Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Sunday, August 14, 2016

New Book: Spring Trout And Strawberry Pancakes

spring trout and strawberry pancakesAuthor William J. “Jay” O’Hern’s new book, Spring Trout & Strawberry Pancakes: Quirky Cures, Camp Recipes & the Adirondack Characters Who Cook Them Up, looks at some old Adirondack folks, their stories, and how their favored recipes brought mouthwatering meals to Adirondack tables.

With vintage photographs, Spring Trout & Strawberry Pancakes highlights hand-picked camp recipes, background stories of old camps and characters, historic photos, tales, time-tested household cleaning tips and old-fashioned remedies for common ills.

Each chapter highlights appealing recipes and a look back at an Adirondack site, or camp, and the people associated with it, from the 1890s to more recent times. The format features recipes for breads, pastries, soups, casseroles, stews, goulash, practical main meals, desserts, beverages, picnic menus, camping trips, and holiday gatherings. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cattails: A Culinary Tale of Nine Lives

cattailsThe two cats at my place have survived many life-threatening traumas such as falls, fights and even the compulsory “devotions” of small children. It’s amazing the hazards they can evade. I think if pets could drive, only dogs would get speeding tickets – cats would always find ways to wriggle out of a citation. Sadly, my contacts in the veterinary field continue to assert that cats have but a single life, and that the whole “nine lives” thing is just a cat tale.

However, the story about cattails having (at least) nine lives is no yarn. An obligate wetland plant, the common cattail (Typha latifolia) is native to the Americas as well as to Europe, Africa and most of Asia – basically the planet minus Australia, all Pacific Islands and most Polar regions. It can be found growing along wetland margins and into water up to 30 inches deep, from hot climates to Canada’s Yukon Territory. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wild Salads: Eat Your Weedies

TOS_wild_saladIn the early 1960s, Euell Gibbons wrote Stalking the Wild Asparagus and introduced millions of North Americans to the virtues of harvesting wild foods. Since that time, gathering wild edibles has become increasingly popular, and in our region, woods-grown delicacies such as ramps and fiddlehead ferns appear in grocery stores each spring.

Yet you don’t have to lace up your hiking boots to enjoy the wild repast. If you resist the urge to use herbicides, you are likely to find a diverse array of edible wild plants growing in your lawn and vegetable garden. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England

I'll drink to thatIn 1845, there were 221 distilleries in New York State, local historian and folklorist Marjorie Lansing Porter noted in an issue of North Country Life in 1953.

Moreover, she wrote, “great-grandma made dandelion wine, blackberry cordial, wild grape wine and used persimmons, elderberries, juniper berries, pumpkins, corn-stalks, hickory nuts, sassafras bark, birch bark and many other leaves, roots and barks to make ‘light’ drinks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

High Peaks Happy Hour: BARRED!

IMG_9512“You’ve been Barred!” – the dread phrase contestants at the first ever BARRED! Bartender Challenge did not want to hear. Twelve bartenders from near and far showcased their talents at Basil & Wick’s in North Creek on November 15, hoping to bring trophy and bragging rights back to their bar.

The best ideas are often born when least expected. A casual Happy Hour in the High Peaks board meeting agenda listed the question: Can we do something interactive with an upcoming book reading gig? Whether through inspiration or by blatant theft, we were not surprised when the concept of a Chopped style competition materialized. Based on the Food Network’s popular reality series in which chefs are given a mystery basket of ingredients that they must incorporate into a finished dish, BARRED! would do the same with cocktails. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adirondack Traditions: Spruce Beer?

Adirondack Bottling WorksA new era of alcoholic beverage production is dawning in the Adirondacks. You can drink locally-brewed beer from any one of several micro-breweries, or imbibe vodka distilled from potatoes grown in Gabriels and filtered through the high-quality quartz crystals known as Herkimer diamonds.   “Drinking local” has a long tradition within the Blue Line. Today, let’s consider the honorable history of Adirondack beer. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

A New Edition Of A Trail And Camp Food Classic

A new edition of the trail and camp food classic The Hungry Hiker’s Book of Good Cooking by Gretchen McHugh has been published by McHugh’s husband John Sullivan of Chestertown.  Hungry Hiker was first published in 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, who assigned Judith Jones its editor (Jones was also editor for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and before that The Diary of Anne Frank).  The book was in Knopf’s catalog for 25 years. It sold 50,000 copies in 13 printings, inspired multitudes of back-country meals, and many imitators.

“When Knopf dropped the book in 2007, we started making plans to revise and republish it,” John Sullivan told me recently (he’s a neighbor, across the valley on Kipp Mountain).  “We were barely under way when Gretchen was diagnosed with Frontal-Temporal Dementia.”  She moved to a nursing home last spring and John decided to go ahead with the new edition in time for its 30th anniversary.  A new generation of readers, now schooled in the kind of 1970s self-sufficiency that served as background to this classic when it was published, will be glad he did. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes

After years of kitchen drudgery and dishpan hands, all of a sudden everyone wants us to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. Provided, of course, WE BRING THE DRINKS! Pammy’s no Julia Child but she can do a throwdown cocktail that’ll make Bobby Flay take notice! Creativity is all you need to shake up the traditional feast. Just keep the menu in mind. Compatibility with the flavors of the meal is important. Compatibility with family members or other guests is something we’re not qualified to help you with, but a few tasty beverages might not hurt.

We’re not sure how it goes at your house, but we always have a plethora of snacks and appetizers, serving no other purpose than to keep the hungry guests from whining and the kids out of the kitchen. The unfortunate result, once dinner is ready, is a roomful of gluttonous guests too stuffed to engage in the carnage that is Thanksgiving Dinner!
» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Shannon Houlihan: Thanksgiving Apple Pie

With Thanksgiving looming on the horizon, my thoughts the past few days have been centered on my favorite part of the holiday preparations- pie making. I’ll admit, I can spend hours upon hours in the “pie zone”- slowly but carefully making the pastry, rolling it out, crimping the edges and then finally filling the pie and baking it up.

There is just something that is so satisfying about baking a pie from scratch. The taste and flavor of a homemade pie are one bonus, but I think the best part is taking the pie out of the oven and beholding the beautiful creation you have spent hours making. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shannon Houlihan: Making Homemade Pastrami

This past spring I was making the rounds of some local garage sales when I stumbled on a great find- a barrel meat smoker in pristine condition for only 20 bucks. This particular smoker is a really basic, just a metal barrel with three racks, a pan for water to keep the meat tender, and an electric element at the bottom on top of which you place the wood chips.

Serious barbeque enthusiasts out there would probably scoff at my little smoker, but given the the dirt cheap price and the fact that I had never smoked anything in my life, I figured it was a good way to get started. I followed this purchase by buying a copy of The Joy of Smoking and Salt Curing by Monte Burch. If you have any interest in tackling the art of smoking meat and fish, I highly recommend this little book. The instructions are very clear and concise, and it covers all the most basic points of the science of meat preservation.
» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Local Foods: All Those Cherry Tomatoes

Last weekend I stopped in at a little roadside vegetable stand down the road. I was hoping to get a couple of end-of-season bushels of tomatoes to can for this winter’s tomato sauce. Unfortunately, I was a little too late for the larger saucing tomatoes.  Luckily, there were still a few long rows full of cherry tomatoes on their last legs – and free for the gleaning!

Thirty minutes later I walked away with a bushel of beautiful red cherry tomatoes. After the excitement of having acquired so many tomatoes for free wore off, I was suddenly struck with the cold, hard reality of a full bushel of cherries needing to be used quickly. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Our First Recipe Trial

Fourteen volunteers bravely responded to the first drink tasting at Pammy’s Pub, official drink lab of Happy Hour in the High Peaks. Representing a broad age range, from 21 to 70, equal numbers of male and female participants* were asked to rate five different samples of beverages for possible inclusion in our book.

More primate than lab rat, these subjects, when let out of their cages, exhibited animated enthusiasm rather than fear and complacency. Male respondents were observed to be less inclined to consume fruity or complicated beverages, while females participated in all trials. We’re not quite willing to share the formulas for each trial, but will try to convey the overall theme with a description of our intended impression. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorbet: A Summertime Blueberry Treat

For the past few weeks I just simply have not been in the mood for cooking. It has been hot and sunny, and sitting in the kitchen and standing over a stove – much less turning on the oven –  holds about zero appeal. A lot of salads have been hitting the table, as we’ve had a bumper crop of lettuce this year. Herbs have also been plentiful, which makes for fun experimentation with different types of dressings.

Mostly I have been spending a lot of time outdoors with friends and family, bringing along a variety of Oscar’s ready-made salads, smoked meats and cheeses for picnicking. Ready-made has held a lot more appeal than actually whipping up my own potato salad or  barbeque after a long hard day of relaxing. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shannon Houlihan: Everyone Loves Rhubarb?

Ever notice that during the period of May through mid-June there is a blitz of food articles, expounding upon the wonders the rhubarb? These stories make plentiful use of words like “abundant” “grandmother” “delightful” and “cherry red”. Words like this about a food make me feel pretty excited. Particularly when the food in question practically grows wild all around me. So I was pretty excited to really dive right into some rhubarby adventures this year. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Cooking in the Back Country

For hard core backpackers pack weight is a serious game, especially in challenging and endurance-taxing terrain like the Adirondacks.  Every pound you take on the trail is additional effort.  Every extra handful of ounces somehow magnifies the inevitable crushing drain on personal will that, after an extended day with miles yet to go, can cause you to feel as Jacob Marley must have, shambling on through eternity.

For some, saving weight elevates to a competitive and expensive sport, with ultra-light this and featherweight that.  Lemme tell you, that gear costs.   For the most extreme disciples of light-weight backpacking the quest becomes quasi-religious (and I can arguably drop the “quasi” part).   I’ve known people to cut down pencils to save a tenth of an ounce.

We all join the faithful at one time or another: who among we Adirondack hikers has not at least once felt a surge of joy and self-congratulatory satisfaction all out of keeping with the situation when we drained our last water, feeling and hearing our bottles jiggling around oh-so empty, oh-so mercifully airy?  “Ha!  I’m light now, thank God,” we say to ourselves. » Continue Reading.


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