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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

May, 2015

High Peaks Happy Hour: Alpine Grille, Hope


For two years we sought input, but now that Happy Hour in the High Peaks is written and published, people are eager to tell us what bars we missed. Sometime in 2014, someone suggested that we visit the Alpine Grille in Wells. Pam dutifully entered it into her notes under the “bars we missed” category. Resurrected and moved up the priority list by the recent sad news that Lake House Grille in Wells will not reopen this spring, we decided to pursue the Alpine as a potential replacement on the Happy Hour Trail. Although changes to the book aren’t practical, >>More


April, 2015

Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England


In 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. “One man boasted, ‘Oh, we can make liquor to sweeten our lips, of pumpkins, of parsnips, of walnut tree chips.’ “Perry was made from pears as cider is from apples and peachy from peaches.” Not that >>More


April, 2015

Black and Yellow Birch: Tasty Teas From Trees


Scratch and then sniff a black or yellow birch twig, and the pleasant aroma will likely put a smile on your face. What you are smelling is oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate). This chemical compound is present in the inner bark in both species, although typically to a greater degree in black birch. In the trees, as well as several edible berries that grow in our region, the compound serves as a defense against herbivorous insects. Most people, however, enjoy the taste. You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea from peeled black or yellow birch twigs. I advise against >>More


April, 2015

The Birthplace of Muffets (Conclusion)


Scott Perkys’ first year living in the village of Keeseville was a busy one. He became involved in community activities, and in July his daughter Melissa was born in Plattsburgh. A short time later he applied for a patent application for a new food product that would become known as Muffets, a round version of shredded wheat biscuits. Scott’s knowledge of his father’s patents on the cereal and the machines to make it, which had expired in 1912, allowed him to recreate that work with major modifications. Through business connections, he established a factory in Batavia, New York, midway between >>More


April, 2015

Maple Syrup Isn’t Our Only Tree Sap Product


The North Country is fortunate to have an abundance of maple as our local sweetener, but there are other syrups as well: try birch and black walnut. One sure sign of spring is the bustling work of our maple producers: repairing lines, checking the taps, tuning up equipment, and, at last, boiling sap. Every year we look forward to this local food treasure: maple syrup and all of its products such as maple sugar, and maple cream. New York is the world’s third largest producer of maple syrup and the maple industry in Northern New York is expanding. Maple is >>More


April, 2015

Warrensburg’s Merrill Magee Inn Plans Summer Opening


The Merrill Magee Inn in the heart of Warrensburg is undergoing a full restoration thanks in part to the new partnership between Michael and Donna Flanagan and Richard Flanagan and his wife Leslie Qin, all originally from New Jersey. The new owners hope to have the extensive renovations done and the tavern and restaurant open sometime this summer, although ten guest rooms are already available. Brothers Michael and Richard have been regular visitors to the Adirondacks. After Michael and Donna moved to the region in 2004, they hosted an annual family party at the Inn admiring the combination of a >>More


April, 2015

The Adirondack Birthplace of Muffets


The word Muffet conjures different things for different people – the nursery-rhyme reference, of course, and perhaps furry little creatures, maybe because it sounds like Muppets, only smaller, like Smurf-sized. Muffets are actually something that most of us have eaten (if not a Muffet, then one of its close relatives). They’re the round version of shredded wheat biscuits, and who among us hasn’t tried some type of shredded-wheat cereal at one time or another? For that pleasure we have the Perky family to thank, specifically Henry Perky, inventor of shredded wheat (in 1890 or thereabouts) and the machines that produced >>More


April, 2015

Wild Edible Identification And Preservation Class


Identifying wild nuts, roots, berries and plants, many now commonly called weeds, and how to store them will be the focus of “Wild Edible Identification and their Historic Use as Wild Medicine”. In this class, being offered by Wild Edible Instructor and Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County’s Master Food Preservation instructor Pat Banker, participants will learn science-based and safe ways to identify, prepare, freeze, dehydrate, and store wild edibles. Banker will also lead a tour of 4H Camp Overlook’s variety of wild edibles and how to identify them while giving a historic medicinal use explanation of many of the plants >>More


April, 2015

Fruit Tree Pruning at Sugar House Creamery


My husband and I planted two apple trees the year we moved into our farmhouse. That was the first and only year that we’ve gotten any apples. We haven’t even seen a blossom since. We drive past our neighbor’s trees loaded with fruit and wonder what we can do. Our first step has been to install fences. We’ve worked hard to keep the grazing deer from completely obliterating the small trees. The next step was to attend a tree-pruning workshop. Adirondack arborist Peter Landau of Northeast Arboricultural Associates has been conducting free fruit tree pruning workshops for the past six >>More


March, 2015

Tips for Starting Garden Plants Now


Based on recent excavations in northern New York State, archeologists have reached a stunning conclusion. Apparently, beneath layers of snow and ice there may still be “soil” in our region. It’s been so long since the presence of soil was confirmed, many people had begun to doubt its continued existence. With the issue of object impermanence resolved, gardeners can get ready to start seeds indoors. If you’re new at this, the materials list can be perplexing. You’ll need to scrounge up the right amounts of light, warmth, drainage, timing and sanitation. Seeds would be helpful, too. Timing is important. If >>More