Litchfield Hills CT calendar
A PERFECT FALL WEEKEND
AT PICK-YOUR-OWN ORCHARDS
IN THE LITCHFIELD HILLS
For many families, it's an autumn
ritual as American as-you guessed it-apple
pie. In fact, the makings for a delicious pie are one of
the bonuses of an outing to a pick-your-own apple orchard.
All around the Litchfield Hills, farms welcome visitors who want
the fun of going into the orchards and gathering the fruit.
The farms furnish bags to be filled and anyone who has done it
will swear that somehow the apples seem to have a crisper crunch
and a taste all the sweeter when they come right off the tree.
Dozens of varieties of apples are grown in this rich region,
so you can be sure to find some that are ripe from September
Lots of farms also have pumpkin
patches and some offer hayrides into the orchards, everything
needed to make the most of a fine fall weekend. Pickers have
their choice of 17 orchards in the Litchfield Hills, many on
family farms in picturesque settings. Many orchards make
their own cider, or you can make a stop at Hogans Cider Mill
in Burlington, which has been producing cider in the same classic
method since 1912. Hand crafted gifts created by local
artisans are displayed here in the original barn that still houses
the old press.
Several farms are of special
interest. March Farm in Bethlehem has been in the same
family for three generations. Besides 50 acres of apple
trees, the farm grows delicious tomatoes in a dozen greenhouses
on the property. An animal yard, playscape, corn maze,
and hayrides make it a great choice for family outings.
Ellsworth Hill Farm, another
family farm in Sharon, takes pride in preserving the rural rolling
hills; woods open pastures and original structures of their property.
They offer a wide variety of applies, including Macoun, Cortland,
Empire, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Ida Red, Honey Crisp,
Gala, and Macintosh. Hayrides are available on weekends
Another popular destination is
Blue Jay Orchards, where as many as 10,000 people of all ages
come to enjoy a day in the country each autumn. A picturesque
140- acre farm nestled in the quaint town of Bethel; Blue Jay
became the first farm to be preserved as farmland in Connecticut
when a past owner sold the development rights to the state in
the 1980s. They have the widest selection of any of the
orchards, some 24 varieties of apples in addition to a large
farm market. Hayrides to the "Pumpkin Patch"
are special favorites every weekend during October.
A complete list of Pick-Your-Own
apple orchards follows. For more information on autumn
activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide
to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield
Hills of Northwest Connecticut, contact the Northwest Connecticut
Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759,
(860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com
Hogans Cider Mill
522 Spielman Highway, Rte. 4,
Burlington, CT 06013. (860) 675-7320.
BLUE JAY ORCHARDS
125 Plumtrees Road, Bethel, CT 06801
60 Munger Lane, Bethlehem, CT 06751
ELLSWORTH HILL ORCHARD &
BERRY FARM, LLC
461 Cornwall Bridge Road, Route 4, Sharon, CT 06069
213 Calhoun Street, Washington, CT 06794-1119
250 Calhoun Street, Washington Depot, CT 06794
47 Kielwasser Road, Washington Depot, CT 06794-1119
Preston Road, Terryville, CT 06786
to the Fair For Guaranteed
Family Fun in the Litchfield Hills
The racing pigs are at the starting
gate, the oxen teams are ready to go and the midway rides are
better than ever. Country fairs filled with farm shenanigans
and family fun are in full gear in the rural Litchfield Hills
of Northwest Connecticut. On weekends from late August to mid-October,
these favorite end-of-summer celebrations will feature traditional
competitions and prize farm animals, as well as favorite new
entertainers and rides and lots of good food. Many of these
fairs are much-loved traditions, such as the Riverton Fair, a
fixture since 1909. The granddaddy of them all is the Harwinton
Fair, now in its 151st year.
As always, area farmers will
be showing off their prize crops and livestock, and homemakers
will be exhibiting their best baking and cooking. City
and suburban youngsters will have a rare chance to see fine farm
animals first hand. All the fairs include judging of prize
sheep, cows, pigs, and goats. Many fairs this year will
also feature photo and quilt contests and a two-crusted pie competition,
with each winner going into a state-wide contests.
Every fair features plenty of
free entertainment, from magicians to rock bands, puppet shows
to country western singers. However, each fair has its
unique attractions. Fair-goers can take part in country
line dance lessons and see the Mid-Hudson Juggling Club in action
at the Goshen Fair over Labor Day weekend, and enjoy the U.S.
Martial Arts Demonstration team and Abbey Road, the complete
Beatles show at the Bethlehem Fair to be held September 7 to
Fireworks on Friday and Saturday
night are a festive touch at the Terryville Country Fair, to
be held at the fairgrounds onScott Road, off Route 6, August
24 to 26, along with the big horse show featuring English, Western
and Carriage divisions. The Goshen Agricultural Society
Fair, set for Labor Day weekend, September 1 to 3, has been a
tradition for over 90 years. A Draft Horse Show and a pork
cook-off will be among the crowd pleasers. A perennial
favorite here is the Antique Barn where demonstrations of old
time skills such as quilting, spinning, weaving and basketry
take place. Chips will be flying at the lumberjack competition
that always brings cheers at the Bethlehem Fair, set for September
7 to 9 at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds on Route 61. The Western
Open Horse Show and Gymkhana are other eagerly awaited events.
A country store, a working blacksmith shop and demonstrations
of a variety of old time crafts are part of the Early Americana
that is a popular feature at the venerable Harwinton Fair slated
for October 6 and 7.
Local fairs are also fun outings
for families. Among those scheduled are the Litchfield
Grange Fair on August 25 the Beacon Grange Fair Association in
Northfield September 23. The Riverton Fair, a district
fair with many attractions, ends the season October 12 to 14.
For more information on fairs
and other nearby attractions, and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page
color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the
area contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors
Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, 800-663-1273,
or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.
Litchfield Hills Country Fair Schedule:
August 24-26, Terryville Country Fair
August 25, Litchfield Grange Fair
September 1-3 , Goshen Fair
September 7-9, Bethlehem Fair
September 23, Beacon Grange Fair, Northfield
October 6-7, Harwinton Fair
October 12-14, Riverton Fair
LITCHFIELD HILLS COOKING SCHOOLS
HELP MAKE THE MOST OF HARVEST SEASON
The apples are ripe, the autumn
vegetables are at their peak. What better time to
brush up on recipes and cooking techniques for the rich harvest
to be found in the fall at local farmer's markets? Several
excellent cooking schools in the bountiful Litchfield Hills are
ready to help, many with class schedules that are a perfect fit
for weekend visitors.
Afterwards, a trip to the many
local farmers' markets will supply prime ingredients to take
advantage of new found skills. A full list and addresses of area
markets is below.
This prestigious school in a picturesque barn nestled on a farm
in the Litchfield Hills has attracted top chefs since it first
opened in 1979. On September 8 in a partnership in support
of local farms, Chef Anne Gallagher will conduct a class from
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. called Plow to Plate, featuring recipes
using the season's bounty. Autumn Food and Wine Pairing,
Splendor in the Glass! is the topic of a dinner with chef
Daniel Rosati and sommelier Carol Berman on Saturday, September
29 from 7 p.m. to 10 pm and on November 4, Carole Peck, the much-lauded
chef of Woodbury's Good News Café, will be demonstrating
a menu featuring foods from the local harvest. A Sweet
and Savory Strudel Workshop with Daniel Rosati on September
30, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. will include one recipe using spiced
pears and apples, typical autumn fruits.
The busy Silo schedule also includes
Invite a Bunch to Brunch, with Mark Scarbrough and Bruce
Weinstein, authors of the Ultimate Cookbook series on September
22, Chef Philip Young of Litchfield's Toll Gate Inn teaching
classic dishes on September 23 and Food & Wine of France:
Bistro Home Cooking with Daniel Rosati and Carol Berman on
September 29. The next month will feature Eric Gunnar Rochow
on appetizers on October 6, a Foraging Feast with "wildman"
Steve Brill on October 12 and master baker George Geary teaching
pastry making on October 13. Cookbook author Sarah Leah Chase
will make a rare personal appearance for two classes on October
19 and 20.and on October 28 chefs William Okesson and Dennis
DeBellis of Woodbury's John's Café will prepare an Octoberfest
menu. . For information, phone 860-355-0300 or see www.thesilo.com
COOKING WITH ADRIENNE
Adrienne Sussman returned to her home territory to open a restaurant
in 1996 after beginning at Commander's Palace in New Orleans,
apprenticing at the Arizona Biltmore and serving as pastry chef
at the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley. Adrienne, who has
been the chef of one of the area's most popular restaurants in
New Milford for more than a decade, invites students into the
kitchen for her Cooking with Adrienne classes. On September
8 and September 29 she will be teaching Crockpot Cooking,
a slow cooking method that is an ideal way to use a bounty of
vegetables. October 13 and October 27 classes will feature
Adrienne's Fall Menus, also using foods of the season, and
the lesson for Saturday November 17 will a game dinner. Classes
are from 11 to 3 p.m. Information: 860-354-6001, www.adriennerestaurant.com
CUISINE WITH JILL
Jill Nicolson began her career as an assistant to the star chefs
at The Silo, left for a stint as chef in Newport and returned
as a Silo guest instructor for three years until she fulfilled
her dream, opening her own school in a Victorian home in Torrington.
Her goal, she says is "to teach simple and creative techniques
while having fun with food!"
Many of her cooking sessions are demonstrations, often with guest
chefs presiding over a full-course dinner using seasonal ingredients,
held on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. The
coming schedule includes Summer is Not Over Yet With William
Cosgrove of New Milford's Upper Crust Restaurant on September
7, a Weber Grill Event dinner with Jill and Chef David Allan
Hurst on September 8. September 15 brings the Best Ever
Bistro Menu with Betty Rosbottom. September 21st will
feature French Cuisine with Jean Claude Vierne of Great Barrington,
Mass and September 22nd features Foods and Wines of Tuscany.
David Davis, of The Speckled Hen in Norfolk will pair beer tastings
with food on Friday September 28th, while a sushi class and dinner
are on the schedule for Friday, October 5th with Erly Gallo
from 3W and the Blue Bar.
Afternoon events from 1 to 4 p.m. this fall include a Marie Antoinette
Brunch Sunday September 16th with Jean Claude Vierne. Chocoholics
won't want to miss the Saturday October 20th session of Incredible
Chocolate with Erik Landegren of Bridgewater Chocolate and Sunday
October 21st participants will learn Cake Decorating with Sabina
Jahic, owner of Grand Patisserie in New Milford. Jill Nicolson
and David Allan Hurst will be on hand for Octoberfest at Cuisine
Saturday October 13th at 2 p.m. when 8 to 10 different beers
will be sampled along with "Guy friendly" food, including
some dishes using beer in the recipes.
For a full list of classes, including weekdays and children's
classes, phone (860) 489-1003 or see www.cuisinewithjill.com
No good dinner is complete without dessert, and who better to
teach the tricks of perfect cakes and cookies than Maria Bruscino
Sanchez, proprietor of the award-winning Sweet Maria's in Waterbury,
a local favorite since 1990.
Maria offers cooking lessons in her shop on Wednesday nights
at 6:30 p.m.
On October 17, her Harvest Dessert Class will prepare
cake, pies and tarts and baked fruits taking advantage of seasonal
ingredients. The Cookie-Mania Class on November
will also use foods of the season for treats such as Pumpkin
Drop Cookies and Cranberry Almond Biscotti, plus a head start
on the holidays with techniques o decorate Gingerbread and Holiday
Other classes scheduled this fall include Hands-on cake decorating
on September 18th and Making fondant icing on October
3. For information phone (888) 755-4099 or see www.sweet-marias.com
For more information about fall events and a free copy of UNWIND,
a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions
in the Litchfield Hills write to the Northwest Connecticut Convention
and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860)
567-4506 or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.
LITCHFIELD HILLS FARMERS MARKETS
Sandy Hook, 5 Washington Ave., Sandy Hook Center. 2 p.m.-6
p.m. Late June - early Oct.
Seymour, Pine St., Community Senior Ctr. 12 noon-6p.m. Early
May - Early Nov...
Torrington, Staples Plaza, S. Main St. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mid.-June
Bristol, Old Centre Mall, 100 N. Main St. 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Early
Thomaston, Town Green, Main St. 2:30 p.m.6 p.m. Late June-late
Waterbury, On the Green, Main St. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Brass Mill
Center Mall, Sears Parking Lot, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Early July-Oct.
Burlington, First Congregational Church, Rte. 4. 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
Early July- Oct.
Danbury, Kennedy Park, Main Street & Kennedy, 11 a.m.
July 13 thru October
Derby, Griffin Hospital portico outside main entrance, 130 Division
Street, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. July 6 thru October
Bethel, Rte.6/Stoney Hill Rd.. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Early July-late
Bristol, Old Centre Mall, 100 N. Main St. 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Early
Kent, Kent Green, 9am-12noon. Mid.-May-Mid-Oct.
Litchfield, Center Elementary School, Rte. 202. 11 a.m.
3 p.m. Late June-Oct.
New Milford, Town Green, Main St. 9 a.m.-12 noon. Late May -Oct.
Torrington, Staples Plaza, S. Main St. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mid.-June-Oct.
Riverton, Riverton Fair Grounds, Rte. 20, 11a.m.-2p.m.,
May 20 thru September
Sandy Hook Village, 5 Glen Rd. 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Early July-Sept.
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