Tupper Lake, November 6, 2012 by Jeff Boucher

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Picken's General Store. Heuvelton, NY.

Did you ever wish you could go back in time?
Being a history buff, I do all the time.
A time where life was slower, without all the technology that directs our lives today.
A time where you didn't have to go elbow to elbow with a zillion crazed shoppers at Wal Mart trying to cash in on the latest sale of who knows what.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on Wal Mart, I went there yesterday in Ogdensburg, NY, with the better half to pick up some household goods. Why Wal Mart?  Well, they sell what we needed, and the price was right. 
That said, once I'm in a Wal Mart, I can't wait to get out.  Too many people, too many choices, too many impulse buys, and the lines at checkout are similar to those on the Long Island Expressway during rush hour.
So what in the hell was I doing in Ogdensburg in the first place?

Well, my good friend David M. Cavanagh (DM) was heading up this way from the Albany area in which he resides. He'd messaged me a week or so ago, and asked if I'd like to check out Pickens General Store in Heuvelton, NY.  A stones throw from the 'Burg.

DM has a camp just outside Ogdensburg, and had discovered this little gem of a store a while back.
He said they sell some great cheese, and he had me at cheese.
He'd been talking it up for a while, so I bit, and said, "Yeah!"

So Nance and I left early on a Saturday morning, hit Wal Mart for those items we needed, then headed to Heuvelton, to meet up with DM.
Can't say I've ever been to Heuvelton. If so, it was so long ago I can't remember.
It looks like so many other small villages in Northern, NY.
It's tired. Lots of run down houses and storefronts.
If you stop and rest and look around, you can almost see and feel how vibrant a little village it was 50, 60, or 75 years ago.
The place has history on it's side.

And part of that is the diamond in the rough that is Pickens General Store.

It's the General store that every that every little town had in the last couple of centuries.
Simply put, it was where you went when you needed anything.
It was the center of town and the community.
It was the heartbeat around which all things social revolved.

What's really cool about this area in general is that over the past few decades there's been an influx of Amish from Pennsylvania and Ohio drawn to the area by the rich soil and reasonable land prices.
We saw multiple horse and buggies yesterday.
I've always been fascinated by the Amish and their "screw the modern world" lifestyle.
Not sure if I could do it, but they're self-reliant in an age, where more of us need to be.
I saw an Amish farmer tilling a big field yesterday behind a team of horses on his plow.
Very cool, and I wished I had taken a pic, but the memory is vivid.

Who needs a time machine?

So, back to Pickens, they sell many Amish goods.  If you're in the area, it's definitely a good place to spend an hour or two.
This store has a new life, thankfully, for those of us who appreciate small town life.

This is from their Website:

A  Good Old-Fashioned General Store!

Our store began as a series of fundraising sales during the holidays for the purpose of saving our historic building.  Eventually we opened for business the summer of 2007 featuring mainly non-electric goods for and from our local Amish, craftsmen, and Artists.  Through the years we have 0937035expanded to truly become a general store.  We carry a little of this and a little of that and with the introduction of our website we hope to share our simple living and local flavor with the world.

We pride ourselves in our ability to serve our customers the old-fashioned way with personal service from a small friendly staff.  Feel free to call the store with any questions, our staff is listed on the "Meet our Staff" page so you will know exactly who you are talking to!

We also always encourage visits to our store because our location and our building was and is ourPickens_General_Store_Heuvelton_NY_0028 inspiration.  As we continue to restore our building we hold many events to share this great place and our history with our guests like Bluegrass nights, workshops, and holiday concerts.  So Welcome everyone to Pickens General Store we hope to see you soon!

So Dave showed up at about a quarter to Noon, and in we went.
And giving credit where credit is due, Nance took all the pics, since DM and I had so much cheese in our hands we couldn't hold a camera!
Here's a side shot of the store.

On the inside, lots of homemade Amish furniture.

Hi honey!

And cheese! With samples!
And more cheese!

Lots of Amish quilts and knitted goods.

Stuff for the kids.

And the cat, which every store should have!

Nice pottery.

The furniture is beautiful.

Love those straw hats!


Homemade soaps.


DM and I checking out with our cheese haul.  The cheese is very reasonably priced and locally produced!

Ah, cheese curds! Yeah baby!

Nance liked this selection.

Plenty of reading material.

The coolest stools you'll ever see.

Front shot of the store.

After hitting Pickens, DM brought us to the Losurdo Cheese factory, which produces some of the fine cheeses at Pickens.
We might not be the most handsome dudes, but with the cheese haul we made, we're the happiest!

That's it! GP

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls Mon......

No problem!

Late yesterday afternoon the better half announced a craving for cinnamon rolls.

Would I, she asked, make some  dough?

Does a bear shit in the woods?
Yes I did, and she took over, and the results were outstanding.
Nancie managed a bakery a while back, and she can really get her bake on!
All from scratch.

Rising up.


Fresh out of the oven.

Add a little glaze.


My kind of cross-section!

Love buns, simply love 'em.....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dhorst- Bagels, Bread, and Pizza.....

Our friend Diana, who hails from the suburbs of Syracuse has got her bake on.

Daily, she bakes bread, pizza or in today's case bagels, that are simply awesome.

She buys flour by the 50 lb. sack and blows through it like Hurricane Sandy.

Master baker extraordinaire!

Here's some of her artwork.


Seriously, cheddar cheese and jalopena's!


 Then there's the bread, Fred!

Love me some baguettes!

We're talking crumb structure here kids. If you know not about crumb structure, look it up!


Thanks Di for the pics!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31st.......

Seriously, tomorrow is November 1st? How the hell did that happen?

Like, 2 weeks ago it was July 4th.

I dunno about you but the older I get, the faster time flies by, and I'm not really happy about it, but it is what it is.

Next comes Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Years and BOOM! It's Halloween 2013.

Somebody's got to hit the brakes on this time thing, really.

That said, here's the pics of the week- I ain't no chef, but every now and then dumb luck prevails and I make something palatable (Hey Pav, I said palatable!)

Amish White Bread-Looks good, but really wasn't. 
I rushed it, no patience equals bread that doesn't reach its potential.
 Lesson learned!

Well, it wasn't that bad....

Then I made a Stromzoli-Kind of a cross between calzone and stromboli.

Now that, was wicked good!

Finally , there was the Apple Pie.
Good stuff!

This pic will never make Foodgawker, but that's my 2nd slice, with Edy's Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream.


That's all kids-see ya! 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Had the urge to make bagels yesterday.

So I came home and started the process.

Here's the recipe I used, it's simple, well, it's simple for me, and I'm a simple man (love Lynyrd Skynyrd.)

Didn't use KA flour, any APF will do.

Mixed all of the dry ingredients and wetstuff and let it do a first rise,

Then I realized I didn't want to mess with it anymore, so I covered it with plastic and threw it in the fridge.

We'll call that the ferment!

So today, I finished it off.
Threw the dough, rolled it, made little bagel balls, poked a hole, let 'em rise again, boil 'em and bake!

The better half rolled 'em in onion flakes, poppy seeds and garlic flakes.

Everything Bagels!

After the boil, before the bake!

The finished product.  Seriously, if I can do this so can you!

 I just slathered a little Land 'o Lakes butter on one-it's almost criminal!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Easiest Chicken You'll Ever Make....

While mulling dinner options the other night, I decided to make chicken.
Now I'd been down with a cold for a week and the better half had been doing all the cooking, so I wanted to give her a break, I mean, I wanted to cook, but I didn't want to get locked in the kitchen on a week night.

So I ran across this, I can't even call it a recipe, it's too friggin' simple.

Dutch Oven Chicken.

I fryer, mine was 5 lbs.
Salt, Pepper, and whatever else you want to season with.

Splash some olive oil in the bottom of the dutch oven, cover the botttom.
Brown the bird on both sides, seasoning as you do.
When she's browned up, put the lid on and bake @ 350 until the internal temp. is 160. I'd say 70 -90 minutes for a room temp bird.

I served it with brown rice with a half cup of renderings, and carrots from the garden.

No fuss, no muss!

Browned, seasoned, and with a little butter on top. Just a little...

Lid on, and into the oven

There she is, ain't she a beauty?

And the other plus is, you get to make wicked good chicken soup the next day, which will last at least two more days. 

Carrots form our garden.

And rice.

I was going to name this post Cooking Chicken for Dummies! 

But I thought better of it, some people are just intimidated by the kitchen.
If they realized how easy it is to make decent meals, they might rethink it!

You often hear people say, "I can't cook!"
Well if you can't pull this off, you're probably right!