It’s Labor Day. The unofficial end of summer is here and we’re trying to think
what we did this summer. Besides it being hot (sometimes unbearably so!) the days seemed to fly by due in large part to Delphina, our former Assistant who we promoted to full-time Innkeeper. Delphina has taken over full time responsibility for the day to day operation of the inn. She loves the new duties which also include growing fresh tomatoes and herbs in the garden we dedicated for her use at the side of the inn. With it she’s been able to experiment with new muffin recipes. Parmesan Pesto and Cherry Sage are personal favorites. Additionally her signature entree, Eggs Benedict Casserole, features a side of pan roasted potatoes with fresh rosemary and thyme.
Now, however, we look forward to Autumn. Cooler days and nights, the changing of the leaves, shorter days and apples, apples, apples! The Hudson Valley is home to one of the country’s largest harvests of apples of every variety. It’s no wonder we use them in our fall menu’s. A guest favorite is Poached Apples served over Vanilla Greek Yogurt and topped with a homemade Butterscotch Crunch topping. Fresh made Allspice Apple Butter Muffins are made even better since we make the apple butter right at The Croff House.
Autumn is also the time when thoughts turn to the holidays. As usual The Croff House will be decked out for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year the Hudson Business Coalition will be coordinating the Second Annual “Holiday House Tour” on Sunday, December 9. During the inaugural event last year we welcomed over 150 visitors to the inn and, as the event’s popularity grows we look to see more folks enjoying the beauty of the season. More details to follow. Before you know it strains of “Auld Lang Syne” will be sung and glasses raised to 2019.
But for now it’s ok to ask “where’d the summer go?”. Don’t forget to book your Fall getaway at The Croff House. Click here for rates and availability.
To quote from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel “June is bustin’ out all over”, all over Hudson and Columbia County. Need proof? Check out the Columbia County Tourism departments list of events for the month. From dance, to live theater and from book readings to car shows there’s something for everyone. Of course one of Hudson’s biggest annual events is the Hudson Flag Day Parade produced each year by the Hudson Elks. This year the event takes place on June 9 and will once again feature great food, family fun and – of course – fireworks! Many of the events are free or very low cost.
Don’t forget that June is bustin’ out all over dads too! Father’s Day is June 17 this year and if you can’t think of something to get “the man who has everything” we have just the solution: a weekend at The Croff House and a 60-minute in-house massage. (While you’re at it why not treat mom too?) He can start his weekend off listening to Funky Knuckles at Club Helsinki on Friday, enjoy everything strawberry at nearby Kinderhook’s “Strawberry Fest 2018” and wrap up Saturday back at Club Helsinki with the bawdy humor of Hedda Lettuce, self-described as “the world’s first and premiere eco-friendly drag queen.” It’ll be a weekend he won’t soon forget!
The Pavilion Theater at PS21
June is bustin’ out all over right up until the end of the month as PS21 opens its new state-of-the-art open air performance space on June 30. According to PS21’s website:
The new 300-seat open-air pavilion theater replaces the tent that served as the main venue for twelve years. It is an elegant, flexible design and includes state- of-the-art sound and lighting. The black box theater portion of the venue, a 40’x60’ performance space enclosed in the winter and seating up to 99, opened in April. The pavilion portion of the theater, open in warmer months, is created when the black box transforms into a stage and the east wall slides open.
Headlining the opening are TAKE Dance, Parsons Dance, and Vanaver Dance, accordionist Guy Klucevsek, and physical comedian Hillary Chaplain. To find out more about these outstanding acts click here.
Summer’s heating up and June is bustin’ out all over Hudson and Columbia County. Come find out why our area of the Hudson Valley has become such an amazing destination and make sure to include a stay at The Croff House in your plans.
The Croff House Dining Room
Our first Dinner at The Croff House event was a huge success. On Saturday, January 13 three couples who were staying with us enjoyed a 5-course dinner, freshly prepared at the Inn. Outside the temperatures dipped into the single digits and a light sheet of ice seemed to be coating every surface. Inside, however, the crackle of the Living Room fireplace and the camaraderie of the guests started the evening off with the warmth of hospitality for which The Croff House is well known.
Dinner @ The Croff House place setting
The Dining Room was closed off to set the tables with gleaming sterling silver place settings and sparkling Waterford crystal, both adding a touch of elegance to the comfort of the room. The Dinner started off with Hudson-Chatham Winery Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine paired with warm Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Tartines in the Living Room.
Dinner @ The Croff House place setting
A short while later guests were invited into the Dining Room to continue their Dinner. The meal ended with a White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Poached Cherries, Quinta do Noval “Black” Port, and freshly brewed coffee and tea. All in all it was a lovely evening and we are so happy to have been able to share it with such a wonderful group of guests.
The Hudson Chatham Winery is located just a short drive from The Croff House
Wine Enthusiast is out with the latest scores for New York State wines. Hudson Chatham Winery received some terrific scores for several of their outstanding wines. New York State wines are often overlooked by most consumers either at wine shops or restaurants, which is unfortunate because wines from the Empire State can be quite good as evidenced by the WE scores. The Finger Lakes region has long been known for excellent wines like reisling and other colder climate varietals. Long Island has a tradition of wine making that dates back centuries. The Hudson Valley, long known for excellent farming (many of the top restaurants in New York City get their fresh produce delivered from farms just a few hours north), is becoming more and more well known for high quality wines. Each year/vintage gives the winemakers opportunities to hone their creations and each year more and more of these wineries are being recognized by wine critics and enthusiasts from all over the world.
If you haven’t had the chance to sample New York State wines there are several within a short drive from The Croff House that offer complimentary tastings. We’re convinced that once you try them you will, like us – and Wine Enthusiast – , agree they are quite delicious!
New York State is know for apples. Just outside Hudson there are many apple orchards for “U Pick” family fun. Farm stands are overflowing with all varieties of apples. Restaurants have apples on their menu in salads, main dishes and – of course – desserts. So it’s no surprise that one a guest-favorite fruit course in Fall features apples! But, as with most of our dishes, we put our own twist on the dish to make it special. This is great on oatmeal, pancakes, french toast, or even ice cream. So here’s a great recipe to make use of all those apples:
Poached Spiced Apples with Butterscotch Crunch Topping (serves 4)
For the apples:
4 Firm apples (Granny Smith works really well), peeled and cored
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp. Ground Allspice
Pinch of Ground Clove
[as an alternative McCormick makes an “Apple Pie Spice” blend that saves time]
For the topping:
1/3 cup Butterscotch chips
3 Tbsp. oatmeal
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Cut the apples into bite size pieces, not too small
- Put the water and brown sugar into a medium saucepan over medium heat
- Add the apples, stir and bring to a simmer and cover
- Let simmer for 7-10 minutes until the reach the desired consistence (they should have a little “bite” in the center)
- Remove from the heat, uncover and allow to cool
While the apples are cooling:
- Place the butterscotch chips in a small food processor or chop by hand into small bits and place in a medium bowl
- Place the oatmeal and brown sugar in the food processor and pulse 5-7 times, just to cut the oats down a bit, and add to the chips
- Stir to combine
Serve cooled/warm apples over vanilla yogurt or the flavor of your choice and sprinkle the topping over the apples to taste. Leftover topping can be kept in a plastic container or storage bag and used for later. You can also make a large batch of the topping and put in small mason jars and give it as gifts!
So if you think you’ve run out of ways to use all the apples around, try this recipe. We also have a great recipe for Honey Ginger Poached Pears – email me at email@example.com for the recipe.
Hudson Restaurants star in the 2014 Taste of Hudson
Hudson Restaurants were the star of the show at this year’s Taste of Hudson event, hosted by BeLo 3rd on Saturday, September 6. Now in it’s 6th year Taste of Hudson features local Hudson restaurants and caterers and provides participants the opportunity to taste a wide array of cuisines including Indian, Italian, Caribbean and a whole lot more. Those with a sweet tooth weren’t disappointed either as several of the tasting tables offered everything from delicious home baked cookies to stunningly sinful cakes and decadent brownies.
The Hudson Standard
Non-alcoholic beverages were available as well, including a new, locally made handcrafted bitters-inspired mixer called The Hudson Standard. The “shrubs” can be both an ingredient in various recipes for updated classic cocktails or, added to seltzer, a refreshing “adult soda”.
On average each “taste” was a mere $3. Tickets are sold at $1 per ticket and the Hudson restaurants participating set the price for the item they were sampling.
The event is the perfect opportunity for participants, whether local or from out of town, to be introduced to the wide range of Hudson restaurants and the cuisine they offer. For the Hudson restaurants the Taste of Hudson event is also a great chance to showcase the chefs’ culinary talents to those who may be unfamiliar with the restaurant or even the type of cuisine they offer. It’s a “win” for everybody.
Taste of Hudson is held around the same time each year and each year the event draws more and more people, who enjoy sampling the food but also getting out into the community and meeting friends, both old and new, and enjoying the day. The city of Hudson is the host but the real stars are the all Hudson restaurants, caterers and other vendors who really steal the show.
Put it in your calendar for next year. Who knows which new Hudson restaurant will be there?
Spring brings warm weather and with it the “bounty” begins in Columbia County, which helps us in making the most of local farms.
The whole “locavore” trend continues to be hot. Guests are always happier when they know the fruit, vegetables and herbs we are using at The Croff House are all grown locally. We strongly believe in supporting our local farmers, and some things actually come from our own garden as well. In the winter we have to make due with melons from Mexico, pineapple from Costa Rica and strawberries from California. Not that there is anything wrong with these products, but in the Spring and Summer when we can serve locally sourced, freshly picked items it makes a big difference.
Locally sourced fruit is fresh and delicious and makes the perfect ingredient in our homemade jams.
Making the most of our local farms isn’t limited to what’s on our guests’ plates, however. We also use locally sourced fruits and veggie in the items we sell in our “curio”: jams, chutneys, salsas and more. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to make use of the amazing array of fresh produce available to us this time of year. One of our newest creations utilizes juicy and delicious local strawberries: Strawberry, Pineapple and Mango salsa. Imagine that served with grilled chicken or fish! What about with just a big bowl of crunchy tortilla chips? YUM!
Locally grown sugar snap peas used to make a delicious soup to serve hot or cold.
Another one of our favorites is Sugar Snap peas. We found this recipe for Sugar Snap Pea soup at Allrecipes.com. Using our pressure canner we “put up” a quintuple batch to enjoy throughout the year. Hot topped with a handful of crispy homemade croutons or cold with a dollop of sour cream and you’ve got a winner regardless of the weather.
So if you’re like us and you enjoy making the most from local farms take a drive up to Hudson. You never know what you’ll find.
Hudson Valley Holiday celebrations once again kick of this year with the Hudson Opera House’s Winterwalk 2013.
If you’ve ever seen the move “A Christmas Story” (check out clips from the movie), you’ll remember the scene where Ralph and all his family and friends celebrate the holidays with a parade down the main street ending (naturally) at Higbee’s – the local department store. Hudson’s Winterwalk harkens back to this slice of Americana, where things were simpler creating unforgettable holiday traditions.
Winterwalk is in its 17th year and is described on the Hudson Opera House’s website as,
Hudson’s mile-long commercial district transforms into a festive thoroughfare with twinkling lights, brightly decorated shops, horse-drawn wagons, live reindeer, stilt walkers, African drummers, carolers, hula hoopers and ballroom dancers, as well as a legion of other characters and performers.
The event provides something for everyone, and a stroll down Hudson’s historic Warren Street in the snow is sure to put you in the Holiday spirit.
The Croff House still has availaiblity for Winterwalk weekend. This is an event you won’t want to miss!
Christmas is our favorite time of the year. We get to decorate our home and celebrate the festivity of the season. Bright lights. Sparkling ornaments. Friends and loved ones together. They all signal that time of year when we share with each other the joy of the season
Traditionally Hudson kicks off the Holiday Season with Winterwalk which takes place this year on Saturday, December 6. This event truly is small town America at its best. Starting with a parade down Warren Street and featuring strolling musicians, lots of food and drink, holiday revelers dressed in period Victorian costumes, and of course Santa Claus Winterwalk is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Next year The Croff House will be participating in Winterwalk, but this year we get to enjoy it ourselves.
We look forward to 2009 when The Croff House opens its doors and we have the pleasure of welcoming guests and making the acquaintances of new friends. Over the next year we hope to be able to extend a warm greeting to people we have known for years and those we have yet the pleasure of meeting.
We wish you the best this holiday season, health and prosperity in 2009 and look forward to welcoming you in person to The Croff House in the near future.