Happy New Year! — #berkshireweekend

As you read this, I’m southeast of the Berkshires this week with my family for the holidays — we’re taking my parents’ dog for a walk to the pond to look for the beaver lodges, or we’re sitting by the fireplace and my nieces and nephews are watching us make a wood fire.

We even have chestnuts to roast, thanks to Big River Chestnuts just over the ridge. They can slow-roast in the oven gently for awhile and come out hot and sweet. It’s a good week for sharing some quiet, warm pleasures and memories.

One of the comforts of the holidays for me is that they give a chance to share some local flavors that I might not try only for myself. So I’ll take the time to set out on a quest for chestnuts, or za’atar basil and dried mushrooms, or Cricket Creek Farm cheeses … and make marmalade from the Valencia Oranges I found at Guido’s.

It’s a week for new pathways, kitchen experiments and trying things I’ve been wanting to do for years. We have a kind of in-between time this week, and no matter your plans, for travel or friends, parties or music, or a quiet walk in Mountain Meadow — I hope this week brings you the chance to see and feel these familiar hills around you.

Winter days

Before the first snow melted, Mountain Meadow gleamed for a moment in the sun.


Mountain Meadow gleams in the sun after an early snowfall.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Mountain Meadow gleams in the sun after an early snowfall.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Beer mugs stand on a wooden counter by a softly lit window.
Feb 21 2024 @ 3:30 pm
Hot Plate Brewing Co. will celebrate the 10×10 Festival with 10 small batches of beer — today with bingo to benefit Roots Rising and the Pittsfield Farmers Market.
Microphone. Courtesy photo (Creative Commons) by Ernest Duffoo.
Feb 21 2024 @ 7:00 pm
Dewey Hall holds storytelling events with a group discussion exploring themes, similarities and contrasts within the stories as a whole
A microphone waits in golden light. Creative Commons courtesy photo.
Feb 21 2024 @ 7:00 pm
The Egremont Barn welcomes all comers to perform on the tavern stage for a night of acoustic music in a friendly space.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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