An appropriately creepy theatre event in this October month: A live reading of Frankenstein, at Shakespeare & Co, right here in Lenox. The evening of October 31st, three actors will bring a monster to life before your eyes. The reading takes place in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at 7:30 on October 31st. Tickets are general admission, $15 for adults, $5 for kids.
Frankenstein is a classic precisely because it transcends any superficial horror. Modern “horror” films gloss over the moral churning of the type that consumes Victor Frankenstein, in the wake of his creation’s debut. The elation of a creator at the moment of creation is quickly subsumed by his doubts, worries and suspicions. And the psychological power struggle between the creator and the creation are the stuff, indeed, of classics.
Shakespeare & Co.’s adaptation promises to take you on a classic journey filled with suspense, twists, and terror that will make your Halloween oh-so Halloweeny.
Some Fall fun for you from the Food Network – heads up, you’re going to need an apple corer (or some hard cider to keep you company while you do all the coring by hand). Not the cooking type? Well you’re in luck because Apple Cider Donuts are “in season” right now in the Berkshires. We can point you in the right direction when you get here.
2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh
2 1/2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying
Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip just the glazed side in the cinnamon-sugar or roll all over in cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Serve warm.
New England is the region that defines the American version of Fall. The air crisps, the leaves change, the breeze practically takes on the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin. Farms bulge
with the fruits of the fall, apples, corn, pumpkins and gourds, pies fill the oven, and children (and grownups) plot their spooky costumes - making sure to think ahead about how to fit tights and warm gloves into their Halloween fashions. All over New England, right now, the tips of the branches are smoldering with color.
Fall is an amazing time to experience New England as a visitor. Plucking an apple fresh from the tree to eat on the spot is a sweet privilege of the season. Enjoying those last warm days before glorious snow covers the Berkshires (and tempts you back for another visit) with friends, or with someone special is like nothing else. And – do you remember those breathtaking Berkshires views? Imagine them in fall, aglow with the foliage of the season.
If you’re planning a visit to Lenox for Fall, you will want to make sure you add a local orchard or farm to your list of destinations. Here’s a great list from Berkshires.org. Berkshire Mountain Distillers has the fine spirits you need to “spice up” a local, fresh cider and an evening’s conversation. And Hampton Terrace has the cozy ambiance to wrap up your Fall travel package perfectly.
Fall is also a perfect season to hit the Berkshires roads either by foot or by automobile, before the chillier moods of winter start to make ski lodges seem like the place to be. Check out this list of Scenic Day Trips that will take you touring along great roadways and exploring the Taconic-Mohawk trail, in the steps of the Berkshires’ indigenous cultures.
So much to do, so much to see – and we’ll have a room ready for you!