Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Today I appreciate

Today I appreciate

Being here. At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader for the Hudson Valley, I really appreciate that I live here. I spent last week vacationing in the Midwest (meeting wonderful people, eating way too much good food and in general, having a great time in a really nice part of the country.) But I’m still so happy to be home in the Hudson Valley. Not only is it my home, it’s just a good place to be. We have gorgeous views; great schools and colleges; excellent restaurants, farms and food producers; good shopping; and stellar recreation, entertainment and cultural offerings. Our weather’s not too bad either!

Local apples. Having been raised in a local apple-growing community, I can’t enjoy anything called “apple” that is shipped from elsewhere in the country (or world) and sold in our grocery stores. No matter the variety, Hudson Valley apples just taste better. A farmer told me once that he thought it might be our acid soils that make the local apples taste so fine. Whatever the reason, I am happy it’s apple season now! Do you have a favorite variety or local farmstand?

Only two more days
until the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Route 9, Rhinebeck. Did you see the official program and taster’s guide inserted in last week’s Poughkeepsie Journal? Saturday, September 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, September 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food concessions. Music. Chef demos. Art and crafts vendors. Kids activities. And of course, wine from all over New York state to sample and purchase. Visit for ticket prices and options. I’ll be there on Saturday – stop by the Journal table and say “hi!” You can tell me if you spotted my photo in the program. ☺

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.

And I can’t forget that the fest’s Grand Reserve Wine Tasting on Friday (Sept. 5) from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. benefits the Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation. The dinner that accompanies the tasting celebrates "The Bounty of the Hudson Valley," featuring Hudson Valley products prepared by eight of the area's most well-respected chefs. Eight wineries, (from the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes, and some international locations) will pair wines with each chef's creation. The dinner will be take place in the Horticultural Building at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck. Michael Green, (Wine and Spirits consultant to Gourmet Magazine), will speak and will be on hand to offer wine pairing advice to guests.

Here is more from the press release:

George Verrilli, MD, Chairman of the NDH Foundation will be attending the Grand Reserve Dinner with his wife, Christine. "We are so grateful to Michael Babcock and his team for all the effort they have put forth in creating this special event for the benefit of Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation. We are honored to have been chosen as the recipient of proceeds from his event, and we look forward to seeing many community members -- from wine novices to connoisseurs -- there that night to help us celebrate," said Dr. Verrilli.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 1-888-687-2517. The price is $80 per person, and the ticket price includes a half price admission ticket to the Festival, good for either Saturday, September 6th or Sunday, September 7th (with purchase code HVGR08). All proceeds benefit Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation.

And I’m especially happy that school started today!!

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