SUMMER CALENDAR • DOUBLE H RANCH • COMMUNITY PROFILE • PICKY EATERS • MY MOM STYLE
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Letter from the Editor I’m a self proclaimed “Saratoga nerd”, I just love everything about this place, especially in the summer. Between the track and polo my horse loving heart is content and there are countless things to do around town throughout the whole summer. This year is a special one for our beautiful city with the Saratoga 150 Celebration to commemorate 150 years of racing at the Saratoga Race Course. Families can take part in the historic Floral Fete parade down Broadway and the Ice Cream Social will be open to the entire community with live music, Stewart’s ice cream and some good old fashioned family fun. As part of the Saratoga 150 focus on history in this issue, I wanted to choose a local company that had a community focus and a long history in town and the Adirondack Trust Company was an absolute perfect fit. It was such a pleasure to sit down with Charles V. Wait and his son Charles, Jr. and to hear their memories of growing up in Saratoga. You’ll have to check out the story on them in this issue to read the funny story about why Charles was kicked out of the 100th celebration… This summer we also have a pretty spectacular line up at SPAC for families this summer, with Family Nights on the lawn, MOMIX Botanica, the NYC Ballet, and Farm Aid just to mention a few, aren’t we lucky to have SPAC in our backyard?! Add in The Children’s Museum at Saratoga’s Big Truck Day, some fab GE Kids in Free Days, local County Fairs and you
have the makings for a glorious family summer. Take some time to bike as a family, have the kiddos learn how to cook at Healthy Living Market and Cafe, and catch up with your favorite coparents. I’ve picked out my summer faves and you’ll meet the Pool Mom and the Sporty Mom in this issue as well as one very stylish Saratogian in the My Mom Style section. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped me put this big giant issue together, especially Jake Van Ness, graphic designer extraordinaire, and Kelli Lovdahl, my incredibly talented photographer, you two are the best. And a big thank you to YOU, my lovely readers. You have no idea how much I adore putting this together for you, and it is always so fun to meet you guys out and about all over town at events, the ice cream aisle at the grocery store, or the waiting room at Pediatric Dentistry of Glens Falls. I love you guys, and I hope you all have a fantastic summer. See you at the track!
xoxo - Jenny On the cover: (l-r) Finn, Jack, Leven and Ella On Finn: Vintage Brooks Brothers On Jack: Hat from Embrace the Race On Leven: Vintage Hat & Dress by Monday’s Child On Ella: J. Crew Photograph by Kelli Lovdahl
Jenny Witte CEO & Founder
Jake Van Ness Creative Director
Kelli Lovdahl Photographer
Hunter & Luna Canine Therapists
Mamatoga, LLC Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org 4 | MAMATOGA Summer 2013
FEATURES SUMMER 2013
Summer at Double H 10 Pick Your Party 26 Community Profile 30 Saratoga Springboard 42 Work Life Balance 48 Thanks but No Thanks 56
SUMMER CALENDAR • DOUBLE H RANCH • COMMUNITY PROFILE • PICKY EATERS • MY MOM STYLE
Cover photo by Kelli Lovdahl
TABLE Picnic Picks Picky Eaters
PLAY Track Snaps 8 Family That Bikes Together 16 Adventures in Co-Parenting 18 Saratoga Polo Two Ways 52 Stuff I Love 54 Toms Style Your Sole 58 Family That Bikes Together 16
HEALTH Don’t Get Burned
STYLE Felted Friends 22 Make Mine a Monogram My Mom Style 39 Pool Mom 44 Sporty Mom 46
SCHOOL Ask the Expert
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
C O N T R I B U T O R S
Katie Nemer - Katie is a Toga mama to Jackson (11), Zoe (2), baby Preston and Cocoa (the family lab). She and her husband, Josh, are huge fans of Saratoga and of Mamatoga magazine. Julie Cox is Jackson’s stepmom and Katie’s Co-author for their column, “Adventures in Co-Parenting”. Together they share their story about the many benefits, challenges, and humorous events that arise when sharing a child between two houses.
Jake Van Ness - Jake is a graphic designer and print specialist, with 12 years of experience, who grew up in Saratoga Springs. His business Prepressology (www.prepressology.com) is responsible for the Mamatoga brand design and keeping the Mamatoga.com website running smoothly. Jake is the creative involved with the design and layout of Mamatoga magazine.
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Kara Scieszka is a mother of two and the founder of Olive Naturally, LLC (www.olivenaturally. com). She’s passionate about nature, clean eating, healthy living and giving back. Kara is also an active member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition working to change federal laws and regulations related to skincare and food products.
Julie Cox - Julie is a proud working mother to Jackson (10) and Declan (2) and baby Beckett. She spends her days teaching high school English here in Saratoga Springs and her nights cooking dinner, battling toddler bedtime, helping with math homework, and even attempting to crack open a good book now and then.
Kelli Lovdahl - Photographer Kelli has always enjoyed working with children and loves their happy and carefree nature. She decided that the perfect job would be a child photographer – combining her love for kids with her creative side. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Photography at the College of Saint Rose.
Amber Osterhout - A creative director / artist / mom, Amber created Obsessivision in hopes of inspiring others through design, craft, photography, food, and more. She loves being home with her little ones while pursuing her artistic passions.
C O N T R I B U T O R S
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SUMMER at Double H Ranch By Kimberly Checchia
wenty years ago the Double H Ranch, located in Lake Luzerne, NY was created from the vision of just two men and has now grown to include year-round programming that annually serves over 2,000 children and their families dealing with a life-threatening illness. The Double H continues to be a demonstration of the commitment and generosity of philanthropist Charles R. Wood and actor Paul Newman. The Double H provides a Summer Residential Camp, an Adaptive Winter Sports Program, and Spring and Fall Family Programming. All programs are, and always will be, FREE of charge to campers and their families. Many children are precluded from attending summer camp due to the seriousness of their illness. Double H Ranch is able to provide a safe experience for each child because doctors and nurses are on site 24 hours a day, a staffed and equipped medical facility and a close relationship with Albany Medical Center. Children with the following diagnoses fill the camp with joy and laughter each year: Cancer, Sickle Cell Anemia, Hemophilia/Bleeding Disorders, HIV/Immune Disorders, Collagen Vascular Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Neuromuscular Disorders, and Mitochondrial Disorders.
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Each summer session lasts 6 days and accommodates approximately 115 campers with a camper to staff ratio of 2:1. The fully equipped medical facility allows the Double H to provide a physically safe camp experience for all children. Campers participate in typical summer camp activities including Arts & Crafts, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, archery and a high ropes course. All activities are adapted to fit the needs of each child. The program staff and counselors work to ensure all activities and events are inclusive for all children. Over the years the Double H has provided children with the fundamental values of acceptance, absolute integrity, hope, and trust as well as the simple joys of childhood. Through the dedication of its Board, staff, volunteers and donors, thereâ€™s no telling how many lives the Double H can touch and how many memories it can inspire as it continues to keep the promise that the Double H Ranch will be here forever. Because of the financial toll that falls upon families dealing with childhood illness, all of the Double H Ranch programs are FREE of charge. Contributions from individuals, corporations, organizations and foundations fund operating costs. The Double H also is proud of the continued success
of the special events it hosts: Annual Gala – June 28th at the Great Escape, Camp Challenge Cycling Ride or 5k Trail Run – September 7th, and various other events throughout the year. Mamatoga spoke to two families about the impact the Double H Ranch summer program has had on their lives and the lives of their children. “Double H is truly a magical place for kids who might otherwise not be able to attend camp. The minute you drive into the parking lot you are greeted with cheers and applause… smiles everywhere. The positive energy is amazing. The kids are able to have fun adventures such as ziplining, archery and horseback riding. These are activities that the majority of the kids (like my daughter who is an amputee) would never be able to do. The counselors, nurses and professionals are all specifically trained to make it happen and to keep the kids safe. As a parent knowing you can safely drop your child off with incredible counselors and volunteers is such a gift. These people are there just to give the children a week full of amazing memories, new friends and love and you know they will be safe.” –Shelly Shinebarger
â€œChildren with severe and life-threatening disabilities face many challenges everyday of their lives. Summer camp is NOT one of them! Thanks to the heartfelt efforts of numerous volunteers, staff and supporters, whose love and generosity make the magic of Double H possible. Double H is not just important to campers, like our sons Peter and Phillip, but to the families and caregivers. Caring for two sons with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Autism is a 24/7 job. While it is one that we accept with open arms and hearts, the 5 days the boys spend at camp allow mom and dad to recharge our batteries. Seeing all the happy, smiling campers when we drop the boys off is the start of the recharge. The biggest boost, though, is on the night of the talent show when we get to see ours sons for the first time since dropping them off. Talent night is fun for the campers and a night that families get to see all the excitement their children have had that week. Double H volunteers make lifelong friendships with the campers and
families and we enjoy that most of all. We donâ€™t just welcome them as friends but as a member of our family.â€? â€“Alex and Tina Frolish For more information on the Programs offered at the Double H or to view the Events Calendar please visit www.doublehranch.org or call 518.696.5676. M
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Ask the Expert Why An Integrated Preschool May Be The Right Choice For Your Child By Andrew F. McKenzie Executive Director Newmeadow
reschools—as the name implies—are designed to prepare children for school, most notably kindergarten. Integrated preschools, in addition, place emphasis on life beyond school. There are many good reasons to consider an integrated preschool for your child, whether he or she is challenged with a developmental disability or developing typically. Following are among our top reasons why we at Newmeadow believe you should consider an integrated preschool for your child.
Benefits for Children with Special Needs Children learn from one another. Children with special needs benefit greatly from playing, learning, and socializing with other children. Children developing typically offer good examples of age appropriate behavior and learning pace. They contribute to an environment where all children are learning while forming friendships with one another. At the same time, children developing typically can serve as role models as children with special needs have the opportunity to observe and interact accordingly. It is important to note that while not all children developing typically continuously display appropriate behavior, these children do in fact display the full range of anticipated preschool behaviors, allowing for appropriate measures of progress and development for all children involved.
needs in the classroom. In other words, children developing typically benefit from a behavior rich environment where appropriate behavior is reinforced and “rooted” and where inappropriate behavior is ignored and redirected. This type of learning situation effectively allows all children the opportunity to learn to make good choices while navigating and managing their environment. No less important, children developing typically have unique opportunities in an integrated setting to learn tolerance, experience diversity and develop empathy for persons with differing abilities. As preschool aged children are learning to work through their own internal distractions, they are simultaneously learning to cope with external distractions generated by others. All this while children learn what they have in common as well as what differentiates them. There is great value in the observation of others overcoming challenges and obstacles to learning. Through these experiences, children can form empathy that includes understanding, respect and appreciation.
Benefits for Children Developing Typically
Benefits for All Children
An integrated preschool can also offer benefits for children developing typically. These children have access to the same behavioral expertise that is in place for children with special
Unique to the integrated preschool setting is the enriched environment created by the many related service professionals who are there to support children with special
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needs. These services can include speech and language as well as motor development and behavioral improvement. Although these services are often conducted in a therapy room, all have the goal of being addressed in the child’s natural learning environment such as the classroom, the playground or the bus port. Each environment, therefore, is enriched by highly trained and educated professionals who serve, by their very presence, as a resource and role model to the teachers and aides working in the classroom. As many of these therapy sessions are provided as “push-in” opportunities within the natural environment, this allows all children to benefit from various group activities designed to support the child or children needing the service. Some integrated preschools also include applied behavioral analysis (ABA) with their approach. When used most effectively, ABA is a part of the special and general educational opportunity. In brief, it is good education. For example, at Newmeadow, a preschool with sites in Malta and Queensbury, New York, the school’s Bridges ABA program permeates all aspects of the child’s day. At its core, Bridges ABA creates a generalized environment where children are not presented with the opportunity to fail, but rather the means for success in everything that they do. It is a positive approach that effectively ignores behavior impeding growth and redirects children to behavior that promotes learning and personal development. It is an approach that exists in every aspect of the children’s day whether in the classroom, on the playground or transitioning in the hallways. Bridges ABA is a method of continuously presenting better and best choices for children to help them achieve success in the classroom and with life in general.
a source of great reward. After all, meeting the needs of each student in any classroom requires adapting the activity according to each child, more challenged here by intensity and degree. With this challenge, however, comes additional resource that along with sound preparation, creates a wonderful learning environment, perhaps second-to-none.
The information for this column was provided by Newmeadow an integrated preschool serving children with autism and other special needs with sites in Malta and Queensbury, New York. For more information, visit Newmeadow online at www. newmeadow.org and Facebook.com/newmeadowschool M
PERSONALIZED WATERPROOF LABELS
Challenges to Teaching in an Integrated Setting There are also unique challenges to teaching in an integrated setting. Teachers must shape each activity to reach and address the needs of multiple learning ranges and individual learning pace. Teachers often find such challenges to be
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THE FAMILY THAT BIKES TOGETHER... 1
3 2 1. Public D8i - 2013 Bicycle $1095 www.publicbikes.com 2. Public Basket $60 www.publicbikes.com 3. Child D-Shape, Pink Nantucket Bike Basket $35 nantucketbikebaskets.com
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4. Lightship Adult Classic, Natural Nantucket Bike Basket $50 nantucketbikebaskets.com 5. Dring Dring Baby on Board Bike Bell $24 www.dringdring.ca 6. Handlebar Flower Vase $12 www.publicbikes.com
7. Lazer Street Deluxe Helmets $55 www.modernbike.com 8. Bike Seat Covers $12 www.publicbikes.com 9. Yepp Mini Front Bicycle Child Carrier $160 www.rei.com
Adventures in Co-Parenting
By Julie Cox and Katie Nemer
o-parents tend to get caught up with what’s going on right now- who has the children this weekend, where will they be for the upcoming holiday, where on earth their backpack disappeared to. And to be honest, we convince ourselves that we will only have to carry on our interactions with each other for eighteen years; that after the kids toss their caps into the air, it’s safe to bid a fond farewell and metaphorically wash our hands of each other. But really, we all need to face the music. While the emails will slow down and scheduling their weeks down to the minute will cease, many things will continue. The holidays will be split, we will see each other at various milestone functions, and we will continue to be a part of each other’s lives for, well, ever. We all know people whose separated parents cannot even breathe the same air, thus making weddings, graduations, and other big events a virtual mine field for the adult children. How co-parents deal with each other not just now, but for years and years in the future, can have profound effects on the children whether they’re five or thirty-five. Here’s a question for you: if asked to describe the relationship between their parents, how would you want your children to answer?
Katie: In May of 2007, I donned the long black cloak, straightened my flat black cap and tossed back my tassel. It was finally my college graduation, and what a long road
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I had traveled to get there. At the last minute I grabbed one very important spectator out of the stands and asked him to hold my hand, as this tried and true traveler had not ventured alone. Adorable, brightly blue-eyed Jackson, five-years-old at the time, proudly accompanied his mom across the stage that morning, and what a truly meaningful walk it was. After the ceremony I took a long look at Jackson, a glimpse in time still fresh in my memory. Teary eyed, I suddenly pictured him as an eighteen-year-old guy in his own cap and gown striding across his own graduation stage. Despite the soaring egotistical coma I was entering, there was one astonishing fact about this future event that suddenly hit me like a truck: when that happens, I will most likely be sitting right next to his dad, my ex, JT. And the tears began to flow even faster. Would I really still have to share special moments like this with my ex even thirteen years from now? Would he really be at Jackson’s wedding? And in the hospital for the birth of my first grandchild? We didn’t have the worst relationship in the world, but we were still a long way away from being anything resembling friends. I was already deeply resenting the fact that I would have to share these special “big days” with him. I felt the anger brewing as I played out various scenarios, admittedly some more Sopranos-esque than others, trying to figure out a way to keep Jackson – the child version and the adult version – to myself.
When I saw JT later that day, he was extremely kind. I could tell immediately that he was genuinely excited that Jackson’s mom had just finished college and had even taken the time to get me a card. And to think, just a few hours earlier while I was I mentally “disappearing” him a la Tony Soprano, he was walking the aisles of Hallmark to find the perfect “Congrats Grad” card for me. It was so incredibly thoughtful and at that moment I made a mental note to do the same for him the next time something exciting happened in his life. The other mental note I made: stop watching HBO. So let’s be honest. Ten years ago when Jackson’s dad and I parted ways, there was no formal conversation like, “Hey, let’s be friends and have our future hypothetical spouses be friends, too. Oh and let’s attend each others’ weddings and buy special gifts for each others’ future hypothetical children.” Our friendship did not happen overnight; it took many, many small but meaningful gestures over a long period of time. Eventually I think we both realized that the
more positive those interactions were, the better we both felt. It was important to us that Jackson saw his parents getting along. So for us, the calculation is simple- have more of these positive experiences and interactions, and have them more often. Julie: I was waiting for him on the corner and I’ll admit it, I was nervous. It was the first time we were going to be somewhere alone together and I was worried that it would be awkward. He texted, “On my way,” and my heart started thumping. What would people think of us? We were unlikely companions that night, but it had to happen. Someone had to go to Jackson’s second grade open house and if it couldn’t be his parents, well, his step-parents – both of us – would have to suffice. Katie’s husband, Josh, and I attended that open house together because our spouses – Jackson’s parents – both had important meetings that night. It was a lovely fall evening and we rendezvoused on the corner, excited to meet our
little guy’s teacher and see his classroom, but harboring slight trepidation about how this was going to go. I had just moved to Saratoga and my role as a stepmother was still in the larval stage. This was going to be interesting. As expected, we did get a couple of confused looks. Introductions took a bit longer than usual. Yup, I’m the stepmother and he’s the stepfather (pause to let that sink in…wait for lightbulb…and there it is). We did get many kind comments along the lines of, “Oh how nice it is you all get along so well.” I suppose that’s mostly because it’s just not socially acceptable to blurt out, “For real? That’s just straight-up crazy!” And as I sat there on Jackson’s tiny, tennis-ball-cushioned chair I knew that this was our moment. Josh pulled up a chair next to me and we sat there, shoulder-to-shoulder, as the teacher described upcoming field trips and homework expectations. We both penciled our own “Have a great day, buddy!” notes on yellow lined paper for him to find in the morning and that was it. We
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had done it. We could check “attend open house night with your spouse’s ex’s spouse” off of the co-parenting bucket list. As Josh and I parted ways on the same corner where we’d met just an hour before, we smiled, did a little mental highfive and wished each other a good night. It had been a big step for us as Jackson’s step-parents, both alone and together, and even at that point, we knew that inevitably, situations like this will surface again. I walked away and couldn’t help but think about the future. Of the smaller, but still important future events like open houses that any available combination of Jackson’s four parents would be sure to attend. And of the grander milestones farther down the line like Jackson’s graduation and wedding. What a great feeling it is to know that we’re all going to be there, passing around the Kleenex and standing shoulder-toshoulder, supporting our wonderful shared boy. Our conclusion: As we move forward in the world of coparenting, we must remember that at every special occasion, big or small, our behavior is put on display for our kids. Every single interaction is an opportunity to show the kids we respect each other, and becomes a step towards building a more positive relationship. When you have a baby, they are your baby for life, thus making their mother or father and their chosen spouse permanent members of your life, like it or not, forever. The children will notice the interactions you have and will carry those memories with them into adulthood. So how do you want your kids to describe your relationship? That you can’t even be in the same time zone? That they worry about offending one when with the other? That they despise each other with the fire of a thousand suns? Or how about this: Yeah, my parents aren’t together, but they’re cool with each other. (**you can totally take this out if you want!**) If you enjoyed reading about our Adventures in Co-Parenting and want to see more, you can follow us on Facebook or check out our website at www.adventuresincoparenting.com! M
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in 7 simple steps!
When I was pregnant with my first child, the search for a nursery chandelier left me underwhelmed. When I did find one that caught my eye, the price tag caused my jaw to drop. I knew I had high expectations but that was no reason to break the bank. After weeks of failing to find the nursery’s “wow factor”, I decided to do what I do best. Create it myself.
1) Shade Selection Select a lampshade in need of an upgrade, or one hiding in storage.
To see the finished chandelier and the rest of Amber’s custom-made nursery decor, visit: www.obsessivision.com/projects/the-nursery/
5) Sketching Sketch each shape onto your felt. A light box will allow you to trace each shape with ease.
Enjoy Free Shipping on all products in Amber’s Etsy shop during the month of July. Use code JJULY2013 during check out. Limited to shipping within the US.
As featured on The Honest Co. blog, April 2013
2) Felt Selection
4) Choosing a Theme
A thicker felt will allow for ease when cutting and molding your shapes.
Pen or pencil to sketch shapes, a pair of sharp scissors to cut, and a strong fabric glue.
Choose a theme with enough recognizable shapes. Alternate sizes to create interest.
7) Affixing Shapes
I suggest sketching & cutting about 5 to 6 shapes at a time. This way you can decide on the best arrangement before selecting which shape (and at what size) to sketch next.
Apply a tiny dab of glue to the center of your shape, press firmly onto your shade, repeat.
A creative director / artist / mom, Amber created Obsessivision in hopes of inspiring others through design, craft, photography, food, and more. She loves being home with her little ones while pursuing her artistic passions.
Inspiring creativity as far as the eye can see
OBSESSIVISION For project updates & specials: facebook.com/obsessivision For questions or for commissioned work: email@example.com www.Mamatoga.com
Don’t Get Burned By Kara Scieszka
ummer is here! Who doesn’t want to be outside? For most, summer equals tons of fun in the sun, but it’s important to make sure your family’s not getting too much of a good thing. Sun can be damaging to our skin at any time of the year, but it is especially important during the summer months to practice proper sun protection. I get a lot of questions from Moms asking about safe & effective sun protection for children so I thought I’d share a few here:
UVA, UVB, SPF. What do they mean? Reading a sunscreen label can be intimidating and confusing. Here are some things you should know… There are two different types of ultra violet (UV) rays associated with sun damage, UVA and UVB. Both have very different effects on our skin. UVB rays can damage the top layers of your skin, and are the cause of sunburn. UVA rays, on the other hand, can reach the deeper layers of your skin and cause long term damage, like wrinkles and skin cancer. Sunscreens labeled “Broad Spectrum” mean that they have been tested to successfully block both UVA & UVB rays. SPF means sun protection factor. Whether you want a little (SPF 15) or a lot (SPF 50), protection is the name of the game. For infants and children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF, which will filter out about 97% of the sun’s
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ultraviolet rays. Most people don’t realize it, but it is still possible to get sunburned even when it is cloudy. If you are going to be swimming or participating in outdoor sports, make sure your sunscreen is “water-resistant”. (The term “water-proof ” is no longer permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), since no sunscreen is truly waterproof.) Water-resistant sunscreens are specifically formulated to be thicker to protect your skin during heavier activities. However, for every day trips to the park it is okay to use a lighter lotion-based, (non water-resistant) sunscreen. Whichever type you are using, be sure to reapply your sunscreen as recommended on the label. How does sunscreen actually work, and what are the effects on my skin? Listed on your sunscreen’s label will be the active ingredient(s) that block the sun’s UV rays protecting you from sun damage. There are two types of active ingredients found in sunscreen: chemical and mineral. Chemical ingredients (such as dioxybenzone or oxybenzone) are molecular in size and are made to soak into your skin to absorb UV radiation. Natural mineral ingredients (like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) create a physical barrier on the top of your skin to reflect and absorb UV rays before they can cause your skin harm.
A few important things to note: Natural mineral sunscreens are much less toxic than chemical sunscreens and do not accumulate inside the body. According to the FDA, zinc oxide is the only sunscreen ingredient that gives “extensive protection” against both UVA and UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens have actually been shown to mimic estrogen and have been linked to hormonal imbalances. They can also cause skin irritation too.
old, you should use a natural mineral based (non-chemical) sunscreen. Be sure to look for brands that use “non-nano” sized zinc particles (greater than 100 nanometers).
My baby is less than six months old, is sunscreen safe?
Kara Scieszka is a mother of two and the founder of Olive Naturally, LLC (www.olivenaturally.com). She’s passionate about nature, clean eating, healthy living and giving back. Kara is also an active member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition working to change federal laws and regulations related to skincare and food products. M
An infant’s skin is extremely thin and delicate. It is important to keep them out of the direct sun as much as you can. If you will be outdoors, dress your baby in lightweight clothing that covers most of the skin and use a hat that covers their head, face, ears and neck. Try to keep them in the shade as much as possible. The AAP states if exposure to the sun is unavoidable and your baby is less than 6 months
Teaching your children about the importance of sun protection will help them stay healthy for a lifetime. It only takes a few serious sunburns to increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.
Apply your sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors or swimming. Don’t forget ears, lips, back of the neck and tops of the feet!
Reapply your sunscreen as recommended, especially if your child is swimming or sweating. Even “water-resistant” sunscreens only protect for up to 40 minutes and sunscreen rubs off when toweling dry.
Limit your sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. when rays are most damaging.
Remember to be a good example for your children by following the same practices pra yourself!
Pickyour Party with
arty planning isn’t really my forte, so when Levy asked for a Tea Party for her 5th birthday I immediately thought of Jessica Herberger from Experience Events and Design in Saratoga Springs. All of the parties she does are handmade and custom, the result being a stylish birthday party that everyone (parents too!) can enjoy. I wanted a space with a classic, vintage garden party feel and the sunroom at McGregor Links Country Club was perfect. The sunlight poured through the widows and we had more than enough space for all of the kids.
“I don’t think there is any difference between planning a well designed child party and a well designed cocktail party-you need stylish decor, personal touches, well thought out details,” explained Jessica. Working with Jessica couldn’t be easier. Clients just come to her with a general concept: tea party, princess, Lego, etc. and from there they work out all the decor, details, and activities. “Because we are an event planning company as well as a design company we can offer as little or as much help as the client desires. We can find location, food, manage the party, or we can just make it look great and leave you to it!”
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“With any party I design I start by asking questionswhat are your child’s favorite playthings, food, or clothes and then I just let the idea sit for a day or two-inspiration always strikes!”
“We always include creative activities for the kids, a timeline of when to do what and of course creative and stylish decor. For Lev’s party we went with a vintage tea party concept-we pulled vintage silver tea pots from our collection added pops of pink with flowers and then included the favors in the table design-pressed glass tea cups can be found at any consignment shop & the adorable tea bags were from Etsy (etsy shop: circlestreet).” With any party Jessica designs she starts by asking questions. “What are your child’s favorite playthings, food, or clothes, and then I just let the idea sit for a day or two-inspiration always strikes! I love to take things that you already have and repurpose them, like Grandmother’s tea pots, it is the easiest way to add character to a design.” The next time you need help planning a party, look up Jessica and Experience Events. I guarantee you’ll be in very capable, and stylish, hands. M Photos courtesy of Ashley Brown Photography
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Community ProямБle THE
ADIRONDACK TRUST COMPANY
by Jenny Witte
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hop local is one of my mantras, and I try to support our local businesses as much as I can. It’s pretty easy when you have so many great options like we have here, and we also have an amazing local bank as well. Founded in 1901 by State Senator Edgar T. Brackett, Adirondack Trust Company has played a large role in transforming our city from a small “boom and bust” town into the thriving city we have today. Even better? It’s family run, another aspect I absolutely love, and the ownership has remained local since the bank was founded. I recently got a chance to sit down with chairman, president and CEO of The Adirondack Trust Co. Charles V. Wait and his son Charles, Jr. to talk about the bank and the impact it has had on our community. Joining the bank in 1974, Charles V. Wait took an active role in the city’s 1974 “Plan of Action,” which responded to competition from the first shopping centers with a wellconceived downtown revitalization; within three years, a formal historic preservation movement was also in place.
Charles chaired the Saratoga Springs Plan of Action and the Saratoga Springs Convention Center Committees. He also was the first chairman of both the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority and the Saratoga Springs Special Assessment District. Charles V. Wait’s father, Pete Wait, served as the president before him, and during his tenure it became an accepted fact that the major projects in Saratoga Springs were supported, and often led, by the bank. When his son succeeded him as president in 1984, he continued this philosophy. “Two things my father was always fond of saying have stood out in my mind. First, he always said a bank can’t be successful if the community it is in is a failure. So I’ve always kept that in mind. The second was, to leave a place better than how you found it. And I think those two things, from a philosophical point of view, have always been the guiding light of this bank,” said Charles V. Wait.
Fund, established in 2009 to serve as a perpetual source of philanthropic support for the needs of local charities. Whether providing funds for human service organizations, youth development, the arts and other cultural groups, or facilitating your unique philanthropic interests, The ATC Community Fund is a way to help support local nonprofits. The ATC Community Fund is the only local organization in the Saratoga and Warren Counties and the surrounding region to offer donor advised funds that provide the ability to give to multiple charities in the community with a single tax-deductible donation. Last year the Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund announced that the Advisory Committee had awarded grants totaling $10,300 to eight local non-profit organizations, including Saratoga Sponsor a Scholar and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY.
Charles V. Wait
Charles Wait Jr.
Charles Wait Jr. moved back to Saratoga Springs after working in law in New York City. The hours in the city were rigorous, but Charles enjoyed the pro-bono work he did because it gave him a chance to be in contact with his clients. He and his wife Natalie, also an attorney, decided to move back to the area to give themselves more time to get involved in the community they were living in. “It just made sense to me to come work for the bank, because I knew there I could get a sense of community, I could interact with clients on a day to day basis,” explained Charles Jr. It is exactly this sense of community that is a driving force behind The Adirondack Trust Company Community
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Adirondack Trust is also one of the founding members and sponsors of the Saratoga 150 Celebration this summer and Charles V. Wait serves as the Chairman of the Saratoga 150 Committee. Charles’ previous experience with the city’s historical celebrations isn’t exactly stellar however. During the 100th Celebration in Saratoga Springs, Charles was a young Boy Scout, whose troop was in charge of running the barbecue chicken table on Broadway for the duration of the celebration. The lure of the barbecue was too strong though, and Charles’ troop was fired from their post after eating more chicken than they were selling. Let’s hope this year Charles isn’t in charge of any refreshment stands. Recently, Adirondack Trust Company announced that it was recently named to the national Top 200 Community Bank list, in part because of its continued commitment to dedicated customer service and the bank’s commitment to our community. Each day, every single transaction is as important as the first one when the bank opened its doors for business on January 2, 1902. Truly one of the building blocks of our beautiful city, when you think about shopping and supporting local, think Adirondack Trust Company. M
pickmeup reusable cloth napkins www.pickmeupnapkins.ca
klean kanteen stainless steel water bottles at Healthy Living Market and CafĂŠ in Saratoga Springs
evergreen four person picnic blanket www.target.com
top picnic picks
evergreen summer melamine serving bowl with bamboo lid www.target.com
itâ€™s not paper! reusable melamine plates www.bibelotshops.com
eco-gecko birch wood cutlery biodegradable and compostable www.eco-gecko.com
MAKE MINE a MONOGRAM 1
These classic bows are personalized with a full name and 4. middle name (if preferred) and make an absolutely adorable style statement. www.etsy.com/shop/bbwhimsy $8 5. What could make a pair of TOMS better? A monogram of course! Get yours monogrammed at Nordstrom. www.nordstrom.com $53 6. Add your initials to these tortoiseshell sunglasses to make them truly your own. The gold blends so well with the tortoiseshell but also stands out just enough. www.thepinkmonogram $28
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How cute is this monogrammed Derby hat? And at only $29.99 you can get two! www.marleylilly.com These letter pillows from Serena and Lily are the sweetest shower gift. www.serenaandlily.com $58 This great overnight bag is full of Saratoga style and was made even more chic with a hand painted monogram. Get the bag and the monogram from Silverwood Home & Gallery. A local artist can handpaint a monogram onto many different items. Stop in to see what they have to offer.
PICKY EATERS Kids in the Kitchen at Healthy Living Market and Café
s parents, we all know that sometimes the magic trick to getting your kids to try new things is to have someone besides you introduce it to them. This trick worked like a charm at the Kids in the Kitchen class we took at Healthy Living Market and Café with Shannon Beckwith, the Learning Center Instructor. Shannon has a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and a degree in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz, a winning combination for teaching even the pickiest eaters about cooking and food. “Being a mom gives me a great perspective in my profession. I have three daughters and despite my culinary background, my oldest child ate nothing but buttered noodles for longer than I’d like to admit. I also understand the obstacles in the way of putting a come cooked, nutritious meal on the table. It’s difficult, but not impossible and it’s incredibly important,” explained Shannon. “I love meeting all sorts of really great, funny, creative kids. My favorite moments are when kids try a food they’ve never had before. It’s great
if they like it, but trying new foods in the first place is so empowering. I also love how energetic and enthusiastic children are about cooking. They can’t wait to roll up their sleeves and get to work.”
For our class the kids made tacos using some local ingredients like greens from Kilpatrick Family Farm. Shannon chatted with the kids about what ingredients they were going to use and where the food comes from, talking about the farms and how food is grown. “My teaching philosophy is to introduce and connect children with the food they eat and where it comes from,” said Shannon. “Teaching children to cook and the importance of healthy eating increases the chance they will become more nutritiously aware adults. Cooking crosses many curricular areas including Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies. I emphasize these in age appropriate ways in each class. Mostly I want children to understand that food nourishes not only our bodies, but also our minds and our souls.” Miraculously, the kids all tried something new during the class. Shannon put bowls of beet chips, veggies and cheese from Argyle Cheese Factory on the table and the kids had
free range to sample as they liked. They loved putting their tacos together, especially the fact that they got to customize their lunch themselves, sprinkling an extra bit of cheese on or adding an extra dollop of guacamole, proudly showing off their plates to Shannon. We’ve been back a few times already since our first class and each time the kids have added a new food to their “approved” list, based solely on trying it there with Shannon. What I love about it is that the class has turned into a lasting tool for me to continue to introduce new foods, and I’ve copied Shannon’s low pressure approach to getting them to try new things with success. Two thumbs up from my Picky Eaters, I guarantee your kids will learn something new and try something new in the kitchen with Shannon. Classes start at age 3, find out more on their website at www.healthylivingmarket.com/saratoga/. M
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My Mom Style
Shane Williams-Ness Besides being one of my favorite people, Shane Williams-Ness is the Chief Marketing & Development Officer at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, wife of Jamie and mom to Addie. Here is her Mom Style.
Q: What is your go-to-outfit for weekdays? What are some of your favorite brands for your clothes?
to have a lot of money to look sharp.” For work shirts I stick with Brooks Brothers or J. Crew.
A: I’ve always loved the pencil skirt look with a crisp shirt
Quality fabrics and clothes made for a women’s body are important to me so more and more of the CAbi line of clothing are added each season for work.
(Thomas Pink used to be a real treat in a past life) so I’m wearing a lot of J-Crew pencil skirts right now, mostly pin striped or plain navy. Let’s face facts, I’m hippy, and I know it, but deep down I feel like the pencil skirt makes me stand a little taller and helps me forget the hippiness. That and a well-ironed shirt. During high school I used to work for Janet Vito Boutique in Lake George and she taught me how to properly iron a shirt and how important it was above all else in fashion, to look pressed! She would always say to me, “Pressed shirts and good posture dear, you don’t need
Q: What is the most worn item in your closet? A: For a long time it is definitely a boat-neck, black shift
dress from a “classic line, super on sale” Banana Republic and a pair of fake pearls from Talbots a hundred years ago. I feel like it’s the only thing I wear but I adore super, simple, classic (SOLID) dresses. Again, reference above hip action. www.Mamatoga.com
Nordstrom’s has some great sale shoes so I’ve recently bought some simple, black wedges that I can wear to work. Espadrille wedges are great for summer and with all the walking I do around SPAC, they stay surprisingly comfortable.
Q: What are your favorite brands for kids’ clothes? A: Without question, it’s anything our very generous
cousins, Lanie and Josie send us from Denver. We almost never buy Addie new clothes because we receive a huge box of hand-me-downs each month. What she needs for Forest Kindergarten each year is serious outdoor wear that I think is imported from the outer reaches of Northern Canada. The girl could do the Newport-Bermuda Race with that gear. But of what we do receive, Hannah Anderson are our favorite PJ’s and they last forever, Polarn O. Pyret (on sale) and the non-sparkly stuff from Target.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant for family dinners? Favorite spot for a date night dinner? A:
Wow. Seriously tough question. We feel so incredibly lucky to live in this town with so many amazing choices, so anytime the budget allows a night out, we try to frequent a variety of our restaurants. But Addie really loves Forno because she adores Mick and Mama Theresa and the good olive oil with her bread. One of the waitresses, Jessica, always finds Addie a mini cocktail fork that she likes to use to eat her buttered pasta. It’s the little things that make all the difference.
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Date Night: If Jamie and I have a babysitter and I’m not working at night, it always used to be The Beekman Street Bistro but now it’s a mix of Henry Street Taproom, Max London’s and most recently The Brook Tavern. One of the reasons we were attracted to our sort of crumbling down house is because we could walk everywhere and we love that we can be in almost all of these places on foot and within 10 minutes. Again. GREAT town. Love this town.
What are some of your favorite shops?
What is your favorite local kids activity?
I’m not making this up when I say that some of our best Christmases are when all of our family have given us only local Saratoga gifts. They asked where we liked to shop downtown and we gave them a name and they just googled and called them. It was fabulous. Our family lives in Denver, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, Greenwich, CT, Lake George, etc., and one year they all found gifts in our local shops. So we definitely love to support, with sincere enthusiasm, our local shops. So… Putnam Wine & Market, Paper Dolls, Silverwood Gallery, Torso, the Saratoga Farmers Market, Allderdice Gift Shop (great holiday gifts and pressies, always) and almost weekly, G. Wilikers.
Addie grew up in Congress Park and loves the Carousel; we also are members and big fans of The Children’s Museum and the Children’s Section of the Library – as well as a VOTER in just about every Library election. We are so appreciative of all the open space that surrounds Saratoga
and the trails that has been invested in—so Bog Meadow Trail and Railroad Run are fun and safe and fun. But honestly, we love just walking down Broadway and getting a “vanilla steam” at Uncommon and saying hi to friends we see along the way. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the AWESOME Family Nights during SPAC’s Classical Season… thank you GE for keeping Kids in Free.
Q: What is your favorite Saratoga Event? A: We try to focus on evens that can include Addie. We like to support our local Chamber and Convention and Toursim efforts like The Victorian Street Walk and things actually generate sincere revenue for our local stores and restaurants. I’d also say that some of our favorite Saratoga Events are things like the Palio Race and The Cantina Kids Fun Run, and Jamie certainly appreciates some of the newer events like Beer Week! Very. Much. M
Myrtle Street Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C.
Charles Lasky, MD
Amy Knoeller, MD
Carolyn Slatch, MD
Amos Cutler, MD
Terri Jones-Kingman, NP Kelly Goldenberg, CNM
Katja Bock, MD
Eliot Birnbaum, MD Dympna Weil, MD
Ruthann Aurentz, NP
Preconception & Infertility Counseling High Risk Pregnancy Care • Contraception Counseling Menopause Management • In-Office Ultrasound & Laboratory Osteoporosis Care • In-Office Endometrial Ablation Urodynamics Testing & Treatment for Incontinence
59 Myrtle Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • 2105 Ellsworth Boulevard, Malta, NY 12020 518.587.2400 • www.myrtlestobgyn.com www.Mamatoga.com
Have you met saratoga springboard? empowering non-profits to reach new heights By Betsy Boland, Alysa Arnold and Jess Updyke
hen people find themselves in need, they can turn to nonprofit organizations for help. When those same nonprofits need help, where can they turn? To Saratoga Springboard, of course! Saratoga Springboard is a group of energetic professionals improving the quality of life in the greater Saratoga region by supporting local non-profit organizations. Through fundraising events, community outreach, or volunteer coordination, Saratoga Springboard fills a variety of needs for the organizations it serves, upholding Saratoga’s distinctiveness as a culturally rich, dynamic community. Saratoga Springboard’s roots are in a volunteer group called The Steeplechasers, whose members worked together from 2003-2008 to raise funds for one of Saratoga’s most beautiful community gems, Universal Preservation Hall. The group was responsible for raising more than $150,000 through the creation of fun, innovative, and exciting fundraising and outreach projects highlighting the Hall. Recognizing that budget constrains often make it difficult for grassroots organizations to acquire the funding, technological assistance and help they need to reach
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their goals. the Steeplechasers welcomed an opportunity to expand their reach to support other local non-profits . Through this desire, they developed Saratoga Springboard. Saratoga Springboard selects one organization annually to support, with fundraising events, community outreach, board engagement or volunteer coordination. Some nonprofits find themselves scrambling to keep up. That’s where Saratoga Springboard’s expertise comes in. The group consists of involved community members who work in a range of fields, including website and software development, marketing and public relations, social media, fundraising, design, writing and economic development. Saratoga Springboard is a creative group of progressive thinkers who want to help this unique community continue to flourish. Previous projects include assisting the historic Caffe Lena with the celebration of their 50th Anniversary and a fundraiser to honor 50 great years. The group pulled together a community open house with a day filled with music, children’s activities, readings and food. Saratoga Springboard’s next project was working with Franklin Community Center in support of awareness raising and funds for Project Lift, an after-school program for at-risk youth. Saratoga Springboard created a unique fundraiser
that highlighted the talents of local experts and gave guests the opportunity to learn from those experts through classes. Last year, Saratoga Springboard proudly partnered with the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation to help save and restore the Spirit of Life Statue in Congress Park sculpted by Daniel Chestesr French. This statue is a memorial to noted philanthropist and community advocate, Spencer Trask, whose values in life aligned perfectly with the goals and mission of Springboard. Collectively, Saratoga Springboard raised over $70,000 in support of these organizations, and raised awareness of the important work that they do, And each organization has successfully replicated the projects that Saratoga Springboard started for them, allowing them to continue to raise funds for themselves.
nonprofit that helps other nonprofits. Saratoga Springboard will be accepting applications for the 2013-2014 project through August 9th. To get the latest news and information, visit us at: www.saratogaspringboard.com. Like us on Facebook/ SaratogaSpringboard and follow us on Twitter @ saratogaspringb. For more information about Saratoga Springboard, please contact Betsy Boland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.207.6188 or Alysa Arnold at email@example.com or 518-429-8680. M
This year the organization benefiting from Springboardâ€™s support is Saratoga Mentoring Program, which matches caring adult volunteers with children, ages 5-15, from challenging life circumstances. Mentors and kids spend a few hours together on a regular basis, building a friendship and having fun. Most are from single parent families and many donâ€™t have the chance to experience the rich cultural life of Saratoga Springs due to limited family resources. Mentors are there to listen, guide and be a friend. Having a mentor gives a child a positive role model, provides some new experiences, and helps the child to develop a sense of the future. Springboard is thrilled to be partnering with an organization that has such a direct impact on the lives of children in Saratogaâ€Ś children who need this kind of support in order to flourish. There are several ways to partner with Saratoga Mentoring, for more information, visit their website at: http:// saratogamentoring.org/ Saratoga Springs has one of the most effective philanthropic communities, thanks to the dedication of nonprofit professionals and generous funding from corporations, foundations, and private citizens. If you would like to see your donation dollars reach as many organizations as possible, consider making a donation to a
POOL MOM Mom Style Files
Natural Habitat: McGregor Links Country Club, Victoria Pool, Peerless Pool, Saratoga Golf and Polo Club
Overheard during a Pool Mom conversation: “Go ahead honey! I’m watching, wow GREAT cannonball sweetie!” “Wait, wait, I didn’t get sunscreen on your face!” “Did you read Sisterland yet? You can borrow my copy.”
Classic Pool Mom Move Blame the Lifeguard: “If you do that again, the lifeguard is going to make us leave...”
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In the Pool Mom Bag •
three canisters of spray sunscreen: one that works, one that is full but doesn’t spray for some reason, one that is empty and has been for a while
a waterlogged copy of US magazine
two naked Barbie dolls who “like to swim”
assorted pairs of children’s underwear
a completely flattened granola bar
Mom Style Files
Natural Habitat: Baby Bootcamp Saratoga Springs, Hot Yoga Saratoga, Reform Pilates, The YMCA
Sporty Mom Icon Kelly Ripa
Overheard during a Sporty Mom conversation: “I read somewhere last night that one glass of wine is equal to 150 burpees” “Did you register for the Tough Mudder yet?” “So if I have the baby in June it will be totally doable to run the NYC Marathon in November, right?” “I had the BEST Paleo shrimp dish last night, I’ll give you the recipe” “Are my yoga pants see through?” 46 | MAMATOGA Summer 2013
In the Sporty Mom Diaper Bag:
fifteen hair ties
toddler sized Keens
wrinkled number bib from the last 10k
WORK LIFE is there such a thing as
By Jenny Witte
t this moment, as I write this, Jack (16 months old) is standing on the table (his favorite thing to do), drawing with a pen on a Lowe’s coupon thingie that we got in the mail today. Finn (6 years old) is playing Legos and Levy is watching TV. Sure, it’s gorgeous out, but we spent a ton of time at Finn’s class picnic and mommy (me) needs to get some work done. Yesterday, because of work, I left the house at 10:30am and got home at 9pm, seeing the kids for a grand total of two hours, give or take. I got up early to work so we could go to Finn’s class picnic, and now here I am, working. And I will be working again tonight. I’ve committed to no less than three events tomorrow, most of which will involve the kids, but still. My head starts to swim.
the back after putting all the laundry away and making sure we have enough groceries and everyone is sleeping soundly in their little beds. Because it’s hard.
Welcome to my insanity.
I’m a bad mom for having to skip baseball because I have to cover a gala for work. I feel like a bad mom when I’m running out the door and Levy says “You have to go to a meeting AGAIN?!”. I’m a bad mom when I let them play the iPad for juuuuust a little while longer so I can get some projects finished. I’m a bad mom because I don’t have TIME to stop and appreciate the little moments every time they pop up. I just don’t. I wish I did right now, but that’s not the case. And like many of you, I don’t like to be reminded that OMG IT GOES BY SO FAST YOU’RE GOING TO
There are some days when I have it all together, really there are. I’m firing on all mom cylinders and I remember the right t-shirt for field day (and it’s CLEAN!!), I remember what time t-ball practice is and actually get there on time, I answer emails, respond to texts from friends in a timely manner, feed the kids healthy food and have enough clean underwear for the whole family and we have plentiful diaper and toilet paper supply. I sometimes pat myself on
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Then there are days where I have NO idea where Finn’s t-ball shirt is, we’ve eaten pizza more than twice in the week, Jack is still wearing his pajamas at noon and the laundry is threatening to take over my bed. These are the days where my emails pile up, the work gets overwhelming, and I run out of time. I run out of energy. I just run out. Sean said recently my new catchphrase should be “My phone just died”. Because it does, pretty much every day, because I’m on it, A LOT. And I feel bad about that. And I feel like a BAD MOM.
MISS THIS WHEN THEY’RE OLDER. An article I come across often is something usually titled “Finding a Work/Life Balance as a Mom”. I’m here to tell you, there is no balance. And if you’re trying to find one, give up. When people ask me how I juggle everything I tell them I just keep going, and that’s all there is to it. Some days, some weeks, I get to spend more time with the kids. Some weeks are more work focused. Sometimes my juggling act fails miserably. I get home way past bedtime and kiss their hot sleepy foreheads. The book I was supposed to read on the floor next to the bed. The laundry I still haven’t put away getting wrinklier in the basket by the minute. Appointments I have to cancel, bike rides I get to watch the beginning of as I drive away… I’m lucky in the fact that I have incredible support from Sean, who is there to whip up dinner, throw the soccer uniform in the wash, play Chinese Checkers, build forts and do movie nights. I’m lucky he’s a hands on Dad that throws himself in there and gets the jobs done. I’m lucky I have my mom close by to babysit, to help lend a hand when I have a crazy photo shoot schedule or there are two games or practices in one day and I have an event I have to cover. I’m very lucky. I try to carve out time no matter what to be there for them, but there will always be times I am going to miss things. T-ball games. Ballet lessons. Birthday parties, oh SO many birthday parties we have missed, either because I forgot the date or we had something else going on. When you’re in the mix, just go with it. And you know what? You are a good mom. You are. Don’t worry about the things you might miss, don’t worry about making a mistake or not being there as much as you’d like. Don’t worry if you’re plopping them down in front of the TV with the iPad because you need ten minutes to just THINK STRAIGHT. Don’t worry.
trips for weeks sometimes. But you know what? I love them both so much, and I don’t think about the time we didn’t get to spend together when I was a child. What stands out in my mind are the times we were together. And I think that is what my kids will remember too. I’m a busy mom, for sure, but I’m a loving mom, and that cancels out the busy. To finish up, as Jack literally tries to pull me off my chair to play blocks with him, I just want to say that even though balance is hard to find, I want to send out my support, my “You Can Do It!!!!” rah rah cheerleader vibes if anyone else is having one of those days. You love your kids, you have bad days, you have good ones, and the love will come through no matter what. Hang in there moms, I will do the same. xoxo M
Imagine, Explore, Discover! The Beagle School is a preschool for 2, 3, and 4 year olds, located in Saratoga Springs, NY. We have limited openings in our summer and fall 2013 programs. Please call 587-7507 for more information. www.beagleschool.com Be sure to like us on Facebook.
Both of my parents worked full time when I was growing up, and my dad was often out of the country on business
125th Birthday Bash! Family YMCA of the Glens Falls Area from 6-9:45pm FREE at Crandall Park in Glens Falls. Fireworks, a big-screen outdoor movie, Radio Disney games and giveaways, bounce houses and more! Rain date is Thursday, July 25th.
Saratoga Race Course Opening Day
10:00–11:30am Preschool Chefs: S’more Tarts, S’more GO! with Go Kids at Healthy Living Market and Café in Saratoga Springs. This class will take the campfire indoors (not literally, of course) and show kids how to dress up the classic summer s’more with a simple tart shell and a drizzle of chocolate.
Kulture for Kidz Summer Series starts at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs from 10am-12pm. This free program highlights a different book and activity each week! For more information call (518) 584-2225.
Start of the 172nd Saratoga County Fair at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. Runs through July 21st.
Grand Opening Smartearly Learning Centers Clifton Park 39 Fire Road in Clifton Park from 9am to 5pm. SmartEarly offers a BEST-INClass child care and early education experience. Stop by and see why every child deserves to be SmartEarly! For more information call 518-406-2434.
GE Kids in Free Days at the Americanarama Festival of Music at Saratoga Performing Arts Center with Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and special guest Ryan. For more information call 518-792-3856.
10:00am–12:30pm Preschool Chefs: Eat, Cook, Learn…GO! with Go Kids at Healthy Living Market and Café. The popular Eat, Cook, Learn! series gets a boost of energy from local kids’ exercise outfit Go Kids.
STUFF TO DO
Saratoga Race Course Open House featuring a free concert with Disney Channel Star Zendaya
ut to o l l Pu ur o y n put o ge! frid
1:30 pm Farm Aid Music and Food Festival at SPAC Tickets Tickets go on sale June 28 through Ticketmaster and at the SPAC box office; ticket prices range from $45 (lawn); inside seating from $65 to $150. Artists Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews. Additional artists
Saratoga Style Your Sole TOMS Painting Party at Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio on Henry Street in Saratoga Springs. Our 2nd TOMS Painting Party featuring special door prizes! To register call the studio at (518) 584-8244.
Momix Botanica at SPAC The fantastical, multi-media artistry of MOMIX, the celebrated troupe of dancer illusionists will present its production of Botanica to create spellbinding, larger-than-life images from the natural world with tumbling, magic, fire flies, Sparkles on Stilts, illuminated balloons and whimsical glow-in-the-dark face painting.
1 august The Children’s Museum at Saratoga’s Big Truck Day from 10am to 2pm at Maple Avenue Middle School, 515 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs. Over a dozen different trucks – from firetrucks and construction vehicles to busses and big rigs – will fill the parking lot of the school. Kids can visit vehicles, “test drive” and meet those that drive them. For info 584-5540.
The Apparel for the Horse Racing Lifestyle
www.embracetherace.com or call 518 580 4500
Available at National Museum of Racing , EMBRACE THE RACE® Boutique (located at 12 Circular Street in downtown Saratoga Springs — just off Broadway across from the Holiday Inn and Historic Congress Park) and other fine retailers.
Live it. Wear it. Share it.
provide The Apparel for the Horse Racing Lifestyle® for enthusiasts the world around.
EMBRACE THE RACE® is proud to
The Horse Racing Lifestyle® beckons the bold with a style and spirit all its own.
embrace The Style.
Floral Fete Promenade - A Saratoga 150 Signature Event at 7:30pm. In honor of the Saratoga 150 celebration, The parade will go down Broadway to Congress Park with vintage automobiles, floats, and floral decorated bicycles and more. The whole community is invited to the Ice Cream Social in Congress Park after the Parade!
Saratoga Polo Two Ways Clubhouse & Tailgating Photos courtesy of Image Photo & Events
The Saratoga Polo Association summer season kicks off on July 12th this year and it is a fantastic family night out OR a great date night! There are matches Friday and Sunday nights at the polo grounds. Polo can be done two ways, on the tailgating side or the clubhouse side. Here are my top tips for enjoying polo at the historic Saratoga Polo Association!
Mamatoga’s Tips For the Clubhouse Side:
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The Clubhouse has a full dinner and drinks menu, so come hungry and thirsty! Old Daley Inn and Catering does a great job and you get your meal delivered right to your seat.
People do dress up for polo on the Clubhouse side, anything from a more casual sundress and flats to a great dress and a hat. For men just a polo shirt and shorts and pants is fine, but I love to have fun with it and dress up a little!
You can also reserve tables at the Clubhouse for a special event like a birthday or friends visiting, plus it even comes complete with the traditional sabrage of a champagne bottle (where you pop the cork with a sword)!
For the Tailgating Side: •
Bring sunglasses for the whole family, for both sides of the field.
Wear flats or wedges, you don’t want your heels getting caught during divot stomping time!
You can bring all kinds of food on the tailgating side, as well as folding tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc. Make yourself at home! You are not permitted to bring alcohol, but there is a drinks cart in case you feel like having a little drink field side.
Get there early if you can, spots on the tailgating side can fill up FAST, especially on big match days. The gates open at 4pm so you can come on in, set up and relax before the match starts.
Bring a soccer ball or a football for the kids to toss around. There are usually a few impromptu games going on with the kids in the area behind where the cars are parked.
They have Porta Potties on the tailgating side so you don’t have to hoof it to the clubhouse with the little ones.
The tailgating side is totally casual, come as you are!
Everyone is welcome to come over from the tailgating side for the winner’s presentation at the end of the match so come on over and congratulate the winning team!
Visit Saratoga Polo Association online at www.saratogapolo.com for complete schedule and to purchase tickets.
STUFF I LOVE 1 2 3
Finn is so ready for these Light Saber Ice Pop Molds $34.99 www.thinkgeek.com Where were these when I was a little girl? Obsessed! Merfin and Merlegs $49-$89 www.mahinamermaid.com My must have piece for the summer Gas Bijoux Scarab bracelet Prices vary, Saratoga Trunk www.saratogatrunk.com
The most glam you can get in a goggle, Levy got some for her birthday and she thinks they are the coolest Bling2O Goggles G. Willikers www.gwillikerstoys.com
Just like the “Fashion Plates” from growing up! I saw these at G Willikers and had to get one for Lev Pocket Fashion Designer G. Willikers www.gwillikerstoys.com
Salt Water Sandals, as durable as they are adorable. $35 www.zappos.com
The next time the kids ask to play my phone I’m handing them one of these. iWoody iPhone $18 www.anthropologie.com
This sturdy, durable tote is not only really cute, it also holds everything you need for the kiddos. Embrace the Race tote $60 www.embracetherace.com
3 5 4 2
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here is something magical that happens when a woman becomes pregnant. No, not the obvious “I’m growing a human inside me” part, rather the part where complete strangers feel it is appropriate to tell you pretty much whatever they think about you, your pregnancy, and how you should raise your children. I use the term “advice” pretty loosely here, because most of what people tell you is anything but.
Don’t get me wrong, before you label me ungrateful, I understand that a lot of people want to offer advice to be helpful and considerate. And quite possibly, even those people who don’t say it in the nicest way may still be coming from a place of helpfulness. But at the same time, it can sting when you are on the receiving end of a little piece of “advice” that is just downright irritating. I had someone once tell me that I needed to get my baby on a schedule, that by doing that it would solve the problems of not getting enough sleep and the baby would sleep through the night. Great! A schedule! I had never thought of that before, what a novel idea! Now, was there any follow up advice on just HOW to accomplish this task? No. This is a classic example of “Drive By Advice”. Usually coming from a stranger but not always, the Drive By Advice giver usually breezes by, notices one thing, makes a comment and then leaves without giving you the chance to respond. They usually have zero idea of what the situation was even in the moments before they decided to stick their face right in your business. For example, a stranger walked by me one day in early spring, Jack was in his sling, she took one look at him and goes “That baby should have socks on”. Socks? What are these socks you speak of ? Oh wait, these two little things I have balled up in my hand that he continues to get off his feet somehow? Oh that’s right, but thanks for the “advice” helpful stranger. Another stranger walked by me in the park and said “He’s in that sling wrong”. Did she perhaps follow this up with some handy instructions? No she did not. And I am probably STILL doing it wrong.
It starts early on, usually with the speculation of whether you are having a boy or a girl. I had someone once tell me that I was “Definitely having a girl because your butt has gotten so much bigger”. That made me feel pretty awesome. But it doesn’t stop there. People, nay, STRANGERS, will willingly tell you the full details of their birth stories designed to help, saying things like “Make sure you get an epidural whatever you do” or “I went through (insert crazy amount of hours here) of labor with no drugs and only munched on ice chips and meditated”.
Once the baby arrives the advice comes from pretty much every direction in a deluge. Some of it is actually pretty helpful. Some of it, not so much. Advice on what, and when, you should be feeding your baby seems like a universal thing that people feel comfortable to comment on. I’ve had people comment on me feeding a baby with a bottle, me nursing a baby while wearing a sling (why yes, girl in Target, I WAS breastfeeding my baby under that sling, but he also could have been sleeping, same exact position). People want to let you know if it is too soon, too late, too much, too little, not the right food, not hot enough or cold enough.
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Then there is the Braggy Advice Giver. The Bragger wants to let you know two things, the first being You Are Doing It Wrong and the second being I Know This Because I Did It Better Than You. It’s a pretty fun combination and can come from anyone- strangers, family members, friends. I had a friend tell me I shouldn’t use a breast pump because it would negatively affect my milk supply. She then went on to explain that she never used one and successfully nursed her baby for over a year. Kudos to her, but I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling her that unfortunately the business meeting I was going to wasn’t progressive enough to let me nurse my baby at and therefore I needed to leave my milk for him at home. I didn’t explain this because her need was filled, she wanted to brag a little about her accomplishment, so I let her. Annoying though? Certainly. I once found myself without baby wipes and Jack clearly in need of a diaper change in a major way. Definitely a rookie mistake but there was another mom right next to me, changing her baby. I laughed and said “Can you believe I forgot wipes? Do you have one I can use?” She looked at me without smiling and said “Baby wipes are full of chemicals, I wouldn’t put them on my child’s skin”. So, is that a no then? I’ll admit I stared at her blankly for a second with my hand still out expecting a baby wipe because I was pretty sure she was joking, but after I realized she wasn’t I improvised with a paper towel, which was really fun.
Then you’ve got the Time Traveler. The Time Traveler gives you advice you could have used like a year ago. The one who says “Ooh, you didn’t use the BPA free bottles? Well I’m sure he’ll be fine” or “Well I had a birth plan and was really firm about it and everything went really smoothly”. Yeah I had a birth plan too helpful friend, and it didn’t include having major abdominal surgery, but I got a healthy baby out of it so it’s all good. But hey, thanks! The fellow preschool mom who says “You really shouldn’t put those swim diapers on until right before they go swimming because they leak”. Gee thanks, now any advice on how to camouflage this giant pee stain all over the front of my shirt? All of that aside, there are people who truly do give you some great advice about raising kids. Sometimes those people happen to be strangers, sometimes they are a dear friend. They are the ones who will give their advice when asked, who will come over and help you put that crazy sling on the right way and teach you how to use the new baby monitor. They will be the ones who can commiserate and give advice at the same time over a glass of wine while having a few laughs. My piece of advice? Unless you truly believe you are going to actually help the person, just keep it to yourself. And thanks! M
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summer is forâ€Ś fireflies watermelon skinned knees sleepovers toasting marshmallows fireworks ice pops sweet corn slip and slides bike rides dandelions camping out baseball games bare feet wet hair picnics water balloons berry picking cool lakes long days memories love xoxo
farm • market • home • restaurant
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Letter from the Editor I’ve always thought of myself as a wannabe farmer and a foodie by association, with two parents who both grew up on farms and a Chef brother who cut his cooking teeth making me omelets growing up. One of my fondest memories from childhood is losing my first tooth on a freshly picked ear of sweet corn grown on my grandparents’ farm and I’ve had a love affair with fresh local food, grown and prepared in an honest way, ever since. This past year I had a few people ask me if I would consider doing a culinary magazine, and once I started toying with the idea I couldn’t believe there wasn’t one already. Here in Saratoga, buying and eating local couldn’t be easier, with the farmers markets and restaurants that practice a farm to table philosophy you have your pick of the bounty. We even have our own chapter of Slow Food that holds monthly dinners (www.slowfoodsaratoga. com). So I set out to create the first farm to table magazine for Saratoga and found so much support along the way. Deanna Fox, an absolutely lovely and charming person through and through, was an incredible help, and I of course had to enlist the Saratoga Food Fanatic (Ashley Dingeman) as well. Daniel Berman from the incredible Fussy Little Blog shared his Wine and Food festival experience with us so you can make your experience better, and Patty Novo gave me some new favorite rosés just in time for summer. Bob Lee, just a consummate class act as always opened the doors of Brook Tavern for us and Chef Patrick Longton did not disappoint. Jasper Alexander gave us a sneak peek recipe
from his upcoming cookbook, and Robin and Matt Dalton hosted the perfect porch wine tasting. I think maybe our farm to table dinner with Rory Moran and his beautiful wife Lucy was one of the highlights. Jamie and Shane Williams-Ness graciously hosted and our dinner went into the wee hours over much conversation, Thirsty Owl wine and Rory’s incredible dishes. I cannot wait for the next one… I hope you enjoy reading Saratoga Tables as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. I kept on joking how “difficult” it was to have to visit all these restaurants and farms and sample everything they had to offer (like when we popped in to Henry Street Taproom to take some photos and just HAD to try the cheese board as well). My only complaint was that there were so many stories I wanted to do and not enough room, so stay tuned for more from Saratoga Tables, and enjoy!
Jenny Witte CEO & Founder
Jake Van Ness Creative Director
Kelli Lovdahl Photographer
Mamatoga, LLC Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
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Farm to Table with Chef Rory 16 Rosé Colored Glasses 30 Local Flavor 35 Saratoga Food & Wine Festival 36 Cover photo by Kelli Lovdahl at Brook Tavern, Saratoga Springs
farm • market • home • restaurant Summer 2013 | 1
FARM Farm Tour
MARKET Find a Farmers Market
HOME From His Kitchen to Your Table A Sampling 22
RESTAURANT The Brook Tavern 8 A Man & His Whiskey Henry Street Taproom
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C O N T R I B U T O R S 66 | SARATOGA TABLES
Daniel Berman Daniel B. (aka Daniel Berman) is applying his communication strategy background to food writing with the ultimate goal of improving the culinary landscape in the Capital Region. A west coast transplant now living in Albany, he is the proprietor of the FUSSYlittleBLOG and contributes regularly to All Over Albany and The Chefs Consortium.
Deanna Fox Deanna Fox is an aspiring world bocce champion and daydreams of building a sailboat. When not working in or writing about the food industry, she can be found holding impromptu dance parties with her children on their farm in Upstate NY. More can be found at www.deannafox.org
Ashley Dingeman Ashley is the owner and writer of saratogafoodfanatic.com, a website dedicated to anything and everything food related in Saratoga Springs, NY. A Saratoga Springs native, Ashley has grown up to see Saratoga transform into the beautiful and lively city we all know and love today. Her passion shows through her writing and she hopes to someday be the publicâ€™s go-to foodie for Saratoga restaurant reviews, news, events and beyond!
Kelli Lovdahl Photographer Kelli has always enjoyed working with children and loves their happy and carefree nature. She decided that the perfect job would be a child photographer â€“ combining her love for kids with her creative side. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Photography at the College of Saint Rose.
James Williams-Ness By day, James is a market intelligence professional working to make healthcare more consumer oriented. By night, he likes to drink whiskey, eat cheese, and savor the bounty the Capital District has to offer. At all times, he is surrounded and lifted by his best friend and wife Shane and their gorgeous daughter, Addie.
Patricia Novo Patricia Novo is the owner of Crush & Cask Wine and Spirits on South Broadway. She holds a Culinary Degree and is the President of the Advisory Board for Schenectady County Community Collegeâ€™s Culinary Arts program. She holds a wine certification from the WSET, as well as an Aficionado of Wine from the Robert Parker and Kevin Zraly wine program.
Jake Van Ness Jake is a graphic designer and print specialist, with 12 years of experience, who grew up in Saratoga Springs. His business Prepressology.com has worked with Mamatoga Publishing for several years and is responsible for the design and layout of Saratoga Tables, as well as Mamatoga Magazine.
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The Brook Tavern A New Tradition for Racing Fans to Savor Written by Ashley Dingeman, Photos by Kelli Lovdahl
fter a long, exciting and hot day at the races, the next question on everyone’s minds is usually “where are we going to go eat?” Everyone has a favorite spot in mind that usually turns into a tradition for after the races, well that was until The Brook Tavern joined the Saratoga restaurant scene. Whether it’s drinks you’re looking for or a classy dining experience, here’s why The Brook Tavern is the perfect fit for your post-post time at the track. The charm of The Brook Tavern goes far beyond its sophisticated and tasteful appearance, located in a building that is rich in history and even has a story of its own. Situated at the intersection of Union and Nelson Avenues, The Brook Tavern stands out above other restaurants in Saratoga because of its overall dining experience. The building which was once an 1800’s horse carriage factory is still alive with history, thanks to new owner Bob Lee. The historical feel combined with a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere provides an ambiance that is perfect, especially for a summer evening. As always, it’s a pleasure to visit The Brook Tavern, whether I’m just stopping by for a quick cocktail, wine on tap (that’s right, they have wine on tap!) or to sit down and enjoy a great meal. During my most recent visit, I had a taste of the Saratoga 150 specialty cocktail, a mix of bourbon, St.
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Germaine, whiskey and vermouth. This cocktail had a day after the races written all over it, with a strong yet palatable flavor, even for a lady like myself. A great summertime bar is important for a day after the races, and you can always count on The Brook Tavern for having delicious drinks and great company. Whether you’re indoors at the bar or outside on the deck soaking in the summer air, you’ll quickly understand why I’m such a fan of this space. Moving on to my favorite subject, let’s talk about the food. Now, you might not be totally in the mood for a full meal after a long day at the races, but either way, the cuisine at The Brook Tavern is exceptional. Designed to be a more relaxed spot for dining, this creative and energetic menu offers a plethora of options from fresh oysters on the half shell to white bean parsley hummus and pita chips. Something worth mentioning is the fact that their extremely talented Chef, Patrick Longton, has decided to include traditional appetizers on this menu, while developing them in ways that no other restaurants in the area do. Some of my favorite appetizers at The Brook Tavern include the crispy fried pickles with Dijon horseradish sauce as well as the baked stuffed fingerling potatoes with prosciutto and sage darby cheese. The fried pickles are sliced into small
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circles and battered in a light, almost tempura like coating which is amazingly gluten free. They are tangy and sharp, and dipped in the Dijon horseradish sauce they are by far something worth raving about. A little heartier, yet still gluten free, are the baked fingerling potatoes, which are filled with prosciutto and sage darby cheese, and with just six per plate, after the first bite it’s hard to share.
juice and extra virgin olive oil. Not only did this chicken legitimately fall of the bone, but it was so ridiculously moist it was almost unreal. The lemon juice added the perfect amount of acidity and freshness to the dish while the olive oil contributed to the amazing flavors of the dish. While I’ve enjoyed many entrée’s at The Brook Tavern thus far, this entrée has been by far my favorite.
Speaking of gluten free, this menu is filled with gluten free options! In fact, The Brook Tavern has an option on every single section of the menu dedicated to those with gluten allergies. Some additional gluten free menu options include the lump crab & heirloom tomato salad, blackened “rare” ahi tuna, and crispy duck wings with spicy apricot sambal glaze.
It’s hard to find a restaurant that has a beautiful atmosphere, great wait staff and fantastic food, however The Brook Tavern, at 139 Union Avenue, has managed to capture all three of these items. Whether you’re wearing your favorite heels or you’re dressed to the nine’s, you can get there from the Saratoga Race Course in less than five minutes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a familiar face or a visitor to the area, the folks at The Brook Tavern will take care of your every need – food, drinks or both!
I can’t go on without mentioning their sage & garlic rubbed roast natural half chicken, seasoned and marinated in brine overnight and then served with fresh squeezed lemon
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A MAN HIS WHISKEY Written by James Williams-Ness Photos by Kelli Lovdahl
like whiskey. What do I like about whiskey? Well, it’s a different draw for me between bourbon and Scotch. Bourbon is a raw, American whiskey. It can be young and impetuous, like Albany Distilling’s Ironweed bourbon, aged for a scant 3 months, or smooth and rounded like Willet’s Pot Still Bourbon or Woodford Reserve. Scotch, is almost always a refined, Old World experience. Scotch is a mature partner. Bourbon is about the grain (at least 51% corn); scotch is about terroir (water, earth, peat moss, etc.). With bourbon you can taste the farm; with scotch you can taste the sea or charred oak, it’s more ethereal. Bourbon can be consumed almost immediately as “white” whiskey; a product that Daniel Berman, blogger over at the regional food blog Fussylitleblog.com, notes is a way for distilleries to recoup some capital very quickly and is catching on in popularity, especially among bartenders. Scotch is nearly always aged for years before bottling. Bourbon is horse racing and seersucker; scotch is golf and funny pants. Any way you look at it, both whiskey types are inextricably linked to their locations through the land and farms. Here’s a thought that hit me like a lightning bolt the other day: where there is good food there is usually great alcohol. Not original, I will admit, and being a man of middle years and quite a few cocktails, pints, and carafes it probably should have occurred to me long ago. But, there it is: there is a deep and resounding connection between food and alcohol: wine, beer, and distilled spirits all are born from cultures with ancient agrarian traditions coupled with a need to make their bounty last beyond the typical shelf life of stored grains and fruit.
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For some time now, our immediate and wider area has been a wonderful source of amazing produce, meats, cheeses, and other products available at famers markets and other outlets. More recently there has been a significant increase in local/ regional distilling, and the great thing about Saratoga is that we have access to these items in a tremendous abundance at farmer’s markets, liquor shops, and a huge range of restaurants, and Ralph Erenzo is a huge reason we even have small-batch distillers in our state. Ralph Erenzo is the founder of Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, NY, and is, as Daniel Berman, put it, “the man who blazed the New York craft distilling trail”. Tuthilltown also happens, not coincidentally, to be the first whiskey distillery in New York since Prohibition. So what did Ralph do, exactly? Oh, he only was the driving force behind the Craft Distillery License through the New York State legislature. Technically, it’s a Class D or “farm distillery” license, whose intention was: to promote New York State agriculture, which it did; it also led to a proliferation of fantastic small distilleries all over the place, both upstate and in New York City. (Source: Albanydistilling.com)
You got some New York apples, rye, or wheat you want to make into vodka, whiskey, or what-have-you? That’s the license you need. Anyway, its thanks in no small part to Ralph that you can find New York State booze. Find some New York vermouth, grab some of Tuthilltown’s Manhattan Rye, and make yourself a true New York Manhattan. Or maybe locate some Cornelius Apple Jack and Core Vodka from Harvest Spirits in Valatie, NY and shake up a Big Appletini. This is the ultimate connection between agriculture and alcohol: create a law allowing people to use stuff grown in Our Great State to make something delicious and quaffable from it. Cheers to that! Farmer’s markets have created a grassroots local food boom, and craft-distilled spirits are a natural progression. Bobby Lee, proprietor of The Wishing Well and The Brook Tavern, notes:
There is also a local component to the equation, partly due to the government’s loosening of alcohol restrictions over the past decade. I don’t believe anyone envisioned 20 years ago that great gin would be made in the Berkshires or a high end organic rye would be coming out of the Champlain Valley, but that’s exactly what is occurring. It’s almost the perfect storm for the consumer.
And Daniel adds:
It’s not that far of a stretch to take the “Eat Local” refrain and expand it to “Drink Local”. In theory, soon we may start seeing farm distilleries with tables at local farmers markets.... It was the desire to support local farmers and find markets for their goods that helped to grease the wheels of the farm distillery license in the first place.
As people discover new things to like at their local markets, they are naturally expanding that search to other products, and local spirits are a great way to support local craftsmen and women, expand your cocktail knowledge, and give your taste buds something new to ponder. We’re living in an area that has some of the best and most sought-after foods and it’s only matter of time before that expands to world-class spirits. Maybe it’s time to expand that popular farmer’s market bumper sticker to “No Farms, No Food, No Old Fashioneds”? S
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from his kitchen to your table
Chef Jasper Alexander, Owner of Hattie’s Restaurant I have been making this dish in one form or another for virtually my entire career. One of my first line cook jobs and where I would return some years later as Chef was at Ponti Seafood Grill in Seattle, Washington. Ponti, and their long time Chef Alvin have been known for helping to define Northwest PanAsian Cuisine for twenty plus years. But Alvin, who has been a boss, friend and mentor for many years drew inspiration from many sources. In this particular instance a trip to New Orleans. I have tweaked the recipe over the years but in essence it’s the same dish I’ve been cooking since the early nineties. There are many variations of this dish but one constant is that despite the name, it has nothing to do with BBQ of any kind. The spice mix when blended with the remaining ingredients yields a potent yet balanced marinade for the shrimp and once combined with the cream and butter will transform into a dish that is rich, earthy and slightly sweet with a nice spice kick. At Hattie’s I’ve served it with crusty French bread, biscuits or over creamy grits or even as a warm salad. It’s the type of dish that what whatever you serve it with becomes a vehicle for the sauce. The spice mix can be made in larger quantities and will keep in a sealed container for many months and if the base recipe is too hot, cut back on the cayenne to suit your taste.
Savory BBQ Prawn
CHEF JASPER ALEXANDER AKA The Chicken Whisperer
4 tablespoons ground black pepper 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons dried whole thyme 2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dry oregano
1. Mix all the seasoning mix ingredients in a food processor and set aside. Stored in a sealed container, it will keep indefinitely for future use. 2. Put 2 tablespoons seasoning mix, garlic, lemon juice, honey, and soy sauce in a blender or food processor. On high speed, slowly add the olive oil. 3. In a bowl combine the sauce, prawns and chopped parsley and mix until well to combined. Refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight. 4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Sauce: 2 tablespoons seasoning mix 3 tablespoons chopped garlic 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 lbs peeled and deveined prawns 1/2-cup heavy cream 3/4 cup unsalted butter
5. Place prawns with the marinade and the cream in a large, heavy skillet and place in oven. In about 2 to 3 minutes, shake the pan to ensure even cooking and repeat in another 2 to 3 minutes. At this point the mixture should be bubbling and the prawns will be turning opaque. 6. Transfer the pan to a stove top, over medium heat and begin adding the butter in 1 to 2 tablespoon increments, shaking the pan the entire time, allowing the butter to emulsify into the mixture before adding any more butter. This process should take about 3 to 4 minutes. 7. Serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce or over creamy grits.
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Farm to Table with Chef Rory Moran Written by Deanna Fox, Photos by Kelli Lovdahl
alking into the Saratoga home of Jamie and Shane Williams-Ness is a study in one family’s collective history. A butcher block kitchen island maintains a honed patina due to years of loving use. An eclectic-yetharmonious medley of chairs adorns the red-walled dining room. Mementos from years spent in Singapore are nestled alongside silver-plated serviceware from European travels. Madeline stickers from the youngest Williams-Ness’s birthday party dot door jambs in rogue patterns. The 1880’s house was an ideal setting for dinner on one considerably balmy early summer evening. Flickering candlelight in the front windows welcomed guests to a
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dinner that emanated the confluence of global significance with distinctive Saratoga flavor (much like the lifestyle of the Williams-Ness family). Rory Moran, a rising star and local darling of the Saratoga dining scene and chef/owner of Comfort Kitchen - located in the Saratoga Marketplace crafted a menu with similar traits, abound with locally grown seasonal specialties that he sourced the day prior at the Saratoga Farmers Market. Farmers markets have considerably expanded in the past two decades. In 1994, less than 2,000 farmers markets were registered for operation in the United States; by 2012, that number had more than quadrupled to almost 8,000. “People
Chef Rory Moran of Comfort Kitchen
can’t say, ‘I don’t know how to cook this.’ You just Google a recipe and it’s there,” says Moran. The most knowledgeable sources of cooking instruction are the famers from which the ingredients are bought, and they are happy to provide customers with as much information as possible. Moran, assisted by his wife Lucy (owner of Lucia boutique in the Saratoga Marketplace), assembled each menu item with expert care. The first course consisted of a play on a springtime favorite: Radish and butter. Served on toasted slices of Mrs. London’s Italian loaf, Moran composed a topping of Cabot butter, parsley, cilantro, and chive (sourced from Moran’s backyard) with julienned radishes from Gomez Veggie Ville in Schaghticoke. Fleur de Sel was the finishing touch. The second course was a chilled cucumber soup with plucky nuances of mint, ramps, and New York Stateproduced Greek yogurt. Elihu Farm, of Valley Falls, provided lamb that was used for the third course’s meatballs, which were stuffed with goat cheese from Sweet Spring Farm in Argyle and served on a bed of tomato and red onion jam. The jam is a staple at Comfort Kitchen. A risotto with ramp pesto and asparagus rounded out the savory options for the evening. The first two courses were paired with Thirsty Owl Wine Company’s 2012 Dry Riesling, while the risotto and lamb courses were accentuated by the tannic currant flavors of Thirsty Owl’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Syrah blend. “People are pleasantly surprised with the wine being
produced in New York State. When considering farm-to-table dining, consumers tend to overlook beverages, but there are several breweries and wineries in the state producing superior product,” says Josh Cupp, general manager of Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden. The Cupp family recently opened the eatery and tasting room on South Broadway as an extension of its Finger Lakes winery. On making risotto, Moran says, “I’m Irish, not Italian. I didn’t train in Italy. I learned it from white guys and Mexicans.” While an imposing dish to many, Moran feels that risotto can be made by anyone, with any level of kitchen experience, as long as good product and good technique are utilized. Moran (along with his sous chef Dan Passamonte) carries this philosophy into his restaurant kitchen; it is one of the driving factors of why he chooses to procure ingredients from the local farmers market. “It’s sort of the way I learned coming up. I can get the freshest ingredients at a fair price,” says Moran, “Plus, I’m giving my money directly to the farmer versus a person in a truck.” From April to October, Moran sources about 75 percent of the ingredients he uses for Comfort Kitchen directly from the Saratoga Farmers Market. What is available at the market plays a large role in the development of his menu, both in the restaurants and at the evening’s dinner party. Many specials on the Comfort Kitchen menu are driven by what is found weekly at the farmers market. Moran grew up in Saratoga, on Lincoln Avenue between the track and “South Side Rec,” where down home kitchen skills were first introduced, and is a self-taught culinarian whose mien is influenced by chefs like Andrew Carmellini (of Locanda
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Verde, The Dutch, and The Lafayette in Manhattan). This amalgamation of cooking inspiration can best be described as seed-to-skillet, South-Central Saratoga style. While the concept of farm-to-table dining might seem like a chic fad of the culinary elite, its mealtime role has a more utilitarian purpose: It is economically and logistically efficient. When the Williams-Ness house was built, people were largely still locavores before the term even existed. It is only fitting that the dining pattern has come full circle to include an exquisite locally-focused dinner party. Moran says that farm-to-table eating can be readily available to the masses – all that is needed is a willingness to cook and eat seasonally.
Farm to Table Dinner Features •
Wine: Thirsty Owl Wine Company
Animal candle holder centerpieces: Silverwood Gallery
Flowers: Hidden Gardens of Saratoga
Menus and place cards: Paper Dolls of Saratoga
Tableware: Joan Platt Pottery
The dinner was capped off by Thirsty Owl’s Vinte (a portstyle dessert wine) and Moran’s rhubarb crème brulee. The sweet finish to the meal was reflective of the night’s rustic elegance: A simple concept of seasonal flavors, enhanced by luscious, ambrosial flourishes. Much like the WilliamsNess home displays a family’s collective history, Saratoga’s edible landscape exposes the region’s aggregate culinary memory. Moran’s menu included items enjoyed by diners of a bygone Saratoga era, with a shared heritage in the farmland surrounding Spa City. New interpretations of classic ingredients are all that has changed, and that alone is reason enough to celebrate the seasonal bounty. S
stuff we can’t wait to try this summer 1. Smith Orchard and Bake Shop Strawberry Crumb Pie (Charlton, NY) - $10.50 (http://www.smithorchardbakeshop.com/) 2. Chef’n Stem Gem Strawberry Huller $7.99 (http://www.chefn.com/) 3. Kuhn Rikon Serrated Paring Knife $11.95 (http://kuhnrikon.com/) 4. Brütül Lagerhead Black and Tan Turtle $9.95 (http://www.brewtool.com/) 5. Charles Viancin Sunflower Silicone Lid $12.95 (http://www.charlesviancin.com)
6. Chemex Eight Cup Coffeemaker - $40.95 (http://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/) 7. Goodbye Detergent Original Spaghetti Scrub (http://www.goodbyedetergent.com) Gentle (made with peach pits) - $8.95 Coarse (made with corn cobs) - $8.95 8. Now Designs Ecologie Chip and Dip Set (made of crushed bamboo and rice husks) - $14.95 (http://www.nowdesigns.net/) 9. R&G Cheesemakers Fresh Chevre (Cohoes, NY) $4.00 (http://www.rgcheese.com/)
find all items at Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Albany, NY
farm tour Kilpatrick Family Farm
Kilpatrick Family Farm is a family-run vegetable, small fruit and livestock farm founded in 2003 by brothers Michael and Philip Kilpatrick in Middle Granville, N.Y. Their mission is to connect their customers with great food and revitalize the local food ecosystem. Find them at the Saratoga Farmers Market, the Glens Falls Farmers Market and Healthy Living Market and CafĂŠ.
Farmers Market Saratoga Farmers Market
Glens Falls Farmers Market
May through October High Rock Park
May through November South Street Pavilion
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday: 3 to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to noon
Spa City Farmers Market
Clifton Park Farmers Market
Lincoln Baths in Saratoga Springs
St. George’s Church parking lot 912 Route 146 1 mile west of I-87 Exit 9
Sundays from 10am-3pm
Thursdays, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Malta Farmers Market
Troy Farmers Market
Allerdice/ACE parking lot 2570 Route 9 Just south of Malta Community Ctr
River & 3rd Streets, Downtown Troy
Tuesdays, 3:00pm – 6:00pm
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HENRY STREET TAPROOM from day job to dream job
pening up a new restaurant entails a lot of risk, whether it’s your first or your fifth, and it can seem daunting to even a seasoned veteran in the business. But what about two novices who had already tackled other careers? Ryan and Sonja McFadden, the husband and wife team behind Henry Street Taproom did just that. Saratoga Tables talked with the husband and wife owners of the popular Henry Street spot about what made them take the plunge and put it all in to create their dream. Ryan: “We actually met in 8th grade. We both lived in the same town in Northern New Jersey and went to school together through high school. We moved to Philadelphia after college and lived there all throughout our 20’s, but we visited Saratoga all the time, because Sonja went to college at Skidmore and we just loved the town.” In Philadelphia, Ryan was an attorney and Sonja was an inner-city school teacher. They both had brief stints working in restaurants when they were young, but neither of them had been in the industry in the past decade. “Our collective experience was minimal, at best,” said Ryan. “We did spend a lot of time watching what different bars were doing when we were putting together the concept.”
It wasn’t easy for Ryan and Sonja to take the initial step to opening up a place, but Saratoga Springs drew them in. “It was an extremely difficult decision. We’d always dreamed of opening up a neighborhood beer bar. As we were grinding away at our jobs, we were constantly fantasizing about opening up our place. After visiting Saratoga for many years, we realized that it was the perfect town to do it in. We started
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looking at locations here in town, but I don’t think even then we fully believed we were going to do this.” The perfect spot opened up and was the catalyst for them to go for it. “When we saw Virgil’s House for the first time, we knew it was the right place. The location and the size were perfect for us. Suddenly we were out of excuses not to do it. We kind of knew it was now or never, and we knew we’d regret it if we didn’t do it - so we just jumped. It was the hardest decision we ever made” said Ryan. Challenges abounded after they decided to switch gears completely and focus on opening up Henry Street Taproom. “The biggest challenge was not second-guessing ourselves. Realizing that we had given up solid jobs and risked everything we had worked so hard for over the last decade was scary. There were definitely days we weren’t sure if we had made the right call, but there were many more days that were fun and exciting and those days reassured us. In hindsight it was the best decision we ever made, “ explained Sonja. After all of the planning, they weren’t sure what to expect when they finally opened their doors to Saratoga Springs. “The first week we were opened was crazy. It was nuts. We had spent months building the restaurant, making design decisions, creating the menu, refining the concept, choosing the beers, building our staff. To finally let the public in on our vision was unnerving,” said Sonja. “To be honest, we were much busier off the bat than we anticipated. The first week felt like a track meet. We were
time – we’ve traveled all over to visit the best beer bars, we’ve done a lot of education around beer, we’ve experimented with brewing. All of that played a part in developing our concept. Living in Philly, we had the opportunity to frequent some of the best beer bars in country, which gave us a lot of inspiration for our place. We took bits and pieces of all of our favorite beer bars and merged them together,” explained Ryan. The couple sits down together every week to come up with the new beer list and tries to honor requests they get from their customers as much as possible. Beyond their extensive beer list, their cheese list is one that is nearly unrivaled here in Saratoga, featuring some outstanding local and regional cheeses like an herb-rolled Chevre from R & G Cheesemakers in Cohoes, NY and a voluptuous triple crème Kunik from Nettle Meadow Farm in Warrensberg, NY. It’s been tossed around pretty heavily that they have one of the best burgers in town as well, and continues to be one of their most popular menu items week after week.
Owners Ryan and Sonja McFadden
going non-stop trying to make sure everything was running smoothly and customers were happy, all while working out the inevitable kinks,” added Ryan. I asked Sonja and Ryan if they ever felt like skills from their previous jobs popped up in their new roles as restaurant owners. “The teacher in Sonja definitely comes out at times. Our staff often laughs at how Sonja lays everything out at meetings and manages in general. I think she has some kind of a “gold star” program for the servers, “ joked Ryan. Sonja explained that Ryan’s experience as an attorney has helped in dealing with contracts and handling negotiations for the business. “And of course, he was also used to working the long hours before we opened!” The Taproom aims to “restore beer to its rightful place on the table”. I asked Ryan and Sonja about where their love of handcrafted beers came from. Ryan favors IPA’s, while Sonja loves all farmhouse styles. “We have been beer geeks for a long
Saratoga Springs is proving to be an excellent choice for the couple, who have felt the community spirit since opening their doors. “It’s been very cool to see how tight-knit the restaurant community is, especially in a small town like this. Everyone in the industry knows each other, and everyone has been very welcoming to us”, said Ryan. Still, there have been some (rather funny) bumps in the road so far. Ryan recounted a particularly eventful evening right after they opened. “I think it was the second weekend we were open, we got locked out of the office and we didn’t have a key. We were trying to figure out how to get in, when one of customers suggested popping out a ceiling tile. Before we knew it, half of his body was hanging out of them ceiling! The whole night was a fiasco, Sonja ended up in the ER with her finger sliced open from one of the ceiling tiles.” “We both knew going in that this was a tough business and that it would be all consuming,” said Sonja. “We have family in the business who repeatedly told us how much work it would be. They were right. But our experience has been wonderful. Our customers are great, our staff is great and we both honestly love the business. Neither of us ever want to leave the bar. We try to give each other nights off, but sometimes on our nights off we’ll sneak back to the bar – we miss our customers, we miss our staff, we miss our food!” Henry Street Taproom is located at 86 Henry Street in Saratoga Springs. S
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sipping the world through
Rosé Colored Glasses Written by Patricia Novo, Photos by Kelli Lovdahl
his summer, I’m thinking and drinking... PINK. And you should be too. Not the sweeter style blush wines that many enjoy, no sweets for this sweet. I’m talking dry rosé here people, bone dry in fact. Many people ask me why I am such a staunch supporter (and sipper) of dry rosé wines. The answer is quite simple. Dry rosé wines combine the refreshing qualities and bright acidity found in whites with the robust fruit character and palate interest of the red grapes from which they are made. Want something cool to sip while reading your favorite beach novel? Too hot out to serve a red with your barbecue? Just want a little liquid reprieve from the do I drink red or white with this? Rosé is the answer. Rosé wines are the liquid equivalent of sunscreen and a great book, one should never be poolside without them. Known as Rosé in France, Rosado in Spain, Rosato in Italy and typically also Rosé in the United States, these are wines that incorporate some of the color from the grape skins from which they are made, but not enough to qualify them as red wines. They are crafted from a wide variety of grapes and excellent examples may be found in all corners of the world. In fact, just about every wine-producing region crafts some sort of a dry rosé. Even Greece, Argentina and South Africa are in the dry rosé game. These gorgeous wines range in color from salmon to pale onion skin orange to hues as bright and vivid as a Key West sunset, depending on the varietals used and the winemaking technique employed. So, how are these wines made? To be as brief and simple as possible, there are three different methods employed to produce a rosé wine. These are the skin contact method, the saigneé method, from the French for bleed, and blending, which is rarely used. When a rosé wine is the primary product desired, it is produced employing the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes such as Pinot
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Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon are first crushed and then, these skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period of time. The longer the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the resulting color of the wine will be. Not to be overly simplistic, but think about it like coloring eggs, the longer the egg is left in the dye, the more intense the resulting hue of the egg will be! The second method, or “saigneé” method is used when a winemaker wishes to impart more body and color to a red wine. The winemaker will remove some of the pink juice at an early stage of fermentation. The red wine that remains in the vats is
intensified as a result of removing some of the pink juice, which is fermented separately to produce rosé. The third method, blending, is uncommon and generally discouraged. In France, it is even prohibited by law, with the exception of the production of Champagne. Don’t worry there is no quiz later!
famous, excellent and delicious rosé wines are produced all over France, from Beaujolais to the Loire Valley to the Rhone. In fact, one of the most lauded rosés in all of France is from the Tavel appellation in the Southern Rhone, located a short 10 miles south of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, known, of course, for its rich and robust reds.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the most renowned region for the production of dry rosé wines is the Provence region of France. And, while other regions in France produce rosé wines, it is undoubtedly Provence, which has made them so famous. Indeed, what could be more perfect than sipping a perfectly chilled glass of rosé, while soaking up the Mediterranean sun and enjoying the mouthwatering native cuisine. It is no mistake that the dry and acidic nature of Provencal rosé wines are the perfect match for the quintessential flavors of the Mediterranean…olive oil, fresh vegetables, garlicky aioli, freshly caught seafood. Options abound when purchasing a Provencal rosé to sample and they should be readily available in every reputable wine shop’s shelves. I typically stock between 18-22 different rosé options, many which hail from Provence. And, while Provencal rosés are perhaps the most
Never one to be outdone by the French, Italy is also bursting with rosato wines in the same dry style, each being a little different in flavor profile, depending upon the grapes used. As one might expect, rosato wines from the Northern climates in Italy tend to be a little more delicate, both in color and flavor, while rosato wines from warmer climates in Italy tend to be more robust, both in pigment and palate. Particularly excellent examples are made from the Nero d’Avola grape in Sicily, the ubiquitous Sangiovese grape in Tuscany, and the Aglianico grape from Campania.
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Rosado wines from Spain and Portugal also are crafted from a variety of grapes and produced in a number of regions. The Navarra region, just north of Rioja is a region in Spain that is producing a number of wonderful rosé wines, primarily
from the Garnacha (Grenache) grape. Other commonly used varietals in the production of Rosado wines include Graciano, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It might surprise you to learn that one of my favorite areas for fabulous dry rosé production is Austria. Yes, the hills might be alive with the sound of music…but they are also replete with one of my favorite summer grapes…for red as well as rosé… and that grape is Zweigelt (zzz---vie--gelt) In its red form, zweigelt is a touch like a spicy well-made Cru Beaujolais. In fact, as with Beaujolais, Zweigelt is best served with a touch of chill. The rosé versions are bone dry, have aromas and flavors of sour cherry with a touch of dried herbs. A little bit closer to home is the myriad rosé offerings from the United States. California leads the pack, with many upper end wineries producing a dry rosé. Many are so limited in production that they are only available at the winery, but
many are readily available for purchase. Oregon is a close second, where their Pinot Noir based rosés are counted among my favorites. A few surprisingly great options are also made in New York State. Another reason for my mad love affair with these wines? They are a GREAT food match. In fact, many of these wines positively sing with dishes that are otherwise difficult to pair. The notoriously difficult artichoke even relents when accompanied by an herbaceous aioli for dipping and a dry rosé for sipping. No need to take my word for it, though. Many renowned food and wine critics have deemed rosé “the world’s most versatile food wine” and one that “pairs well with all kinds of cuisines, all year long”. So, I know whereof I sip. Still not convinced? Try a sample of one first at your favorite restaurant. Since rosé wines are so versatile with so many
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cuisines, many savvy restaurants offer glass pours of rosés from around the globe. Try it. You may just discover that being “in the pink” is not just a great state of mind, it’s a great state of wine as well. S
Recommended Rosé Wines Chateau Pigoudet Insolite! Aix en Provence: Lovely initial aroma of strawberry, white melon and mineral. Fresh and rich, with a silky texture. Josef Ehmoser Zweigelt Rosé: Sour cherries and a touch of melon rind. Very dry, mouthwatering finish. Valdibella Dhyana Nero d’Avola Rosato: Organic grapes. Darker fruits and a touch of spice. A good match with ratatouille or meatier fish. Long Shadows Julia’s Dazzle: A new find and the customer favorite this season. The prettiest pale pink hue. Aromas of strawberries and orange zest. Crisp and delightful. Wrath Pinot Noir Saigneé: Wild strawberry and rhubarb on the nose and palate. Touch of watermelon and crisp acidity on the finish. Great food wine.
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green in the pasture and the pocket Written by Deanna Fox
hese days, one can buy nearly anything online. With a few clicks of a mouse, material pleasures can be priority shipped to your front door. This is now true for those in the food industry, as well. “The technology behind Local Flavor isn’t anything new, but the way we apply it is. We actively work to connect two groups of individuals on a level previously unavailable,” says Deanna Fox, founder of Local Flavor. Local Flavor is a Capital Region based start-up that has harnessed the power of eCommerce to connect wholesale buyers (like restaurants and grocers) with independent farmers and food artisans. Going local to source products and ingredients is a trend that continues to grow. Local Flavor makes it easy for wholesale buyers to go online, search for products, and quickly purchase. Convenience is key for the producer, as well. Local Flavor helps lessen the burden of finding customers, billing, and continued outreach. “Farmers and food artisans are like any other small business. Marketing and finding a customer base is important, but often
falls to the wayside when the quality and reputation of the product is at stake,” says Fox. “Local Flavor helps bridge the gap between farmers, food artisans, and wholesale buyers.” Even with this accessibility, Local Flavor does not intent to replace interpersonal relationships. “It is extremely important to us to not interrupt the personal connection between the producer and the buyer. We believe in the power of a handshake. Local Flavor is designed to ensure that buyers are still connected as much as they want to be to the person that grew, raised, or made the product. Transparency is everything,” says Fox. She continues, “We believe in the small family farm, the independent business owner. We want everyone who uses Local Flavor to thrive. We’ll do whatever we can to make that happen.” More information on Local Flavor is available at www.localflavorfood.com. The company is currently searching for users to test and offer feedback on the website. A full launch in the Capital Region is projected for later this year, with growth in other markets nationally soon to follow. S
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Saratoga Wine & Food Festival and Concours d’Elegance at SPAC SURVIVAL STRATEGIES Written by Daniel Berman
ry as you may, it’s impossible to sample every delicious morsel and sip available at the annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival. The grand tasting is chockablock with amazing things to eat and more bottles of wine and spirits than you could reasonably taste in many months. After attending the festival for the last two years, I have developed a six-step plan to get the most out of the three and a half hour grand tasting and avoid the dreaded palate fatigue.
1. Bubbles for Beginners Before you do anything else, find a glass of sparkling wine. The idea here is twofold. One, bubbles make everything festive. Two, after this first glass of wine it will be time for food and sparkling wines pair with almost everything. They do. From poached halibut to grilled meats, sparkling wine will refresh the palate and get it ready for the next bite.
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2. Restaurant Repast - Restraint Required Some of the better restaurant food has been known to run out. Last year I missed what I was told was a dynamite Niman Ranch pork loin and I’m still bummed about it. There’s a lot of food. Luckily not everything will look appealing. What might look appealing are some of the cheeses, nuts and cured meats, but those are for later. There is a reason that the cheese course comes at the end of a meal. Save yourself. As you sample the restaurants’ signature dishes, look around and make a mental note of some wine tables that seem especially interesting. Don’t forget to also keep an eye out for more sparkling wine to refresh your glass. Based on the other wines you’ve seen, start thinking about what bottles you really want to try. Because once you make the first full loop of the tents it’s going to be wine tasting time in earnest.
3. Strategy Session There are a few ways to go here, and a lot of it depends on your preferences about wine. So here are two ideas to get you started. “Past Performance” If you have a favorite wine and one of them is at the festival, a visit to their table could be interesting. Being able to taste a broad range of a winery’s bottles is something that is generally reserved for visits to wine country. This kind of experience can provide a much better sense about the style of the winemaker and help you find other winners in their portfolio. “Really Regional” Grapes grow differently and wines are made differently depending on where they are from. This is why master sommeliers can blindly taste a Pinot Noir and tell you if its from Oregon, France, or New Zealand. So pick a place, any place, and try the wines of that region. You may want to define your region broadly to make the wines easier to find, like “Northeastern Italian whites.” Or you could try something more specific like “Reds from Piedmont”. But by the end of the exercise you will have enjoyed a real taste of the region. In the past I would have recommending bringing a pen. But these days you can just snap a picture of your favorites with your phone. Either way, make sure to capture the memories of the notable wines so you can go back and reference them later.
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4. Take a Seat Did I mention the part about wearing comfortable shoes? To really experience the festival, you will need to be on your feet most of the time. But there are seminars throughout the day. For the most part they are a distraction from what can be learned by following one’s own tastes. That said, the Kevin Zraly seminar is scheduled to begin just when the festival crowds get a little bit overwhelming. Having the chance to sit in the tent with attendants filling your wine glasses is every bit as satisfying as listening to a nationally recognized wine expert lead a guided tasting. But in case you miss it, the best piece of advice from his seminar is a minor modification to a ubiquitous tasting technique. Almost everyone knows that to amplify the aroma of a wine, one should swirl it around in the glass. Kevin Zraly suggests adding a step to that ritual. While you are swirling the glass with one hand, use the other hand to cover the mouth of the glass. He claims it keeps those amplified aromas in the bowl. When you bring the covered glass to your nose, and remove your hand from the top of the glass, it turns out that Zraly’s assertion is correct. Notes that were faint and hard to detect are much clearer and more present. Now you know.
5. The Cheese Course Remember all of those cured meats and cheeses? Finally it’s time to sample them to your heart’s content. There is an old saying among wine professionals, “Buy with bread, sell with cheese.” The idea is that cheese can help make a lesser
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wine taste better. When you stumble upon a brilliant pairing, you’ll be amazed at how true this is. And this is why if you really want to taste the wines for what they truly are, it’s best to avoid cheese until the end.
6. Cocktail Hour Once I met a serious wine lover I knew at the festival and asked him what I really couldn’t leave without trying. Instead of pointing me toward a wine, he told me about the maple infused rye called Cabin Fever. It didn’t sound like my thing, but I trusted him, took a sample, and bought a bottle the following week. Tuthilltown Spirits from Gardiner New York also brought their full line of their whiskies from the unaged corn to the aged single malts. You don’t have to try them all. And probably at the end of the day it’s not the wisest decision. But sipping on 80 proof spirits is best for when you’re done trying to differentiate between substantially more delicate wines. When it’s finally time to leave, you’ll most likely be tired, full and inebriated. There is espresso to be found both at the festival and downtown. Which, by the way is a lovely forty five minute walk from SPAC if the weather is nice. If it’s not, I hope you have a designated driver or some other way to get home, because you’ll certainly want to come back next year. Saratoga Wine & Food Festival and Concours d’Elegance is happening at SPAC, September 6 - 8, 2013. For more information and tickets visit www.spac.org. S
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