Naples Grape Festival

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Around this time last year we drove through Naples and noticed several grape pie and grape sellers along the main street. I looked up Naples to find they host a very large fall grape festival and pie contest. If you have never heard of grape pies it’s ok, neither did we, this area is actually where it all started.

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We decided to go to the Naples Grape Fest on Sunday afternoon, hoping this popular festival would be less busy at that time; I was wrong. We parked almost a mile from the vendors and walked in. Unlike other festivals  the main route through town stayed open (although moving at a snails pace). This made traveling along the sidewalks slow.

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There were vendors with everything from clothes, to wood carvings, glass work, candles, produce, and fair food including all things grape flavored. Along the way we picked up local cheese, maple syrup, and grape jam.

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Behind town hall was a fenced-in wine tasting area, with a large selection of wineries and a few breweries present. Next to this was a music tent where we listened to a  folk country/bluegrass group called Ruddy Well. We enjoyed them so much we ended up buying their CD’s.

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About half way through town, we found the main food court. I choose to eat at Effortlessly Healthy a Rochester based food truck that serves dairy and gluten free meals with vegan options. I had a bowl with cole slaw sweet potatoes, ground beef, chicken, and avocado it was perfect. They also have their own store in Rochester where they serve healthy lunch options and provide delivery meal services.

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On our way back  we stopped at grape pie stands. Luke got a slice to-go from one. Fortunately I was able to eat a mini open tart’s filling from another, it tasted like concord grapes (the most popular grape in the Naples area). Some vendors sold pie filling. Too bad they didn’t offering tastings  or I would have bought one to make my own barley-free pie.

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On our way out of town we stopped for dessert at Lynnie Lou’s a homemade ice cream and custard shop . We were happily surprised to see them open; most ice cream stands  close after Labor Day. Luke got a grape and vanilla swirl custard and I chose vanilla custard with warm apple pie filling.

It was another great date day.

Happy Easter 2016!

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Happy Easter everyone!

Today Luke and I will be celebrating in an untraditional way. We are traveling to New York City where we will be spending the next few days for Spring Break. This has been a trip on our bucket list for a while living on the East Coast and it’s taken us almost 4 years to get there. Plenty more on this trip’s details to come.

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So no Easter dinner of us, but I still made hot crossed buns (Luke would be upset if I didn’t). For more on this see: hot cross buns. Since we are eating these on-the-go for our spring break breakfasts I made the buns smaller and did not ice them. Instead I made cream cheese icing spread in a tupperware container to dip or spread on the buns when we eat them.

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Also, this year we did not go to a maple farm for pancake breakfast, but I did make maple cookies from local syrup like last year for our coworkers and my students to enjoy. For more on this see: https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/04/22/maple-cookies-with-cinnamon-vanilla-buttercream/

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This year I decided to not fill the cookies with cinnamon buttercream so I added cinnamon to the cookie dough directly. I also let the dough cool  before baking to help with the sticky texture. It really made it easier.

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful Spring Easter! See you in a week!

 

 

Flashback: March Maple Season

I know it’s April but as I wrote before I”m trying to catch up on our March events.

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When we moved to our house in October. For more see https://agreenesadventures.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/im-back/. My sister in law Stina who was helping us move said she thought most of the trees  behind our house were maple. By the time we moved their bright yellow leaves covered the ground.

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We had seen signs along roads with a tree tapped with a bucket next to it and been to farmers markets were local maple syrup was sold.But we had never toured a local maple syrup farm, until this past March.

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All across Upstate New York during March or April is a Maple Weekend. For more see http://www.nysmaple.com/nys-maple-weekend/ when local maple syrup producers open up their doors for tours of their facilities, hikes through their maple trees, children events, sales on their maple products and pancake breakfasts served with their maple syrup.

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This year we chose to go to Wohlschegels sugaring facility near Naples NY. For more on this local maple producer click here: http://www.fingerlakesbulkmaplesyrup.com/

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By the time we got to the sugaring facility they had opened up the back end of their syrup/sugar processing building and filed it with tables and chairs for a pancake breakfast. We payed a small prices for all you can eat pancakes and were given generous portions of pancakes and sausage.

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We got coffee (they had maple flavored coffee as well) and enjoyed looking around and at the menu which advertised all the local maple weekend events in the area.

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After breakfast we sampled some of their products: maple mustard, syrup, creams and enjoyed an indoor tour on how they process  sap and turn it into syrup.

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Luke enjoyed the chemistry lesson and told me later that from what he heard much of the new technology for processing the sap to syrup  adapted from the brewing process for beer.

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We decided not to do the hike through the snow to the maple trees, maybe next year.

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After going to this local maple events I decided for a spring break treat to make maple cream sandwich cookies with local maple syrup and a light cinnamon vanilla buttercream. For the recipe and more on this go to:

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Do you like pancakes? Do you dip them in syrup or pour the syrup over?