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Blasts from the Past
Of Goats and Greens
A blog for food and cookery and discussions of weird things like nutrition, restaurant excursions, growing food in my own garden, DIY, and farmsteading/homesteading. But, mostly food. Mostly harmless...
I definitely steer to a preference for Real Food. (Would someone's great-grandparent somewhere have recognized that item as food?) Otherwise, I'm an omnivore who travels the world (gustatorially). Yes, I also make use of "odd bits". No, I don't bake desserts much -- I really don't have much of a "sweet-tooth". Nearly all of my recipes in recent years are gluten-free. And other than coconut, my recent and future recipes are tree-nut free, as I have digestive issues with those. There's a strong Paleo influence here.
I try to post recipes every Friday, with potential supplemental posts on Tuesdays.
Please leave me comments! Interacting with folk drives me forward!
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Dining Out: Red Carpet Restaurant, Adams, MA
Red Carpet Restaurant:
69 Park St (Route 8), Adams, MA 01220
Adams is a small town nestled into the northwestern corner of Massachusetts, in full view of the mountain range and reserve featuring Mount Greylock, the tallest (3490 foot) mountain in the state.
Earlier that day, I visited the two main art exhibits at Williams College, Williamstown, followed by a trip to the birthplace of Susan B. Anthony, which is in Adams. The museum / gift shop caretaker kindly pointed me to this restaurant when I inquired about good local eateries. (At the bottom of the post, I’ll talk more about these museums.)
Excellently inexpensive lunch! (I did ignore the “white gravy” stuff.)
Established in 1927, apparently this is the site of the oldest continuing full service (breakfast, lunch, dinner) restaurant in the Berkshires, if not Massachusetts itself. It’s undergone ownership, name and decor changes over the years. It has a country diner ambiance, with booths and bar seating available. Unlike a stereotypical diner, the menu doesn’t go on for pages, but it is long enough to provide a variety of food. They do serve liver and onions, seldom seen on New England menus, as well as a variety of breaded seafood, including a couple types of fish and chips. I chose to get the lunch special of beer-battered sea scallops – there was a dinner-sized portion for more, too. You get a choice of vegetable (those beets, or mixed veggies, or home-made cole slaw – I had an urge to improve my anti-oxidant intake, so I chose the beets), and a potato, either fried or mashed.
The dipping sauce for the scallops was a sour cream with dill and perhaps chives. There was that infamous white gravy for the potatoes… I usually ignore that, but some folk love it. (Its existence did not affect my rating! There’s really no way to rescue it…) The potatoes were fine without — nice and creamy, with a little added salt and pepper.
Scalloped close up!
The beer battered scallops were awesome! Light and fluffy batter, but crispy on the outside, they barely needed their lemon or sour cream either – but I did avail myself of a little of both. The scallops themselves were cooked to a T, and had none of that metallic taste some scallops seem to have. The beets were great, too. It was all washed down with a nice cold glass of vintage 2017 iced lemon water.
This meal was of a good size for a lunch. I was satiated without being stuffed.
Service was warm and friendly, like your typical good diner.
I do want to go back and try other menu items. In the interim, I rate this restaurant 4.25, based solely on this one item (in itself probably a 4.5…) – when I do return, I hope to adjust this number upwards because I’ll have another item to add to that ambiance!
As far as visiting this area of Massachusetts goes, on the Wednesday I visited Natural Bridge State Park, North Adams. An interesting park, it did not lend itself to photographing well while I was there. It’s the site of an old marble quarry, and featured (before it burnt down in the 40’s) a mill for grinding less-optimal marble into calcium carbonate for manufacturing and food additive purposes. It’s the site of the only white marble dam in the US.
The weather that day was spectacular, so I drove up to the top of Mount Greylock to have a look-see. Beautiful territory, and you could see near forever. A little haze in the distance, but still very rewarding. I was in awe! It’s in a wonderful reservation established at the tip end of the 1800s. The Appalachian Trail crosses it, among a lot of other trails.
View from Mount Greylock, which was more dramatic in person
On Thursday, August 31st, I took my tour of the Williams College Museum of Art. It was a drab, overcast, sometimes-drizzly day, which didn’t clear up until much later that date. This museum is free of charge to the public, but of course they accept donations. (It was good, so I donated.)
The first exhibit seems to have moved on since I was there last week, Allegories of Paintings: Meleko Mokgosi’s Democratic Intuition: Lex and Love. Mokgosi is Botswana-born. According to the pamphlet, “The challenge for the viewer is to think through the connections that suture everyday experiences to the politics of democracy, and to stretch beyond her immediate knowledge to comprehend this connection as it appears in Southern Africa, and as Southern Africa relates to the world.” Mokgosi’s canvases are HUGE. Most of his work is realistic representations of people and objects, in sometimes-juxtaposed settings. Oh, PS, allegories are not meant to be obvious. Here’s a link to the artist’s own website about these paintings.
The second exhibit, The Anxiety of Influence: European and American Art, 1689–1913, can be described as follows: “Bracketed by the earliest war for the control of North America and World War I, The Anxiety of Influence highlights seldom seen treasures from WCMA’s collection and illuminates the political, economic, and cultural tensions of the times. Works from Britain, France, Holland, Italy, and Spain are juxtaposed with those created in the Americas. Complex relationships—harmonious and contentious—mark the artistic exchange between Europe and America.” – from the website, One of the most visually interesting juxtapositions was a Peruvian oil painting of the Madonna and Child, next to a Spaniard’s interpretation of the Madonna.
The googly-eyes have it… notice more on top of the mound.
And, outside the museum – a permanent installation. Yes, they’re supposed to be eyes.
And then, a drive to Susan B. Anthony’s earliest home.
Lovely setting. I can’t recall when this house became a museum rather than a private residence.
The house was built in 1817, and she was born there in 1820 (Oops… originally I wrote 2020 and didn’t catch this… Bad bad Goat!). She was raised and remained Quaker although her mother was Baptist. The family left this bucolic setting (Mount Greylock is within range) when she was six years old. The museum shows how homes looked in the 1820s, although most of the artifacts were not owned by the family (with some exceptions). This is a two story home, but the museum is only housed on the first floor (the museum caretakers tried to get second floor access for visitors, but they couldn’t put in a mandatory fire escape, because the house legally cannot be visually changed now from what it looked like back then).
One can imagine cooking being done in this well-appointed fireplace. (See? Everything relates to food!)
The children would have lived upstairs. Downstairs in one room Anthony’s father had a shop with whatever goods he could sell in the neighborhood.
There’s a lot of information posted in the home regarding Susan B Anthony’s activities over her lengthy lifespan. She was active in the temperance movement, the abolition of slavery, the opposition to abortion, and of course the women’s suffrage (right to vote) movement. Unfortunately, she died in 1906, before the Constitutional amendment granting us women the right to carry out the civic duty of voting was granted.
She believed in simplicity, but in honor of her mother, who was prohibited upon marriage into a Quaker family, from wearing the bright colors of red, Anthony took to wearing a red shawl in public in her mother’s honor. One of those little-known tidbits!
Oh, PS, I love to travel and see & learn things!!!!
Since it was on the main floor, this was likely the parents’ bedroom. Quilts and wall hanging were contemporary to the times.
Little detail: You ask to get change in the New York City subway system from those machines they’ve set up for ticket purchase… you get the change in Susan B. Anthony dollar coins!
Another little detail: They did their best to chip down to original paint colors in the rooms, and match them. There was an entire wall poster on that. Maybe I’m easily amused?
About goatsandgreensThe foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.