Tag Archives: Culinary History

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.

Dutch Influence: Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops


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To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Dutch arrival off the coast of Manhattan, the renowned linguist Nicoline van der Sijs along with Amsterdam University Press have published Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops: The Influence of Dutch on the North American Languages.

From Santa Claus (after the Dutch folklore saint Sinterklaas) and his sleigh (the pronunciation of the Dutch slee is almost identical) to a dumbhead talking poppycock, the contributions of the Dutch language to American English are indelibly embedded in some of our most vernacular terms and expressions. This fascinating volume charts over 250 Dutch loan words that journeyed over the Atlantic on Henry Hudson’s ship the Halve Maan and into the American territory and languages. Each entry marks the original arrival of a particular term to American English and offers information on its evolving meaning, etymology, and regional spread.

Food Historian To Speak on Hudson Valley Traditions


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As we near the end of the Quadricentennial Year, culinary historian Peter G. Rose will give be giving lectures on “Joyful Traditions: How the Dutch Brought us Santa, Presents and Treats” around the Hudson River valley in November and December. Rose was the recipient of the 2002 Alice P. Kenney Award for research and writing on the food customs and diet of the Dutch settlers in New Netherland. Her books and articles on the region’s foodways are rich in agricultural, culinary and ethnic history.

November 15 at 2 o’clock at the Kiersted House for the Saugerties Historical Soc. in Saugerties, NY.

November 16 at 7:30 o’clock at the Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library in Haverstraw, NY. In this case the topic will be “The Forgotten Holidays.”

November 21 at 2 o’clock at the Schenectady Historical Soc. in Schenectady, NY

December 2 at 7:30 at the Katonah Village Library, in Katonah, NY. For reservations, call: 232 5735.

December 3 at 6:30 o’clock for the Culinary Historians of NY, at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st St, NYC, For reservations, call: 212 838 6878.

December 5 at 1 o’clock at the TenBroeck Mansion in Albany, NY.

December 13 at 4:30 at the Kinderhook Library in Kinderhook, NY.

All talks will be followed by a book signing including her latest two books: Food, Drink and Celebrations of the Hudson Valley Dutch and Summer Pleasures, Winter Pleasures: a Hudson Valley Cookbook.

Adirondack Museum Celebrates Hunting and Fishing


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The Adirondack Museum is planning to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day tomorrow Saturday, September 27, 2008. The museum is planning “A Sportsman’s Paradise,” a day-long extravaganza of programs, demonstrations, and music – just for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities are scheduled from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All are included in the price of general admission.

Demonstrations will include “Casting a Line” with licensed guide and fly-fisherman Patrick Sisti, “Fly Tying” with Geoff Schaake co-owner of the fly-fishing and fly-tying web site www.theanglersnet.com, and “Fish Decoys and Lures” from mother-of-pearl as made by Peter Heid.

Members of the American Mountain Men will return to the museum campus, creating a living history camp that will feature the traditional equipment and gear that would have been typical of a nineteenth century hunting excursion in the Great North Woods. The group will discuss historic hunting and trapping techniques and demonstrate target shooting with Flintlocks as well as knife and tomahawk throwing.

An Author’s Corner and Book Signing will be held in the museum’s Marion River Carry Pavilion from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Participants will include: Dan Ladd, whose book Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks serves not only as a guide to public lands open to hunting, but also looks at the history and lore surrounding hunting in the Adirondacks; Robert Elinskas, author of A Deer Hunter’s History Book – a collection of tales from the Blue Ridge Wilderness Area; and Donald Wharton whose collection of Adirondack outdoor stories about trout fishing, bush pilots, deer hunting and more is entitled Adirondack Forest and Stream: An Outdoorsmen’s Reader.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation booth will provide information and answer questions about hunting and fishing in the Adirondacks throughout the day.

Adirondack musician and storyteller Christopher Shaw will delight audiences of all ages with music celebrating the great Adirondack outdoors at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

At 2:00 p.m. an illustrated presentation, “Images From Trail Cameras,” will be held in the Mark W. Potter Education Center.

The day will conclude with “Adirondack Pond Fishing 101″ with Patrick Sisti. Sisti specializes in fly-fishing, fishing trips on the Indian River and Adirondack ponds in central Hamilton County as well as hiking camping, canoeing, and nature walks. His presentation will take participants through the steps taken to locate an Adirondack pond, get there, and fish. Handouts will be provided.

“A Sportsman’s Paradise” visitors should not miss the exhibits “Woods and Waters: Outdoor Recreation in The Adirondacks,” the “Buck Lake Club: An Adirondack Hunting Camp,” and “The Great Outdoors” – an interactive space that is perfect for family adventures.

The Adirondack Museum tells the story of the Adirondacks through exhibits, special events, classes for schools, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. Open for the season through October 19, 2008. For information call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

NY Oysters: Urban History and The Environment


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I just finished reading Mark Kurlansky’s The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. It’s basically a short history of New York City told through the city’s natural environment and one of its most significant natural resources (possibly second only to its natural harbor) – the oyster.

I’ve also read, and can highly recommend, three of Kurlansky’s previous books.

Cod: A Biography of The Fish The Changed the World

The Basque History of the World

Salt A World History

All have implications for New York History – according to esteemed Iroquoisian Dean Snow, the word Iroquois is derived from a Basque word, a demonstration of their subtle impact in our region during their search for Cod off the Grand Banks, Cod they then salted to preserve. Throughout all three books Kurlansky includes historic recipes and other culinary history.

The Big Oyster is a must read for those interested in natural history, marine history, the Atlantic World, and food history as well as those with a taste for urban history and the New York City underworld of oyster cellars, cartmen, and seedy public spaces of all kinds.

Erik Baard of the blog Nature Calendar:Your Urban Wilderness Community posted an interesting interview with Kurlansky last week, and also points us to the upcoming Spring/Summer 2008 Oyster Gardening Event:

This program, in collaboration with NY/NJ Baykeeper and the New York Harbor School, seeks to increase stewardship among residents of the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary by working with volunteers from schools and community organizations in New York City to help prepare an oyster reef off the Tribeca waterfront. The project builds on the results of NY/NJ Baykeeper oyster reef restoration in New Jersey and research conducted by The River Project at its Pier 26 field station in New York.

A taste of the interview with Kurlansky:

Erik Baard: The Dutch and British settlers used that shell lime to construct stone homes. And I’m kind of curious about the many ways oysters were used. It’s a very versatile product, the meat, the shell being used for construction of buildings… How else were they used?

Mark Kurlansky: They were used in roads, you know, paving roads and in landfill. They were use to fertilize soil, to increase the lime content of the soil, which used to be called “sweetening the soil.” You could just plow oysters under. In fact, Europeans who visited were surprised to see that. The European way was always to grind it up and create this lime powder that you use as fertilizer, but New York farmers used to just take whole shells and put them in the earth.

Erik Baard: And this would lower the acidity?

Mark Kurlansky: Right. Okay.

Erik Baard: Now also, Pearl Street, you clarified some mythologies on that.

Mark Kurlansky: Yes, for some reason there’s a lot of mythologies about Pearl Street. I was just on Pearl Street last Saturday, I was thinking about this. Pearl Street was the waterfront in Dutch times, in the original Manhattan. It continues now several blocks further because of landfill. And there’s lots of stories about why it was called Pearl Street. But the real reason seems to be that on the waters edge there, the Indians had left large piles of shells.

Erik Baard: It wasn’t paved with the oyster shells?

Mark Kurlansky: No you often hear that but, one of the first things I noticed when I was researching this book was that the street got its name before it was paved