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Recreation

It’s Nettle Time

Food and Gardens

I was weeding nettles from a garden the other day and felt the stings through my gloves and up my forearms.
Still, I like nettles a lot. I know the benefits of nettle tea, but have recently been told that the leaves can also be consumed in soups, cooked with other greens and vegetables and used as the main ingredient for a soda.

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TriArts’ Auditions

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Among the many actor/singers who auditioned last weekend (a mix of bold, or determined, or terrified performers of all ages) for roles in TriArts’ coming season was one Elijah Stone: a 4-foot-8, 10-in-March, tow-headed bundle of natural kid talent.
After he sang two numbers with conviction and charm, he took accompanist Michael Berkeley’s seat at the piano and performed a rollicking variation on Ray Charles’s “Hallelujah, I Love Her So.” By Monday he had his callback notice.
“You should get lost in your song and the character,” Elijah says.
And he does.

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A Spectacular Hike

Excursions
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Restless for a high flying, breezy excursion? A lengthy one? Complete with history, incomparable views of clouds, ships, water, a place for people walking their dogs, or sprinting half naked back and forth, or couples, all kinds, dreamily holding hands?
The Hudson River Walkway is for you.
Really. Just ignore that touch of acrophobia, and that secret fear that a river span will stand until you’re on it, and head for — at 1.28 miles—the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.

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Still Shopping? Check Out These Ideas

Holiday Gifts
karenb@lakevillejournal.com

Yes. Time is short. But here are a few ideas for memorable gifts.
For example: My daughter’s honeymoon in Hawaii was made more wonderful in that a significant portion was paid as gifts through an online registry.
The couple registered for traditional gifts, as well, but family and friends really latched on to the idea of buying a helicopter tour, or even toward travel, lodging and car rentals.

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Holidays Mean Food, Sweet Food!

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Among the 60-quart Hobart mixers and rumbling convection ovens Anne Dwyer was making cake one day last week. Not cake for a gingerbread house like the one she made for the Prime Time House fundraiser, bringing in $5,000 for that cause, but her Guinness chocolate layer cake wrapped in ganache, a favorite among Route 7 Grill customers in Great Barrington where she is the pastry chef.

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Yes, Miniature Marshmallows

Holiday Food: This fruit salad was a favorite in Leon Graham’s childhood home in Texas. Readers are encouraged to send us their family recipes. Call me at 860-435-9873 x 111 or email me at compass@lakevillejournal.com.
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Both my mother and her mother made this 24-hour fruit salad at Christmas, as did thousands of other Texas cooks. The recipe made a lot, so my mother used one of the vegetable bins in the refrigerator for its day-long rest. What went in as a fairly loose mixture came out light, fluffy and, to me, delicious. My brother, the difficult second child, swears he never tasted it because he hated pecans.
After my mother died, when I was in my mid-20s, my brother’s wife began making her mother’s fruit salad. (But her husband wouldn’t eat it either.) I confess I still like both.

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Holiday Food

This is the first in a series of stories about family holiday dishes. This one, from Leon Graham’s mother was a favorite at Christmas parties in Texas when Graham was just a lad. Readers are invited to send us their holiday recipes. Just call Marsden Epworth at 860-435-9873 ext 111, or send recipes to Compass@lakevillejournal.com.Don’t forget to include a phone number.
compass@lakevillejournal.com

From the 1950s
A Texas Treat
 

Some will find my mother's “snow cap spread” peculiar. Others will like its velvety texture and piquant flavor. But it was a cocktail and holiday party staple in Texas as I was growing up. Mounded into a compact, rounded hemisphere on a festive plate; frosted with cream cheese, sour cream and hot mustard; decorated with a sprig of glossy holly (which came from the florist, not Texas gardens), it reminded us of what we never had for the holidays: snow.
 

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Linney Coaching Young Actors, Aiding Salisbury Family Services

In Alaska, a decade ago, multi-award-winning actor Laura Linney discovered teaching. Invited to a playwriting program that included her father, Romulus Linney, who died last year, she was asked to give participants pointers on stage technique.
And she was hooked.
So Linney started contacting schools with theater programs wherever she was — usually colleges and universities, but often secondary schools, too — offering to help students.
“I’ll meet with them, talk to groups, coach scenes, meet with faculty. I’ll do whatever they ask that I have time to do.

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Like No Show You Have Ever Seen

Excursions: Leon Graham Goes to The Met
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Alexander McQueen, the iconic and complex fashion designer who hanged himself last year at age 40, created extreme clothes for his runway shows: a silky dress with antlers protruding from its shoulders, a skirt made of leather strips laid over a flaring armature, a gorgeous kimono holding the arms in a straightjacket embrace. Dresses were made from feathers, flowers, oyster shells, thin wood, paper. But always there was drama, shock and theatricality.

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A Grand Passion . . . For Gardening

Gardens
tarak@lakevillejournal.com

High on a hill off White Hollow Road in Sharon, Lee Link, gardener, world traveler and spirited hostess, has made a garden that merges with the woodland on one side of her house and sets boundaries, on the other.
She has transformed a challenging site.
The property was long, narrow, steeply sloped, backed by rock ledge and confined by hedgerows when she and her husband, Fritz, bought it nearly 30 years ago.

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