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Half-Price Sale Sunday at North Salem Library Fair

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – North Salem’s annual three-day Ruth Keeler Memorial Library Fair has been blessed with perfect weather so far, and it promises to continue through the weekend.

Festivities got started Friday evening, when guests at the preview party were treated to wine and hors d’oeuvres, created by some of North Salem’s best cooks. Among the choices were chopped liver from John Steele Gordon, icebox shrimp from Lois Lippmann, Bernie Francis’ In-My-Head fishcakes and Richard Koser’s hummus bi tahini (chickpeas with sesame paste).

At least 125 people attended, said Library Director Carolyn Reznick. “There was lots of laughter, lots of hors d’oeuvres and lots of fun. People stayed until we kicked them out.”

Saturday’s events kicked off with a bike ride around Titicus Reservoir, for which the Police Department closed the roads to motorists. Back at the library afterward, the cyclists were treated to a hot pancake breakfast, cooked up in old-fashioned cast-iron pans by Library Trustee Tim Purdy. Toward lunchtime, hamburgers and hot dogs were sizzling on the grills, while music by The Mommy and Daddy Band filled the air.

Elsewhere on the library grounds, people were poking through the scores of plants dug up and donated by local gardeners, on sale at bargain prices, complete with expert advice and, if necessary, even a hand in replanting them.

Community organizations in attendance included the North Salem Ambulance Corps, the Foundation for Learning and the Croton Falls Fire Department. Janice Hellwinkel and Jack Gress of the Lions Club supervised children as they constructed candy-filled poppers, earmarked to be delivered to the Montrose veterans hospital.

Inside the library long tables were practically sagging with used books, but not for long, as readers found old favorites and discovered new ones.

“History books have been very popular, and the children’s stuff is flying out of here,” Reznick said. 

She noted that fewer paperback books had been donated this year. “People aren’t buying them as much. They’re reading e-books. Still, people are walking out with boxes of books, especially older nonfiction and books that aren’t available on e-books.”

Thanks to Trustee Andrea Good, the popular poultry exhibit made a comeback this year.

“It was very popular a few years ago,” she said. “And I think more people around North Salem are raising chickens these days. I hope it’s because they saw them here last time.”

“The fair is all about community,” Good said. “We try to showcase all the wonderful things that North Salem has to offer. Great gardeners, great talent, great people and great cooks.”

The fair continues Sunday with a half-price sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library is at 276 Titicus Road, North Salem.

Lucy’s IceBox Shrimp (recipe provided by Lois Lippmann)

5 pounds shrimp, peeled and cooked3 large onions, sliced into rings2 lemons, sliced razor thin

Put shrimp, onion rings and lemon slices in a flat pan and toss with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve cold. Serves 20-25 as an appetizer.


1½ cups oil1 cup vinegar1 tbs salt1 dozen pink peppercorns1 tbs celery seed1 tsp sugar6 bay leaves

Shake all ingredients well in a tightly covered, one-quart container. Pour over shrimp.

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