Several weeks ago now we had the opportunity to partake of lunch with the Hartwick Senior Group at The Hartwick Restaurant on Route 205 just south of the hamlet of Hartwick. Normally the Senior Group has a potluck luncheon at the Hartwick Fire Hall. But this month, the decision was made to eat out. And while we are always fond of the potluck lunch, we were not at all disappointed with The Hartwick Restaurant lunch. In fact, we thought it was quite good.
We chose to try the broccoli soup and the ham and cheese deli sandwich. The soup was delicious and the sandwich was so large we, along with almost everyone else, took half of the sandwich home. For dessert the restaurant served some of the largest muffins we have ever seen. We choose an apple muffin, which necessitated another takeout box, as Ina and Don Phillips were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary and brought a cake to celebrate the occasion. All in all we enjoyed both the food and the fellowship.
We also were happy to receive a copy of the restaurant’s menu for future reference. We note that The Hartwick Restaurant is open daily from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Additionally, we learned that the restaurant will feature winter dinner specials Monday through Friday from October through March. These specials include fried chicken, grilled ham steak, spaghetti and meatballs, prime rib and a fish fry. Given what we have learned, we tend to think that we will find ourselves traveling to Hartwick to check out not only the dinner specials, but also the many possibilities for breakfast. For more information about the restaurant, please call 293-3043.
And much as we liked The Hartwick Restaurant, we must say we have not gotten a similar report on this year’s school lunches both in Milford and Cooperstown. We were told that in Milford it is no longer possible to get a sandwich as children don’t need bread everyday. And we must say that we certainly hope the Widge don’t learn of this revolting development as she is rather positive that she wants to start each day with toast complimenting her fresh fruit and yogurt. Of course the bread restrictions might explain why we have also heard the subs served at Coopestown are open faced with the top part of the bun missing.
Since all of this school lunch information seemed sketchy, we emailed the superintendent in an attempt to verify what we were hearing. We did get a response, which explained that changes in school lunches stem from a change in federal guidelines. However, our question regarding sandwiches was not answered as we were told to expect a letter from the cafeteria manager summarizing the changes for this year. As of this writing, we have not received such a letter.
Thus we went online to see if the school lunch menu for Cooperstown was posted there. And indeed it was. In reading through the menu for October we did not find it to be substantially different from what we remember from previous years except for the fact that on Oct. 4 it claimed that “Diced Bears” were served. After spending a bit of time trying to figure out what “Diced Bears” might be we decided it must be a typo and that they actually served “Diced Pears.” At least we hope that was the case.
However, we did think the alternatives to the main lunch were not what we remember them being. Evidently there is now a vegetable bar available to add to the full meals. Milk includes 1 percent, skim, skim chocolate and skim strawberry. Substitutes for the regular lunch include chef salads, assorted wraps and uncrustables. Salads and wraps we understood. Uncrustables were a complete mystery.
However, by Googling “uncrustables” we discovered they are some sort of prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwich substitute. We discovered there are six different varieties. We pursued the information posted on the Peanut Butter and Raspberry Spread on Whole Wheat, which contains 210 calories, 80 of which are from fat, no cholesterol, which seems odd given the fat content, 9 grams of sugar and 230 mg of sodium. The list of ingredients includes unpronounceable items none of which sound particularly natural. Consequently we assume the lure of the uncrustable must be its taste. However, our attempts to have the Widge taste test one for us was met with great resistance from the parents. In fact, we suspect an uncrustable will never cross the Widge’s lips.
And while we well understand the desire to provide a nutritious lunch for our students, given all the complaints we have heard, we are not convinced the upgrade in school lunches has been as successful as one might like it to be. However, we are ever hopeful that we will soon be receiving more positive comments as the program continues to evolve.
Of course, we had also hoped, when we received notice that Bassett, in conjunction with area law enforcement, EMS and Otsego County Emergency Preparedness, would be holding an emergency preparedness drill that such a drill would be perceived as a positive event designed to help ensure public safety in case of some sort of disaster. However, much to our dismay, that did not seem to be the way the proposed drill was portrayed in the press. Instead it was pointed out that Bassett’s assessment for the need to temporarily close streets around the hospital did not follow the proper procedure with the village of Cooperstown for closing streets.
In responding to the mix up, this paper reported that “It’s a process issue. It’s a constant battle I wish we didn’t have to have,” [Cooperstown Mayor] Katz said. “All I’m asking is for the proper process to be followed.” He said the village would be happy to accommodate the need to close streets for an emergency drill, but that Bassett needs to follow the village’s procedures...”
Under the circumstances, instead of the village pontificating on process and procedure, it would have been more helpful if someone at the village had picked up the telephone and called someone at the hospital to iron out the issue so that everyone could have moved forward.
Instead, the hospital has been chastised publicly for what we suspect was an oversight. We can only hope that should a real emergency arise, streets can be closed if necessary by the very emergency responders who were slated to participate in the drill, without asking the village for permission.
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