Posts Tagged ‘drinking’

Hudson Winter Walk 2012

Call me crazy nostalgic, but I love the annual Winter Walk in Hudson.  What’s not to love?  There’s beautiful decorations, and usually a tall guy on stilts, and both good and strange musical delights (I’m partial to the bagpipe myself) and of course, treats!  This year’s walk is Saturday, December 1st, 5pm – 8pm.

I always like to find the table selling homemade cookies to benefit someone, perhaps the high school, but I always skip the various hot dog/hamburger tables.  Restaurants and bars are always quite lively (and quite packed) this evening – so grab your seat early!  Also:

Truck Pizza will re-open for WinterWalk at 347 Warren.

Hudson Farm Box will be offering Taste of the Valley in the Alley – a tapas party on Cherry Alley (just off Warren).

The highlight (snack-wise) for Winter Walk has to be the Belo3rd Eggnog challenge.  I’m not even a huge fan of eggnog, but spike a drink and I’m there.

There are enough great eateries showing up uptown that perhaps there needs to be an equivalent Above7th (Hudson’s East End) challenge?

Layer on the long johns and grab your gloves!  I don’t want to hear any complaining about how it’s too cold to wander about being festive.


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.


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!

(local) beer is worth traveling for…

(Apologies if you are receiving this again.  There have been some technical shenanigans of my own making – my phone and I have had words and it hopefully will not happen again.  A goddess woodchuck hunter helped me restore the content.  Now back to business.)

Traveling for local beer.  Wait, is that a contradiction???

An alumni from my university recently listed his guiding philosophy/quote as this gem from Benjamin Franklin: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Man after my own heart.

We bought our growlers maybe 6 years ago when sitting at Spotty Dog, drinking various North East beers that they had on tap. Loving the containers in and of themselves, nevermind that they stored beer, we first bought a small one, then soon after bought the large one as well in case we wanted more. What better way to drink beer in the back yard!

A couple of weekends ago, we packed our growler and took the new Hudson-Athens ferry across to Athens.  I’m a little sensitive when on boats and other moving vehicles (I can’t read a map while moving) so I was worried that the ferry trip might not set me up well for a night of drinking.  It was a smooth trip – no fear!  Our goal was Crossroads Brewing Company in Athens, a brewery that opened up over a year ago.  If you take the Hudson-Athens ferry across ($10 round trip) on a Friday or Saturday night, you get views like this:

Crossroads has friendly service and a great selection of good beer.  Like them on Facebook to keep up with what they have on tap in a particular week.  Over the winter there was a food truck parked outside serving good food; yesterday they posted that their new kitchen has just opened.  Welcome Chef Paul!  Crossroads is  a couple blocks straight up from the ferry – an easy field trip from Hudson, and it’s so lovely to not drive after a beer (or two).  Their doors are open for you:

If you don’t want to cross the river, you can travel up 66 to visit Chatham Brewing.

Bring your growler during Saturday Growler hours (11am – 5pm most Saturdays, except when they’re out winning awards) and fill ‘er up with whatever they might be brewing that day – like them on FB to keep up with any changes in hours.  Luckily in Hudson, Chatham Brewing has started coming to us on Saturday mornings at the Hudson Farmers’ Market.  Come early for best selection; they often bring a soda as well.  AND, they’ve begun bringing seafood.  What’s better than clams and beer – well, except maybe a Loaf pretzel and beer???   A recent story in the Register-Star indicated that they have just about outgrown their garage just off Main Street and they might have to relo – so stay tuned.

For other little day trips: if you like the C.H. Evans ale that you’ve tried at Spotty Dog, you can go to the source up at the Albany Pump Station.  I’m partial to the Kick-Ass Brown myself.  There’s also Brown’s Brewing Co., a huge brewpub up in Troy (you can also find this beer at Spotty Dog occasionally as well).  Or, in the opposite direction, Keegan Ales is serving up Mother’s Milk and others in Kingston.

Closer to home, I’ve just read that someone is seeking the zoning OK in Red Hook to open a small brewery.  More choices!

But if you want to take a bit of a road trip, I recommend booking yourself a room and traveling out to Cooperstown to visit Brewery Ommegang.  This is one big gorgeous brewing operation.

Try to arrive at the Brewery, just outside of Cooperstown ( approx. 2 hours from Hudson), say, shortly before lunch.  Find out their tour schedule, buy a ticket to the next one, and then be sure to stay for lunch.   The food is well-paired to the beer, and you can do flights so you don’t miss anything.  But to really try all of their beer, stay to the end of the tour where they give you a small glass and you can stand there and taste everything.  By the end the glass might slip out of your hand…

Ommegang set up the operation in this location because in the 19th century, hops was a major crop in the area.  And, there was access to clean water.  While they are a relatively huge operation amongst our local producers, one of the big reasons that I like them is because they have joined in the battle for clean water.  Ommegang is not happy with the possibility of fracking; for more on this subject, read here, here and here.

But you know what I love about beer?  The people who make it have a sense of humor.

They’re brewing men at Crossroads???

They’re just teasing

There has probably been more than one beer emergency…

Need some historical background?  If you’re in NYC between now and early September, be sure to check out Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History at the NY Historical Society.

Remember, Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.  With so many upstate beer options we can be very happy!

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!

sheep & wool fest AND it’s cider week

It is supposed to stop raining tomorrow…  What are you going to do?

Image courtesy of sheep & wool fest site

Head south on 9 to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck and visit the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival 2011.  It is amazing.  It will help if you like yarn.  And sheep.  And all wooly things in between.  The colors and textures of the fluff and roving and yarn are gorgeous.  Since I really only do a rudimentary crochet (lots of afghans in my house), I really go for the sheep or goat people that sell cheese…  Take the kids, meet the animals and if you’re lucky the chicken pot pie people will be there – get in line early, before they run out.

Starting Sunday, October 16 and running through the week, it’s Cider Week!  This is a new effort to keep the apple industry alive.  I love it when the call to action is Join the Hard Cider Revival!  They even have a friendly Find Cider list which includes several fine establishments in Hudson.

  • NYS Sheep and Wool Festival
  • Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck NY
  • Saturday October 15 – Sunday October 16
  • Tickets available at the gate
  • Cider Week
  • Hudson Valley
  • October 16 – 23

out and about

In case you need an excuse to get away from your garden, or from Warren Street eating…

Coming up rapidly is a benefit dinner in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, “celebrating local farms and community”.  Cocktails and music followed by dinner in the fields.  The dinner is Saturday July 16 starting at 5pm.  Tickets are $125/person. For tickets go to or call 518.758.2170 for more details.

Come back to  Hudson for a moment for the Acres Co-op Market community meeting on Wednesday, July 20 at 6:30 pm at Christ Church Episcopal, 431 Union Street, Hudson, NY.  Find out what’s going on, offer your input! ***UPDATE: meeting has been postponed.***

Every year on Tivoli Yard Sale Day (last Saturday of July), Tivoli Bread & Baking Co. sponsors the Annual Tivoli Pie Contest. Check at the bakery for a signup sheet. It’s a no-canned-fruit-filling sorta pie contest.  After the winner is announced you can use your plastic fork and dig in.  It’s a small town mob scene – get there at noon…  Tivoli Bread & Baking is at 75 Broadway. 845.757.2253.

BeerFEST – 5th Anniversary!  August 6, 2011 from 2pm-8pm at the Dinsmore Golf course in Staatsburg.

Tickets  available at Terrapin Restaurant (6426 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck, NY) or by calling 845-876-3330. Advance ticket prices are $35/person or $19/designated driver (no beer tasting included); day-of tickets will cost more and will be based on availability.  There will be 100+ beers from NY State brewers.  Count. me. in. 

County Fair time is coming up quick!  These are the largest in the area:

Ulster County Fair – August 2-7, 2011 – New Paltz, NY

Dutchess County Fair – August 23-28, 2011 – Rhinebeck NY

Columbia County Fair – August 31- September 5, 2011 – Chatham NY

What happened to the lazy days of summer?

birth of a legend indeed

Sunday in the Catskills

It was a day of foodie fun and I came away fat, happy and maybe a little smarter…

Sunday morning we attended the Seed and Sow Skill Share organized by the Hudson Valley Food Network (which is organized by Meghan E. Murphy).  The event happened in the greenhouses of Hodgson Farm and Garden Center in Walden.  This drew me across the river and down quite a ways – a whole new area of the Hudson Valley.

So, I’d forgotten how crazy hot greenhouses get.  I used to work in one so you’d think that would forever be burned into my brain, but no.  After about 5 minutes I’d shed all but the most basic layer, but I’d forgotten to make that last layer a tank top or little T, so I was still cooking.  My other half responded by sleeping through the first presentation – he couldn’t help it.  It wasn’t a bad way to spend a clear cold Sunday.

a shitake log and some mushrooms

The first workshop that we attended was on Mushroom Propagation, presented by Marc Eisenson of the MidHudson Mycological Association.   It was an interesting crowd of skinny jeans hipsters (the L train stops everywhere these days!) and backyard farmer types who already seemed to know a lot about growing mushrooms. But even for me, someone who just knows about eating mushrooms, the presentation was interesting and full of good information for all levels.  I have fantasies of growing shitakes and oysters in my basement, but I think there might be a little more work than I’d realized…  Perhaps I could learn foraging instead…

Growing oysters in a laundry basket

During the break between presentations, I wandered outside to lower my core temperature a bit, then visited the various booths of local food/farm businesses set up inside.  The cheese at Sprout Creek Farm continues to delight my tastebuds – I  like them all – and I love that it’s an educational farm.  I ogled the seed packets at Hudson Valley Seed Library – I’ve already bought some this year and am trying to not get out of control with seed-purchasing.  I think I will definitely have to frame the artwork.  There were yummy foods from Karma Road and Moxie Cupcakes available as well.

The next presentation was Integrated Pest Management in the Organic Garden presented by Jay Levine of the Hudson Valley Backyard Farm Company.  While I’m not a huge organic eater, I refuse to apply anything stronger than coffee grounds to my yard, whether I have food planted there or not.   However, it sucks that the Japanese beetles find my climbing roses really tasty…  Jay gave a knowledgeable presentation to a knowledgeable crowd, and came prepared with lots of good photos of examples, and lots of ideas of when to act (panic?) and when to let Mother Nature take care of things.  A little early morning obsession with knocking slow and stupid Japanese beetles into soapy water should take care of my issue.  Sadly, he had not dealt with skunks, which I have learned have recently moved into the woodchuck home under our shack.

We could not stay in the greenhouse any longer, and headed off into the cold air and lunch in Gardiner.  The most exciting part of our afternoon was soon to come.

I’ve enjoyed Hudson Whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits for at least 3 years, maybe a bit longer, but had never visited.  I have a number of the great little bottles with just a whisper of whiskey at the bottom…  We arrived just in time to join a big group for the tour of the distillery.

A black cat met us at the top of the steps, guided us through the front door – and it only got better!  Cordell was a great tour leader.  I wanted to stay longer!  Tuthilltown is very excited about their upcoming worldwide expansion – they’re bringing in a new still (though the ceiling?) and figuring out how to produce more with their own two little hands.  I’ll be curious what their organization is like the next time I take the tour…  After breathing in alcohol at all stages of production, we moved into the tasting room.  I started with the clear corn whiskey, moved onto the Baby Bourbon (same alcohol after 3 months in the charred white oak barrel), then finished off with a taste of the Manhattan Rye.  The Baby is smooth and lovely while the Rye starts off with a kick, then smooths off as you drink more (isn’t that always the way?).

A box of bottles of deliciousness

I wish them much luck with their worldwide push, but hope they lose none of their personality in the tour or the tasting – it was really great.

Need a tipple with your strawberries?

Strawberry Fields event today and tomorrow (June 12-13) – drinking and strawberries!

In case a million fire trucks on parade isn’t your thing…

beer tasting at Spotty Dog this Saturday

Leave your growler at home, or not, and get down to the Spotty Dog  Saturday night (April 3rd) for their occasional and sometimes regular Beer & Cheese tasting.  For $6 you get to taste the showcased beers paired with cheeses PLUS you get a pint of your choice.  A crowded fun yummy time for all.  I’m guessing 4 – 6ish pm.  See you there!

For drinking next weekend, check out the Pasta and Sauce (love the name) opening of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail on Saturday April 10, noon – 5pm.  There is a $15 Trail passport (for drinking) but they thoughtfully came up with the Designated Driver passport for only $5 (they still have to eat!)