Posts Tagged ‘wandering’

April showers

After a gorgeous day yesterday, and a sunny start this morning, it is now gray and rainy.  Luckily I got the bulk of my yard-tidying accomplished before the rain – although I had grand delusions of much more mulching and trimming.

Ah, spring.

I’ve definitely turned to spring eating – I just don’t want heavy food anymore.  Instead, I’m thinking salads.  We don’t have a lot of local supplies, yet, but I am starting to see micro greens and pea shoots as a welcome garnish on dishes.  As we wander through this season of transition, I’ve tried the following recipes which use pretty seasonal ingredients but feel lighter in taste:

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 Tahini Beets

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Spring Green Risotto

(and, no photo but this dish was really delicious)

Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon and Coconut Rice

With the holidays coming up, I think I may back-track a little on my (lighter) spring eating so I can try some new recipes and enjoy some old favorites.

Someone was thinking what I’ve been thinking – I’m definitely trying this recipe for Bacon Matzo Brei.  I don’t think The Professor will mind this addition to our matzo brei tradition.  I will also make Matzo Brittle (or matzo crack…).  There will be nothing light about these Passover dishes.

I haven’t figured out my Easter eating, but it will include eggs.  Perhaps I will try a twist on eggs benedict (here or here) or head back to spring eating with this delicious-sounding Asparagus with Eggs and Parmesan.

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If you’re not up to cooking, you could just eat somewhere in town.

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Poached eggs over avocado  at Bonfiglio & Bread – I still do not tire of this dish.

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Or perhaps a simple hard-boiled egg and gougere at Swallow?

Obviously I’m into eggs.

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There are some interesting goings-on over the next month, in case you get tired of gardening or eating:

Saturday April 12 – Chocolate tasting of (Hudson local) Christopher Norman Chocolates, and wine from Fairview Wines at Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar, located at Warren & 2nd in Hudson NY.  5pm – 7pm. Taste.

Saturday April 12 – Dine/Art Gallery Stroll on Warren Street below 3rd Street.  Wander and enjoy art and tastes.  5pm – 8pm.  Taste again.

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Saturday April 19 – ThinkFOOD Conference: Culture / Studies / Sourcing at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington MA.  9:30am – 3pm. Think.

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Saturday April 26 or May 3? – Opening of Hudson Valley Distillers.  Applejack and vodka and (eventually) more! Check it out on Route 9 just south of Clermont. Tasting room hours to be announced.  Thirst.

Saturday April 26 and Sunday April 27 – TAP New York, a craft beer and food festival happens at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. 1pm – 5pm on Saturday and 12pm – 4pm on Sunday.  Thirst again.

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Saturday May 3 – 4th Annual Ramp Fest Hudson 2014 at Basilica Hudson.  12pm – 4pm.  Trample.

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It’s still raining.  I’m just going to keep repeating: April Shower = May Flowers, April Shower = May Flowers, April Shower = May Flowers…

Springing about

photoSurely we’re done with this, right?

I have been hibernating this winter, and have the belly to prove it.  The Professor asked me if I was on sabbatical.  Funny.  A friend who loves all things Italian asked if I had joined the Slow Blogging movement (see: Slow Food).  All right, all right.  I haven’t been writing, but I have been eating. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel a bit this winter to warmer climes, which has meant lots of avocados and Cuban bread and this:

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While it may snow in Hudson this weekend (again), the bleak-looking lawns peeking out from the snow/ice and the light that we have gained with the time change point to SPRING.

I may even go for a walk (no snow shoes required).

But I’ve sworn to myself that I will sit all weekend in my new Modern Farmer pig T-shirt and catch up on reading.  We’ll see how long that resolve lasts.

I wish I had learned about this restaurant a couple of years ago because then maybe I could be eating dinner here this weekend.  Luckily the Indoor Hudson Farmers’ Market will be open Saturday 10am – 1pm so I can stock up on supplies to cook my own meal.

maple buckets

It’s Maple Weekend 2014 this weekend March 22-23 and next, March 29-30.  This is your chance to take a little road trip to visit a sugar house and learn how maple syrup and other products are made.  Some  are little shacks that are a man’s backyard hobby (always a man – why?) and some are 25,000 square foot sophisticated operations.  Somehow, there are no sugar shacks listed in Columbia County, so you will just have to stumble upon our (very) local producers, or again, take a little road trip.  At any rate, it’s a great way to buy your maple syrup directly from the producer.

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CORRECTION:  The Farm at Miller’s Crossing is open today for maple syrup!

The 3rd Annual Hudson Valley Beer & Cheese Festival is happening in Kingston on Sunday March 23 from 1 – 4pm.  In addition to Keegan Ales, our local brewers Crossroads Brewing and Chatham Brewing will be there along with Ommegang.  And there’s cheese!

This weekend I will probably end up just wandering around my backyard, wondering if any of my plants will revive.  We had transplanted a bunch of shade plants last year during our big house project, and they had lived quite happily in a random assortment of pots and sometimes just clumps of dirt in the back yard.  We transplanted them back to the shade spot last fall where they then spent the winter under a foot or two of ice.  That spot really never sees the sun so I’m not sure if the ice will disappear before April.  I wonder if the plants will come back…  I have to check on my garlic as well.  That was the only food thing that I managed to grow last year, and it might be the same this year, although I would love to grow some tomatoes and herbs.  Margaret the Gardener pointed me to a post by Hudson Valley Seed Library, makers of the loveliest seed packets around, about the silver linings of a long hard winter.  It’s good to keep things in perspective.

And if I feel overwhelmed in my garden, I’ve just learned there’s an app to help me figure out what to plant when.  Of course there is.

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Next week:

I’m not the biggest chocolate fanatic but I do love a good dark chocolate – it just makes everything ok.  And this latest study proves me right! So take care of that gut bacteria at Verdigris next Saturday, March 29 from 5 – 7pm.  The Wine & Chocolate Tasting this month will focus on chocolate from Grenada, which I’m guessing you haven’t tasted before.  I haven’t.

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Mark your Calendars!

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If you missed the Pierogi and bake sale at St. Michael’s today, your next chance is at the Ukrainian Easter Food Sale on Saturday April 12th, 10am – 2pm.  The Ukrainians need some support right now, no?  But be smart and call ahead to reserve your food or you will leave empty-handed.

The Ramp Festival returns to Hudson for its 4th year on Saturday May 3rd.

The Beer, Bourbon & Bacon Festival appears at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds (Rhinebeck) on Saturday June 21st.  This could be interesting.

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Happy eating!

catching up…

My brain has melted.

Or drowned – hasn’t it been a crazy hot/rainy summer?

That’s my only attempt at an excuse for not writing for so long.  Well, the brain has been fried by the heat of summer, and huge upcoming life changes and watching the veeeeeeeery slow progress as my house moves from a peely-paint house to a lovely crisp clean abode.  It’s such an improvement that my electrician says that it will raise the assessments for the  entire neighborhood.  Sorry neighbors!

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I intended to have a garden…  However, my harvest this year was garlic scapes.  And I cut those too late, leading to my second harvest, the tiniest heads of garlic I’ve ever seen.  I’ve got them curing in the basement, but I have a feeling I will be buying garlic from the farmers’ market…

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I’ve visited a couple of restaurants in the attempt to escape our very un-air-conditioned house.

I love going to Bonfiglio & Bread for mushroom toast or the poached egg bowl (how do you describe it?) for breakfast, and even on days where the breakfast chef isn’t there, the kouign-ammans are de-lish.  I’ll be there when they open up again on Saturday the 17th.  I hope they’re poaching eggs that day.  Relish Hudson is also a great option for breakfast – really nice egg sandwich variations.  And I love sitting in the window on a quiet morning, gazing at our cute Amtrak station.

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The Hudson Food Studio is our newest option for dinner and really helps round out the cuisine available in town.  Sam Pratt wrote a nice review of the place here.

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Many days I have no desire to prepare food (what?) and if it’s super hot, it’s ice cream for dinner.  Lick has saved me from a melt-down more than once.  One of my new favorite desserts does take some cooking (baking the crust and making the blueberry sauce on the stove top – best done earlier in the day), but this blueberry ice-cream pie will make anyone happy.  I found the recipe while searching for gluten-free recipes when a dear friend was coming to visit, and I halved the sugar called for in the recipe to make it more friendly for those who watch their sugar intake.  It’s just delicious.  And who doesn’t need ice-cream pie?

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For the most part I’ve been enjoying the bounty of our season and very often don’t do more than wash, peel (if necessary), cut up and eat.  This weekend, however, I found myself with a load of blueberries along with a half of a cantaloupe, and then I bought a couple of pounds of doughnut peaches and plums.  Too much goodness!  I solved this (partially) by attempting a recipe for blueberry refrigerator jam - success!  If you’re not into canning, and I’m not, this is a jam for you.  So is David Lebovitz’s No Recipe Cherry Jam which I’ve made numerous times.  And I haven’t tried this recipe yet but it looks just as easy:  Triple berry quick jam.

Dinner the past two nights has been corn on the cob, just barely boiled, plus some of the above-mentioned fruit.  Don’t you love corn season?  Maybe I’ll have the desire to cook something a little more elaborate next weekend – but I’m not complaining if I have to eat more corn.

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Coming up!

Copake Falls Day on Saturday August 17th – I’m very excited about this as Margaret from A Way to Garden opens up her garden for Garden Conservancy Open Day and I love to wander around and imagine it’s my yard.  Maybe next year.   The Fabulous Beekman Boys will be there for a lecture/breakfast/book signing. Copake Falls, just this side of the border with Massachusetts.

Dutchess County Fair -  August 20th – August 25th – rides! fried foods!  Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck

Columbia County Fair – August 28 – September 2 – a classic county fair.  Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham

Taste of Hudson on Saturday September 7th, 11am – 2pm – don’t be silly and think you’ll get any food at 2pm.  Think early, people!  Warren Street below 3rd Street.

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest on Saturday September 7th and Sunday September 8th – one of the biggest area extravaganzas.  Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck

eating elsewhere

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the rooftops of Jerusalem

I was out of town for a couple of weeks, and as usual, eating. While we went to some gorgeous places for dinners, the lunches were my favorite.

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a spread at a restaurant in the Muslim quarter

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fish at a restaurant in Jaffa

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I always love dessert

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goats milk yogurt and cheeses at Nataf, in the hills outside of Jerusalem

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falafel with pesto and goat cheese

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eggplant and garlic pizza in Tivron, north of Haifa

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borekas

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more borekas, and some turkish delight

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The Levinski market in Tel Aviv on Fridays was fantastic

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dried fruit

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favorite garenim: sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

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spices

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more nuts and seeds

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a corner shop at the Levinski Market

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We definitely should have spent more time here…

As beautiful as all of this was, I am happy to be back in my kitchen again.  What are you cooking these days?

reading and eating

Officially it’s Spring but it’s still cold outside, and I haven’t seen the self-serve spinach stand pop up at Eger Brothers (corner of 23rd/9/10 just outside of Hudson).  However, it feels like things are really heating up, at least online.

This weekend the thing to do is go to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar for their latest chocolate tasting – and this is a chocolate and chocolate tea tasting!  Hmmm….  curious.  The tasting is Saturday 3/30 at 5pm at Verdigris, 135 Warren Street.  Call ahead, just in case – I would hate to steer you wrong.

If you haven’t yet bought your Easter candy, head now to Vasilow’s Confectionery, who recently had a nice feature in the Daily Freeman.  I’m always torn between the malt balls and the great variety of licorice…

Haven’t you been curious about Verdigris’ former space at South 3rd?  Michael Davis of 3FortySeven gives us the scoop on what’s been happening inside the future Fish & Game.

And while Zak Pelaccio and Lady Jayne are working out the details on Fish & Game restaurant, he wrote a great guide to eating and doing in Hudson.

The Crimson Sparrow has gotten a couple of great mentions lately, in the Times Union and in Chronogram.  And they’re involved in a friendly face-off with Berkshire chefs in the ChefX Dinners, happening April 7 at Crimson Sparrow with Berkshire chefs, and April 29 in Great Barrington featuring Hudson restuarants The Crimson Sparrow, Helsinki Hudson, Grazin Diner, Swoon Kitchenbar and Local 111 (from Philmont and YAY for a female chef!!!).

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I’ve eaten my matzo brie and matzo crack, and it’s about time for hot cross buns and way too much Easter candy…

Maple Weekend(s) 2013

maple bucket

Woo-hoo!  It’s maple syrup season again and it is time to stock up on my year’s supply of maple syrup…

We have not one, but TWO weekends to visit area sugar shacks and buy way too much maple syrup.  As the owner of a gallon, I can talk.  Get into your car either March 16-17 or March 23-24 and head out to learn more about maple syrup production and buy direct from the producer.  Information can be found about the NY State Maple Weekends online and on Facebook, but you’ll have to dig a bit to find producers in Columbia County.  They’re here, just not on the list.

Be sure to check out Black Berry Hill Farm out in the Bell’s Pond area (call first please!).

And the Register-Star recently highlighted the production by a Hudson Farmers’ Market favorite Farm at Millers Crossing.

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And then what?

Sometimes I boil a couple of brand-new empty bottles (I like ones that looks like flasks) and then fill them with liquid love to share.  People in warmer climes are appreciative.  However, you know me – I like to eat.

I can recommend the healthy Maple Scones for breakfast or tea.  They’re almost savory, and a co-worker suggested that a glass of bourbon might complement them well.  My thoughts exactly.  I can also strongly recommend this Maple Parsnip cake.  You need to buy almond meal, but between that and the parnips practically melting in the cake, it’s almost better than carrot cake – no cream cheese frosting required.  I served it with whipped cream slightly sweetened with a bit of maple syrup.  Of course.  Olive Oil granola is also a great favorite, as the sweetener is – you guessed it – maple syrup.

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You know what else goes with maple syrup?  BACON.  Have you tried the bacon from Swoon available at Lick the Market?  Good grief, get yourself down there (253 Warren, Friday/Saturday/Sunday) and buy some Swoon Bacon.  Then cook all of it.  And eat.  Don’t even try to save any for later… (Er, no picture available because we ate it all).

still hibernating…

I have a mild cold this cold weekend, so I’ve stayed home with my box of kleenix, catching up on reading when I’m not napping.

Or planning what I’m up to next.

occupy farm

Next weekend, the 2nd Farming our Future gathering is happening at Taconic Hills High School on Saturday, 2/23/2013 from 9am – 4:30pm.  I went last year.  This is a good community of local people talking about food.  And we must keep talking.

Chef Hugh Horner (The Restaurant at Helsinki) will host his next Eat Food or Die podcast rescheduled for Monday 2/25 at 2:00pm.  This month he will be talking about Hudson Valley farms and the food community – how timely!  If you can’t catch it live, go to WGXC.org for replay.

Want to support WGXC but feel you have no money to give?  Every Monday is Macchiato Monday at Swallow Espresso & Coffee.  Donate at least $3 to WGXC at Swallow on a Monday *in the month of February and get a free macchiato.  Caffeination and crazy community radio – it’s win-win!

Not local but still pertinent: have you kept up on the case of the 75 year old farmer against Monsanto regarding the ownership of seed?  It’s reaching the Supreme Court this season – you can catch up on details here.  While the case started with soybeans, it will have far-reaching consequences for our whole food chain.

Hopefully by March I will be willing to spend more than mere minutes outside.  Maple Syrup weekend(s) are coming up this year March 16-17 and March 23-24, 2013.  We have no producers in Columbia County willing to open up to the public (in a way, I don’t blame them) although I’ve seen the tell-tale tubing in the forests in the Ancram area.  Maple Syrup Road-trip!

In the meantime, I’m staying warmly inside.  This morning I made popovers – nothing like eggy bread with butter and very strong coffee on a cold winter morning.

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and so we begin again…

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Where did December (or the year) go?

December 1st started off with a lovely little snow, introducing the beginning of holiday baking as well as our latest Winter Walk.

Recipes I tried this month included shortbread with white chocolate/pistachios/cranberries, toffee, pfeffernusse (still looking for the perfect recipe), gingersnap/rumballs, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bourbon cheesecake, pumpkin soufflés with bourbon molasses sauce (see a theme here?), chocolate peppermint cookies (like pepperminty brownies), and a simple chocolate glazed chocolate tart. I feel like I’m forgetting something.  And yes, I tasted/ate all of these.  That sounds scary when I actually write it down.

We had latkes on the first and last nights of Hannukah.  I can never have too many latkes and thankfully Passover is spread over 8 crazy nights

I took a trip to the great Northwest where I was rained on a lot, and drank far too many lattes.  I also bought yet more cookbooks at Powell’s.

We survived the end of the world with no excitement whatsoever.

And we survived the Christmas gift exchange  getting no scary gifts (trust me, it was a close call).

The winter weather makes me want more comfort food.  This usually means some sort of cheesy carb fest, but instead I’m roasting some nice acorn squash and drizzling with a garlicky peppery vinaigrette before serving on simple rice.  I think I need a little new eating, to at least make up for any excesses this past month.  Or to allow space for the new excesses to come.

In the new year I’m looking forward to trying more new savory dishes, although I will continue to bake bake bake.  I have a monster butternut squash just staring at me, daring me to come up with something other than roasted winter vegetables.  I’m also looking forward to Zak Pelaccio‘s Fish & Game restaurant opening up on South 3rd, sometime in the new year.  I may need to get a 2nd job (and an exercise routine) to support my eating in Hudson.  I wonder what else might open up in our little  town of eaters?

And so we begin again…

Happy New Year’s!

wandering, escaping…

I’ve been a refugee upstate the past couple of days, as earlier in the week I was stuck in the darkness for a couple of days in NYC…  What a lovely time to be upstate!

Saturday was a day for foodie fieldtrips, and what a fun time.  I started, of course, at the Hudson Farmers Market.  I picked up some staples for the week, trying to not get carried away and buying more than I will realistically cook.  It’s an ongoing battle.

Early afternoon I joined a neighbor to visit Omi International Arts Center in Ghent for a book signing and marmalade tasting by Elizabeth Field for her first book, Marmalade: Sweet and Savory Spreads for a Sophisticated Taste.  As a baker, the unpredictability of marmalade, jellies and jams makes my hair stand up on end, but the recipes are compelling and I’m always willing to try some new recipes.  And who better to inspire me than a woman who did her Master’s dissertation on marmalade???  Ms. Field also has an article in the New York Times today on – you guessed it – marmalade.

Since it was such a lovely day and I didn’t feel like working on the garden anymore, my OH and I jumped in the car and drove down to Ancram for the opening of Hillrock Estate Distillery.  Located in the beautiful hills in the Ancram area, this beautiful distillery was built in the past couple of years to take advantage of the terroir – they grown their own barley and rye.  They hope to have their official organic designation next year, and pride themselves on being the only field to bottle bourbon.  Our informative tour was led by Tim Welly, who is in charge of the bourbon production under the guidance of master distiller David Pickerell (formerly of Makers Mark).  While I’m sure it’s incredibly challenging, it sounds like a cool job!  The tour of this gorgeous facility ended with a tasting, and since I like just about any bourbon that’s in front of me, it was tasty.  However, at $80-85 a bottle, I’ll have to save my pennies to have a bottle of my own…  They estimated that they may have had a thousand visitors yesterday, their first day, so it’s a great start for our latest local producer.

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The weather has turned chilly so I’ve been baking and cooking warm comforting autumn-y foods.  I might recommend these delicious recipes:

Autumn Lasagne with Butternut Squash, Sage and Kale from Handpicked Nation

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese from The Kitchn (this dish was going into the oven as the lights went out)

Couscous with Chickpeas, Fennel & Citrus from The Kitchn (I fed this to the friends who had offered the escape from NYC)

Parmesan-Rosemary Crackers from A Little Saffron – every bite is cheesy deliciousness.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Eating Well – every once in awhile I have a flareup of “healthy” eating…

Pumpkin Spice Cookies from The Kitchen – cake-y goodness

Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness cake from The Kitchn – Make. This. Cake.

Happy Eating!

become a winemaker – here in the Hudson Valley

But you have to move quickly – it starts tomorrow!

Millbrook Winery is launching a Winegrowing Boot Camp this weekend; oenophiles get to walk (or work) through the growing season, have a couple of eat and drink sessions (which they presumably know how to do already) and get a case of custom-labeled Tocai Fruili (white) wine.  The cost is $750 + tax for 6 Saturdays of instruction plus some eating and drinking.  And a case.  Here’s the brochure.

Yea! for another great foodie first in the Hudson Valley!

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