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September 19, 2014
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Now is the winter of my discontent

TV travel host Wendy Stuart joins artists’ reception host Jeffrey Spitz while showing off her latest purchase at the Brook House Gallery in Barryville, NY.


Eyeing the pasta, I moved on and chatted briefly with Bob Eckert (www.northernfarmhousepasta.com) who explained that he and wife Jen are “new to the business”—with their second anniversary around the corner—but they are just as invested in the community. “These people are our friends,” he said, looking around, “not just customers, and we look forward to seeing them every week, regardless of the season.” Based in Roscoe, NY, the Eckerts use 100% organic flour from the Finger Lakes Region, and rely on local farms to provide them with “fresh, seasonal produce to create exceptional pasta and ravioli that highlights the local flavors these lands have to offer.”

I stuffed my reusable bag with mushrooms from Heller’s Farm in Bainbridge, NY; “Anti-Depressant” tea from Catskill Mountain Herbs of Bethel, NY (www.catskillmountainherbs.com); and an aromatic cedarwood soap from Jim and Tracy Fawley (www.windypondfarm.com) of Lake Como, PA. I spoke with the Fawleys, who enthused about their Nigerian dwarf goats and how the soaps are made. “I’m the milkmaid and he’s the soap-meister,” Tracy laughed. “Our neighbors call her the crazy goat lady,” Jim added, waving me on to the soap-making demonstration taking place in the kitchen. Gudrun Feigl (www.mountpleasantherbary.com) was in her element, describing the history of soap to a small gathering, taking them through the process, step by step, and creating bars of soap scented with lavender and sage right there on the spot. Observer Cynthia Capicchioni had driven from Hortonville, NY to take advantage of the workshop and was “captivated.” I was, too, but decided it was better to support these entrepreneurs, rather than attempt making my own, and I made my way to the Brook House Gallery in Barryville, NY to observe (IMHO) more talented people engaged in creative activities that are better left to others (rather than to of my own devices).