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The Chatter for July 2012

The Chatter for July 2012

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Published by Carlos Stewart
You may not live in small town American, but you can pretend that you do
You may not live in small town American, but you can pretend that you do

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Published by: Carlos Stewart on Jul 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Vol. 2 . . . JULY 2012 . . . No. 7
Who knew this little rag would last a year! There are so many people to thank but, as you know, firstwe need to have a quick review of June happenings. The biggest event was The Art Collective. 14artists were set-up on the lawn of the American Hotel. There was an interesting collection of everything from pottery, paintings, photography, pen & ink, image compounds as well AustintaciousChocolates. At Village Hall Gallery held its annual “Used Art Sale” as well as hosting the twoexhibitions, “Anomalous” and “Portraits at an Exhibition.” And a fabulous price break on Mary Beachcollages. Kudos to everyone involved, particularly Heidi who masterminded this grand soiree as wellas Doug and Garth who graciously loaned the lawn space gratis to support the arts in Sharon Springs.And, thank you to the artists who participated in this first annual event.The Jeff Katz Sextet and Allison Stewart hit the right note with some smooth jazz. Sue Fink was kindenough to volunteer at the gallery so that I could get on the bus. The tour bus that is. Nancy Pfau andMitchell Owens (you must know them by now . . . right? ) led a very enjoyable and informative tourof the village, Adelphi Paper Hangings, Chartwell Studios and Thistle Hill Weavers. It was great funto be a tourist for an hour and I couldn't help but think if I were visitor on this tour, I would be quiteimpressed with the crafts(wo)men of this area.A fun moment was when Doug was given a drawing of the Masonic Hall that an artist drew duringthe day. Doug exclaimed, “Imagine, this was a blank piece of paper at the beginning of the day!”
of JULY ! 
On July 2
1776 The Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Two days later theDeclaration of Independence was adopted. It has been celebrated since then as Independence Day but didn't become a federal holiday until 1941.
It seems appropriate as we celebrate the first year of Chatter-dom, to feature the magnificentVILLAGE HALL GALLERY, domain of our editor-in-chief, Leila Durkin!This charming gallery/shop with its guest loft apartment has added immeasurably to the ambiance of today’s Village of Sharon Springs. No matter the weather, you will always find a welcome here.Plus, the building itself has a rather unique history! Built circa 1850, this lovely Italianate structurewas located originally several blocks north near the intersection of Pavilion and Main Streets where itoperated as a Mercantile Shop. In 1894, the Village purchased the building and moved it to itspresent location. During the 20
Century many shared the space: the basement was the Village jailuntil 1915; the community used the upstairs for meetings, dances, and dinners; the Sharon SpringsFree Library [the very first library in the county] moved into the downstairs back room in 1910; andthe Fire Department housed its trucks in the front of the building until 1964. After the fire trucksmoved to new quarters, the Library expanded its space and the Village offices took over the rest. Jumping forward to 2008, the Village Offices and the Library had moved to the renovated bowlingalley just at the top of the Main Street Hill; so Leila and Philip Durkin saw an opportunity andpurchased the former “village hall”. The Durkins have taken this tired edifice and transformed it intoa jewel. As Leila is fond of saying, “We like to think of our building as a lady who had never had timeto get dressed up until recently – now she has her make-up on, she is all dressed up and loves to beseen.”If you have not yet visited the new art space, you are in for a treat – the Durkins removed a droppedceiling to reveal beautiful period wainscoting, added new French Doors to the front to replicate thefeel of the Fire House doors, and have opted for a large upstairs loft room, airy and light-filled, forovernight guest accommodations. It is rumored that a benevolent spirit may be lurking, some say thefloor squeaks near a floral painting, when no one is walking! Who knows!Sam Goodyear recently wrote about his visit in
The Freeman’s Journal 
: “I was on my way to theexhibition at the Village Hall Gallery. And a most revelatory visit it was. Leila Durkin has assembledportraits from three previous installations and they speak volumes about people in our own midst, atwork, at rest, at worship. Though, as it happened, I did know one or two of the subjects personally, Icame away feeling I knew all of them.”The Village Hall Gallery is on the New York State’s Register of Historic Places, the National Register,and in 2011 was given an Otsego 2000 award for Historic Preservation.Nancy Pfau, Sharon Town Historian
Summer is here and the weather forecast for local Fourth of July celebrations predicts a partly cloudy day with a high around 80o F. Perfect! After all of the parades are over, back yards will be filledwith the heavenly scents of hot dogs, burgers and BBQ ribs on the grill, and picnic tables will beladen with deviled eggs, baked beans, macaroni and potato salads, pies and cakes and homemade icecream. No doubt, Brooks BBQ will be making the local rounds as well. But don’t forget that summeralso brings us a mouthwatering array of fresh fruits and veggies at our local farmers’ markets thatcan add some variety and balance to the heaviness of the aforementioned foods on the table.Add some fresh, cool colors from dark green lettuces, watercress, beet greens, kale, with green onionsand garlic scapes, and sweet, snow and sugar-snap peas along with a few of your favorite nuts orseeds for a healthful and simple salad. Use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, or coldcantaloupe and other melons as a topping on shortbread. Put chunky pieces of green, red, yellow andorange bell peppers on the grill along with thick slices of onion, zucchini and tomato. And don’tforget the counter-intuitive cooling action of red hot peppers and spicy lettuces such as arugula,radishes, and spearmint, peppermint, paprika and black pepper. Here is my favorite summer recipefor cold tomato soup (Gazpacho), which can lightly add balance to the picnic table bounty. It can bequickly and easily prepared in a food processor, but I often enjoy taking the time to chop eachingredient by hand in a wooden chopping bowl. Use all organic ingredients for the best flavors.
Combine these ingredients in a wooden bowl (or processor) and chop.2-3 large ripe tomatoes (peel, remove seeds and membranes), or ½ to 1 can of diced tomatoes1 med clove garlic2 large sweet red peppers (seeded)½ to 1 C fresh herbs (chives, basil, dill, parsley, tarragon and others of your choice)Add:¼ C cold-pressed olive oil3 tablespoons of lemon juice3-4 C of water or preferably R.W.Knudsen’s Very Veggie juice or V-8 juicePrepare and add to the above:1 sweet Spanish onion, chopped2 eight to ten-inch cucumbers (peeled, seeded and chopped)1 tsp salt (or to taste)½ tsp paprika (or to taste)Chill the soup for at least 4 hours before serving – overnight is best. Garnish with parsley or chives, andserve over an ice cube in each bowl. YUM! Makes 8-10 cups
I am sure that this recipe is a revised version from an early copy of the Joy of Cooking cookbook (I.S.Rombauer & M.R. Becker). Use your imagination to make this recipe yours and to complete thenutrient palate of your picnic table.Linda H. Keller, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Nutrition Educator, Counselor and Consultant

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