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Hit The Road, Jack

WE RARELY PLAN AN ISSUE of The Valley Table around a single theme or subject, but that’s not to say we don’t sometimes fixate on an idea—sometimes, the stars align

It Was the Best of Times

CHARLES DICKENS LIKELY NEVER EXPERIENCED a hurricane, but the opening lines in A Tale of Two Cities would be apropos to what the Northeast went through a month ago. Compared

The Evolution of Sinterklaas

THE HISTORY OF SANTA CLAUS follows a gripping tale of generosity that dates back to the fourth century and a man named Nicholas, who bestowed gifts anonymously, expecting nothing in

Full Disclosure: Who Makes Your Wine?

IN OCTOBER, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA received the Nobel Peace Prize. The award engendered much controversy as many observers of the international scene were flummoxed as to why Obama received this

New York State of Wine: Long Island

EVERY YEAR, I AM FORTUNATE ENOUGH to have about three weeks of vacation, a summer break during the month of July. Apparently, I am constitutionally incapable of planning a trip

Weighty Matters

FOURTEEN DAYS AND SIX POUNDS LATER, the fall edition of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2014 is history. The vast majority of the owners of the 200 restaurants that officially participated

Hudson Valley Whiskey: Tasting Notes

BLACK DIRT DISTILLERY Black Dirt Bourbon This whiskey is deep in flavor, spice, oak, grain; there are a myriad of drinks waiting to be mixed with this. CATSKILL DISTILLING CO.


AS THE SPANISH approached the Hopi village of Awatovi, residents poured a line of cornmeal in the sand as a sign to the invaders that they were not to enter.

Celebrations of Christmas Past & Present

WHERE WAS SANTA CLAUS born? It sounds like a trick question (“Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?”) but actually it’s a relevant question for our area because, rather than being

Open-Hearth Cooking

LIGHTING A FIRE adds a festive touch to any occasion, and cooking on that same fire adds to a general sense of relaxation, fun and well-being. The delicious aromas of

A Toast to Health and Happiness

THANKSGIVING, CHANUKAH, KWANZAA, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day–there’s no doubt about it, we’re into the holiday season. If you’re like me, sometimes you wish you could just hibernate

Excellent Drink More Good

WELCH’S GRAPE JUICE, store-brand grape soda, the colorful complement of peanut butter and jelly on white bread—they all combine the naturally sweet Concord grape with corn syrup, preservatives and who-knows-

Sweet Potatoes

FEW VEGETABLES HAVE had to suffer the ignominies faced by the venerable sweet potato. Mislabeled, misnamed and inextricably bound to the thick white goo of melted marshmallows, molasses, brown sugar

Simmering Success

BASED IN RHINEBECK, Maya Kaimal has been spicing up the Hudson Valley with her line of Indian simmer sauces and snacks since the launch of Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods

Truffled Chestnut Soup

Chris Vergara, Saint George / Photo by Christine Gritmon Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients For the soup: 1 ounce fresh black truffle 2 cups plus 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock