A grey day, overcast and humid with a high of 61F. A tinder polypore on a hemlock bench perfectly reflects the day’s colors.
Tag Archives: Upstate Living
Daily Catskills: 10/26/22
Misty and humid with blustery afternoon rain and a high of 71F. Fall is on the wane, but the oaks, beech and ironwood are still hanging on.
Daily Catskills: 10/25/22
A little gloomy, with muddy puddles of overnight rain but rising to a balmy high of 71F.
Daily Catskills: 10/24/22
Mostly overcast with a low blanket of mist, and humid with the occasional peep of sun, a sprinkle of rain carried over from last night and a high of 65F. 2022 is having a spectacular, drawn out fall and now we are deep into the earth tones of the giant oaks: copper, gold and brassy brown.
Daily Catskills: 10/22/22
Another clear, fall day with a high of 70F.
Daily Catskills: 10/21/22
Another crisp day under a bowl of clear blue, warming up to a high of 60F. The flaming red oak tree holds its ground with its yellow and green neighbors amidst the brush of a waning fall landscape.
Daily Catskills: 10/19/22
An overnight frost coats the last remaining rose and the temperature only rises to a high of 44F. Mostly clear blue skies for the rest of the day.
Daily Catskills: 10/17/22
A dingy start to the week, with a sky like washed ink and a high of 55F.
Daily Catskills: 10/16/22
Bright and breezy, mostly clear skies and a high of 63F.
Daily Catskills: 10/13/22
A gloomy, chilly morning warming up to a humid, rainy day with a high of 62F. Falling leaves tossed around by gusty winds. Torrential rain into the evening.
Daily Catskills: 10/12/22
Sunny and humid, mostly clear skies and a high of 66F.
Daily Catskills: 10/11/22
A crisp morning with thick mist sinking into the valleys. Clear sky for the rest of the day, balmy with a high of 67F.
Daily Catskills: 10/07/22
Overcast and misty with late afternoon rain and a high of 66F. We’re in the peak of glorious fall here in the Catskills. We just need some sun to show it off.
Daily Catskills: 10/05/22
A rainy morning walk through misty mountains. Another overcast day, with thick foggy cloud and a high of 61F. The sun making a brief appearance mid to late afternoon, brightening the gorgeous fall colors. A lovely half-moon rise though streaky cloud.
Daily Catskills: 09/30/22
Mostly sunny with a gauze of cloud and a high of 62F.
Daily Catskills: 09/28/22
More gloom. Overcast, with a slight chill taking the edge off the humidity and a high of 65F. Misty clouds sail through the valley towing their falling rain.
Daily Catskills: 09/23/22
A chilly, overcast morning, rising to a high of 53F with mostly clear skies, and a strong, chilly breeze stealing the warmth of the sun. Good drying weather.
Catskills Sandwich: Bull & Garland’s Scotch Egg
Behold, the Bull & Garland Scotch Egg. As a native Brit, I have to say, the egg couldn’t be any more authentic than if we were in England, at a pub, enjoying the rain and warm beer. I don’t know how they get the egg to be runny, but it’s a joy to see the hearty, local, orange yolks running over the warm sausage meat. The grainy mustard isn’t even necessary because the dish is delicious all by itself.
Daily Catskills: 04/28/18
A sunny morning filled with hope and enthusiasm, with a high of 65F by afternoon, followed by late afternoon showers and more gloom with brief flashes of sunshine. A vivid, beautiful sunset chased by mist sinking enigmatically into the valleys at dusk.
Daily Catskills: 04/20/18
More overnight snow squalls deposit a few inches of snow. Winter is the party guest that won’t go home, but won’t help with the dishes. He makes himself a cup of coffee and bangs on about how cool he is. True, he was handsome once, and was so photogenic. But someone please put him a taxi. Pay his fare if you have to. 35F by noon with a brisk chill in the air and overcast with cloud rippling like my brain on cabin fever. A high of 37F.
Daily Catskills: 01/11/18
A high of 52F, gloomy all day with the occasional whip of wind and a chorus of tinkling as the snow drips from high places. An anonymous critter’s regular commute back and forth from a large cave into the hemlock stand melts slowly to reveal a trail of crushed ash leaves.
Daily Catskills: 11/03/17
A 55F high, humid and overcast with scattered showers. The landscape turns to thatch. Only the green of the fading grass remains.
Daily Catskills: 08/28/17
A high of 72F and overcast with periods of sunshine. Crisp overnight lows and chilly mornings.
A Pit Stop at The Forsyth
When you have frequent summer guests to your rural home, who come from far and wide, Exit 19 in Kingston on Route 87 is a good pit stop for travelers who are hungry, tired or cranky from the long drive. Stylish, comfortable B&Bs are popping up all over this city, which offers some excellent attractions.
I popped into The Forsyth, a charming and elegant B&B in the historic Rondout area of Kingston, for a look around with owner Tamara. Her friend Allison cooked me a crispy-bottomed, fried, runny, local egg, which I mopped up with a date scone and washed down with a cup of Earl Grey. Local eggs are vividly yellow, sweet and creamy. Rondout, in the city’s waterfront area, has a sophisticated vibe and is walkable with historic landmarks, public art, antique stores and restaurants. The Stockade District, just a brief taxi-ride away from the waterfront, has bars and clubs that will suit your house guests from NYC who need their noisy friday night before they settle in for a country weekend. Continue reading
Daily Catskills: 07/17/17
84F by mid-afternoon with the morning sun disappearing under thick clouds, and a dash of late afternoon thunder. Humid.
Daily Catskills: 06/19/17
Humid and sticky with periods of torrential rain, thunder and flooding throughout the day and throughout the mountains, caused by dense, milky, blue-hued clouds.
Daily Catskills: 06/18/17
86F by mid-afternoon, hot and very humid with periods of sunshine through a veil of cloud, rain showers and a warm breeze. Sunset in the forest.
Daily Catskills: 06/17/17
After a morning of rain: 77F by mid-afternoon with the sun burning through a veil of cloud.
Daily Catskills: 06/04/17
54F by mid-afternoon, gloomy, chilly with continual afternoon rain.
Daily Catskills: 06/03/17
66F by mid-afternoon with a cool breeze and rolling, cotton wool clouds.
Daily Catskills: 05/23/17
69F by mid-afternoon, bright and sunny.
Zephyr’s Chili Bowl
The Zephyr’s Chili on the dinner menu stands out for its lightness, uncharacteristic for a chili bowl, achieved by the addition of sweet, juicy chunks of tomato amongst the beans. You won’t go home with a brick in your stomach, but you’ll have enough fuel for a long walk in the country air, the wet, wet, gloomy country air. I took a couple of bites of the cheesy biscuits, wrapped the rest up in a napkin and ate them later. Where’s spring? Yesterday was warmer at 62F and cloudy with some late afternoon sun. Today: more rain. My seasonal affective disorder is only just held at bay by remembering how low the Catskills reservoirs were last year and how much they need replenishing. Spring has been more of a gastronomical tour around the mountains, ducking into restaurants, sitting at the bar and trying some of the Catskills’ best fare. Try also, Traveler’s White Tea with Hibiscus, (which also goes well as a vodka mixer).
Daily Catskills: 05/08/17
36F at 8.30am with a layer of overnight snow melting in the sun, chilly and overcast with the snow flakes swirling in the wind. 44F by mid-afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 05/07/17
46F by mid-afternoon, humid and overcast with continual misty rain. A good day to forage, harvest, cook and preserve.
Prelude to a Kiss at STS Playhouse
Two years ago, I saw Proof at the STS Playhouse in Phoenicia and it was riveting and engaging. At the time, I called it “remarkable: deeply engrossing, funny with excellent performances from the cast. Proof explores the world of madness and mathematics”. It was a great production, starring Jennifer Paul, Farrell Reynolds, Stephen Powell and Kimberly Kay.
This year the Playhouse is putting on a production of Prelude to a Kiss, by Craig Lucas, directed by Michael Koegel, owner of Mama’s Boy Burgers. You may remember the movie with Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan. Opening night is this weekend, May 5th, running until May 21st. Make a perfect night of it and get early dinner and drinks at nearby Peekamoose Restaurant– the play starts at 8pm.
STS Playhouse, 10 Church Street, Phoenicia, NY. Tickets $20 or $18 for seniors and students. Call 845-688-2279, or click here for more information.
On my jaunts around the neighborhood, I regularly bump into people who love Upstate Dispatch. Last week, a reader told me: “I love the site! I just wish there was more of it”. Me too!
Upstate Dispatch takes hundreds of hours per month to research and write. All of the food and drink you see reviewed here has been paid for, with one exception, and where tickets are sold to local cooking, foraging, writing and art classes, they have been purchased. In the past, when we’ve had contributors, we have paid them. As I a writer, I believe artists and writers should not have to work for free. We are also an advertisement-free site, so we rely on donations.
If you love reading Upstate Dispatch, please consider donating. Future donations will fund a small summer arts and literary studio in the local village for Upstate Dispatch. We want to expand our coverage over the summer, move into the community, and revive the Catskills Conversations series, shedding more light on our local luminaries and their stories.
Lastly, I want to thank our past donors who have expressed their appreciation of Upstate Dispatch in a meaningful way. I’m sincerely and immensely grateful for the love!
Please find our donation page here.
Daily Catskills: 04/07/17
36F at noon: thick mist, rushing rivers, overflowing tributaries, sloppy mud, snow until mid-afternoon. Spring on hold.
Daily Catskills: 04/06/17
38F by 2pm and overcast with persistent heavy rain throughout the day.
Daily Catskills: 04/03/17
49F by noon and cloudy with periods of sunshine warming a nascent landscape.
Daily Catskills: 04/01/17
40F at 9am, ice dripping off trees, melting snow, distant snowcaps.
Daily Catskills: 03/21/17
45F at 8.30am and 51F by mid-afternoon, humid, with large piles of snow trickling into rivers, ditches and gullies.
Upstate Dispatch in NYC
We’re proud to announce that a framed Daily Catskills print will be offered in a Silent Auction and Art Exhibition at The Emerson in Brooklyn this Saturday organized by Melissa Irwin. It’s a privilege to be able to use this medium to raise money for charity. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Planned Parenthood, a 100-year-old institution that provides reproductive health services and cancer screening for millions of people every year. It was “founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams”.
Daily Catskills: 03/20/17
44F at 1pm with faint wisps of cloud and brilliant sunshine reflected off the snow.
Daily Catskills: 03/19/17
46F by mid-afternoon, brilliant sunshine, two feet of soft snow acts as a giant pillow for lounging in the sun.
Catskills Sandwich: Mean Green Burger of Windham
Half a pound of Angus beef served with either fries or salad; it’s the jalapeno mayonnaise sauce that gives this juicy burger a hearty kick to the palate with melted smoked gouda cheese, sliced dill pickles and lettuce. The bun is also up to the challenge, remaining steadfast despite the onslaught of sauce, which will run over and douse the perfectly cooked fries: crispy outer shell and fluffy potato within and possibly the best fries in the Catskills (along with the steak fries at Boiceville Inn). The Mean Green from Catskill Mountain Country Store and Restaurant is wholly delicious.
Daily Catskills: 03/12/17
18F by 1pm, sunny with more skin-peeling, freeze-dried hands, thundering winds.
Catskills Sandwich: Bread Alone’s Banh Mi
Bread Alone’s Banh Mi sandwich on their signature health bread, although it usually comes on a baguette: pulled pork with kimchee that’s the perfect balance between salty and spicy: juicy and delicious. The health bread is coated with seeds, thick and chewy without being dry like other thick whole wheat breads.
Weekend Links: 02/23/17
Weekend camping resets the body clock, says the BBC.
Saturday February 25th: A group reading of Macbeth with beer at Reynolds & Reynolds in Woodstock.
Cosmik Ice Cream, maker of freeze-dried ice cream that will never melt, visits Woodchuck Lodge. In these temperatures, nothing is melting up here, but for us trustees of Woodchuck Lodge, this is lovely publicity.
Governor Cuomo pledges $8 million in state funds for Belleayre Ski Resort.
Woodstock Farm Festival looking for vendors.
The Catskills’ own Lisbeth Firmin’s talk “Painting and Prints” on March 17th at William & Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in North Carolina.
Catskill Center is accepting applications for the Platte Clove Artist in Residence Program.
Daily Catskills: 02/18/17
A balmy 62F by mid-afternoon, hot in the bright sunshine with cobweb clouds. Snow dripping from trees like a very slow shower.
New Local Cheese
Spillian hosted a cheese tasting last Saturday for friends and neighbors who took a first look at Two Stones Farm’s new batch of cheese. I wrote an extensive account of Alan and Robin White’s Two Stones Farm in Halcottsville over a year ago in a piece entitled The Fine Art of Cultivation, which you can read here. The White’s farm is its own ecosystem and they are breeding goats that will eventually be perfect for the Catskills climate and terrain. The goats live in barn that’s heated by manure and are protected by two self-sufficient guardian dogs who have been known to fish out of the river: a fascinating place and worth a visit. From the goats’ milk, they are now making cheese.This delicious local cheese is produced naturally without synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Alan wanted to supplement the goat’s milk with cow’s milk, but was obliged to obtain the milk in multiple plastic bottles and because he didn’t want to put all that plastic back in the environment, he bought a cow. Presently, they produce soft cheese like a feta and a chevre, plus two types of tomme and a gouda-style cheese without the wax coating.
Daily Catskills: 02/15/17
37F by 2pm with persistent snow flurries.
Daily Catskills: 02/12/17
29F by mid-afternoon with snow all day. Whiteout.
Recipe: Golden Milk
All the things I love and consume regularly like caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and sugar all take a toll on the body; this is especially so if you’re obsessed with tea and have to drink it around the clock. I love a hot toddy or mulled port in the evening by the fire, but If you’re looking for a fragrant winter beverage that is healthful and tasty, try Golden Milk, which I discovered last week at an event at Spillian, where Liza Belle was simmering a pot of the milk on the stove while teaching a group how to make fire cider. This milk will provide a comforting winter warmer with some seriously beneficial ingredients, sweetened with maple syrup, which you can find at presently bustling sap houses all over the region.
2 cups of coconut milk, oat or almond milk
1 tablespoon of grated turmeric root
2 tablespoons of grated, fresh ginger root
I tablespoon of powdered turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Mix together all the ingredients in a pan and gently bring to the boil while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Simmer gently on a low boil for about twenty minutes while stirring.
By all accounts, turmeric appears to be one of those miracle foods like Manuka honey or raw cranberry. I know a family member devoted to The People’s Pharmacy who swears by turmeric for burns. In fact, years ago she looked up a remedy for burns online and was instructed to put a popular brand of mustard on a severe burn and cover the area with a bandage. Hours later all traces of the burn were gone and it wasn’t until years later she discovered it was the turmeric used to color the mustard that worked the magic. I have a friend who is drinking turmeric beverages every morning and reports that her memory seems to be improving. A quick search of WebMD reveals that the spice is “believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anticancer properties” and “several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation”. An ancient Indian recipe calls for turmeric and honey in warm milk for cold symptoms and that’s worked for me in the past.
Powdered herbs and spices will keep for a while, but if you want to keep the actual roots of ginger and turmeric but don’t use them that often, you can store them in the freezer and grate them directly into the recipe while you’re preparing a dish. The grated root will thaw immediately once in a warm soup, sauce or drink but won’t be overcooked.
Daily Catskills: 02/09/17
18F by 1pm with a foot-deep blanket of overnight snow and high winds kicking up the powder into a misty spray.
A Village Idiom: The Local Library
A decent portion of my formative years was spent in the local library where, due to being English born in the seventies, my innocence was cruelly shattered by George Orwell. I don’t think Orwell or Golding is on the syllabus for eleven year olds these days, but for a sensitive soul like myself, the novels 1984 and Animal Farm ruined my taste for literature thereafter, but just being in a library now feels like home. My mother was an avid reader and our weekly trips to the library I will never forget, but sadly I don’t remember reading anything after being assaulted by Lord of the Flies, except for a feeble attempt at some Jane Austen and a lot of Oscar Wilde. Thanks to George, I switched to non-fiction.