PINKHAM NOTCH — Skiing paired with an international four-course gourmet dinner doesn't seem like a likely pair, but at the Appalachian Mountain Club this winter the combination can be a tasty, educational and relaxing evening for outdoor enthusiasts.
For the past 24 years, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has offered International Nights at Pinkham Notch. The program runs every Wednesday evening from January through March. Each week features an authentic menu from a different country accompanied by slide shows or cultural programs so people can see, taste and experience the international country.
"Pinkham Notch has provided an antidote to cabin fever and a great evening après-ski activity," said Rob Burbank, AMC director of Media and Public Affairs.
The next International Night is set for Feb. 5 and will highlight Greece. The menu will feature avgolemono, psomi, spinach salad, souvlaki, vegetarian tempeh souvlaki, pilafi me throumbi, briami and, for dessert, a chocolate-ouzo baklava tart. Bob Holdsworth of North Conway will talk and show photos of his trip to Greece.
"This will be my second time presenting at an international dinner. I've been lucky to travel and enjoy talking about these experiences with others," he said. "Certainly, the pictures are always great, but I like telling stories of traveling outside the main tourist areas and getting to know the people and culture."
Nicky Pizzo, Pinkham Notch's manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club, said "This is our 24th year of the series, and every year is different, with new programs, presenters and menus.
"All the meals are made fresh in our kitchen and served in a very relaxed, fun atmosphere, where guests can experience highlights of the night's featured country through the evening's slide show or other cultural presentation. And for folks traveling from a distance, our dinner, bed, breakfast, and trail pass to Great Glen Trails package is fabulous."
For adults the International Dinner cost is $23 for AMC members and $28 for nonmembers, and prices for children are available.
The Appalachian Mountain Club celebrated its 125th year in 2013 and is the country's oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization. Its programs are free and open to the public.
AMC built many huts and lodges along the Appalachian Trail. The Pinkham Notch location was originally a log cabin built in 1920 and in 1925 added sleeping quarters and the following year became a year-round facility. In 1927,the cookhouse was enlarged. In 1934, the current lodge was built to accommodate the increasing number of skiers while the original log cabin became the Pinkham Notch Trading Post.
To make reservations, call 466-2727 from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit www.outdoors.org for more information.
Kathleen Humphreys can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org