The Tavern on the Lake

The Tavern on the Lakeimg_4264

The lake that The Tavern on the Lake is on, is Lake George in the Adirondacks. We often stay at the Blue Water Manor, partly because of its great location and also for its excellent  tavern. We recently spent a week at the Blue Water in one of their cabins on the lake.


We probably ate at the Tavern on the Lake at least once a day.

5-barThe Fireplace & Beer Taps


A strange color for a Manhattan but very tasty.


A local Bear Naked Lager in a Sierra Nevada glass.


Bridget on the bar terrace.




The Tavern on the Lake

Lake George

 The Blue Water Manor

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New York Times Original Plum Torte

New York Times Original Plum Torte

The Times has published this recipe every September for the last 33 years. I thought I should finally try it.

20160919_164841 The recommended “smaller blue-black Italian plums that arrive in early autumn” were available, so the time was right.doc3

It was easy and just a few ingredients. Great for breakfast!


Just an FYI – the recipe calls for 24 plumb halves. I used 27.



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Dinner at Lake Luzerne

Dinner at Lake Luzerne


Transportation to Dinner


Alice – my ride

We’ve ridden at Bennett’s Riding Stable before. Usually a slow-paced ride through scenic woods and mountains. This time was different. On friendly, well-behaved horses, ten of us were led up an hour-long, narrow winding mountain trail. When we arrived at the top, the Chef had grilled shrimp and bacon-wrapped scallops waiting for us as an appetizer. All food and cooking equipment was brought up by horse and ATV. The dinner tables overlooked Adirondack valleys and lakes. When we made our dinner reservations we also made our orders – chicken, salmon or steak. Everything was done perfectly. After dessert we rode back down through the twilight lit woods. It was an experience that we won’t forget.


The Kitchen

20160830_173750The Dinning Room






Dinner at Lake Luzerne

If you’re in the Lake Luzerne area in Upstate New York, dinner on a mountain-top arranged by Bennett’s Riding Stable is worth looking into.

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Breakfast at the Saratoga Race Track

Breakfast at the Saratoga Race Track


We got to the track toward the end of the racing season and spent the day there starting with breakfast – an elaborate buffet set up in THE PORCH at track-side. We could watch the horses getting an early morning workout as we ate.

Doc3The Buffet

Grits, Hash and Eggs

Grits, Hash and Eggs


After a $50 breakfast and losing every bet we made, we had hot dogs for lunch.


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Some Simple Kitchen Tips II

Some Simple Kitchen Tips  II

Powdered red pepper – Grind standard red pepper flakes in a blender until powered, Basilicata style. Be careful not to inhale when you uncover the blender or you’ll cough like a cat with a hairball.


Raisins – If a recipe calls for raisins never use black ones (they just don’t look appetizing.)   Always use golden and you can alternate with dried currants.


Ravioli – My mother, aunts and grandmother never used anything but a ricotta mix for stuffing. Since we never ate in Italian restaurants I didn’t know they could be made with meat or anything  else (pumpkin?) until I was almost an adult. My family’s ravioli were square, large, sealed by crimping with a fork and laid out on cotton sheets on the dining room table and the bed to dry before cooking. You can get good ones at Piemonte on Grand near Mulberry Streets or


Roasted Peppers – Char peppers over a gas burner set on high, turning frequently, until skin is blackened and blistered on all sides. Transfer to bag or a bowl and cover tightly; let stand  for 10 or 15 minutes. Rub skin off peppers with the back edge of a knife (without rinsing), remove and discard cores and seeds. Don’t worry about some of the black char remaining on the pieces.


Rustica – If, for instance, the recipe says peel, seed and finely dice tomatoes and you don’t have time, don’t peel or seed, just give them a rough chop and add the words “ala rustica” to the name of the dish. It means “country style” so you can avoid a lot of fussiness.


Salt & Pepper – It goes without saying that it should be added in layers as you add ingredients to a recipe.

salt and pepper

Seasoning a cast iron pan –  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat the cooking surface of the pan with a thin layer of Crisco and put it in the oven, upside down, for 1 hour. Put a foil covered baking sheet under it to catch any drippings. Let it cool in the oven for about another hour and it’s done. If it’s sticky, heat it for another ½ hour. If it’s not an even coat, do the whole process again.


Stew – If wine is called for in red meat stew, Cote du Rhone is recommended.

cote du rhone

Tomatoes – More than acceptable to use canned if they are San Marzano and there are no other ingredients added to the can.

san marzano

To peel and seed fresh tomatoes – drop tomato in boiling water and wait until the outer thin skin cracks. Peel it. Cut it on the equator and take each half, squeeze and shake out the seeds. Cut off the stem end and remove some of the core.

Trinity – (the base for lots of recipes) – Equal parts chopped celery, carrots and  onions (with garlic & parsley also known by some Italians as balluto or sofritto). Saute until soft.  For a Cajun or Creole trinity replace the carrots with green bell pepper.


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