Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York — in the foothills of the Berkshires ... visit website

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Impromptu Dinner for Guests at the Icebound Inn

The Inn at Green River normally caters to adults seeking a quiet, romantic getaway, but in the winter ski season, there are often families with "well behaved" children staying at the Inn. This Martin Luther King Day weekend was no exception.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn't in the mood to cooperate and today's snow and ice ruined the skiing for 9 guests who came home soaking wet from sitting on the chair lift in the pouring rain! And to add insult to injury, no one dared drive out on the icy roads this evening to enjoy dinner at one of our great area restaurants.

Thankfully, I had bought provisions to try a tomato soup I found on Ree Drummond's blog, The Pioneer Woman, and tonight this recipe saved the day, err, night. What could be better on a winter's night than tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, particularly when the soup is made from scratch? Click here for the Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons recipe.

So what started as a disappointment, turned into a fun evening. My two 12 year old young ladies, who had never met before, bonded over setting the table, pouring the ice water, making the cheese croutons, and serving the bowls of soup to their families.

Nothing like a minor crisis to encourage camaraderie!

And the evening ended with the kids having a great time playing Monopoly in the living room, while the parents got to relax. And the Innkeeper didn't have to worry about guests driving on icy roads.

I hope the new found friends convince their parents to plan another ski weekend at the Inn at Green River!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cheese Making Classes at Cricket Creek Farm

I love cheese! Who doesn't? 

Photo Courtesy Cricket Creek Farm

Photo Courtesy Cricket Creek Farm

And given my bed and breakfast's location in New York's upper Hudson Valley, in the foot hills of the Berkshires, I have access to many local, artisanal cheeses.

One of my favorite local cheese producers is Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, Massachustts, just 45 minutes up the road from my Inn. Below is a screen shot of their website. Look at that gorgeous location in the Berkshire mountains.

Photo Courtesy of Cricket Creek Farm

I first tasted their cheeses at the spring fair at the Berkshire Botanical Garden several years ago. They were making grilled cheese sandwiches with Maggie's Round, the cheese in the photo above, and their Tobasi. Delicious! I was hooked. They also attend some of the local farmer's markets with their cheeses made from the milk produced by their grass fed herd of cows.

You have a chance to see their operations and try your hand at cheese making in one of their cheese making classes, The first 2015 class is scheduled for Sunday, January 25th, from 9-3 pm. The cost is $40. As you will be there all day, it is a pot luck, ie, bring some food to share for lunch. They promise a "full behind the scenes tour"!

Photo Courtesy Cricket Creek Farm

So book a room at the Inn over the weekend, enjoy some skiing, perhaps snow shoeing at Furnace Brook Winery (and wine tasting of course) and I will get you out the door early with a Continental breakfast to go for the 9 am class on Sunday morning.

Cricket Creek Farm is located at 1255 Oblong Road, Williamstown, MA 01267, 413-458-5888. Email them at info@cricketcreekfarm.com to register for this class.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Great Theater this Fall in the Berkshires

Even though the hustle and bustle of the summer season is behind us, here in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, great theater continues. Why not combine a little leaf peeping with an evening of live theater at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, just half an hour from my Hillsdale, NY bed and breakfast, the Inn at Green River. The leaves are just beginning to change!

They have a fun show, "Character Man", starting tonight, September 18th. The Barrington Stage

Art used with permission, Barrington Stage Co.

website describes this as a "musical memoir celebrating the Golden Age of the American Musical." The show stars Drama Desk Award winner, Jim Brochu, and salutes popular character actors and musical stars of Broadway, including Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Charles Nelson Riley, and Jackie Gleason. I certainly remember all these wonderful actors, do you?

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg
The New York Times describes it as "A blend of cabaret, theater and scrapbook...walks down memory lane are rarely so entertaining." And The New Yorker weighs in with "Brochu is a terrific storyteller, and a fine singer, too."

Barrington Stage shows routinely wow the critics, so don't miss it. The show runs September 18-28, 2014, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 pm. The venue is the St. Germain Stage, at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA. Ticket prices start at $40.

Friday, September 12, 2014

World Class Music at the Hillsdale Grange

This Saturday, September 13, 2014, at 7:30 pm, the Hillsdale Grange, just 4 miles down the road from my Hudson Valley bed and breakfast, the Inn at Green River, is definitely the place to be!

Well known musicians will be performing chamber music there as part of the Leaf Peeper Concert series, which has been presented here in Columbia County each fall by Clarion Concerts for the last 33 years. Violinist Sanford Allen has been the music director of the series since 1996.

Mr. Allen began studying the violin at age 7, and entered the Juilliard School of Music at age 10. He was the first black musician ever to become a regular member of the New York Philharmonic, playing with the orchestra from 1962 - 1977. For a complete biography, see the Clarion Concert's website.

This Saturday's concert will introduce Music Director Designate, acclaimed flutist, Eugenia Zukerman, who will take over from Mr. Allen when he retires later this fall. Ms. Zukerman has also enjoyed a distinguished career as an orchestral soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. For her complete biography, see her website.

Photo Credit: Angela Jimenez
This Saturday's concert features works by C.P.E. Bach, Mozart and Leon for violin, cello and viola.

The concert will be held in a classic Greek Revival building which was a Grange. For those of you who did not grow up in small farming communities and are not familiar with this term, The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was an association of farmers founded just after the Civil War. For more on this interesting movement go to this site.

To steal a famous lyric, this Saturday, the Hillsdale "hills will be alive with the sound of music"! Don't miss this concert.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deals for early risers at Catamount Aerial Adventure Park

Here's a little known insider's deal. After a scrumptious breakfast at the Inn at Green River, head down the Route 22 valley for a morning of fun at the Catamount Aerial Adventure Park, a pretty 15 minute drive from the Inn. Arrive by 10 am, and you save $10 on your ticket.

Photo Courtesy Catamount Aerial Adventure Park

Check the FAQ page of Catamount's website to help you plan your day at the Park and answer any questions you may have about this fun outing. Catamount is situated on the border of New York and Massachusetts, in the beautiful Berkshires. The Park offers 12 self guided trails of varying degrees of difficulty.

Photo Courtesy Catamount Aerial Adventure Park

And, the Inn offers a mid week package...stay two nights midweek in the romantic Thorsden (shown in photo below) or Merrill rooms, and we will include the cost of one adult ticket. But hurry, the forest aerial adventure park closes for the season October 26th, 2014.

Photo by Jumping Rocks

Monday, June 30, 2014

Free Tours at Edna St. Vincent Millay's Steepletop in July

Saturday, July 10, 2014, all are invited to the official grand opening of the new visitors center at Tamarack Cottage, on the grounds of Steepletop, the home of Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Photo Courtesy Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop
Having read the fascinating biography of Millay, "Savage Beauty" by author Nancy Milford, of "Zelda" fame, I think this is a photo of Edna and her sister, Norma, who started the Millay Colony, an artist's retreat that exists on the grounds of the large Steepletop estate.

Cover of "Savage Beauty" available at Amazon
My bed and breakfast, the Inn at Green River, often hosts artists who come for month long retreats at the Millay Colony, but then need a weekend away from the seclusion to visit with family and loved ones. The Millay Colony on the grounds of Steepletop is just 3.5 miles up Route 22 from the Inn, in Austerlitz, NY.

The Saturday afternoon celebration of the opening of the new visitors center promises to be a fun afternoon with open house tours, guided walks through the gardens, food and drink, and more. The event starts at 12 noon, and is free to the public.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Folk Singer Ani DiFranco at the Mahaiwe

There is still time to purchase tickets and plan your trip to the delightful town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts to hear folksinger Ani DiFranco perform, this coming Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Photo Courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

And if you can't make it this coming weekend, at least listen to a little of her music.

But if you can hop in the car and enjoy a weekend away in the beautiful Berkshires, tickets are still available and range in price from $29 to $79, and there isn't a bad seat in the house in this wonderful, historic theater.

And of course, you should book your stay at the Inn at Green River at the same time! We are just 15 minutes up a quiet country road from the Mahaiwe. Hope to see you in May.