Kids’ Almanac (Nov. 28-Dec. 5)

Minnewaska State Park will host a Thanksgiving Walk-Off hike on Saturday, November 30 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. (photo by Julie O’Connor)

It’s sort of like we have our own Eiffel Tower…only ours is free to the public, six times larger and sideways.
– Photographer John Morzen, talking about the Walkway over the Hudson


Wondering what to do with an assortment of Thanksgiving leftovers? Thankfully, it’s culinary nutrition counselor and real food educator Holly Shelowitz to the rescue: “The beauty of this recipe is that you can literally use the delicious side dish leftovers from your Thanksgiving table, so add in what you like and be creative!” The recipe is by Holly Shelowitz, adapted and inspired by Giada De Laurentiis. To learn more about Shelowitz and upcoming cooking classes and more, call (845) 658-7887 or visit


Gratitude Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

One nine-inch pie

One 9-inch refrigerated or frozen pie crust
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup gravy, plus ¼ cup warmed for drizzling
1 cup whole or almond milk, at room temperature
3 cups diced turkey
1 cup glazed carrots, chopped
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 cups mashed potatoes
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)


Place a rack on the top of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Press the dough into a pie plate, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and flute the edges. Bake the crust until golden, about 10 minutes.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until they are softened, about five minutes. Add the garlic, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in one cup of the gravy and the milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about five minutes. Stir in the turkey, carrots, corn, parsley, thyme, oregano and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, making sure that all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the gravy. Simmer until the mixture is warmed through, about five minutes. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the mixture, making sure that the potato layer meets the edges of the crust. Cover the potatoes with the cheese. Bake the pie until the top is golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

To serve, cut into slices and drizzle with gravy.


Thanksgiving Walk-Off at Minnewaska

As the renowned West Park naturalist John Burroughs said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” The serenity of the woods can help us center ourselves, the crisp air can revitalize our senses and a good walk can help restore balance to our bodies. Minnewaska State Park has the perfect event to support all of those elements: the Thanksgiving Walk-Off. On Saturday, November 30 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., meet at the Peterskill Climbing Area for a leisurely carriage-road walk to the beautiful 65-foot-high Awosting Falls. Our family loves visiting Awosting Falls, and it’s a wonderful feature to highlight for any visitors who are in town. Use your Empire Passport or pay the parking fee of $8 per vehicle. Preregistration is required.

Minnewaska State Park is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson, and remember to take the Peterskill entrance. To register or for more information, call (845) 255-0752 or visit


Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck hosts magic show with Steve Johnson

If you’re the cruise director for family and friends this weekend, accommodating a variety of ages and interests, you can’t go wrong with magic! On Saturday, November 30 at 11 a.m., head over to the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck for a magic show with Steve Johnson. Using innovative adaptations to magic, comedy and juggling, Steve draws the audience into a memorable entertainment journey with a contemporary, upbeat and humorous atmosphere.

One thing that I love at shows at the Center is the excellent seating: You can see, wherever you are. Tickets cost $7 for children, $9 for adults and seniors. The Center for Performing Arts is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit To learn more about the performer, visit


Battenfeld’s Anemone & Christmas Tree Farm in Red Hook

And while you’re in the area, for a special treat check out nearby Battenfeld’s Anemone Farm for some gorgeous flowers. The cash-only, self-serve rustic retail shop sells the fresh-cut blooms right out of the cooler and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Battenfeld’s is located at 856 Route 199 in Red Hook. For more information and to see what colors are currently blooming, call (845) 758-8018 or visit While you’re at it, check out Battenfeld’s Christmas Tree Farm at It’s one of the oldest cut-your-own tree farms in the county.


McKenzie Willis reads Tales of the Rainbow Forest at Olana

One special event taking place this weekend for 4-to-8-year-olds is storytime with local author McKenzie Willis at historic Olana’s Wagon House Education Center. On Saturday, November 30 from 10 to 11 a.m., Willis will read from his book, Tales of the Rainbow Forest, and perform songs that he wrote in collaboration with L. Leon Pendarvis, musical director of Saturday Night Live. The songs are based on some of the characters in the story. Registration is requested for this event. Olana is located at 5720 Route 9G in Hudson. Vehicles with Empire Passports are admitted free; otherwise the parking fee is $5 per car. For more information or to register, call (518) 828-1872, extension 109, e-mail or visit To learn more about the author, visit




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