Saturday, November 24, 2012

Looking for a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle Puppy


[caption id="attachment_1372" align="aligncenter" width="224"] Jack waiting to come back in the house. RIP dear friend....[/caption]



This past week I lost my dog Jack. On Tuesday he passed away. He would have been 15 on December 21st.

I spent the first couple of days on the internet searching for a puppy. We've had goldendoodles and labradoodles here at the B&B and I saw one at a show we did 3 or 4 years ago. I would love to have one of these dogs! Because of all the cross country skiing and walking I do, I thought they would be great because of their size. Also, I need to have a dog that doesn't shed.

I'm very concerned at this point because Maggie, my Cairn Terrier is so sad. She's never lived without Jack.

[caption id="attachment_1371" align="aligncenter" width="224"] Maggie Mae Please help us find a puppy for me to have as my new friend.....[/caption]

She's so if there's someone out there that has a goldendoodle or labradoodle puppy I can get to without driving for a million years....please let me know. Maggie will appreciate it very much!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Using safe bleach for cleaning how North Fork B&B is being green

I have had the opportunity to spend some time over this past summer in Keene Valley, NY. Keene Valley is noted for it's beauty as it's situated among the high peaks in the Adirondack Mountains. It is breath takingly beautiful and a place that should be on everyone's bucket list, in my opinion. My time was spent kayaking on Osgood, swimming in Chapel pond and just plain relaxing and visiting at various places in the valley.

Over this past summer my daughter was the educator for the Nature Conservancy's Invasive Plant Program. She did an amazing job as their intern and I learned a lot about invasives and our environment each time I visited.

My first trip was to kayak and it happened to fall on the same day as my daughter's radio interview. On that day I learned that if you don't clean your kayak or boat off before going into another body of water, you could be spreading trouble! Yes, I couldn't believe it. I never knew or even ever thought of such a thing. After using your kayak, canoe or boat, you need to dry it in the sun, take it and wash it at a car wash or wash it at home. Stuff that gets on your boat in one body of water that may have one or more invasive species, can be spread to another place by your boat if you don't clean it off. Honestly, none of this ever occurred to me. It most certainly does now. As I learned more about this, I was alarmed. I kept thinking about places I had kayaked and if my boat went from one place to another uncleaned. I think I'm safe. Lucky for me, I usually go to one place and then there's quite a bit of time before I travel again and my kayak is most certainly, in the sun.

My next memorable experience (which will stand out always) was a swim in chapel pond. With mountain rock faces in both directions, this is a most incredible place! The water was warm enough for me to venture in and I was able to swim over to the beach. It will stand out as one of my most memorable experiences for sure. I had a chance to go back there this past weekend. It was even more beautiful than I had remembered. The water was much colder this time so I waded and took pictures. A wonderful, peaceful and highly recommended place for sure.

Now onto my topic, bleach. There is so much I do not know.... Bleach, as anyone who has ever used it knows, is a tough product to use. It smells really bad and can take your breath away. When used with super hot water, it's caustic. It's bad for the environment. BUT you can use different bleach that is safe. guessed it, it doesn't smell!! The best part is that cleans really well. My knowledge in this area is very limited at best. I'm not trying to sell a product here either. I am trying to share what I have learned, assuming (and we all know what that means) there are lots of people out there that, like me, don't have a clue about this stuff. So, that being said, the kind of bleach I am currently using is seventh generation. It's free and clear and it's safe for colors. It was really cool to watch too. I usually bleach my sink and dish cloths so I used this to see if it would work. I was so happy not to have that awful smell! You can actually see it working, lifting stuff out and moving around. I have to say I found it pretty amazing. It really made me think.

So, I decided I would blog about it in the hopes that others would learn about this too. As a B&B owner I was glad to know about this too. I will share this with other B&B people so they can hopefully rid themselves of that awful bleach smell and see how well this stuff cleans. This will hopefully also help to spread the word.

I hope I was able to enlighten you a little bit as that's the plan. More educators are needed to help spread the word and teach others what they can do to help stop invasive species and also help our environment. This is just a very small part of what we need to be doing. Please take some time to look for these safe products and others you can use. Try your local health food store to find these kinds of products.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Molasses Cookies At North Fork Bed and Breakfast/Gifts



Today I have decided to write about my molasses cookies. I find this topic both interesting and exciting. If you're a person that loves a good molasses cookie, then this post is for you!

Last week enroute to a Dr.'s appointment, I noticed a street name that I had been looking for because it was where a restaurant supply store was supposed to be located. On my way back, I stopped there. I was delighted to find the 1963 Cooky Book by Betty Crocker. I began reading this book right away and baked my heart out the next day trying recipes. These cookies are absolutely delicious!! If you are interested in these cookies you can find them at the Canton Farmer's Market on Tuesdays and Fridays when I'm there selling baked goods( created by Baker Road Bakery), organic loose leaf teas(courtesy of Specialtea Teas), St. Lawrence Valley Roaster's Coffee and both hot and iced coffee as well as iced tea made from organic loose leaf tea.

Now back to the cookies! In my quest to find fabulous molasses cookies, I began trying these recipes. The first is quite interesting. This recipe came fron the butter and sugar saving days of World War II. They were made because they were inexpensive and easy on the budget. They are a solft molasses cookie packed with molasses flavor. Personally, I just love them! If you like molasses cookies, you really should try these. There are also variations which I will discuss another time. Here is the recipe:

Molasses Jumbles

1/4 cup plus 1 Tsp. shortening (I used butter)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup molasses

31/2 cups Flour

1 Tbls. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup cold water

Heat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Stir in molasses. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting.Stir ingredients together.(Don't be alarmed by the large amount of baking soda as it makes the cooky more tender.) Blend into creamed mixture alternately with water. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough 2 to 3" apart on lightly creased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. Makes about 4 doz. cookies.

The second recipe is Molasses Crinkles Cookies. As I read the ingredients for these cookies I realized it was a recipe I had used before. It's fondly referred to by my husband as "Aunt Hilda's recipe."  This cookie, I found out, was the best cooky of 1930-1935. "Cookies banish depression blues...After the stock market crash, money was scarce and families enjoyed simple pleasures like reading aloud, taking nature hikes, and visiting friends-all occasions for chewy, hearty cookies like these." Pg. 143 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book.

These cookies are called crinkles because you sprinkle 2 or 3 drops of water onto them before baking. The tops crinkle.This is a chewy cookie and it is delicious too!

Molasses Crinkles

3/4cup soft shortening (I used butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

21/4 cups flour

2 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

granulated sugar

Mix  butter, sugar, egg, and molasses thoroughly.  Measure flour. Blend all ingredients. Chill.

Heat oven to 375. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Dip tops in sugar. Place balls, sugared side up, 3" apart on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 2 or 3 drops of water. Baker 10 to 12 min., or just until set but not hard. Makes 4 doz. cookies.

I was also surprised at all of the facts I've been learning. One example is that Molasses was the chief sweetener in homes during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Light molasses comes from the first boil of the sugar cane stalks; dark from the second.

So, I must say, it's been quite the learning experience. People love molasses cookies. If baking these is too much for you, stop by the market and pick some up to share with friends and family or much on as you walk around the market.












Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baker Road Bakery is Baking Like Crazy for Jernabi Coffeehouse

Well I have to say that I have been baking up a storm! If you haven't tried Jernabi Coffeehouse in Potsdam,NY, you owe yourself a trip! It is the best coffee you'll ever drink. All of the coffee is roasted by St. Lawrence Valley Roasters owned by my husband Tim. He has an upcoming grand opening but in the meantime, be sure to stop by and get yourself some fabulous coffee. Be sure to purchase some baked goods to go along with it. I plan to begin posting more recipes. I am retiring from teaching and will be able to provide recipes and more blog posts. We will be offering loose leaf teas as well courtesy of Specialtea Teas. Lots of really fun and really exciting things going on so please do stop back from time to time and check up on what's happening. Here is some of what I've been baking with more pics and recipes to follow.

[caption id="attachment_1293" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Baker Road Bakery's Whoopie Pies available at Jernabi Coffeehouse"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1294" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Scones,Scones and more Scones!"][/caption]

So be looking for more pictures and the entrance of our loose leaf teas, courtesy of Specialtea Teas, very soon!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

North Fork B&B Now Offering Loose Leaf Specialty Teas

Well, it's certainly been a while since I have blogged. The school year is coming to a close, our kitchen is finally finished and we've had more and more guests coming to North Fork B&B. Tim has purchased Jernabi coffee shop in Potsdam and I've been doing the baking. We plan to offer teas as well. Currently, I have approximately 25 different kinds of lose leaf teas. I have many that are perfect for iced tea as well. The addition of the coffee shop is very exciting! We will be having our grand opening so stay tuned for that. We have some work we'd like to do before we're ready to have our grand opening but I'm sure it will be in the very near future.

This summer I'd like to begin offering some of the special packages I've mentioned in the past, like craft classes. I'm always looking for input on what people would like. I'd love to have a weekend of quilters at the B&B so if you quilt and you and your friends are looking for a quilting retreat (up to 7 people) we can provide that for you.  All of you that spin are welcome to bring your spinning wheels and come for a weekend too. The spa package is also still an option. Let me know and I can have the massage therapist on hand for a pampering weekend. I have lots of ideas but so far, no takers on these. I am looking forward to summer and hoping we have good weather. I will be at the Farmer's Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays in Canton with tea and coffee. I also plan to be blogging so please look for my blogs as well.

I'm off to make breakfast for our guests. If you have requests for special weekends (or during the week) please let me know.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The River Room

Yesterday I spoke about the kitchen and how it's taken so long to do. We are finally nearing completion! Today I spent a good part of the day painting the River Room. When they put the new carrying beam into the ceiling in the kitchen, many of the walls upstairs in the River Room cracked. They were all spackled and sanded but in need of paint. When I started out this morning, I realized the paint was the wrong color. This set me back a bit time wise but I was able to get the correct color and carry on. The room finally looks back to normal except for the stuff from the kitchen. Hopefully as the week progresses all of that will be remedied as well. It certainly will be nice to have guests again and I'm very excited about serving breakfast in the kitchen!!

There are lots of new things on the horizon. I will be blogging to keep everyone up to date. Went for a ski today. I must say it was really nice to have some winter, finally too. Look for news from Specialtea Teas which will be upcoming too.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh That Kitchen!

If any of you have been looking to see if I've been blogging, you'll notice that I have not. Since early October, we've been struggling with our kitchen. It has literally been the project from hell with one set back after another and every possible problem right down to damaged flooring! We haven't been able to fully run the B&B either. When they say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, they are not kidding. We are finally down to what I am hoping and praying is the end of this endeavor. This upcoming week should be the end. At this point all that is left is some electrical and a ton of trim, lest I forget, flooring! At any rate, for the 3rd week in a row, I've been promised that this is the last week. My goal this weekend is to finish everything needed for the B&B. I'm going to include some pictures of the progress. As I stated earlier, we are nearing completion.


Our new kitchen will feature a wonderful breakfast bar. When we have guests coming by themselves or continental breakfasts, guests will have the option of using the breakfast bar. It's always nice to have choices! Our kitchen will also have a lovely eating area which is currently under construction.  We can certainly serve our guests in the dining room in the meantime but we're looking forward to the cozy, homey kitchen where on cold winter mornings our guests can have breakfast near the woodstove. It is all very exciting but it certainly has taken a very long time. In an old house where nothing is level or plum and everything has to be recreated, time is required. If anyone thinks they can just go and purchase their cabinetry and come home and put them up, think again! Check those walls first and the floors too. Are they level? Anyway, most of my energy has gone into this renovation. I'm hoping to get back into blogging. I do enjoy it. There are lots of other things to let you know about and my plan is to start updating on everything via my blog. Here's hoping that time allows.