Carnival at Camp Scatico!

Pie Eating Contest at Carnival!

Pie Eating Contest at Carnival!

Forgive my delay in blogging about carnival.  Such a fun day!!

My Nephew in the Dunk Tank!

Carnival is an afternoon of co-ed activities where every group runs a “traditional” carnival booth.  This year we had a dunk booth, a kissing booth, a marriage booth, and a whole bunch of killer games.  There are prizes for winners, of course.  This year there was an ice cream truck!  These kids don’t know how good they have it… I mean, in my day… JK. 😉

My nephew in the dunk tank from another angle.  You can bet I got a lot of pictures of this!

My nephew in the dunk tank from another angle. You can bet I got a lot of pictures of this!

I helped decorate.  There was a World Cup theme.

I helped decorate. There was a World Cup theme.

“Mini” Camp Scatico

Mini Camp Spread“Mini-camp” is the Camp Scatico tradition whereby each camper gets to pick his favorite activity and do it all day.  The good news:  cooking was in high demand!  I have to admit this stoked my ego, at least until I figured out how much extra work that would mean for me.  Not that I mind, though!

For the ladies, we had two sessions:  one in the morning and one at night.  Props to Emma, my right-hand “Gal Friday” from the girls’ side.  We decided to do a tea party!  We made fun hats out of plates and ribbons and served finger sandwiches, scones, cookies, iced teas and mini berries and cream. The little girls were in heaven.Mini Camp Scones

The "after" picture of the boys' buffet.  No time to do a "before!"  Too hungry.

The “after” picture of the boys’ buffet. No time to do a “before!” Too hungry.

For the boys I chose a New Orleans theme!  Chef Chase, my main helper from the boys’ side, was away for the day (missed you, Chase!), but I was assigned four fabulous counselors in his place.  I had the boys all day long.  We started with a southern style breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, cheese grits, chicken sausage and turkey bacon. (Camp Scatico keeps kosher.)  In the afternoon we made roast beef and turkey po’boys, and then for dinner we made a chicken gumbo, dirty and white rice, skirt steak (’cause the boys wanted steak), and beignets with caramel and chocolate sauces and bananas foster with a vanilla cream. Oh, wait– I almost forgot crowning touch, the faux-hurricane fruit punch! We all wore beads and during cleanup the boys played some poker. I loved how into it they got!  We were really living it up.

Beignet with toppings!

Beignet with toppings!

A great time was had by all.  Chalk up one more amazing Camp Scatico memory!

Me in action at Mini Camp!

Me in action at Mini Camp!

Camp Scatico Highlights!

Oh my gosh where do I begin?  It’s been super, super, SUPER busy at #CampScatico, which is how it should be!  July is FLYING by, and so much happens so quickly it’s hard to document it all.  Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of my favorite camp moments.

1.  The first tribal campfire!  What a day that was.  It brought back so many memories of when I was a camper.  (In many ways it felt like I had never left!)  The campfire kicks off a 3-week competition of four teams:  Flying Eagle (green), Blazing Arrow (red), Racing Wine (yellow) and Thunderbolt (blue).  FYI:  In my day it was a 4-week competition, but camp is a week shorter now.  😦

2.  The Girls’ NAT tournament!  There are tournaments for many sports, but the basketball tournament has always been a big deal.  My friend Patti’s daughter won MVP, which made it extra special.  #nextgeneration

3.  Camp visiting day.  Okay, so this day was really stressful for me, but so memorable and worth it.  David asked me to prepare samples of what the kids had been making.  Needless to say, this involved a lot of prep and a lot of cleanup, but it did allow me to show off a bit!  It was cool to meet the campers’ family, too– the ones I didn’t already know!  #nextgenerationagain

4.  The 4th of July BBQ, talent show and fireworks.  Feel free to disagree with me here, but 4th of July in New York City is no fun.  Even if you make it to a really awesome party, say, at Top of the Garden right in midtown, the crowds make this holiday totally overwhelming.  Getting anywhere is a nightmare.  The streets are full of drunk people, it’s way too hot, there’s no place to picnic… ugh.  This year the 4th was fun again.  I loved being surrounded by campers, reveling in old memories and creating new ones.  My Bed

5.  My cabin, or more specifically, my bed.  Every night.  ‘Nuff said.

 

Camp Scatico Recipe: Homemade Ricotta Cheese!

Ricotta Cheese

One of the biggest hits for the Camp Scatico kids was our homemade ricotta cheese.  I love it when the kids say they don’t like something, then we make it and they try it and they love it.  That means they’re growing!  Homemade cheese is easier than you think!  All a girl needs is a cheese cloth.  Read on…

Homemade Ricotta

Total Time: 43 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 23 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: about 2 cups
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Directions
Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the lighter side, but some prefer it thicker.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

 

 

Camp Motto: Be Prepared!

Strawberry, mint and lemon-infused water!

Strawberry, mint and lemon-infused water!

Anyone who’s spent any time at a summer camp will tell you that one of the lessons you learn is to be prepared.  A day’s mean sunburn will teach you to wear sunscreen.  A leg covered in bug bites will teach you to pack Off.  And seven weeks of cooking for hundreds of children means you have to prep, prep, prep!  I tested over 40 new recipes before I even got to camp!

Luckily, I had the help of Chef Derek, who caters part time with Herbnpeach.  Over five three-hour sessions, we tackled 42 different recipes (some multiple times) before coming up with a menu/syllabus for Camp Scatico.  I’ve shared pictures of some of our projects below.  Check back to see how all our hard work went over with the campers!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.  99.9% sure the kids'll love these!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. 99.9% sure the kids’ll love these!

Mini S'more Brownie Bites:  the ultimate camper treat

S’mores Brownie Bites: the ultimate camper treat

Flourless chocolate cookies.  #yum

Flourless chocolate cookies. #yum

Homemade Pasta-- thanks Chef Derek!

Homemade Pasta– thanks Chef Derek!

Kale chips, pita chips and tzatziki

Kale chips, pita chips and tzatziki

City Gal Reunites With Car

People who ask me about my life in New York are always amazed about the fact that I don’t drive.

“You don’t drive anywhere?” they’ll ask me incredulously. I always respond that no, the trains are very safe and efficient, and in the event that they’re not, cabs are plentiful and, compared to the cost of insuring and parking a car in New York City, cheap.

But the N line doesn’t run to Elizaville, and a cab in this case would cost me thousands. So my father took pity on me and lent me a car for the summer. I visited Connecticut to practice a bit last weekend… let’s just say I’m rusty. However, the camp is only an hour away, and I am taking roads I’ve driven many times. My friend Kerri, who is also working at Scatico for her second summer, has assured me that she would drive if we go out at night. (I think my friends are more nervous about my driving than I am.)

However, the drive went great!  Driving a car is a little like riding a bike (or so I’m told.  I can’t ride a bike either).  Basically, it all came back to me.  I may have been just the tiniest bit distracted while on the road.  SO much setting up to do once I arrive….

 

City Gal Goes Camping!

Blog Post 1: The City Gal Returns to Her Roots (6/26)

Last January I found myself heading to Elizaville, NY, where I formed a lifetime of memories as a camper and young counselor at a place called Camp Scatico. In addition to the memories, I developed friendships that are still near and dear to me. I went to camp this snowy January day because of our Reunion and was in Elizaville with my co-committee/planner, Shira Savada to look for camp-centric props to give our party that ring of authenticity.

David Fleischner, who owns and runs camp, drove that day and mentioned his winter project to put up a new cabin that will house a cooking program.

“Who’s running the cooking program?” I asked, trying not to let my eagerness show.

“I don’t know, would you be interested,” he said.

Of course, I told him I would have to think about it—after all, I’m a grown woman with a catering business that I can’t just shut down for two months—but in my heart I knew my answer would be yes. He was offering me a chance to do something I’d never done before in a place that was near and dear to my heart. I love cooking and I love kids! I also love the opportunity to give back to a place that has given so much to me.

So I worked some magic, and for the next seven weeks Herb-n-Peach is relocating to the woods upstate! This blog will document my experiences to come! Never before have I had such a positive feeling about the months to come. I can’t wait to get started! The adventure begins soon…

 

Hellmann’s 100th Anniversary

As promised…here are some more pictures form last week’s event. Even though there was a ton of excitement surrounding the world’s longest picnic table, we were more excited about the food. Our chef, Francis, provided the 500 guests with a  Juicy Salsa Burger, an Italian Style Balsamic Potato Salad, a Pasta Salad with Green Olives and Raisins and Corn on the Coals. These recipes included Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and were created by Mario Batali.  Batali’s modern take on Hellmann’s classics were paired with a Mayo Cupcake (made by Magnolia Bakery) and packaged together in a festive picnic basket. Check it out!

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Hellmann’s 100th Birthday Celebration!

We had a great time cooking last week for Hellmann’s 100th birthday celebration! We got to see celebs like Mario Batali, Andy Cohen, and Katie Holmes and were able to watch Hellmann’s make history for the longest picnic table of all times. It was a great day filled with food, fun and a whole lot of mayonnaise. M ore pictures coming soon!

Hellmann's

in the meantime…check out some more info here:

http://www.worldrecordacademy.com/food/longest_picnic_table_Hellmann-s_breaks_Guinness_world_record_213565.html

Peach Party

Peach PartyHappy September Everyone!

Here is the full gallery from our end of summer Peach Party…and we have to say we are really happy with how everything turned out!

It was a great way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.

Our chef was able to come up with some amazing peachy dishes including a peach and bacon risotto, a fresh peach salad, and some delicious prosciutto wrapped roasted peaches.

We were also lucky enough to have Suite Paperie design the invitation and all the paper goods at the party. How awesome are those dip dye escort cards?!

Let us know what you think!