Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friendship Bread

If you were looking closely at my previous post on books, you may notice one of my summer picks at the library was a book called Friendship Bread by Darien Gee.  A while back, I was given a starter for Amish Friendship Bread, I was supposed to tend to the bag of bread for 10 days, adding new ingredients on Day 6 and 10.  I failed, I never made it.   After reading this quirky story of how a trio of women merge a friendship over the bread, combined with the importance of small communities, I found myself wanting to bake along with these women.  Luckily the book included recipes; 10 days from now, I will have 3 starter bags, holler if you are interested in creating your own Friendship Bread, if not, I may just leave it on your doorstep.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wedded Perfection- Opening Today

If you haven't heard there is a new exhibit opening at Munson Williams Proctor, Wedded Perfection, Two Centuries of Wedding Gowns.  While it may not be something my Little Man will enjoy, I am quite excited to see the evolution of fashion, and am thrilled about all the events coordinating with this exhibit, that are perfect for attending with moms, sisters or girlfriends!

Ellen Curtis, Wedding Dress: Bodice and Skirt, 1879 
Gift of Anita Keller Dodd in memory of her grandmother, Ellen Curtis Scott, 
1986.943a,b. Collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekend Picks

If the rain holds off there are a variety of outdoor family fun events today.  The Deerfield Fireman's Field Days continue tonight featuring a Fireman's Parade at 7pm, Hawkins Amusement rides, and music by The Fulton Chain Gang, tomorrow the festivities begin at 12noon with motorized firematics and Stage Road at 7pm. 

At Hanna Park in Utica, Taste of Utica, kicks off the weekend party.  This event features $1 samples from many local restaurants, and local bands including:

5:00-6:15:  Crazy Fools
6:25-7:40:  Square Pegs
7:50-9:20:  Showtime
9:30-11:00:  Gridley Paige

To make this a truly family fun event, McDonald's is sponsoring a Family Zone including a Friday night dance party, Inflatable Fun Houses, Watkins Glen Show Cars, Car Simulators, Lawn Games, and Face painting. The fun continues tomorrow beginning at 3pm, headline band Skid Row takes the stage at 9pm.

Lastly, Cooperstown is hosting a Classic Father's Day weekend with Heroes, Legends and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. A host of activities are scheduled for the weekend including a youth skills clinic, a seven-inning legends exhibition game featuring several Hall of Fame members and a score of other retired major league players, and a Main Street Parade to celebrate the love of baseball for fathers and families of all ages. To further entice you, Price Chopper is offering free admission with an AdvantEdge card to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday.

So if you are a food lover, a music lover, a baseball lover, there is something out there fun and free to do with your family this weekend!  Take advantage of all that the Mohawk Valley has to offer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mommy Field Trip

Have I mentioned how much I am in love with farmer's markets?  When living in Washington D.C., I lived in walking distance of Eastern Market.  It is one of the oldest public markets in the country and still has an incredibly eclectic group of fresh food & produce and arts & crafts vendors.  The lunch counter inside is one of my favorite places to eat in the city, (crabcake sandwiches and blueberry buckwheat pancakes YUMMO!), all incredibly fresh and cheap.  

I heard yesterday on the radio that EmMi beads in Clinton is closing this weekend, so I thought I would visit today to see if I could score any deals, I coupled this with my first trip to the Clinton Farmer's market, being on a Thursday, I have never been able to attend as a "working mommy."  I am in awe of all that this market had to offer, there was a range of organically grown produce, meats that are raised humanely, handmade cheeses, eggs and poultry from free-range fowl, as well as heirloom produce and local specialties.  In addition, there were plenty of stands selling homemade goods from candles to cards, from jewelry to art. 

Since, I am a CSA subscriber I currently have a large haul of veggies I need to consume, this was mainly a scouting trip for future summer visits, but I did buy a few fabulous things.  

A basil plant from The Farm, Lemon Thyme Goat Cheese from Jones Family Farm, some olive bread rolls, and a can of Citrus Sweet Leaf Tea, which I enjoyed during my browsing.  

I can't wait to go back!!!  Tonight is date night with the Little Man.  I think we are heading to The Deerfield Field Days to enjoy the rides and Dashboard Nixon, we'll see how much he can do with just one arm.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Enjoying the Outdoors

Although I love planning fun outings, part of the fun of living in the country is just enjoying sun shiney days!  Today was the first day the little man returned to school after breaking his wrist and the first day I had time to return to spinning class after the accident.  After a quick trip to the library to pick up some new reads....
What are you reading this summer?
I returned home to throw together a healthy dinner for the family.  I used many of the fresh veggies included in my CSA to make this delectable feast.  We enjoyed quiche with mushrooms, zucchini and green garlic and fresh oregoano (both from the CSA) and a salad with strawberries and grilled chicken (both from local farms).  Since it was a gorgeous evening, we ate outside.
I promise to take better photos, but everyone was so hungry to dive in!!!  I then spent the evening trying to trim up and clean out our rose bush.  It has some great flowers and buds, but still looks pretty wild!

Suggestions anyone?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eat Your Greens!

Love Your Beets
One of the single best things I did last year was subscribe to a CSA.  I learned about new veggies, experimented with new recipes, gained a new hangout (our pick-up spot is Cafe Domenico in Utica- a java joint that sells local products) and taught the little man the value of learning about where your food comes from!  We visited The Farm, several times last year and were warmly welcomed by our farmers, Michael and Laura. I learned that I love beets and radishes and how to make garlic scape pesto. Our first haul is today and I can't wait to share with you what we create with our bounty.  It's the best way to get your kids to eat their greens!  Do you have any favorite greens recipes? Please share in the comments!
Week One from 2010

Sunday, June 12, 2011

St. Anthony's Festival- La Banda Rossa

Little Man and I will be heading over to St. Anthony's church in East Utica this morning for a tradition that has lasted for over 100 years.  After mass, the statue of St. Anthony along with parishioners, ladies with the large baskets of St. Anthony's bread, escorts from the Knights of St. John, and La Banda Rossa, "The Red Band" will proceed up St. Anthony Street, through East Utica.  The band will stop along various homes along the "parade" route, to play "Marche Reale" in front of those that display photos of statues of St. Anthony. 

This isn't just a tradition for the church, but for my family as well, my grandfather, was a vital member of La Banda Rossa for many, many years (as well as other various family members) and we continue this tradition to honor his memory, our Italian heritage, and our love for St. Anthony.  Not to mention to enjoy the best  pizza frite in Utica!

If you want to experience this unique tradition for yourself, you can find St. Anthony church at the corner of Bleecker and St. Anthony Sts.  The procession follows 11am mass.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What would have been a weekend full of fun

There are so many fun, creative, and free things to do this weekend, as I was preparing my post for today, I was in awe of what to choose to do.  That was before the little man broke his wrist and we had to schedule a surgery for tomorrow to reset the bones.

But, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't enjoy the fun!

My favorite must-do item on the docket is a new storytelling festival that will be taking place on Saturday, June 11 at the Village Green in Clinton, The Stone Soup Storytelling Festival.  The idea came from a group of local story tellers, that meet in the historic Old Stone Church and share stories, the name of the festival comes from a book, where people share ordinary ingredients to create a delicious soup.  The festival takes place from 9:30am-10:30pm and will feature music, crafts, and food and drink booths, as well as you guessed it, plenty of stories to go around.  For more information, click here.  And since I will be at the hospital all day, please feel free to share your FAVORITE STORIES with me in the comments below.

This weekend Utica will host both, the Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society and The Special Olympics.

Relay is hosted at Mohawk Valley Community College and kicks off at 12 noon on Saturday.  There are children's events, live music, a classic car show, and others on-site fundraisers to benefit ACS and a touching luminary ceremony to honor those who have been struck by cancer.  For the full schedule for this year's Relay, click here.
Why I Relay
Nearly 2,000 athletes and coaches from across New York State will participate in the 2011 Summer Games.  Athletic competitions include Aquatics, Basketball, Bowling, Powerlifting, Gymnastics, Tennis, Volleyball, and Athletics (Track & Field).  This is a great family friendly opportunity.  The Opening Ceremony is at  8:00 pm on Friday, June 10th at Utica College’s Gaetano Stadium. In typical Olympic style, the event will begin with a Parade of Athletes and a Torch Run to signify the start of the Games. There will also be a fireworks show and a full Olympic village featuring games, music, dance crews, mascots, fire engines, and at least fifteen different police agency cars in attendance to show support to the athletes.

So pull out your calendar and take your children to learn about the old fashioned joy of storytelling, the compassion for people with cancer, or that no matter what ability you have, everyone is special.  No matter what you choose, it's a great way to Celebrate Life in Central New York!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Diamond Dawgs Season Opener

Take me out to the ball game!  Take me out to the crowd!  Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks!  I don't care if I ever get back!
We live in an area where baseball is more than a sport or an American pastime, with the Baseball Hall of Fame less than an hour's drive in Cooperstown, baseball here, is king.

The Glens Falls Golden Eagles visit the Diamond Dawgs for Opening Night tonight.  The special event will feature a Magnet Schedule Giveaway, Thirsty Thursday Drink specials, and more!  So get out and root for the Home Team!  The Game starts at 7:05 pm at Vets Park in Little Falls.  As long as the skies don't open up, I plan on attending with the little man to enjoy a hot dog and a thirsty drink special!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Steals & Deals

Central New York has many great places to eat, but dining out on a limited budget, can get expensive.  Thank goodness there are a variety of ways to save, while still enjoying a pleasant evening out with your family!

NBC-WKTV News Channel 2 offers special deals every Wednesday on a variety of local services and businesses, today's deal is $10 for a $20 gift card to The Secret Garden Restaurant in East Utica.  You can purchase the deal here.

But wait, I know of an even better deal for you, head on over to Restaurant.com, and you can purchase $25 Gift Certificates to a variety of local restaurants, for just $3!!!  Use the code DINNER, offer expires today! 

Both are great ways to try something new!

Missing in Action

I have been in Springfield, MA for the past several days throwing my lovely sister, Kristin, a Wine Tasting Bridal shower.
We ate.
And drank.
And talked.
And opened presents.  The wedding is coming soon.... See date below!

And now it's time for me to get back into SERIOUS BLOGGER ACTION!  I missed so many fun local events last weekend, but there's always so much to do around here!

Congratulations Kristin~

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Glimmerglass Festival

It's amazing the things that elementary children come up with...  Last summer, I thought I was the best mom, securing the hottest ticket at the NYS fair for the 7 year-old set, Justin Beiber.  After the concert, my little man informed me that there was "too many screaming girls."  He suggested we try going to an opera instead.  Who says these things! Since this year is our "summer of exploration" I have decided to take him up on his challenge, we are going to the opera! After some research, I found out that there is a local opera festival in Cooperstown that occurs each summer at Glimmerglass and fancy enough, this year they have a special promotion for Herkimer and Oneida County residents to attend this prestigious festival for just $12! (Thanks to a generous grant from The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties)

The Glimmerglass Festival's Alice Busch Opera Theater.
Photo: Claire McAdams.

This year's festival begins on July 2 and runs through August 23. It features new productions of CarmenMedeaAnnie Get Your Gun and a double bill of world premiere A Blizzard of Marblehead Neck and Later the Same Evening.  I plan on presenting him with the options this evening, but I have a feeling Annie Get Your Gun will be our cultural selection this summer!  It may not be classical opera, but this American theater will be around much longer that Bieber Fever!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And so it begins

Welcome to the first post of Mohawk Valley Mama!  I am an active mom, with a more than active 8 year old son.  I am a transplant from Washington DC, but have lived here for the last several years.  As summer approaches, I am more determined than ever to explore the Foothills of the Adirondacks and the wonderful area in which we live.  I plan to share fun things to do, even funnier stories, and perhaps some local secret treasures.  So join me, as I learn more about the Mohawk Valley.