The Sweet Sounds of Music

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Shapiro award winner honors Fort Drum soldiers and the north country

Gilbert H. Pearsall Jr., 2016 Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award recipient, right, speaks with Cathy Pircsuk, left, prior to the award ceremony.

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‘Art of Winter’ inspiration found in forests to the kitchen

Jessica Phinney, curator at the Thousands Islands Art Center stands in the Winter Art Exhibit Friday in Clayton. The exhibit runs February 3 through March 17.

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Fabulous recipes with just five ingredients

Teriyaki chicken with bok choy is one of several easy five-ingredient dishes that would be great for busy weeknights.

Simplicity is key.

Life can be difficult. It can even be daunting. When you come home from a hard day of wrangling penguins, the last thing you want to do is put together a meal with 27 different ingredients.

So you reach into the larder (does anyone even have a larder anymore? When’s the last time you saw the word “larder”?) and pull out a handful of ingredients. No more than five. And you make a meal, or at least a dish.

It may not be as complexly flavored as the one with 27 ingredients, but on the other hand, there is less to go wrong, too. It’s clean. Efficient. Simple.

Simplicity is key.

And from such simplicity can come bold flavors. I made a pot roast out of five ingredients, and it is so roundly delectable that I am calling it Five-Ingredient Bourguignon.

That may be stretching the point, but only a little. I began with a hunk of meat (top or bottom round; I used top) and I braised it until tender in red wine with onions and thyme.

The key is to cook the meat at a low simmer for a long time (mine took a little under two hours). This not only makes what is typically a tough piece of meat deliciously tender, but it also gives a chance for the acidity in the wine to mellow out as the alcohol cooks away.

It’s a breeze to make, and the result is a hearty roast, just right for a cold winter’s night.

For a side dish to stand up to the beef — or an excellent vegetarian main course — you might want to consider White Beans With Rosemary and Garlic.

Naturally, this is a dish of white beans that has been flavored with rosemary and garlic, plus olive oil and salt. But the recipe comes from Alice Waters, who revolutionized American cooking with her world-famous restaurant Chez Panisse, so you know it is going to be extra good.

And so it is. Beans, garlic and rosemary combine to bring out an almost unworldly earthiness in each other; it is a truly great grouping of flavors. It was superb.

And so was teriyaki chicken with bok choy, a dish that embarrasses me a little because it breaks an unwritten law. I generally try not to cook with premade or processed ingredients (the “Semi-Homemade” way) such as teriyaki sauce. And yet, here is a recipe calling for chicken thighs marinated in bottled teriyaki sauce and garlic, and it was wonderful.

How could it not be? The people who make bottled teriyaki sauce know what they are doing. It adds just the right sweet-spicy notes to chicken that play beautifully off the mildly bitter taste of the bok choy. Serve it on rice and you have a satisfying, easy meal.

Even faster and easier, though, is crispy-coated lemon-pepper salmon. The secret to this is lemon-pepper-flavored panko bread crumbs which, admittedly, is also sort of semi-homemade.

But they add a snap of lemon and a hint of black pepper to salmon, which goes perfectly with them. And the panko bread crumbs add a bit of texture to it, though maybe not the crunch the name implies.

The only other ingredients needed are buttermilk and melted butter, both of which help the bread crumbs adhere to the fish. It all takes the salmon, which is already great, and makes it better.

One of my favorite go-to dinners is sausage, peppers and onions, so I made it, as well. There is just something magical about the way Italian sausage blends with sauteed onion and the natural sweetness of a mild pepper.

When I make it, I usually eat it with no embellishments because it needs none. But it’s even better when it is sandwiched between two pieces of good crusty bread. I put mine in the middle of a baguette, which brought a new level to an already incredible meal.

And all of this could only be topped with dessert. vanilla pots de creme is a light vanilla custard. It’s just a gentle combination of milk — you don’t even have to use cream — sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Cook until it’s thickened, then cook some more in a water bath to regulate the temperature.

How can something this amazing be made from only four ingredients?


Yield: 6 servings

2 ½ pounds beef, chuck roast, top round or bottom round


2 cups red wine

½ onion, in lengthwise slices

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1. Generously season beef on all sides with salt. Place meat in Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot with the wine, onion and thyme.

2. Bring to a boil, cover, lower temperature and cook at a low simmer, turning occasionally, until meat is cooked through, about 1¾ to 2 hours.


Yield: 4 servings

4 eggs

2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons sugar

1 (2-inch) piece vanilla bean

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Separate the eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks just enough to break them up (reserve the whites for another use). Set a strainer over a different medium heat-proof bowl. Set a kettle of water on the stove to boil.

2. Pour milk and sugar into a heavy-bottomed pot. Slice the piece of vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the tiny seeds from each side into the milk mixture. Add the pieces of bean to the mixture, and heat the pot on medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the milk is hot, whisk a little bit of it at a time into the egg yolks. When you have added ¼ of the milk to the yolks, pour the mixture back into the hot milk.

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon; if you draw your finger across the coating on the spoon you will be able to see the trail it made. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and quickly strain into the heatproof bowl.

4. Pour the custard equally into 4 ramekins and set the ramekins in a large baking pan. Place the pan in the oven and fill the pan with the boiling water at least halfway to the level of the custard, taking care not to spill water into the custards. Cook until the sides are set but the center of the custard is still loose and jiggly, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the baked custards from the water to cool, then refrigerate.


Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon oil

1 bell pepper, any color, cut into strips

½ onion, cut into lengthwise strips

4 Italian sausages, pork or turkey

4 hoagie rolls or 1 baguette

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper pieces, onion and sausage. Cover and cook, occasionally turning the sausage and stirring the vegetables, until sausage is cooked and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes (or less, if using precooked sausage). If using pork sausage, drain off excess oil. Serve each sausage in 1 roll or ¼ baguette, smothered in peppers and onions.


Yield: 4 servings

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ cup plus ⅓ cup teriyaki sauce

8 bone-in chicken thighs (2½ pounds)

1 cup long-grain white rice

2 bunches baby bok choy, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the garlic and ¼ cup of the teriyaki sauce. Add the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions.

3. Roast the chicken on the prepared baking sheet, basting with the remaining 1/3 cup of teriyaki sauce , until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the bok choy 10 minutes before the chicken is done. Serve over rice.


Yield: 4 servings

4 tablespoons butter, divided

½ cup lemon-pepper panko bread crumbs

¼ cup buttermilk

1 (1 ½-pound) salmon fillet, cut into 4 serving pieces

Note: Can also be grilled over medium heat, covered.

1. In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Mix with the bread crumbs. Place buttermilk in a shallow dish. Dip salmon in buttermilk and press crumb mixture evenly on top of salmon pieces.

2. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place salmon, skin-side down, on pan, cover, and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 14 minutes.


Yield: 3 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped

2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and rosemary. Cook just until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, taste for salt and adjust if needed. Let the dish sit for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

Scouts invade the Sackets Harbor Sportsman’s Club

Jesse Farr, 12, warms his hands as he and the rest of Boy Scout Troop 21 wait for their 2 cups of water to boil during the fire starting station of the Klondike Derby Saturday in Sackets Harbor. The Klondike Derby has been a tradition in the north country for several years with the goal of having fun while learning outdoor skills and teamwork. 

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“Short” selections announced for Snowtown Film Festival

The short horror film ‘Ghost Walks,’ by north country filmmaker and screenwriter Bryan Stumpf, will be shown Saturday afternoon at the Snowtown Film Festival. Featured in the film are Ryan Katzer as Ed Depes and Dorothea Swiac, playing his wife, Sybil Depes.


Snowtown Film Festival officials have released the short-film lineup for the event.

The festival at the Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., opens at 6 p.m. Friday with a sold out “flannel casual” red carpet reception and a screening and panel discussion of the multi-award-nominated film “Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen, a graduate of Watertown High School and St. Lawrence University, Canton. The actor, who on Monday was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film, is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion following the showing .

The festival continues at 11 a.m. Saturday. It has six feature-length, official selection films scheduled, ranging from a tale about a Bigfoot encounter to a romantic drama.

Twenty-six short films, with a variety of subjects, will compete at the festival. They range in length from 2 to 20 minutes.

The shorts collectively total five hours in length and will be shown in two blocks, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by an awards ceremony at 7.

block one schedule“Paradox,” a thriller, eight minutes, 13 seconds

“Fruit,” an animated fable of creation and destruction, 6:55

“A Girl Goes For Dinner,” a psychological thriller, 15:25

“Balloon,” an ode to “Fargo” by Russian filmmaker Vis Vitalis, 4:53

“Ghost Walks,” North country filmmaker Bryan Stumpf’s latest horror short, 15:00

“Last Call Lenny,” a dark comedy, 12:30

“One Last Dance,” an animated documentary, 3:45

“For Your Own Safety,” about an airport security screener, 15:00

“Speechless,” a young refugee wanders into a German toy store, 6:47

“The 1% Crisis in the Great Lakes,” a student project from Troy, Mich., looks at the importance of the Great Lakes as a source of fresh water, 6:50

“Before Your Eyes,” a student project from north country filmmaker Skyler Bocciolatt, 16:14

“Beyond,” an unusual animated film from Hungary, 9:35

“Sociopaths,” a Japanese live-action sci-fi film, 5:24

“Dryad,” a French medieval/fantasy hybrid, 11:26

“Object,” an eerie documentary about retrieving a body, 14:40

Block two schedule“The Place Finder,” things unravel for a man who helps hide murder victims, 11:15

“Tito vs Tito,” a comedy/experimental film 2:00

“Disaster Man,” a humorous documentary interview by Watertown native and filmmaker, Laura Valtorta, 13:25

“Lone Rider,” a student project from Luca Cipolla at Ithaca College, 4:15

“Dozer,” a dark comedy about a teenager with a crossbow. The film is not competing. 14:07

“Bardo,” a cabbie is haunted by an elderly fare he picks up on a frigid night, 18:30

“Fine Line,” an experimental film from Fargo, N.D., native Kevin Ackley, 1:56

“Cognitive Architecture,” a psychologist (Cynthia Tyler, Watertown) must interview a child to determine her mental capacity. This film is not competing. 15:52

“Sugar,” an experimental student film exploring a young woman’s ability to recall her past, 5:22

“Solo,” a student film about two brothers who leave their home town by bus, 17:23

“Snovlo,” a first film from Ottawa musician Gillian Kirkland, about snow biking, shot in Ottawa, 9:33

“Fog,” a touching film about a daughter who reduces her schizophrenic father’s medication so that they might bond, 17:55

“For a Good Time,” a woman calls a number on a bathroom wall and is connected with the last person she expects, 20:00

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Around 150 people from NNY attend the Washington Women’s March

Patricia Alden, Canton, right, and Jo Denbleyker, Canton, sit on a bus bound for Washington D.C., for the Washington Women’s March early Friday morning at SUNY Canton. They were among about 150 people who boarded buses in Canton for the journey.

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Braman’s Block adds third home in Carthage

Brenden Hitchcock, 6, runs into his new home to play with his friends Sunday during the dedication and open house ceremony for his family’s new home from Habitat for Humanity in Carthage.

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5 Things Friday- January 20



Outdoor Activites

1. 22nd Annual Don Rowe Antique Snowmobile Show

When: 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Two Guys From Italy, Sports Bar 2645 St. Rte. 49
What: 22nd Annual Don Rowe Antique Snowmobile ShowSponsored by the Square Valley Trail Blazers, this is the longest-running antique snowmobile show in New York State. Six classes, including a yearly featured snowmobile and a new youth class for ages 15 and younger. Plaques and trophies are awarded.
Cost: $5

Saturday / West Monroe

2. Alexandria Bay Fire Department Ice Fishing Derby

When: 6 a.m. Saturday
Where: Alexandria Bay Fire Department, 110 Walton St.
What: The Alexandria Bay Fire Department will be hosting their 19th annual no boundary ice fishing derby on January 21st at the Alexandria Bay Municipal Building. Registration is Friday, January 20th starting at 8 am and Saturday from 6 am until noon. All fish must be entered by 5 pm on Saturday, prizes will be awarded at 6 pm. Grand Prize: $2000 donated by Glenn Sweet and ABFD. Top Prizes: $500 cash donated by Gouverneur Savings and Loan, $500 Gift Certificate donated by Rte 37 Lumber and Wellesley Island Building Supply, Tool pack donated by McQuade and Bannigan, Ice auger donated by Horizon Marine. Bring your fish in live for release and enter your name for a chance to win a $500 Gift Certificate donated by Charles Garlock and Sons. Largest fish entered will receive $250 cash donated by ABFD.
Cost: Free
INFO: 482-2121

Saturday / Alexandria Bay

3. Chateaugay State Forest Snowshoe

When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Chateaugay State Forest, Route 2 and Beecherville Rd.
What: Meet the Adirondack Mountain Club Onondaga at the Gander Mountain Sports parking lot to carpool to the trail head. Theresa and Jay will lead the group to snowshoe 5 miles (boot hike if no snow) with a stop for lunch on the shore of Orwell Brook. Dress in layers. Bring water and a trail lunch.
Cost: Free

Saturday / Richland

4. Outdoor Pork Dinner

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Henderson Fish and Game Club, 11837 Game Club Rd.
What: Take-out is available starting at 4 p.m. The menu includes slow-cooked smoked pork, mashed potatoes, green beans or corn, apple sauce, roll with butter and beverage.
Cost: $9 per person, $5 for children ages 5 to 11 and free for ages 5 and under.
Info: 405-0142

Saturday / Henderson Harbor

5. Square Valley Trail Blazers Grooming Day

When: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Happy Valley at the Big Tree.
What: Square Valley Trail Blazers Grooming DaySVTB brings its groomers for everyone to see. Meet fellow snowmobilers. Free hot dogs and beverages are provided. Donations are welcome.
Cost: Free

Saturday / Happy Valley


Arts & Entertainment

1. Make and Take Crafts

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Carthage Free Library, 412 Budd St.
What: For ages 6 and older. Sign up required. This month’s project: Mosaic Masterpieces.
Cost: Free
Info: 493-2620

Saturday / Carthage

2. Katherine Siochi, harp and piano

When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St.
What: Enjoy the music of Katherine Siochi on the harp.
Cost: Free to $16

Sunday / Watertown

3. Shoulder Season

When: Friday through Sunday
Where: Thousand Islands Arts Center, 314 John St
What: Exhibit of cashmere paisley shawls, on display through January.
Cost: Free
Info: 686-4123

Friday through Sunday / Clayton

 4. Harriet’s Big Adventure

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday
Where: St. Lawrence County Arts Council, 51 Market St.
What: Watercolor illustrations by Raymond Whalen, on display Friday, Jan. 20, through Friday, March 3. Opening reception: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday
Cost: Free
INFO: 265-6860 or

Friday through Sunday / Potsdam

5. Fuzzy Snowman Workshop

When: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Gallery Lake St. Lawrence Arts, 10 Main St.
What: Use items found around the home to create a Fuzzy Snowman Friend! Bring your friends and make a whole community of fuzzy, friendly snowmen!
Cost: $8
INFO: 705-1241 or

Saturday / Waddington


Learn Something New

1. Beginner Maple School

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday
Where: American Maple Museum, 9756 State Route 812
What: Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis county. Speaker: Steve Childs, extension maple specialist. Refreshments provided.
Cost: $5; free for students.
INFO: 376-5270,, or

Friday / Croghan

2. Italian baking workshop

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lyme Free Library, 12165 Route 12E
What: Learn the basics of Italian baking.
Cost: $15
INFO: Cathy Gallagher, 408-7318

Saturday / Chaumont

3. Human trafficking lecture

When: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, 1425 Washington St.
What: Featuring Andre Marie, North Country Human Trafficking Task Force.
Cost: Free
INFO: 782-3460

Sunday / Watertown

4. Snap Circuit Kit

When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Norwood Library, 1 Morton St.
What: Learn how circuits work with the fun and easy Snap Circuits kit. Make several projects, including using lights, fans and sound. Age 8 and up.
Cost: Free
INFO: 353-6692

Saturday / Norwood

5. Question and answer computer class

When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: William H. Bush Memorial Library, 5605 Whitaker Road
What: Ask questions about computer skills and learn new ones.
Cost: Free
INFO: 376-7490

Saturday / Martinsburg


Something To Eat

1. Chicken and biscuit dinner

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Friday
Where: American Legion Post 1757, 209 Ambrose St.
What: Enjoy chicken and biscuit dinner prepared by the American Legion Post 1757.
Cost: $8; children 11 and younger, $5.
INFO: 646-3530

Friday / Sackets Harbor

2. Pork Dinner

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Henderson Fish and Game Club, 11837 Game Club Road.
What: Takeouts start at 4 p.m. Menu: pork, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, apple sauce, roll and butter, beverage.
Cost: $9; children 5 to 11, $5; children 4 and younger, free.

Saturday / Henderson

3. Pancake Breakfast

When: 8 a.m. to Noon Sunday
Where: Brownville American Legion, 101 Washington Street
What: All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Menu: pancakes with real maple syrup, home fries, sausage, bacon, eggs, juice, coffee.
Cost: Meals for adults, $8; meals for children, $5.

Sunday / Copenhagen

4. Knights of Columbus brunch

When: 8 a.m. to Noon Sunday
Where: St. John’s Catholic Church hall, 5838 McAlpine St.
What: Menu: all-you-can-eat pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage, bacon, eggs, fruit cup, muffins, coffee, tea, milk, juice.
Cost: $7, adults; $4, ages 5-12; younger than 5 eat free.
INFO: 348-6599

Sunday / Lyons Falls

 5. Pancake Breakfast

When: 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday
Where: Heuvelton Fire Department, 95 State St.
What: Menu: pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, juice, and coffee.
Cost: $7; children, $4.
INFO: 276-0483 or

Sunday / Heuvelton


Live Entertainment!

1. Annual Oswego Lions Club Comedy Night

When: 11:30 to 2:30 a.m. Friday
Where: Conference Center, 26 East First St.
What: Steven Rogers is opening and Erin Jackson is the headliner!
Cost: $15
INFO: 532-1371

Friday / Oswego

2. American Master Class Tour Workshop McLeod Technique Modern Workshop and an MT Groove Workshop

When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Double Play Fitness Center School of Dance with Ms. Nicky, 7394 Utica Blvd.
What: The American Master Class Tour brings an amazingly unique blend of life changing inspiration and a useful professional level dance to every school it passes through. Nicky Manzer will be bringing International Performer and soloist for the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre, Kierstyn Zaykoski to Double Play School of Dance with Miss Nicky for an amazing American Master Class Tour Workshop! This particular tour will include a McLeod Technique Modern Workshop and an MT Groove Workshop! All ages and abilities are encouraged to join!
Cost:  $0 to $25

Saturday / Lowville

3. COFFEE HOUSE - LIVE MUSIC with Adam & Sue

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: First Baptist Church of Carthage, 511 State St.
What: Snacks, coffee, tea, soda. Adam and Sue play a couple days a week in the Cicero, Syracuse, Auburn area. They play a wide range of Christian music from Hillsong, to David Crowder to Chris Tomlin. This is a family friendly event. All ages are welcome to attend. Families and church youth groups are also invited as Teens and young adults will especially love this music.
Cost: Free
Info: N/A

Saturday / Carthage

 4. Kasador

When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Flashback Lounge, 1309 State St.
What: Live performance by Kasador.
Cost: Free
INFO: 681-4159

Saturday / Watertown

5. Ariana Gillis with special guests Colleen Brown and Elijah Abrams When: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Calvary United Church, 45 Charles Street, Kingston, ON
What: Ariana Gillis with special guests Colleen Brown and Elijah Abrams.
Cost: $20
INFO: 613-548-7602 expand]

Saturday / Kingston, Ontario

Trinity Concert Series hosting award-winning harp player

Katherine Siochi will perform a harp and piano concert Sunday at Trinity Episcop-al Church in Watertown.

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