Monday, July 26, 2010

Music, sweet music

Patti Lupone stayed with us this month, together with her team, for the Bellayre music festival. It was great, such a treat for us. We got to go to the concert and enjoy her fabulous company, and she got to relax a little despite her hectic schedule. 'Coulda, woulda, shoulda' was a great showcase for all her talents, and we're looking forward to her returning to the festival next year.

See Patti's 'Ramblings from the Road' if you want to get a sense of her larger-than-life warm-hearted, fun-loving, passionate persona......and take a look at this video of her at the 2008 Tony awards to see her give her all and wow the crowds......This weekend you can catch her celebrating Sondheim's 80th birthday with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We love you Patti!

Back home, Steve Reich is in town this weekend! That's to say, he's 20 minutes down the road in West Hurley by Woodstock, at the historic Maverick concert hall, celebrating the 40th anniversary of his seminal work Drumming (1970). Steve Reich and Musicians will be joined by NEXUS and So Percussion to perform this and other seminal works from the 70s, as well as Nagoya Marimbas (1994).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ebelskiver or Poffertjes?

Nadia writes:
We found a cast iron pan at a market in Red Hook two years ago. I always wondered what it was, and then saw the Danish filled-pancake pan in a Williams-Sonoma catalogue, and realised it was for making Ebelskiver, a kind of baked donut you make on the stove top. Although ours has hearts, it's the same size and has the same seven deep wells. This was exciting, I researched the recipes and had a lot of fun experimenting with fillings (fruit, chocolate, nutella)......but, at the end of the day, they were all too 'doughy'. The light, whipped egg white texture was wonderful, but the taste wasn't quite right.

So, seeing as we're a Dutch house, I tried Poffertjes, a traditional Dutch meal. The authentic pans for Poffertjes have smaller wells and more of them, but I decided my pan would do just fine. They're a yeasted buckwheat pancake mix, traditionally served with strawberries and whipped cream, and dusted with powdered sugar. No filling, just very puffy. They taste really good. And today I wondered, do I dare make Poffertjes with a filling.....?

........After a hard evening's recipe testing, Sam and I can confirm that Poffertjes do indeed work with fillings, specifically, two Ghirardelli's 60% bittersweet chocolate drops. We think we might have next Valentine's Day breakfast sorted. It will, of course, take much more recipe testing between now and then to get it just right........

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Trailways Website

So you want to know how to get from the Port Authority in New York City, to the Trailways bus terminal in Kingston, NY (a couple of miles away from our house - so we can come and pick you up) and thus get here without a car? At last there is a simple website with the answer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fresh Local Flowers

We like to have fresh local flowers around the house every day, sometimes homegrown, sometimes from local farms and florists. Nadia picked up the beauties in the top photograph this afternoon from Gill's Farm Stand on Hurley Mountain Road, about one mile from here, where they were grown. The exotics in the lower photograph may not have been grown quite so locally, but they are from our favorite local florists, Green Cottage in nearby High Falls. You can see the Green Cottage video here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wildlife In Our Garden

Here are two Pileated Woodpeckers we saw in our garden today. The young one was learning to find food, ably demonstrated by its parent, who had found a lot of bugs in one of the large sugar maple trees at the front of our house. They left quite a mess of wood on the lawn. Hopefully the tree doesn't mind......a lot of bushes and trees are stressed right now, due to lack of rain, so we're actually hoping there'll be thunderstorms soon! These birds were breathtaking to watch, with the tree just a couple of yards away from our breakfast room.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stone House Day

Yes - it's that time of year again. Next Saturday, July 10th is Stone House Day here in Hurley, New York. For more information go here. Come and visit our historic village!