Friday, August 17, 2018

Pumping Iron

Hello, everyone!  We hope that you’re enjoying the last weeks of summer, managing with the unpredictable weather, and savoring all the great flavors.  We also hope that you’ll be able to visit us at Pathfinder Produce (“We’re rooted in community!”), at the Village Commons this Thursday, from 1 to 5 p.m.

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Pathfinder, and we’re getting in as much summer fun as we can!  This Thursday evening, the Norwich City Band will be putting on a free concert at the Pavilion at 6 p.m., and the public is welcomed.  And of course, we have our regular Summer Concert Series which continues on Saturday night at 7 p.m.  This week’s free concert will feature Dirt Road Express, one of our favorite regional country trios.  Come on down for some great music!

Below, my colleague Martha Spiegel recounts our recent American Red Cross Community Blood Drive and encourages everyone to donate if they are able to.  Our nation is in a blood shortage at present; donations are critical for trauma and burn patients, those needing surgery, and those who are undergoing cancer treatments.

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Last week, Pathfinder Village held its annual American Red Cross blood drive at the Gym, in partnership with NYCM Insurance. We had excellent participation from Pathfinder and NYCM staff, as well as the local community.  We want to send out our thanks to all who donated, our community volunteers, and to members of the Pathfinder Adult Day Services program, which helped people at the canteen following their donations.  Great job!

Donating blood is an easy way to do a good deed; it costs nothing but a bit of your time (and blood), and by doing so you can help save up to three lives! A very worthwhile effort!

I have been donating blood since I was 18, and over the past couple of decades, I have been trying to donate at least three times a year. One thing that can stand in my way is an occasional low iron level. A few times I have been disqualified from donating at all, or I’ve had to reduce my donation from “Power Reds” to regular donations due to insufficient iron levels. When I do have a successful donation, I am diligent about replenishing my iron levels. This is easily done by eating certain foods.

While it is tempting to reward myself with cookies at the canteen after a donation, I go for the raisins instead. A serving of raisins provides 4% of the daily recommended amount of iron, so it’s a good start, especially when combined with a beverage rich in vitamin C, such as cranberry juice.

The American Red Cross website provides a long list of iron-rich foods.  Most people know about iron in red meat, but there are so many more options, including varieties of seafood, vegetables, grains and fruit.  It’s important to have adequate iron in your regular diet, but it’s a good idea to increase your iron consumption in both the week before and the week after a blood donation.

Why is iron so important?  According to Web MD, iron is a key component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from your lungs to enrich all the cells in your body.  If you have iron deficiencies, then the corresponding lack of oxygen can affect every system, from brain function to the immune system.  Check this link out for signs of iron deficiency; it’s extremely important that women who are expecting be checked out to see if they are anemic.

For more information about being a blood donor, and to find the next blood drive near you, check out RedCrossBlood.org

Until next time, eat and be well!


Martha (and Lori)

Summer Sweetness

Hello everyone!  We hope that you and your family are well and enjoying the best that summer has to offer … we are at Pathfinder Village!  Last week, during our Thursday night social hour at the Pavilion, many of us gathered with our friends and area Boy Scouts to sing old-fashioned campfire songs.  This week on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Pathfinder Village will host a Cruise-In at the Pavilion, which is being organized by volunteers from NYCM Insurance.  The public is invited to join in the fun!  I can’t wait to see some of the vintage cars … I’m an old softie when it comes to old cars.

Of course, we invite everyone down to our next tempting Pathfinder Produce market on Thursday, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Village Commons. Our market staff has some great produce for sale – delicious fruits and veggies that turn a ho-hum supper into a summer treat. 

Below, my colleague Sally Trosset shares some thoughts on one of the sweetest summer treats, fresh corn.

***

Everyone is thinking it, but no one wants to say it: fall is just around the corner. 
I was recently chatting with a teacher friend of mine.  “I can’t believe it's already August,” I said.  “Wasn't it just July 4th?"

"I know," she responded. "The August blues are like the Sunday night blues, but for a full month!"

So true, I thought.  That anxious feeling...we have to get everything done before Labor Day or before the weather turns.  Eventually, we’ll get excited about all the apples and “pumpkin-spiced everything” that’s coming our way.  Not yet though. 

With that thought, I called a friend who I usually bike ride with and told her we NEEDED to go for a nice long excursion on the weekend.  The rain that had plagued us for many days was going to clear and the skies promised to be blue.

So, ride we did!   Sunday morning we set out on our usual long trek through the back roads of Cooperstown, through Springfield, out to Van Hornsville, and back into Cooperstown.  It had been so long! 

As I was pedaling, I felt like I was in a life-sized corn maze the entire 30-mile ride: windy side roads, up-hill, down-hill, going past cornfield after cornfield.  My mouth was watering by the time I got home two hours later.  Yes, I literally needed water, but I quickly announced to my family, "Tonight we are grilling and we need corn-on-the-cob! It's August and we are going to savor this summer month in the best way we know how--eating!”

Everyone loves eating the freshest seasonal vegetables. But it's even better when you can get locally grown veggies at the peak of freshness. So where can you get local, homegrown sweet corn?  This time of year, any roadside stand is almost guaranteed to provide you with succulent corn.  I sent my son out to the east side of Otsego Lake, and I told him to take his pick on where to stop. I had passed nearly six stands in about six miles when I was riding back into town.

This sweet and savory side is made even more delicious when prepared on the grill.  Grilling the corn is our method of choice.  I quickly did some research and found some great recipes at the Hello Fresh blog.  Always a fan of the classic ear slathered with butter and sprinkled with sea salt, I was ready to try something different. 

We opted to try Mexican-, Italian-, and American-style corn.  These were all delicious, but my personal favorite was the Italian-style, grilled with a touch of pesto and parmesan cheese.  My kids were split between the Mexican-style (opting for butter instead of mayo), and American.  The American style featured a slight taste of maple syrup, which was a nice complement to the sweet corn.  Even though these extras make corn-on-the-cob less healthy (and corn does have a reputation of being high in carbohydrates), one should note that corn is actually healthy and you can indulge in this treat without guilt at the next family barbeque.

According to The Huffington Post, some of corn’s health benefits include being low in calories and high in antioxidants, protecting against cardiovascular disease and benefiting eye and colon health.  And even though it is sweet, it is also okay for those who are watching their blood sugar levels.

A yummy dinner was had by all, and our family agreed that we're not quite ready to throw in the towel on summer!  There are lots of late summer fruits and vegetables to enjoy and experiment with; we decided we would try to do more experimenting in the remaining weeks.  Our next adventure? Grilled peaches and watermelon!

Until next time, eat and be well,


Sally (and Lori)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Pathfinder School's Great Veggie Challenge!

Hello everyone!  Here we are, speeding through summer and enjoying all the great tastes of the season.  We hope that you and your family will come on down to our next tempting and tasty Pathfinder Produce market, this Thursday, from 1 to 5 p.m.  Pathfinder Produce … we’re rooted in community!

Looking ahead, our Summer Concert Series will feature one of our favorites, Monkey & the Crowbar, this coming Saturday night at the Pavilion at 7 pm (or the Community Chapel if it’s raining).  We’re more than halfway through our Camp Pathfinder adventures for 2018, and our Pathfinder Village Foundation is busy making plans for the upcoming fund-raisers in support of Pathfinder Scholarships, the Otesaga Hotel Seniors Open & Pro-Am, the Chobani Tennis Classic, and the Chobani Juniors Tennis Classic.  Click on the links to learn more about these benefit events, held in Cooperstown in the first full week of September, which do so much in support of our residents’ growth and individual fulfillment.  And of course, we send out our gratitude to all the sponsors, donors, participants, volunteers and others who make these annual events possible.


Our weather has provided some challenges this summer with some quick onset storms and days of high humidity.  That said, the students at Pathfinder School have learned to live by the motto, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!”  Read about their Great Veggie Challenge in this blog from Maura Iorio, our creative and fun-loving Director of Education at Pathfinder School!

Due to a forecast of thunderstorms, we had to quickly switch our outdoor plans this past week to indoor plans at Pathfinder School. With the help of Pathfinder’s Produce Market, The Great Veggie Challenge was born! Each of our classrooms received a tray full of delicious veggies (including some grown right in our Pathfinder Village Hoop Houses!) and were given one simple rule: Create a fun vegetable display!

Each classroom had their own unique spin on the challenge—ranging from artwork, 3-dimensional sculptures, and beautifully designed platters. Bonus—we got to work on our kitchen and safe food handling skills, build teamwork, and talk about making healthy snack choices!

Check out the amazing finished artworks!

Mrs. Kelly’s Classroom used vegetables instead of traditional paintbrushes to paint this vibrant bouquet!

Ms. Wilberg’s Classroom made some fantastic vegetable sculptures, complete with eyes, noses, ears, and even some wild and crazy hair-dos!  Look at those details—so cute!

Mrs. Kowalski’s Classroom made an “elegant owl” vegetable platter that would be sure to WOW at any event, complete with bowls for your favorite veggie dips!

With a display this great, it’s easy to “owl-ways” eat your vegetables!

Our staff and students had so much fun working on The Great Veggie Challenge, that we can’t wait to do it again!

We hope you are having a fun and veggie-filled summer!

Maura (and Lori)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Summer Adventures

Hello, everyone! I hope your summer is going well! Things are busy at Pathfinder Village this week, with our regular Pathfinder Produce market on Thursday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Don't forget about our convenient online ordering option, open Friday through Wednesday, so that you can pick up your delicious produce on following Thursday.
We also are going strong with our regular 21st annual Summer Concert Series. This week at the Pavilion we'll be featuring a new group, Betsy and the Bye Gons, on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.  The group will bring back the sounds of '60s girls' groups and other classic rock hits.  You can read more about our concerts on our website. The Summer Concert Series is a Decentralization Program.  These programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, which is administered by the Chenango County Council of the Arts, with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  The series is also made possible with funds from private donors, Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match Program, and WGY’s Christmas Wish.

We're also hosting our fourth session of Camp Pathfinder-- many of our experienced campers are returning for a two-week summer visit. This is an exciting opportunity for young adults with developmental and other disabilities, and we always enjoy hearing about the many lively and fun adventures our campers go on while they're with us.

***
This past week, my family and my brother's family had our own adventure, a trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto. For my son and my nephew, it was a new experience to see the Horseshoe Falls and learn about life in Canada. The highlight of Niagara was taking the trip behind the falls, and learning about the history of this natural wonder. Our trip was a short one, but we packed a lot into just two days.

When I travel, I love to learn about other region's agricultural products and foodways. Driving along the shore of Lake Ontario, I was surprised by the number of orchards and vineyards we drove past; there were many wineries that touted their wares: Ice House Winery, Marynissen Estates, Frog Pond Farm Organic, etc. If wine's your thing, then I'd recommend a trip north!  (A brief aside: Hockey great Wayne Gretzky has his own label … but that's for another adventure!)

Another thing we saw on the way was a huge hydroponic commercial farm, St. David's. Started in 1985 by three Dutch immigrants, the company began growing European bell peppers using hydroponic technology. Today, the farm specializes in peppers and eggplants and has over 70 acres of greenhouses. They also pride themselves on community involvement and using sustainable farming methods.

Our day trip to Toronto was focused on walking around the Financial District, the Harbour Front, and the Old Town. After spending lots of time in lines for the Falls the day before, we decided to pass on the CN Tower. We had a great time exploring around Rogers Centre (home of the Blue Jays), the Toronto Railway Museum (historic engines and cars, with a restored Roundhouse), and the Steam Whistle Brewery (a welcome break on a hot day).

Everywhere one looks in Toronto, high rises are being built, so my inner historian kept looking for preserved, smaller, older buildings. The Old Town area didn't disappoint, and the St. Lawrence Market was fun to visit. Named as the world's best food market by National Geographic in 2012, the first public market was founded by Lt. Governor Peter Hunter in 1803, as a way to both draw people to a central market location, and to regulate hours, transactions, etc. The first market was a wooden structure, which was replaced by a larger brick market in 1831.

The market website features an interactive timeline of important events and the evolution of the busy market. Inside, there are so many great products and produce items to shop for as evidenced by their online vendor list. During our brief walkthrough, I was impressed with how fresh everything looked, and although I'm not a disciplined shopper or great at on-the-fly currency exchanges, I thought the prices were reasonable. The market also offers family events that focus on cooking and baking classes, French culinary skills, and “Market Battles” where guests can sample the dishes of eateries that are competing in a themed cook-off (‘Smokehouse BBQ’ and ‘Skewered’ are this summer's competitions).

Until next time, savor the flavors and explore the world through food!

Lori









Friday, July 13, 2018

First Fruits

Hello everyone!  We hope that your July is going well and that you’ll be able to visit us soon at Pathfinder Produce.  We’ll have the freshest flavors around this coming Thursday, July 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. at our Edmeston market at the Village Commons.  Stop by our “little market that could” and say hello to our friendly and courteous staff!

Pathfinder Village is busy as ever, with our Camp Pathfinder campers joining us, our wonderful summer concerts in full swing (Saturdays at 7), and just a full slate for everyone!  That’s the great thing about our community … there’s always so many people to see each day and so many activities happening. 

***

This week, we enjoyed our first summer squashes from our garden, which I cooked on the grill as part of a flavorful barbequed dinner.  It was great … I simply sliced our squash thin and coated it with some olive oil and vinegar salad dressing I had in the fridge.  Cooked on a steel baking sheet (not my best baking sheet, and it was also coated with olive oil), it was easy to prepare the squash and very flavorful.  I highly recommend grilling many veggies this season.

Soon, our neighbor Bob, who grows a tremendous garden each year with some of the best corn I’ve ever had, will be putting out zucchini for sale.  I can’t wait!   They are best when they are small and slender, but zucchini still tastes great when it gets somewhat bigger.  (No fear -- there are some great stuffed recipes out there too, should your zukes get a little out of hand!)

Technically, zucchinis are considered to be fruits, but in the culinary world, they’re treated as veggies.  Of course, the thing about a little zucchini is that there’s never “a little zucchini”; we’ve featured posts in past years about how to shred it and bake with it, how to freeze it, how to use it in soups, sauces, and stews.  It is a versatile food, for sure. 

One new way to prep zucchini that I heard of recently is to cook thin strips in the shapes of long noodles. This recipe from All Recipes sounds easy and tasty, but it may be a bit time-consuming to finely slice the zucchinis.  I’ll give it a try and see how it goes soon!

Enjoy your week ahead and savor all those great flavors!

Lori

Monday, July 9, 2018

Putting the 1 in 5-2-1-0!

Hello!  Here’s a multiple choice question for you: 

Summer’s here and the time is right …
  A.    For dancin’ in the streets.
  B.    To go for a healthy and fun walk.
  C.     To shop at Pathfinder Produce.
  D.    All of the above!

Of course, the answer is D … it’s always the right time to dance (IMHO) or to shop at Pathfinder Produce!  We’ll be open this Thursday at our Edmeston Market from 1
to 5 p.m.  And of course, we also offer our convenient online ordering option, so you can order and pay online and then pick up your yummy produce in either Morris or Edmeston on Thursday afternoon.  Check it out!

Below, my colleague Maura Iorio, our fun-loving Director of Education, offers some thoughts on summer walking adventures with some great places to visit. 

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Pathfinder’s Produce Market is proudly affiliated with our community’s 5-2-1-0 programs! This program, offered regionally through Bassett Healthcare Network, aims at helping families develop healthy lifestyles, one step at a time. Each day, individuals are encouraged to have:
  • 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies
  • 2 hours or less of recreational screen time
  • 1 hour or more of physical activity
  • 0 sugary drinks

Although not easy, fitting in an hour of physical activity is an important part of the 5-2-1-0 formula. Even if you’re not ready for anything strenuous, simply going for a walk has been shown to greatly improve health. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can help individuals:
  • maintain a healthy weight,
  • prevent and manage conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes,
  • strengthen bones and muscles, and
  • even improve your mood!

With warm, sunny days in the forecast, plan some adventures in the great outdoors to hit your physical activity target! If you find yourself getting bored walking around the block or on the treadmill, try to find local nature trails to switch things up and keep yourself motivated. Central New Yorkers especially can take advantage of many scenic routes!

Robert B. Woodruff Outdoor Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School
Featuring hiking trails, waterfalls, caves to explore, herb gardens, and picnic areas, guests to the Robert B. Woodruff Outdoor Learning Center can spend the day enjoying nature and being active! Visitors can hike, swim, fish, and even delve into our area’s history by exploring the old sawmill on site, including the remains of the dam and machinery. If all of that doesn’t sell you, it’s believed that George Washington used parts of the OLC trails in 1783 while searching for resources during the Revolutionary War. The Outdoor Learning Center is located in Van Hornesville, NY—about a 45-minute drive from Edmeston! You can learn more about the Center and its mission by clicking here.

The Wild Walk

Feeling extra adventurous? This unique hike is worth the drive! Located in Tupper Lake, NY, The Wild Walk is an interactive walking trail built high above the ground and features a human-sized eagle’s nest, spider’s web, and breathtaking views of the Adirondacks. While you’re there, be sure to check out The Wild Center, an organization dedicated to educating people about nature and the importance of interacting with it. You can learn more about The Wild Walk by clicking here.

 Pathfinder Community Trail
Last but not least, check out the hiking trail in your own backyard, located here in Edmeston! With a scenic view, a few twists and turns into the woods, and a convenient location, the Pathfinder Community Trail is perfect for an afternoon family stroll!

No matter where you choose to go hiking, we hope that you enjoy a fun, adventurous, and healthy summer!

Maura (and Lori)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Wild about Watermelon!

It’s time to celebrate!  We’re into another fun Camp Pathfinder season here at Pathfinder Village, and we also wish a Happy Independence Day to everyone!  We hope that you’ll join us for our next delicious Pathfinder Produce market at the Village Commons this Thursday, July 5, at 1 p.m.  Our online ordering is available to customers (pick-up locations are in Edmeston and Morris on Thursdays).  Please note that our schedule has changed due to the holiday … our online markets are open through Tuesday, July 3rd at noon

Another calendar item is the startup of our annual Summer Concert Series at the Pavilion … these free concerts are a highlight of the season.  (The Summer Concert Series is a Decentralization Program.  These programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, which is administered by the Chenango County Council of the Arts, with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  The series is also made possible with funds from private donors, Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match Program, and WGY’s Christmas Wish).
In this week’s blog, my colleague Sally Trosset shares information about a sweet treat that denotes the best of summer, watermelon.

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While school has been out for a few weeks now, for me, the Fourth of July is the unofficial start to summer.  More importantly, it means that watermelon is plentiful.  A crowd favorite, watermelon is the perfect addition to summer backyard barbeques and Independence Day celebrations.

I have to admit, I’ve always thought of watermelon as a “fun fruit” – it looks pretty on the table, it can be hollowed out and used as its own bowl, or it can be sliced like pizza (a kid favorite!).  Upon taste, it seems a bit sugary and a bit watery, and I’ve always thought of it as an empty-calorie fruit. I’ve never really considered watermelon’s nutritional value.

Fast forward through some research -- to my pleasant surprise, watermelon is not only healthy, but I would argue that it deserves superfood status.  I came across this interesting article, 9 Amazing Benefits of Watermelon.  There are many benefits to enjoying a big chilled wedge of watermelon on a hot sunny day. From treating kidney disorders to preventing heat stroke; from controlling diabetes to keeping one’s heart and eyes healthy, watermelon fits the bill! 

Watermelon is loaded with phytonutrients, which are natural compounds found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. These plant compounds have beneficial effects working with other essential nutrients to promote good health.  Phytonutrients help keep our internal organs, eyes and endocrine system in good working order. Watermelon is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, beneficial fats, and proteins.

While eating the bright red stuff in the middle (my research didn’t provide me with what that is actually called…the meat? the flesh? the watermelon?), don’t forget about the green rind and the little black seeds.  Both are edible and quite good for you: the rind is full of fiber…think roughage!  And crunch on the seeds, which have helpful amounts of proteins, minerals, and omega-6 fatty acids.

A word of caution, but not to dampen your enjoyment of this refreshing treat, be careful buying pre-cut watermelon at the market.  Studies reveal an increased risk of Salmonella, a food-borne illness caused by the consumption of contaminated foods (often caused by contaminated surfaces such as cutting boards or improper food handling practices).

Now that you’re hungry and craving a piece of watermelon, check out Delish.com, my go-to website for all things food, and check out some amazing watermelon salad recipes.  Chances are, your watermelon recipe will be a big (and healthy) hit at your next BBQ!

Wishing you clear skies, lots of stars and awesome fireworks on the 4th


Sally (and Lori)