebrations of holiday greenery, music, and feasting, commemorating early festivities in the Mohawk Valley. Most of the greenery and more usual trappings of holiday spirit that are near and dear to our imaginations and hearts did not become common in household celebrations until the nineteenth century. More common in the 18th century secular celebrations were simple gifts of trinkets or money and feasts involving food and drink. There were additional rituals in colonial New York German and Dutch households where ceremonies were brought over from their countries of origin. Continue reading

18th Cent Holiday Traditions at Fort Ticonderoga


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Visitors to Fort Ticonderoga can explore 18th-century holiday traditions at Fort Ti’s “Hot Chocolate at Cold Fort” event. Participants can visit with historic interpreters portraying Continental soldiers from Pennsylvania in 1776 and experience how very different Christmas at that time was compared to our modern holiday traditions. Learn about Saint Crispin’s Day from a shoemaker at the Fort and experience the simple holiday pleasures the frontier garrison enjoyed. Taste a sample of hot chocolate based on a recipe from the 18th-century and experience a celebration at Fort Ticonderoga in 1776 Saturday, December 3, 10 am – 4 pm. Regular admission rates apply. Ticonderoga residents are free.

Much of Ticonderoga’s 1776-1777 winter garrison was composed of soldiers of the 4th Pennsylvania battalion. The soldiers were from the vicinity of Chester, Pennsylvania. In large part they were Quaker or Anglican. For the few Anglicans among these men, Christmas was an occasion for a feast, but not an extraordinary one. For the Quakers, who largely rejected Anglican traditions, Christmas was a day like any other. However, just as today’s American troops serving in foreign lands seek comfort in simple pleasures during the holidays, the 4th Pennsylvania battalion soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga heartily enjoyed basic comforts that reminded them of home.

By the end of November 1776, Ticonderoga was covered by winter’s first blanket of snow. The 3,500 men remained to garrison Fort Ticonderoga, Mount Hope, and Mount Independence under the command of Colonel Anthony Wayne watched wearily as Massachusetts and New York militia troops departed for home at the end of their terms of enlistment. Other Continental troops departed to join General Washington in the milder winter climate of New Jersey. Settling in for a long winter guarding Lake Champlain from attack, Colonel Wayne moved the men of his 4th Pennsylvania battalion into the sparse comforts of the Fort’s stone barracks.

To learn more about Hot Chocolate at a Cold Fort visit www.FortTiconderoga.org or call 518-585-2821. This holiday experience at Fort Ticonderoga is part of the Second Annual North Country Christmas week-long celebration, November 28 – December 4. For details on the North Country Christmas visit www.ticonderogany.com.

33rd Annual Harvest Fest at Farmers’ Museum


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The Farmers’ Museum’s 33rd annual Harvest Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with live music both days and new activities for children.

This popular fall event brings together a wide array of artisans, vendors, performers, and exhibitors to the Museum’s alluring 19th-century setting. Guests will enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides; craft activities for the entire family; artisan demonstrations; and an abundance of delicious foods from the season’s harvest including samples of McCadam/Cabot cheese, roasted corn, baked goods, ice cream, and more. You can even try out wood planes, hand drills, and other antique tools from their large collection.

This year, the Museum again welcomes members of the Southern Tier Alpaca Association. Owners and breeders will display their animals and participate in numerous activities throughout the weekend.

Children will enjoy agricultural activities that include building a haystack; corn shelling and grinding; apple cider pressing demonstrations; ropemaking; apple bobbing; and 19th-century games in the schoolhouse. Not to mention the alpaca and canine agility courses.

Witness or take part in the excitement of an old-time pie eating contest – both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., sponsored by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard.

Over 25 vendors and artisans will supply everything the season has to offer including beeswax candles, shaker oval boxes, early American tinware, baskets, Windsor chairs, and more – with demonstrations of soap making and woodworking.

Tap your toes the sounds of “Clemens Tradition,” an old time fiddle and classic country music group based in Osceola, New York, featuring the 2002 New York State Inductee to the North American Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and Museum – Jackie Hobbs and other special guests. They will perform in the Cornwallville Church, located in the center of the Museum’s historic village, each day at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. The shows are free with paid admission to the event.

See the winners from this year’s Junior Livestock Show as they make their way through the Museum’s historic village during the Parade of Champions – both days at 1:00 p.m.

To view a full listing of all the event’s activities, see our schedule online at FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.

Sponsored by KeyBank and McCadam/Cabot Cheese. Supported in part by the Southern Tier Alpaca Association and the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard. This event is made possible withpublic funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Admission to the event: $12 adults (13+), $10.50 seniors (65+), $6 children(7-12), children 6 and under and members of the New York State Historical Association are free. For more information on any of our programs, visit FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.

Farmers’ Museum Exhibit: New York’s Good Eats!


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Do the words “Buffalo Wings” make your mouth water or do you prefer Shredded Wheat? Either way, you can thank New York State for bringing you both of these foods and many others as well. A new exhibition at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown tells the story of the foods that got their start in New York State. New York’s Good Eats! Our Fabulous Foods opens this Saturday, May 28th.

Several foods commonly eaten everyday across the nation were invented or first produced in New York State. Buffalo wings and potato chips are probably the most famous, but Thousand Island dressing was also created in the Empire State, and celery was first commercially farmed here. The exhibition will profile over a dozen foods – everything from Jell-O to Lifesavers to ice cream sundaes.

“New York has a rich agricultural and culinary history,” says Museum Curator Erin Richardson. “The whole family will enjoy learning about their favorite foods, discovering how they got their start, how they’ve changed, and the impact they have had.” In addition to fun food facts, New York’s Good Eats! will showcase important objects and artifacts, such as the oldest known tomato ketchup recipe, classic Jell-O molds, and an original packing crate for Shredded Wheat.

This new exhibition promises to be popular—not only because of the topic, but also because of how it is designed. “The Farmers’ Museum has developed an innovative, hands-on approach to engage visitors of all ages with this exhibition,” says Richardson. “From recipe sharing to an interactive family guide to trivia quizzes and coloring stations, there is something fun for everyone.”

New York’s Good Eats! Our Fabulous Foods opens Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 28th in the Main Barn of The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. The exhibition will run through October 2012. It is sponsored in part by Price Chopper, The Tianederrah Foundation, WMHT, Savor New York, and The New York State Council on the Arts. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information.

Illustration: The Saratoga Specialties Company makes potato chips according to the original recipe used by George Crum. The chips are made by hand and packaged in replica Moon’s Lake House take-out boxes. Ccourtesy of Saratoga Specialties Company.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Harvest Market, Plant Sale


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Make plans now for the King’s Garden Harvest Market and Autumn Plant Sale at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday, October 2 from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. Heidi Karkoski, Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Landscape, said “The Harvest Market and Autumn Plant Sale provides a wonderful opportunity for visitors to enjoy the rich bounty of the King’s Garden.” Freshly dug perennials such as Heuchera ‘Melting Fire’, Yarrow ‘Red Beauty’, and Day Lilies will be available for purchase. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own plastic bags or boxes for their purchases.

The Harvest Market will feature colorful vegetables and fruits including pumpkins, melons, and leafy greens. King’s Garden garlic and seasonal herbs will offer visitors an added autumn zest to family dinners. Beautiful cut flower bouquets featuring Zinnias, Salvia and many other favorite seasonal flowers will highlight the market experience. A Favorite Place of Resort for Strangers, the highly acclaimed book on the King’s Garden history, will also be available at a special Harvest Market price. Harvest Market and Autumn Plant Sale proceeds support educational and programming opportunities at the King’s Garden,

As part of the Harvest Market, visitors can relax within the King’s Garden walls and enjoy a picnic lunch or purchase a take-out lunch from Fort Ticonderoga’s Log House Restaurant. Additional activities scheduled throughout the day include Weekend Watercolors, a self-guided program where visitors are encouraged to use the colors of autumn for inspiration, and garden tours. Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn more about becoming part of the volunteer family at the King’s Garden and Fort Ticonderoga.

Farmers’ Museum Annual Harvest Fest


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The bounty of the harvest will be celebrated at The Farmers’ Museum’s 32nd annual Harvest Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with live music Saturday evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This year, the Museum again welcomes members of the Southern Tier Alpaca Association. Owners and breeders will display their animals and participate in numerous activities throughout the weekend.

This popular event brings a wide array of performers, exhibitors, and farm animals to the Museum’s alluring 19th-century setting. Guests will enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides; historic games and craft activities for the family; artisan demonstrations; and delicious foods from the season’s harvest including samples of McCadam/Cabot cheese, roasted corn, ice cream, and much more.

Over 20 vendors and artisans will supply everything the season has to offer including beeswax candles, cedar hand carved decoys and birds, Early American tinware, quilts, stained glass, Windsor chairs, and more.

Activities include an alpaca obstacle course, a pie-eating contest with pies supplied by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard (Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Sign up until noon in the Main Barn), a canine agility course, and a free family concert with live bluegrass music by the band “Gravel Yard” on Saturday evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. To view a full listing of all the event’s activities, see our schedule online at FarmersMuseum.org/harvestfestival.

Admission to the event: $12 adults (13+), $10.50 seniors (65+), $6 children (7-12), children 6 and under and members of the New York State Historical Association are free.

Local Foods Writer at the Adirondack Museum


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If you love to cook and support regional agriculture, join a discussion about cooking with local ingredients in the Adirondack region.

On Monday, August 23, 2010 food writer Annette Nielsen will offer a program entitled “North Country Foodways in the 21st Century” at the Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

The final offering of the season in the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the presentation will be held in the Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $5.00 for non-members.

Annette Nielsen is the editor of Northern Comfort, Recipes from Adirondack Life – the fall and winter edition, as well as the newly released Northern Bounty: Spring & Summer Recipes from Adirondack Life.

Drawing on recipes from both cookbooks, Nielsen will identify ways to obtain ingredients throughout the entire year, whether sourcing from forest, orchard, or farm.

Nielsen, a food writer, has contributed articles and columns on regional farms, food and folkways to a variety of publications and has conducted farm-to-table tours and cooking classes at the Battenkill Kitchen, in Washington County, N.Y. for youth and adults.

She worked earlier in her career with Glorious Food, a catering concern in New York, and taught principles of healthful eating and cooking to teens and parents in underserved areas of Washington, DC with Share Our Strength’s Chef Outreach Program.

Photo: Annette Nielsen, photo by Elias Garfinkel.

Train Sparks Wilderness Heritage Corridor Events


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July 17th marked the beginning of Upper Hudson River Railroad’s two-train Saturdays, when both morning and afternoon trains are scheduled, taking passengers northward in the morning to enjoy not only the scenic excursion by rail, but also allowing them to enjoy an outing in one of the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor communities along the route. These Saturday offerings will continue through August 21st.

Corinth
Saturday passengers in Corinth will have an opportunity to board a bus about an hour before train time for a short tour of the city, and then take the train north, over the 94-foot high trestle crossing near the confluence of the Hudson and Sacanadaga at Hadley.

Hadley
Guests choosing to spend the day in Hadley and Lake Luzerne get off the train at the Rockwell Street Stop and may walk or ride a horse-drawn carriage (free to those with train tickets) to historic sites, a museum, and a gallery. Those craving action might opt for a rafting trip.

Stony Creek
The train chugs to its next stop, 1000 Acres Ranch Resort, in Stony Creek, where special Saturday options are offered — special golf or riding packages coupled with a buffet lunch. Other will opt to board a van for “A Touch of the Wild,” a tour that explores an old farm, dines at the Stony Creek Inn and then visits Wolf Pond Stables to observe special horse/rider communication and training methods.

Thurman
The train’s northern terminus is Thurman, where passengers may indulge in the “Forest, Farm and Country Fixin’s Tour.”


Forest, Farm & Country Fixin’s Escape

Escape to the little mountain town of Thurman, NY, aboard a van that will take you to hidden sites waiting to be discovered. Open to those arriving on Upper Hudson River Railroad and those arriving by own vehicle. Those interested must reserve a spot by noon on Friday, the day before the tour. Ideally, one obtains a prepaid online registration. Those without Internet availability may phone 518-623-9595. One fee covers van, sites, luncheon, tax and gratuity. (To reserve a train ticket visit www.uhrr.com.) Tour vans depart Thurman Station 10:30 a.m. (or as soon as UHRR passengers detrain). If you tour, you’ll visit first: Martin’s Certified Tree Farm. You’ll see a sawmill in operation and learn how today’s foresters conserve wood and protect the woodlands they depend upon. Sustainable forestry ensures that there will be lumber for future generations. You’ll take a walk in the woods and learn how the Martins selectively cut their trees, seeking out just the right ones to use for the various products in their line – dimensional lumber, Adirondack (waney edge) siding, bar tops, signs and more. The Martins take the stewardship of their woodlands very seriously.

But Martin’s Lumber is not all work and no play; you’ll see the artistic efforts known as “Lucyann’s Stained Glass Stepping Stones” and “Lucyann’s Paper Bead Earrings,” complete with demonstrations of how they are created. Shop for your favorites.

Next arrive at nationally publicized Nettle Meadow Farm & cheese-making facility~ Take a moment to sample some of the fruits of their labors—the cheeses. Then you may shop for gourmet chevre with such enticing flavors as lemon verbena, maple walnut, pumpkin spice, herb, pepper and garlic. Or, if your taste runs to semi-aged cheese, check out the Kunik, Crane Mountain and Three Sisters. All are frozen for easy, safe transporting home. When you arrive, Nettle Meadow staff will take you on a guided tour to meet the members fo the herd that produces Nettle Meadow’s cheese, the comical goats that throng to the fence to say hello, each with its own name. There’s a sizable flock of sheep, too, and llamas who guard smaller pasture-mates from coyotes and other predators. You’ll meet some sanctuary animals taken in by Nettle Meadow, and your tour fee helps to sustain them. Then it’s on to The Glen Lodge & Market, a B&B with Adirondack Great Camp ambiance where you’ll enjoy “country fixin’s” under a pavilion. You’ll applaud the green efforts of The Glen Lodge, recently recognized by Audubon Green Leaf™ certification. They use bio fuel in their vehicles, environmentally-friendly products in the lodge, and support wind generated electricity.

Extra time after you eat? You’re within walking distance of the Hudson and Wild Waters Outdoor Center. Or wander through the garden on your way to browse in the gift shop. Van returns to Thurman Station by 3 p.m. Questions? Ask toursales@hotmail.com or phone 518-623-9595. See more details online.

The First Wilderness Heritage Corridor tours and special activities this summer add a new dimension to tourism in the Lake George Region, showcasing some of our historically important assets and allowing guests to enjoy traditional Adirondack hospitality. It is important to note that all activities involving a van ride require prepaid online registration. Those interested may find all details and contact information at www.thurmanstation.com/Adirondack_Foothill_Tours.html.

Down on the Farm With The Adirondack Museum


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Join the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York for a field trip to Adirondack farms and a local farmer’s market. Field trip farms include Rivermede Farm at Snowslip, Lake Placid, N.Y., Tucker’s Taters Farm, Gabriels, N.Y., and the Ponderosa Poultry Farm, also in Gabriels. The day will include a stop at the Saranac Lake Village Farmer’s Market, as well as lunch at the Eat ‘N Meet restaurant in Saranac Lake, N.Y.

The Farm Field Trip will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Pre-registration is required. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Lake Placid, N.Y. and end at 5:00 p.m. in Gabriels.

Participants will use their own cars or carpool with others. Driving directions will be sent upon registration. Sensible clothing and sturdy shoes are suggested. The cost will be $50 for museum members and $55 for non-members. For additional information or to register, please contact Jessica Rubin at (518) 352-7311, ext. 115 or at jrubin@adkmuseum.org.

The field trip day will begin with an introduction and presentation, “Adirondack Farming History,” by museum Curator Hallie Bond at Rivermede Farm at Snowslip.

A tour of Rivermede will follow. Rivermede Farm at Snowslip is owner Rob Hasting’s “new” farm. Hastings has been farming at Rivermede in Keene Valley, N.Y. for over twenty years.

The group will then move on to Saranac Lake, N.Y. and the opportunity to explore and enjoy the Saranac Lake Village Farmer’s Market.

Lunch will follow at the Eat ‘N Meet restaurant where chef and owner John Vargo is committed to using local foods. The menu at Eat ‘N Meet represents time-trusted recipes and classic European technique – with South American, Caribbean, African, and Asian influences.

At 2:00 p.m. the tour will visit Tucker’s Tater Farm in Gabriels, N.Y. Tucker Farms has been a family enterprise since the 1860′s. Steve and Tom Tucker – 5th generation owners – have diversified the farm to alleviate ebbs and flows in the economy. They have added specialty variety potatoes to their list of crops including “All Blue,” “Adirondack Blue,” “Adirondack Red,” and “Peter Wilcox” – a purple skinned yellow flesh variety.

The day will come to a close at Ponderosa Poultry Farm, also in Gabriels. A chicken and duck ranch, the farm includes lupines, dahlias, gladiolas, and a small garden.

"Cookin’ Out" With the Adirondack Museum


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The Adirondack Museum will hold a special event, “The Adirondacks are Cooking’ Out,” this Thursday, July 29, 2010. Activities are planned from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All are included in the price of general museum admission.

A highlight of the day will be a “top chef” competition – Adirondack style. Outstanding regional chefs will compete in a trial by campfire. Visitors are invited to watch and cheer them on as guest judges choose the winner of this outdoor cooking challenge.

The Campfire Cook-Off will begin at 11:00 a.m. Each chef will select his own menu; all will cook over an open fire. The grills will be hot! The food hotter! Judging will take place at 1:00 p.m.

Competitors include: Chef Kevin McCarthy, former Executive Chef at The Point in Saranac Lake, N.Y. and the Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, N.Y., now a faculty member at Paul Smith’s College; Chef Stephen Topper, former Executive Sous Chef at The Sagamore on Lake George, Executive Chef at Friends Lake Inn, Chestertown, N.Y., and currently at Lorenzo’s al Forno in the Copperfield Inn, North Creek, N.Y.

Also, Chef Richard Brosseau, Executive Chef at the Interlaken Inn and Restaurant, Lake Placid, N.Y., and Chef Luke Bowers, Executive Chef, barVino, North Creek, N.Y. Tony Zazula, co-owner of “Commerce,” a contemporary American restaurant in Greenwich Village, Suvir Saran, a respected food authority, television personality, and consultant worldwide, and Sally Longo, a chef and owner of Aunt Sally’s Catering, Glens Falls, N.Y. will be judges for the Campfire Cook-Off.

Lake Placid Brewery will offer a tasting of their award winning products – including Ubu Ale, the brewery’s flagship beer — from 12 noon until 4:00 p.m. Visitors must be twenty-one years of age to enjoy the sampling; ID will be required.

Visitors can expand their own cooking skills by participating in demonstrations and food-related talks throughout the day. At 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. smoking and grilling will be the hot topics. Join Susan Rohrey (grilling) and John Roe (smoking) to learn more about both techniques.

The presentations “Edible Adirondack Mushrooms” and “Wild Vegetables of the Adirondacks” with Jane Desotelle and “Pairing Beer & Food” with Christopher Ericson, founder, owner, and brewmaster of Lake Placid Brewery will be offered in the museum’s Auditorium. Times will be posted.

Intermountain Trio will offer three sets of classic folk and rock in the Marion River Carry Pavilion at 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Visitors can purchase lunch hot off the grill at the Patio Café. The menu includes Kilcoyne burgers available with Oscar’s Smokehouse bacon or cheese, Oscar’s hot dogs, Saratoga Potato Chips, and Saranac Soft Drinks.

Dessert can be a yummy do-it-yourself project. “Make Your Own Gourmet S’mores,” will be available from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., while supplies last.

“The Adirondacks are Cookin’ Out” will also feature hands-on fun for all ages, exhibit tours, a vendor’s market, and local food products including barbeque sauces and rubs in the Museum Store.

"Picnic in the Park" at the Adirondack Museum


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The Adirondack Museum will celebrate National Picnic Month on July 10, 2010. Activities are planned from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All are included in the price of general museum admission. Children twelve years of age and younger will be admitted FREE of charge as part of the festivities.

“Picnic in the Park” will include displays, tableaux, special presentations, music, a Teddy Bear’s Picnic just for kids, cookbook signings, demonstrations, menus, recipes, hands-on opportunities, and good food, as well as the museum’s new exhibit, “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions.”

Visitors are invited to bring their own picnic to enjoy on the grounds or purchase sandwiches, salads, beverages, and desserts in the Cafe. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the campus.

The event will showcase “Great Adirondack Picnics”. Ann S. O’Leary and Susan Rohrey will illustrate how the use of design and menu planning can create two Adirondack picnics. A Winter’s Repast, En Plein Air – an elegant New Year’s Eve celebration will be set in a lean-to. The Angler’s Compleat Picnic will feature local products in a scene reproduced from a vintage postcard. Both women will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to speak with visitors, and provide menus and recipes to take home.

To round out the elegant picnic theme, Chef Kevin McCarthy will provide an introduction to wines and offer tips on how to best pair wines with picnic foods. The presentations will be held at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Special presentations will be held in the museum’s Auditorium. Curator Hallie E. Bond will offer “Picnics Past in the Park” at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Varrick Chittenden, founder of Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) will present “Good Food Served Right: North Country Food and Foodways” at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, Sally Longo, chef and owner of Aunt Sally’s Catering in Glens Falls, N.Y. will offer “Fun Foods for Picnicking with Kids” in the Mark W. Potter Education Center. “Savory Foods and Snacks” will begin at 11:30 p.m. “Sweet Treats and Desserts” will be presented at 3:00 p.m.

Museum visitors can create their own Adirondack picnic fare at home. From 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., regional cookbook authors will sign and sell their work in the Visitor Center. Participants include the Upper Saranac Lake Cookbook with Marsha Stanley; Good Food, Served Right, with Lynn Ekfelt; Northern Comfort with Annette Neilson; Stories, Food, Life with Ellen Rocco and Nancy Battaglia; and Recipes From Camp Trillium with author Louise Gaylord.

Tom Phillips, a Tupper Lake rustic furniture maker, will construct a traditional woven picnic basket in the Education Center from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Visitors will discover displays about “Picnics and Food Safety” as well as the many uses of maple syrup (recipes provided) with the Uihlein Sugar Maple Research and Extension Field Station staff.

Guided tours of the exhibit “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions” are scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

Singer, songwriter, and arts educator Peggy Lynn will give a performance of traditional Adirondack folk music under the center-campus tent at 2:00 p.m.

The Museum Store will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., featuring a wide array of North Country-made food products as well as a special “farmer’s market.”

Venison and Potato Chips:Native Foodways in the Adirondacks


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During the nineteenth century, a number of Adirondack Indians marketed their skill as hunters, guides, basket makers, doctors, and cooks.

On Monday, July 5, 2010 Dr. Marge Bruchac will offer a program entitled “Venison and Potato Chips: Native Foodways in the Adirondacks” at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Bruchac will focus attention on what might be a lesser-known Native skill – cooking.

The first offering of the season for the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the presentation will be held in the Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $5.00 for non-members.

Nineteenth century white tourists paid good money to purchase wild game from Native people, to hunt in their territories, to buy medicines and remedies, and to eat in restaurants or lodgings where Indians held sway in the kitchen.

Dr. Bruchac will highlight stories of individuals such as Pete Francis, notorious for hunting wild game and creating French cuisine; George Speck and Katie Wicks, both cooks at Moon’s Lake House and co-inventors of the potato chip; and Emma Camp Mead, proprietress of the Adirondack House, Indian Lake, N.Y., known for setting an exceptionally fine table.

Bruchac contends that these people, and others like them, actively purveyed and shaped the appetite for uniquely American foods steeped in Indigenous foodways.

The Adirondack Museum celebrates food, drink, and the pleasures of eating in the Adirondack Park this year with a new exhibition, “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions.” The exhibit includes a 1915 photograph of Emma Mead as well as her hand-written recipes for “Green Tomato Pickles” and “Cranberry Puffs.”

Marge Bruchac, PhD, is a preeminent Abenaki historian. A scholar, performer, and historical consultant on the Abenaki and other Northeastern native peoples, Bruchac lectures and performs widely for schools, museums, and historical societies. Her 2006 book for children about the French and Indian War, Malian’s Song, was selected as an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times and was the winner of the American Folklore Society’s Aesop Award.

Photo: Dr. Marge Bruchac

Adirodnack Museum to Open for 53rd Season


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The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York will open for the 53rd season on Friday, May 28, 2010. Food and fun are on the menu this year as the museum opens a tasty new exhibit and introduces a host of activities and special events.

The Adirondack Museum extends a special invitation to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park to visit free of charge in May, June, and October. Through this offer to friends and neighbors, the museum welcomes visitors from all corners of the Park. Proof of residency is required.

The museum is open daily from May 28 through October 18, 2010. Hours are 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There will be an early closing on August 13, and extended hours on August 14; the museum will close for the day on September 10. Please visit the web site www.adirondackmuseum.org for exact times and details. All paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.

The Adirondack Museum will celebrate food, drink, and the pleasures of eating in the Adirondack Park in a new exhibition, “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions.” The exhibit shares culinary stories and customs from Native American corn soup to contemporary Farmer’s Markets.

As the museum’s Chief Curator Laura Rice observes, “Everybody eats! It is a biological necessity, a pleasure, and a ritual. The food we eat and the way we eat it reflects our culture, our economic status, and our environment.”

Generations of residents and visitors have left their mark on Adirondack food traditions. From indigenous foods to family recipes brought from the Old World, from church potluck suppers to cooking around a campfire, food has played an important role in Adirondack life.

“Let’s Eat!” will feature nearly 300 artifacts that reflect what and how Adirondackers, from pre-contact Native peoples to today’s foodies, have eaten. The exhibition draws on the Adirondack Museum’s rich collections, including a 3,000-year-old stone bowl, a cheese press, a raisin seeder, a blue silk evening dress, and a recipe for “Tokay wine” in which potatoes are the main ingredients.

Interviews with Adirondack cooks, camp workers, guides, vacationers, and residents will provide first-person accounts of elaborate cookouts at Great Camps, maple sugaring, Prohibition, and the daily routine of a lumber camp cook.

Hand-written menus and journals provide an intimate look at food in family life. Posters advertising turkey shoots, dances, and potlucks illustrate the ways that food has served as the center of social life in small hamlets. Historic photographs depict people dining inside and out, in crowded mess halls, on picnic blankets, and seated at elegant tables.

“Let’s Eat!” will include a “Three Sister’s Garden,” newly planted on the museum campus. Native peoples throughout North America have traditionally used a wide range of farming techniques. Perhaps the best known is the inter-planting of corn, beans, and squash, a trio often referred to as the “three sisters.”

The exhibit will bring the story of food in the Adirondacks to the present day with an exploration of Farmer’s Markets, organic agriculture, and the rising interest in locally grown produce and meats.

Eating in the Adirondack Park today may be a gourmet-multi-course affair, or a simple hot dog-on-a-stick cooked over a campfire. All Adirondackers, whether year round or seasonal residents, vacationers or day-trippers, have favorite foods. The Adirondack Museum invites one and all to celebrate their favorites in “Let’s Eat!” in 2010.

“Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions” has been generously supported by the
New York Council for the Humanities.

In addition, two popular special exhibits will return for a second year. “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters” includes historic quilts from the museum’s textile collection as well as contemporary comforters, quilts, and pieced wall hangings. “A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country’: Early Reflections of the Adirondacks” highlights paintings, maps, prints, and photographs that illustrate the untamed Adirondack wilderness discovered by early travelers and explorers.

Families should head for the new Little Log Cabin – open for exploration and fun this season. The pint-sized log structure is just right for “make-believe” wilderness adventures. The area surrounding the cabin has been planted with rhubarb, strawberries, horseradish, and herbs as part of “Let’s Eat!” “Mrs. Merwin’s Kitchen Garden” is located nearby.

The museum will offer a full schedule of lectures, field trips, family activities, hands-on experiences, and special events to delight and engage visitors of all ages. “Let’s Eat!” events include “Picnic in the Park” planned for July 10, “The Adirondacks Are Cookin’ Out!” – a tribute to food prepared with smoke and fire – on July 29, and Harvest Festival, October 2 & 3, 2010.

The Adirondack Museum tells stories of the people – past and present — who have lived, worked, and played in the unique place that is the Adirondack Park. History is in our nature. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For information about all that the museum has to offer, please call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

Andy Warhol Piñata, High Style at Brooklyn Ball Gala


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The Brooklyn Museum will celebrate the major exhibition American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection and the landmark collection-sharing partnership between Brooklyn and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at its annual gala, the Brooklyn Ball, on Thursday evening, April 22, 2010.

This year’s Brooklyn Ball will feature a giant twenty-foot-tall piñata in the shape of Andy Warhol’s head, which is part an interactive dining experience designed by Jennifer Rubell titled “Icons.” The piñata is currently on view in the Museum’s Rubin Pavilion.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing on the fifth floor and an exclusive opportunity to preview American High Style. Featuring some eighty-five masterworks from the newly established Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition traces the evolution of fashion in America from its nineteenth-century European beginnings through the twentieth century. It marks the first time in more than two decades that a large-scale survey drawn from this preeminent collection will be on public view.

Included in the exhibition will be creations by such legendary American designers as Charles James, Norman Norell, and Gilbert Adrian; works by influential French designers including Charles Frederick Worth, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jeanne Lanvin, Givenchy, and Christian Dior; and works by such first-generation American women designers as Bonnie Cashin, Elizabeth Hawes, and Claire McCardell. Among the objects presented will be Schiaparelli’s Surrealist Insect Necklace, considered by experts to be one of the most important works in the collection; elaborate ball gowns and day wear by Charles James; evening ensembles by Yves Saint Laurent, Halston, Scaasi, and Mainbocher; street wear by mid-twentieth-century designers Vera Maxwell, Claire McCardell, and Elizabeth Hawes; a group of hats by celebrated milliner Sally Victor; and dazzling evening wear by Norman Norell.

The Brooklyn Museum’s groundbreaking collection-sharing partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art went in to effect in January 2009. At that time Brooklyn’s renowned costume collection of 23,500 objects, acquired over the course of a century, was transferred to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum
of Art, where it is fully integrated into the Institute’s program of exhibitions, publications, and education initiatives and remains available for exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.

Co-chairs for this year’s Ball celebrating American High Style include chef and restaurateur Mario Batali and his wife Susan Cahn, European Editor-at-Large for Vogue Hamish Bowles, New York Times Style Editor Stefano Tonchi, Museum Trustee Stephanie Ingrassia, decorative arts specialist and educator Susan Weber, photographer Annie Leibovitz, fashion designer Zac Posen, and collector Carla Shen.

An interactive dining experience, designed by Jennifer Rubell, whom New York Times senior critic Roberta Smith credits with “laying waste to the prolonged ordeal that is the benefit dining experience,” will begin at 8 p.m. in the magnificent Beaux-Arts Court on the third floor. The interactive food journey through the Museum is titled Icons and includes drinking paintings, suspended melting cheese heads, and a larger-
than-life dessert surprise. A hybrid of performance and installation art, Rubell’s food projects deconstruct the ritual of the meal and are often of monumental scale.
During the evening, the Brooklyn Museum will honor the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and former Mellon Program Officer Angelica Rudenstine. Donald Randel, Mellon Foundation president, will accept the Museum’s highest honor, the Augustus Graham Medal, on their behalf.

Immediately following the Ball, the Museum will host High Style: The After Party in the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion. The festivities will feature artists’ fashions and dancing to live music. Tickets to the Ball range from $500 to $1,500, and tables are available from $5,000 to $50,000. All tickets to the Ball include admission to High Style: The After Party. Tickets to the after party start at $75. Further information about ticket options and table purchases is available by e-mailing special.events@brooklynmuseum.org or by phoning (718) 501-6423. Proceeds from the event will support the Museum’s public and education programs.

The Augustus Graham Medal is being presented to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in recognition of its outstanding support of the Brooklyn Museum, including funding for the survey of the costume collection and the endowment of curatorial positions at the Museum. Through the foundation’s generosity, the first complete inventory, collection review, digital photography, and cataloguing of the Museum’s holdings of approximately 23,500 American and European costumes and accessories has been completed.

More than 5,800 of the most important works are now available to scholars, students, and the public through ARTstor, an innovative online initiative of the Mellon Foundation that provides access to curated collections of art images and associated data for noncommercial, scholarly, and not-for-profit educational use.

The Augustus Graham Medal is named after one of the founders of the Brooklyn Apprentices Library in 1823. That institution, which Graham nurtured and expanded, grew into the Brooklyn Institute and later became the Brooklyn Museum.

Maple Festival at the Adirondack History Center


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The Adirondack History Center Museum will hold its Maple Sugar Festival on Saturday April 17th from 9:00am – 1:00pm. Part of the Festival includes a Maple Dessert Contest for kids, youth and adults. Entries will be judged by a panel of five locals with expertise in the production and consumption of fine foods.

Entries must be made with real maple syrup, preferably New York made. Grade B Amber is suggested for its great maple flavor. Entries will be judged on taste, texture, quality, presentation and serve-ability. The winning creation will be featured for a week at the Deer’s Head Inn.

To enter, bring your creation to the Adirondack History Center Museum – top of the hill – in Elizabethtown – by 11:00 AM on Saturday the 17th. Volunteers will fill out your entry form and judging will start at noon. If refrigeration is necessary, please bring the entry in a cooler.

For more information, call the Adirondack History Center Museum at 873-6466 or email echs@adkhistorycenter.org. The museum is located at 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932.

Cooperstown: Dinner at A 19th Century Tavern


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Escape to the 1800s with The Farmers’ Museum’s “Evening at the Tavern” and experience music and merriment topped off with an authentic period dinner. Evenings at the Tavern will be offered on Saturday, April 10 and 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a dining experience featuring a four-course candlelit meal, period music and games, and old-fashioned hospitality in the Museum’s historic Bump Tavern. The menu is designed and based on foods that were served in rural 19th-century New York taverns. Dinner includes soup, vegetables, roast meat, fresh bread, and dessert. During the evening, guests will be offered a tour of the historic tavern with the Museum’s interpretative hosts, learning about the history of taverns and travel in the 19th century.

Bump Tavern was built by Jehiel Tuttle in the late 1790s in the village of Ashland, Greene County, New York. Strategically located on the Catskill and Windham Turnpike, the resting spot served cattle drovers and other travelers passing through the area. The tavern was purchased in 1842 by Ephraim Bump, who expanded the building and updated the Federal period architecture with Greek revival porches. In 1952, Bump Tavern was moved to Cooperstown, where it became part of the collection of historic buildings at The Farmers’ Museum.

Space is limited; reservations are required and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Full payment is required in advance by check or credit card. The fee, which includes the complete meal and an unforgettable experience, is $60; $55 for members of the New York State Historical Association. Wine and beer will be available for an additional fee. For more information or to make reservations, please call The Farmers’ Museum at 547-1452.

Sugaring Off Sundays at The Farmers’ Museum


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Sugaring Off Sundays, The Farmers’ Museum’s annual event which honors the maple sugaring season, will be held each Sunday throughout the month of March and will also include Easter Sunday, April 4th. The event features historic and contemporary sugaring demonstrations, children’s activities and more. A full pancake breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with all other activities scheduled 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors will be treated to demonstrations of traditional methods of maple-sugaring. Other hands-on demonstrations will allow visitors to experience the traditions of sugaring in the region.

Children’s activities will take place in the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse throughout the day and maple cooking demonstrations will be held in the More House. Visitors are invited to have a taste of “jack wax” – hot maple syrup poured over snow! The blacksmith will also be working in his shop – stop in to watch a true craftsman.

The Empire State Carousel, a favorite attraction at The Farmers’ Museum, will also be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Facebook fans receive one free ride.

The Farmers’ Museum Store and Todd’s General Store will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each offers unique gifts, books and crafts.

Admission to Sugaring Off Sundays is $8 for adults; $4 for children age 7 to 12; admission is free for children 6 and under. Admission includes full breakfast. No reservations are required.

Conference: Food and Dining in the Hudson Valley


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“Bon Appétit: Food and Dining in the Hudson Valley,” a conference organized by the Great Estates Consortium, will be held on Saturday, March 20, 2010 beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the Roosevelt Library and Home.

Bon Appétit, which celebrates the rich history of food in the Hudson Valley, has been planned to coincide with Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2010. This fourth annual event will take place between March 15 – 28, and will showcase this scenic New York State region as a premier culinary destination.

Heidi Hill, Historic Site Manager of Crailo and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, will open the conference by exploring 17th century food. Using Dutch genre paintings paired with archaeological evidence, Dutch documents and 17th century artifacts from New Netherland and Indian lands, the speaker will illuminate the colorful and sometimes surprising daily life of both the colonists and Native Americans through the foods they ate and their table and cook ware.

Valerie Balint, Associate Curator at Olana State Historic Site will explore evolving mid-century dining tastes and trends using Olana and the daily practices of the Church family as an example. Drawing upon primary source materials from the museum’s collections Ms. Balint will focus on issues relating to emerging ideals about etiquette, domesticity and cosmopolitanism. In particular, she will examine the increased emphasis, even in middle-class homes on formalized table settings, exotic foods and elaborate floral decor.

After a brief coffee break Frank Futral, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, will explore the food customs of millionaires during the Gilded Age. Mr. Futral will be followed by Melodye Moore, Historic Site Manager at Staatsburgh State Historic Site. Ms. Moore will explore the behind-the-scenes work of the 24 domestic servants that needed to take place in order to present a “Dinner of Ceremony” in a Gilded Age mansion. The as yet unrestored servants’ quarters of Staatsburgh will illustrate where much of this work took place.

Lunch will be provided by Gigi Hudson Valley and will feature local food. Laura Pensiero, RD chef/owner, Gigi Hudson Valley, will introduce the lunch and share with the participants how she uses local farm products for her business and the current state of farming in Dutchess County.

Following lunch conference attendees will have the opportunity to visit participating Great Estates where they will be given an opportunity to engage in special food related tours and activities. Each site will pair with a restaurant offering visitors a Hudson Valley treat. While there is no additional cost for visits to the historic sites, participants must pre-register for the sites they expect to visit.

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site – Servants To Stewards tour. Guests are assigned the character of a servant and learn about their role in the running of the household. This tour requires climbing 74 stairs and is not handicap accessible. Comfortable shoes are strongly recommended. Following the tour Twist Restaurant of Hyde Park will provide attendees with a Hudson Valley treat.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site – Visit the “downstairs” rooms of the mansion that until recently had served as offices for the employees of the Taconic Region of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. These rooms, including the kitchen, the sculleries, the pastry room, the Butler’s office and the male servant’s bedrooms, will soon be restored by the Friends of Mills Mansion. Leave with a special treat that might have been enjoyed by the servants from Terrapin Restaurant of Rhinebeck, New York.

Locust Grove Estate – You’ll have the chance to tour, in-depth, the kitchen, cook’s bedroom, dining room, and butler’s pantry at the historic Poughkeepsie estate. Learn more about service “below stairs” in a wealthy Hudson Valley home, and how the family upstairs expected their staff to cope with day-to-day living. You’ll also step behind-the-scenes into the china room – not usually open during tours. After your tour, enjoy a special treat from Babycakes Café in Poughkeepsie with Locust Grove’s Director.

Clermont State Historic Site – At Home with the Livingstons: A mansion tour highlighting the historic 1930s kitchen and dining room. View the cook books and secret family recipes of Alice Clarkson Livingston. Learn what quirk of Livingston dining etiquette irked the butler. Enjoy an exclusive look at the 19th century kitchen that nourished the Chancellor’s daughter, Margaret Maria and her family. Take away a scrumptious treat from Tivoli Bread and Baking in Tivoli, New York.

Space is limited, and meals and refreshments are included in the conference fee, so pre-registration is strongly recommended. The $60 per person registration fee includes coffee/tea in the morning, luncheon catered by Gigi Hudson Valley and afternoon Great Estates site tours. For additional information please call (845) 889-8851.

Conference attendees are encouraged to dine at fixed prices in nearby restaurants and stay in local hotels offering special rates for Restaurant Week. More information is available at www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com. For information on nearby Dutchess County restaurants go here. For information regarding lodging specials there is a pdf here.

Farmers Museum To Show ‘Food Inc’


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Otsego 2000 has joined forces with The Farmers’ Museum to screen the critically acclaimed film “Food, Inc.,” with special appearances by representatives from local food and agricultural organizations. The film will be shown in the Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20th.

“Food, Inc.” a Robert Kenner film, features interviews with experts such as Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto), along with agricultural entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farm’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farm’s Joel Salatin. “Food, Inc.” reveals surprising — and often shocking truths about what we eat. It exposes the highly mechanized workings of our nation’s food industry that are kept hidden from American consumers. The film stresses the idea that the nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health.

Speakers for the evening will include Chris Harmon, Executive Director of the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) in Oneonta; Shulamis Giordani, General Manager of the Foodshed Buying Club in Utica, New York; and Lyn Weir Manager of the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Each will talk about creating and supporting a vibrant agricultural and food economy here in Central New York.

For information, please call The Farmers’ Museum at 607-547-1450 or visit our website at www.FarmersMuseum.org.

NYS Museum Chocolate Expo, Holiday Gift Market


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Shoppers can sample chocolate treats, listen to holiday carolers and purchase hand-crafted gifts from more than 40 vendors at the New York State Museum’s fourth annual Chocolate Expo & Holiday Gift Market on Sunday, December 6.

The Expo, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will offer samples and sales of chocolates, desserts, wines and specialty foods. Vendors from New York State and New England will also sell a variety of hand-crafted jewelry, glassware, ornaments, handmade bath and skincare products, clothing and accessories.

There also will be two chocolate fountains stations, free to all visitors, compliments of Price Chopper, presenting sponsor, and We Do Fondue. From 1:15 until 2:30 p.m., Vocal Point, South Glens Falls High School’s premier choral ensemble, will perform a wide variety of holiday music, representing various traditions, beliefs and cultures from around the world. The school’s flute choir will also perform from 2:30-3 p.m.

As a special promotion, visitors who purchase a State Museum membership will be eligible to win a gift basket full of products from Expo vendors. Many products offered at the Chocolate Expo are made using fresh, locally produced ingredients. Products will include organic and hand-dipped chocolates, chocolate fudge, candy, and several varieties of truffles, including vegan. Specialty foods and beverages will include homemade gourmet sauces, pesto, and wines “with an attitude.”

Other gift items will include chemical-free soaps, hand creams and bath products; handmade jewelry and Italian glass beads; hand-swirled glassware; hand-painted Christmas ornaments and children’s clothing; hand-knit sweaters and accessories, including scarves, hats and mittens made from hand-spun llama yarn.