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Bringing out the Best In Border Collies, Dogs That Need Work

Country Life
tarak@lakevillejournal.com

Border collies are born to run. And to chase sheep. More accurately, they love to herd sheep and move them around. Sheep are not the smartest farm animals, but despite being relatively docile, they present a challenge to the dog trying to round them up. A little like herding cats.

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It’s Open Gardens Time Again . . .

The Garden Scene
tarak@lakevillejournal.com

The most beautiful gardens transport their visitors to a kind of wonderland. Here — a column of trees frame a vista; there — an old stone wall draws the attention to cows contentedly grazing; and beyond — a gate beckons toward a hedge that might be hiding something.
Cobble Pond Farm has all of that and more and on Saturday, May 12, for just a few hours, from 1 to 4 p.m., patrons of the Garden Conservancy Open Days may tour the bucolic gardens on Jay and Kathy Metz’s estate in Sharon.

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Watch for a New Invader

The Gardening Scene

Last fall I returned from a trip upstate on Route 22, and just around New Lebanon I had to stop and take a closer look. There on the roadside in full bloom stood a colony of Impatiens glandulifera, aka policeman’s helmet or Himalayan balsam, a plant widespread in Europe.
I had hoped never to encounter it here.
It is a sister species of our native yellow jewelweed. Native to the Himalayan foothills and introduced as a garden exotic, it has been in Europe for the last 50 years and has become a huge pest along brooks, in moist meadows and open woods.

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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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