“Catering by Raizy” prepared two catering jobs this Sunday. The first was for a Hadassah Luncheon at the Federation’s Golub Center in Albany. The second was a more elaborate affair with many dishes for the centennial dinner of the Nassau Synagogue.

Students hear Nassau and they immediately think of Long Island. But Nassau upstate means something altogether different. It was an old farming community, where Jewish farmers settled in the late 19th century, part of a greater effort by Baron Hirsch. Few Jewish farmers are left today, but the synagogue and community persists despite the odds, and a number of Albany families trace their roots there.

Instead of just dropping off the food in Nassau, we decided to take the kids along and make a trip out of it. It was a scenic and interesting drive down Route 20 East, and after we got all the food inside and set-up, we drove further east to the “Hand Hollow” nature preserve in New Lebanon.

We ate a picnic on the grass slope of a pristine pond, with the rich foliage colors reflected in the water. Yellow finches and other birds flew around us. We took lots of photos against the rich natural backdrop, and enjoyed a nature trail where we saw beaver dams, all types of trees, and water.

It was a great getaway, a step away from everyday life.