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Power is Back!

It was dark and cold last weekend.  No surprises, eastern Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey took an enormous hit from Superstorm Sandy.  We are back in business, with electricity, heat and hot water, and hoping that this week’s nor-easter will be gentle on the region.

Our prayers go out to those more negatively impacted than we were.  If we can help in any way, please call us, we have weekday availability which can be offered at a discount to those affected by the storm(s).  Ask for Claudia.

Fall just started and this is a wonderful time to visit Eastern Pennsylvania.  Not only is this area unusually rural given its proximity to New York City and Philadelphia, it is beautiful.  Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, or just a weekend decompression from City life, the Chelsea Sun Inn can offer guests the opportunity to do so just 70 miles from the urban rush.

As fall foliage winds down, what is there to do in this area?  Maybe just a weekend away, with no beds to make, no dishes to wash, no laundry to fold would help you unwind before the start of the frantic holiday season?

We can make recommendations for local restaurants, shopping, flea markets, antique shops or hiking if you want to get out and about in Eastern Pennsylvania.  If not, our rooms have fireplaces, comfy beds and separate seating areas in which you can enjoy some of your favorite indoor activities.

Isn’t it time you spent your limited vacation days on vacation instead of in transit?  Located so close to Midtown Manhattan or Philadelphia, the Chelsea Sun Inn is less than a one-tank trip away, so you can measure your travel time in hours and save money on airfare too!

Originally posted on Chelsea Sun Inn:

Apples, pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes and fall foliage!  Isn’t that the best of the fall in the northeast?  Well, within a short trip from New York City or Philadelphia, the options are numerous.  Why not take a trip to northeastern Pennsylvania, just over an hour from both cities, and enjoy lots of fall activities along with the relaxation of a weekend in the country?  And if relaxation isn’t all you are seeking, maybe some Halloween fun?  The Chelsea Sun Inn is located in Northampton County, just south of the Delaware Water Gap, and is proximate to many fall activities, many of which can be researched on this site.

Fall foliage can be enjoyed during the trip, while the other activities can be enjoyed at the destination.  Apple pies, apple sauce, pumpkin recipes, and new ideas can all be features of a trip “to the country”.   There are…

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Hi, we wanted to provide an update on our pending brewery operations.  The Sabco system has been operational for about three years now, and we have been experimenting non-stop with recipes, flavors, and hop profiles.  We visited Brussels, Belgium for the Belgian Beer Weekend – Edition 14, held at the beginning of September.  Spending nearly a week tasting the big Belgian beers, and traveling to the Trappist monk brewery at Westvleteren Monestary (Saint Sixtus) with our good friend, DIrk, touring Cantillon Brewery in Brussels and immersing ourselves in local culture, we thought long and hard about the Chelsea Farmstead Brewery and its future.  We are excited to begin brewing Belgian beers too, and will be experimenting with Belgian yeasts and fermentation processes over the next few months.

Apples, pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes and fall foliage!  Isn’t that the best of the fall in the northeast?  Well, within a short trip from New York City or Philadelphia, the options are numerous.  Why not take a trip to northeastern Pennsylvania, just over an hour from both cities, and enjoy lots of fall activities along with the relaxation of a weekend in the country?  And if relaxation isn’t all you are seeking, maybe some Halloween fun?  The Chelsea Sun Inn is located in Northampton County, just south of the Delaware Water Gap, and is proximate to many fall activities, many of which can be researched on this site.

Fall foliage can be enjoyed during the trip, while the other activities can be enjoyed at the destination.  Apple pies, apple sauce, pumpkin recipes, and new ideas can all be features of a trip “to the country”.   There are countless options for farm fresh apples, including Macintosh, Cortland, Yellow Delicious, Jonathan, Empire, and Red Delicious.  In addition, the opportunity to venture away for a peaceful country and/or romantic weekend is, as they say, priceless!

This spring (2012), extraordinary warm weather coaxed early blossoms from the trees. Then, an April frost threatened New Jersey and Pennsylvania orchards, and many of the open flower blossoms did not survive the freezing nights. A hot, dry summer followed, slowing the apples’ growth, in between, violent hail storms affected orchards. Thankfully, the dry weather minimized disease and blight, and most local growers have managed to survive. Unfortunately, apple picking is limited, and most orchards will sell pre-picked apples. But be sure to call ahead to confirm an adequate supply of apples at your orchard of choice.

Pumpkin patches exist throughout the area, and often are accompanied by opportunities for hayrides, cider and other fall activities.

Fall foliage colors peak during the month of October.  Dominant Colors: Red, orange, and yellow.  Peak color is expected during the week of October 12-18.  Enjoy the fall foliage as you experience the natural beauty of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Other activities in the area include hiking, antiquing, or, simply relaxing.  The Chelsea Sun Inn is located proximate to many venues for fall activities, and on-site, offers guests the opportunity to relax or to take a wine-making course, offering a choice of seasonal wines to make, custom label design, and the opportunity to return to bottle and label a case of your own wine!

We hope to see you soon!

How to Pick the Best Apples

There are so many kinds of apples that it’s impossible to follow one general rule when looking for the right attributes, but there are a few key points to seek out. Choose unbruised apples that feel firm and heavy in your hand. Be sure to look for richly colored fruits with smooth skin. Also, watch out for signs of russeting—that’s those tan or brown streaky, corky marks that sometimes show up on the stem or base end of the apple, caused by excessive wetness or fungus.

Apple Quick Facts

Store apples in the refrigerator.  The best choice for many bakers is a mixture of apples to achieve a balance of sweet and tart, soft and crisp.

1 pound, or 3 to 4 medium apples = 1 ½ cups applesauce

Use 7 to 9 medium apples for a 9-inch pie.

Applesauce can be frozen; increase spice being used by about ¼, as flavor decreases during frozen storage.  Cool quickly, package, seal and freeze immediately.

Old-Fashioned Apple Sauce

8 tart apples

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

¾ cup water

(about) ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pare, core and slice apples.  Add just enough water to prevent scorching.  Bring to boil;  lower heat to simmer and cover.  Cook until soft, about 20 minutes.  Put through sieve or food mill;  add sugar and spices to taste.

French Apple Tart

Ingredients

For the pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:

4 Granny Smith apples

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced

1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam

2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water

Directions:

  • For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
  • Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

The National Audubon Society designated Upper Mount Bethel Township as part of the Kittatinny Ridge IBA (Important Bird Area). The Chelsea Sun Inn is located in the Eastern Region of the Kittatinny Ridge conservation corridor. This location offers birdwatchers year-around access to a plethora of birds with diverse topography, including the Appalachian Trail, forests, vast farmlands and waterways such as The Delaware River, numerous lakes, and streams.

The Kittatinny Ridge is one of Pennsylvania’s largest Important Bird Areas and the site of a world-famous autumn raptor migration. In the September-October 2012 Audubon Guide to Hawk Watching, the Kittatinny Ridge was listed as the Number 1 place to “catch one of nature’s greatest spectacles”…

Enjoy a leisurely stay at The Chelsea Sun Inn as your home base while enjoying fall foliage, apple picking and the elusive art of bird watching! In the September-October 2012 edition of the Audubon Magazine, the Kittatinny Ridge was listed as the Number 1 location of ten awesome places to catch one of nature’s greatest spectacles for hawk watching. Look for the cackling goose, snow goose, mute swans, northern pintails, grebes, coots, warblers, hummingbirds, shrikes and many other species of birds just a short distance from the New York and Philadelphia metro areas.

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Growlers are a convenient way to carry your favorite beer home from your favorite tap, or tote some of your home-made suds to a party.  Typically offered in 32 and 64 ounce sizes, a growler is a glass bottle topped with a ceramic locktop or a screw top.

Akin to bringing your own shopping bag to the grocery store, growlers are re-useable and therefore, greener than recyclables.  A filled growler costs about half the price of the equivalent amount of brew in a bottle or can, so it’s economical as well.

Jeff Wallace, Beer Room Supervisor at Whole Foods Market Bowery (95 East Houston Street, New York, 212-420-1320), stocks over 1,000 brands of craft beers, and serves a rotating selection of six craft beers available on tap.  Jeff is experiencing the forefront of beer mania as he fine tunes offerings to suit a growing demand in this chic East Village locale serving a non-stereotypical beer lover.  Jeff rejoiced:

“Growler stations are hectic and exciting, adding a social dynamic to the purchasing of beer.  Nearly half of our beer sales volume is in growlers.”

After speaking with Jeff, I positioned myself on the growler station line, and joined the lively chatter of those around me.  Which draught would be best for which foods?  Nancy, a 30-ish woman fashionably dressed in designer gear carried her growler in a large Coach bag and quipped:

“Try the Sixpoint Craft, it is simply delightful with a light salad!”

Others on line chimed in with their preferences, laughing and recounting experiences with various brews.  After about 10 minutes, I found myself face-to-face with Craig, the tap man on duty, who gave me a quick overview of the day’s options.  I purchased two empty 64-ounce growlers for $2.99 each (32-ounce ones have recently been added at $3.99 with a swing top).  Beers on tap ranged in price from $7.99 to $41.99 for 64 ounces.  My first selection was Sixpoint Craft Ales Eight Days O’ Wheat, at a cost of $7.99.  This beer had a soft, tart wheat flavor and a mild citrus hop bitterness at 5.3% alcohol content.  Nancy was right, it was great with salad.  I couldn’t resist my second choice, BrewDog’s Tokyo beer at a purse-breaking $41.99.  At 18.2% alcohol content, it’s a heavy imperial stout, very roasty with chocolate and coffee flavors and fruity sweetness from cranberries and juniper infusions.  Tokyo beer (the timid relative of BrewDog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin which muscles in with a 40% alcohol content you can taste), was the talk-of-the-night at our backyard bar-b-que, thanks to Craig’s expert advice.

Restaurants have jumped onto the growler bandwagon.  In March, Toast restaurants (located at 2737 Broadway and 3157 Broadway, New York 212-663-7010), started offering all nine of their draught beers in either their or third party 64-ounce growlers typically costing $13.00 to fill (16 ounce glass price is $6.00).  Darin Theuret, general manager of Toast restaurants, reports an increase in sales of draught beer in the 5-10% range over this short period, and notes that customers are requesting availability of 32 ounce growlers to better suit parties of 1-2 people.

Heartland Brewery, a pioneer brewpub operating in seven Manhattan locations, is known more for its craft beers brewed at a central Brooklyn facility than its cuisine, where unique seasonal brews are offered for sale by the glass or in a private label growler for $17.95.  Most restaurants with extensive beer lists host beer dinners, four-eight course meals where beer sommeliers expertly pair beers with each course to acknowledge the taste and flavors of the food.  Growler sales after beer dinners at The Ginger Man (11 East 36th Street, New York, 212-532-3740) are brisk.

Then there is the entertainment factor.  Matt Simpson, whose nickname The Beer Sommelier, has taught “From Grain to Glass, A Comprehensive Study of Beer” courses at Emory University, and writes bimonthly for Beer Magazine in their “Ask Beer” column.  Matt says:

“It’s fun to get a growler of beer and enjoy it at home … and then be able to bring it back for a refill.  You can’t do that at a liquor store.”

Real, fresh beer on tap isn’t the only benefit of the craft beer revival; there’s also that real, fresh beer in your fridge.

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