US officials have not ruled out a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for air travelers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday.
Fauci made the comments during an appearance Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” after moderator Chuck Todd asked him about his support for mandates for travel.
“The team has a lot of things on the table. Nothing has been taken off the table,” Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden said. “That decision has not been made.”
“We have not yet gotten to the point of requiring vaccinations on domestic flights, but everything is on the table,” he added Sunday. “We consider these things literally on a daily basis. So suffice it to say, it’s still on the table right now.”
Passengers who refuse to comply with the mask-wearing policies previously faced fines starting at $250 and up to $1,500. The guidelines released earlier this month raised the minimum fine to $500 and the maximum fine to $3000.
“You know, the president made the decision when it comes to flying, if, if a person does not want to wear a mask or doesn’t wear a mask, they double the fining on that,” Fauci said Sunday.
Fauci’s comments Sunday come as more travelers return to the skies even as new cases tick up fueled by the highly-transmissible Delta variant, bringing air travel closer to pre-pandemic levels. The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 1.5 million passengers on Saturday – more than double the passengers it screened on the same day last year, according to TSA data.
Imagine a five-star, farm-to-table dinner in the woods. Or perhaps on an alpaca farm. Or, in a field of lavender. Maybe you want to experience a meal by a top female chef using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. Or you just want a unique dining experience somewhere in the Catskills. Well, you can have all of that and more at one of the Farmhouse Project’s Terrain & Table dinners.
We were recently invited to experience a Terrain & Table dinner on the Bindy Bazaar Trail at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. During the famous 1969 Woodstock Festival, the Bindy Bazaar Trail was a marketplace that connected different areas of the festival grounds. Now, Bindy Bazaar is part of Bethel Woods Center. Picture fine dining by candlelight with gold plated cutlery, beautiful crockery, and fresh-picked flowers — at a rustic table placed in the middle of a hiking trail in the woods at a historic location surrounded by a Carol Hummel site-specific art installation.
The Origins Of The Farmhouse Project
The Farmhouse Project was started by Shawn Lang and Kris Prepelica. These two former New York City residents (a designer and an oncologist) moved up to the Catskills seven years ago. In addition to renovating a 200+-year-old farmhouse, they have been working on sustainable community projects. They created Terrain & Table as an immersive dining experience that features locally sourced, sustainable food served on farms, wineries, and trails. They bring their joy of food, the Catskills, and creating community together in everything they do. This year, they are featuring women chefs at all of their dinners.
Explore The Catskills Region In A New Way
Dining in the woods or on a farm is a great way to have an intimate experience of the Catskills. Terrain & Table locations include Saratoga Springs, Roscoe, Stone Ridge, and Bloomingburg. Each is a destination unto itself. Spend the day exploring and then have a wonderful dining experience in the evening. You can plan a weekend getaway around a dinner. Just make sure to book well in advance because the dinners sell out fast.
Experience Farm-To-Table Dining At The Source
We love supporting local farms and businesses. How much closer to the source can you get than a trail in the woods or on a farm or orchard? At Terrain & Table, local farms provide unique, fresh ingredients for each dinner. Our dinner was sourced from Mountain Sweet Berry, White Stag, Willow Whisp, Lucky Dog, and Ronnybrook Farms. The ingredients don’t travel far. Wherever you are eating is where the food comes from. The farms, the season, and everything local influence the evening.
Enjoy The Creativity Of Top Women Chefs
This year, Kris and Shawn are featuring top women chefs at each dinner. At our dinner, Chef Camille Rodriguez from Chef to Market prepared a four-course dinner in a tent in the woods with only a grill for cooking. It was truly a tour de force — simple, fresh ingredients, locally sourced plus a chef’s imagination. Up next is chef Cheryl Perry, author of For the Love of Pie. She will be followed by private chef Lizzy Singh-Brar, a former Chopped contestant. After that, you have a chance to sample the creations of Early Bird Cookery chefs Amy Miller and Dayna Halprin. The season ends with Melissa D’Elia, former owner of Down To Earth, one of the first organic vegan restaurants in New Jersey. She’s been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Viceland’s Bong Appetit, and Vice’s Munchies Cookbook.
Be Surprised By The Menu
We met Kris, Shawn, and Executive Chef Rodriguez during the cocktail hour and tried to get them to tell us the menu for the evening. We asked and we asked. No go. We had to wait to see what was served at the table. It was worth the surprise. The menu is determined on the day of the dinner, with available ingredients shaping what appears on your plate.
Imbibe Cocktails Before Dinner
We listened to a folk duo (we were in Woodstock, after all) while we sipped cocktails and wine. As we enjoyed the music and made new friends, the waitstaff passed by with delicate hors d’oeuvres — grilled oysters on the shell, duck liver meatballs, mashed fava beans on toasted focaccia, and grilled peaches with ricotta and vinaigrette. It was a magical start to the evening.
After cocktails, we proceeded up the trail to our tables, with candlelight guiding the way in the dusk of the evening. Fire pits were interspersed amongst the tables, warming the night and adding a soft element to the experience.
Come Hungry After A Day Of Exploring
It is best to come hungry to a Terrain & Table dinner. The courses are many and the servings are large. Factor in the hors d’oeuvres from the cocktail hour, and you will be hard-pressed to find room in your stomach for dessert.
Our four-course meal started with an artichoke salad, shavings of which were hidden in a bed of arugula generously sprinkled with sliced almonds tossed with parmigiana Reggiano and mint. We loved the second course, which was a delicate corn risotto, made with basil and mascarpone. The corn kernels were just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. The main course was a smoked Berkshire pork chop, a very generous portion atop a tomato bread sauce and soaked chard with pine nuts and sultana raisins. The salt in the pork was nicely balanced by the tomato bread sauce. The pork was perfectly smoked yet able to retain its juiciness. Dessert was a reimagined s’mores parfait with marshmallows, graham crackers, and a delightful chocolate pudding served in a drinking glass.
The Journey Is Part Of The Fun
On your way to dinner, you are likely to find yourself on a picturesque one-lane road somewhere in Upstate New York. The drive will be scenic and full of country stores, antique shops, and scenic views. If you leave enough time, you’ll be able to stop anywhere that strikes your fancy.
Allow Yourself To Unwind
Take a moment to savor the food, the scenery, and the tranquility. As we ate, we heard woodpeckers and birds, saw fireflies, and heard the sounds of the night as the sun set. This was in sharp contrast to the many fine dinners in the new outside dining areas in New York City, where we hear cars honking, traffic, and the conversations of passersby. It’s been a tough year and enjoying the moment is important.
Table & Terrain dinners are scheduled throughout the spring, summer, and fall at different countryside locations within the Catskills. Upcoming destinations include an alpaca farm, a lavender farm, an orchard, a horse-breeding farm, and a winery. Book early. Dinners sell out quickly.
Many people dress up for the dinners, though casual attire is also welcome. However you decide to dress, wear comfortable shoes. Our dinner took place on a hiking trail.
Since you will be outdoors, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a hat will come in handy.
Keep in mind that the Catskills can be cool at night. Make sure to bring a sweater, or in the fall, a jacket.
Dinners take place rain or shine. In the event of bad weather, the dinner will take place in a tent.
The chefs can accommodate dietary restrictions. Make sure to let them know what you need when you register.
Terrain & Table is a splurge and is pricey — on par with a five-star restaurant in New York City.
The Catskills is a large region, so make sure you check travel distances and times. Many of the roads are local and one lane each way, so it can take longer to travel than you expect.
Accessibility can be a challenge at Terrain & Table since the dinners are on trails, at farms, and outdoors. Best to contact them directly to ask about accessibility for the particular location.
Be prepared to spend at least three hours at cocktails and dinner. Remember, the chef and her team are cooking outside without all the benefits of a professionally stocked kitchen and a large staff. It takes time to prepare and transport the food. It is worth the wait.
Our most important tip: Go and indulge yourself with a new experience, new people, and a moment of joy.
Putnam Market on Broadway just got some serious ink in the Financial Times newspaper, a broadsheet based in London with editorial offices across Britain, the United States and continental Europe.
The Financial Times started out in 1888 using unbleached, pink paper that was marginally cheaper to print on, and the newspaper still uses it today. The FT goes head-to-head with the Wall Street Journal, and while the Journal is the preferred coverage of U.S. companies, in the crucial weekend editions where both provide good coverage of the arts, books, wine, travel, fashion and food, the FT’s more global perspective gives it a cosmopolitan edge.
That makes it all the more remarkable that Putnam Market was named one of the 50 best food stores in the world by the Financial Times’ How To Spend It magazine.
We in the Capital Region recognize the excellence of Putnam Market, which opened in a converted warehouse on Putnam Street in 1995. Since that time it’s expanded its offerings, become an authoritative purveyor of wines and added a cheese room. But that it rates alongside a “temple of Italian gastronomy” in Milan (Peck) and “utter nirvana for jet-set expat gastronomes” in Singapore (Culina) is impressive indeed. You go, Putnam Market.
So Sheryl and I went to check it out. We met for lunch on a weekday outside the busy track season.
The brick storefront on Broadway is modern and bright, divided into departments: wine, cheese, groceries, bakery, meats, takeout counter. You’ll find Hudson Valley Truffle Falls cheese and rose-lychee macarons alongside cheeky cocktail napkins and upscale groceries.
It doesn’t feel snooty — in fact, the staff was quite friendly and the lunch menu is comprehensive but not overwhelming.
We wended our way through the baked-goods area — ogling macarons, petit fours and sprinkle cakes (you slice the cake and sprinkles spill out; get your camera ready) — to the takeout counter. Grab a paper menu or glance at the electronic, easy-to-read menu board. Mostly it’s sandwiches and salads, with daily specials and a few small plates. There are packed lunches to go in a refrigerated case. Prices are not snooty, either.
Among the stalwart sandwiches are the Putnam (smoked turkey, brie, honey mustard), Hathorn (roast beef and horseradish cheddar spread) and Leland (smoked ham, cheddar and honey mustard). Sandwiches come in large ($11.21) and small ($6).
We placed our orders, grabbed interesting sodas and snagged a table for two. In a few moments my name was called and our neatly packed food was on the counter, ready to pick up. Sheryl ordered the Catharine ($6, small), named for one of the founders, Catharine Hamilton. Her sister, Gloria Griskowitz, is the other.
The Catharine, served on a fresh baguette, has free-range turkey, cheddar, bacon, avocado spread, sprouts and Russian dressing. It is colorful and quite appealing.
“The turkey has a nice flavor and is not dry,” observed Sheryl, examining the thinly sliced meat. She liked the baguette, too, but expected more flavor from the bacon and cheddar. The avocado spread didn’t stand out much, either, she thought. All in all, though, she gobbled it up.
I had a half salad and soup ($11.21), the soup being the week’s special, lemon chicken orzo. The lemon flavor was refreshing but a bit strong, and the elements had a very assembled feel, as opposed to being long-cooked together. The white meat chicken was cooked separately and sliced into small chunks, without giving much of its flavor to the broth; the celery and onion were sliced neatly but still a bit crunchy. Leafy kale and shaved carrot added color. It was an attractive presentation, but more a bowl of ingredients than soup.
The chicken and mandarin salad was outstanding, despite its lack of oranges. Chicken, sliced toasted almonds, carrots, red cabbage and flavorful sesame ginger dressing added up to a salad I wanted to spend some time with. The vegetables were crunchy and the white meat chicken was tender. I really enjoyed it and would get it again — hopefully, with the oranges next time.
Putnam Market gets points for neat packaging that doesn’t use Styrofoam. The paper salad box was sturdy and the compact size made eating a to-go salad easy. It helped that the components were all bite-sized.
Having said that, Sheryl was pleased to get plastic bags for the groceries she bought. We’ve been long accustomed to reusing plastic market bags, and now that they’re thin on the ground it’s a treat to have a few again for reusing. Who thought we’d miss them?
Putnam Market does catering and offers prepared meals to cook at home such as jambalaya and mac and cheese ($16) that looked good enough that I wish I’d brought one home when it was time to make dinner.
The tab for our lunch with a diet Dr. Brown’s black cherry soda for me and a bottle of Lorina blood orange sparkling soda for Sheryl came to $23.61, with a few bucks in the tip jar. Service was prompt and the staff was friendly.
Their mask policy is the same as the state’s: If you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask. If you are not, you need to wear a mask. The staff at Putnam Market wear masks. Some of the patrons were masked, some not. We are vaccinated and felt comfortable there.
We liked Putnam Market a lot, and our lunch was pleasant if not outstanding. Its provisions are, though, at least according to the Financial Times.
WHERE: 431 Broadway, Saratoga Springs; (518) 587-3663; www.putnammarketcom WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday HOW MUCH: $23.71, with a few bucks in the tip jar MORE INFO: Credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express. ADA compliant. Catering available. Parking on street.