Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meat Me in the Mountains

Here's a simple way to make yourself a delicious, healthy and nutritious snack for a day touring the backcountry or for when you're sitting on the chairlift - beef jerky is the perfect protein-packed snack for taking to the mountains. Use the cheapest cut of the best meat you can afford (local and organic, if you're able). I use a convection oven to dry it. Maybe you have a food dehydrator. Or just do it in your oven set on 'warm'. Why would you buy beef jerky when it's so easy to make?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Skiing, Back in the Day

Still looking for that perfect Holiday gift for that skier in your life?  George Quinn, whom many of you know as our mild-mannered shopkeeper on the second floor of the lodge at Plattekill, has assembled a fabulous collection of photographs and stories from the early days of skiing in the Catskills in his latest book, Skiing in the Catskill Region.  The book is available for $20 in his shop. Stop by and pick one up on your next visit to Platty!

Here's Laszlo with young Nicholas back in 2003. 
Did you know that there was a log-cabin Ski Bureau located in the corner of Grand Central Terminal in the 1940's (upper left)?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

End of Winter?

Our notion of the seasons is based upon misty memories of seemingly distant childhood, itself constructed of myth and fantasy. Time was different then - a drive to the mountains felt like an eternity: how much longer? How long did winter last then? And how long is winter now, really? Our expectations, inflected with nostalgia, compete with the reality of climate change.

I found myself feeling down and out last week. I couldn't get over the feeling, more familiar in late March than mid-December, that the wonderful winter that we'd had was coming to an end. It didn't matter that that season had only lasted a week. When we took our first ride on the triple at Plattekill on opening day last Saturday, we were enjoying what felt like the depths of winter: light, fluffy powder and cold. It didn't matter that there really wasn't a base. Returning to Platty after 9 months, it felt as though we had never left.  
Chairlift? We don't need no stinkin' chairlift.
Switchback on Opening Day at Platty
Opening day was glorious. Day two was heavy and challenging but how wonderful to have the whole mountain covered. And 3 days of gorgeous cross-country skiing at Mohonk Preserve and Shaupeneak Ridge, 5 minutes from my house in Esopus. It had been several years since we saw such conditions down here in the Valley.  
Shaupeneak Ridge, Esopus

Mohonk Preserve
And then, spring came. Temps in the 60's and rain will wash away all of what Mama N. gave us and much of what, with great ingenuity and industry, was made by man.  

But don't worry - winter will be back this week. And it's still early. Think of last week as foreplay, an appetizer for the main course to come. How big will the portions be?  How tasty? The anticipation is part of the pleasure.