After returning from a trip North to welcome the most incredible nephew into the world and visit with some very dear friends, I am finally back to the blogging sphere. Breaks are good I have come to realize. I enjoy checking out completely for a number of days in a row to be fully present and focus on the beautiful people and special moments life has to offer. The perfect head of chocolaty black hair swirling on my nephew's tiny little head, the laughing and storytelling between friends; these are the moments that are brief and best experienced without the interruption of email and facebook. That said, I wanted to share a few photos from my stay with friends in Napanoch NY, right outside the Hudson Valley and Catskills mountains.
Food is a shared passion between these friends of ours, in fact I have learned much from being in the kitchen with them. And although they are in the midst of completely remodeling their country home, Megan and Matt prepared delectable fare with modest kitchen accessibility.
The first evening while the wood stove roared and snowflakes flew, Megan made a lovely venison stew (provided by Matt's swift hand this hunting season) featuring pungent onions and creamy potatoes from their garden. Seasoned with fresh herbs, red wine and a homemade venison demi-galce, Megan completed the dish with a top layer of pastry which was baked to golden, flaky perfection.
Dinner precursor: locally crafted aged goat milk cheeses with olive oil saltines
The first stages of venison stew
The final morning of our stay, I was treated with a simple yet elegant birthday breakfast of thick french toast made with locally crafted breads, poached fresh farm eggs and crispy bacon. The best part was the drizzle of Matt's homemade maple syrup provided by the sweet sugar maples abundant on their property. Such a treat.
Eating, baby holding, being with family and long time friends, 2011 has started off with a most meaningful and palatable bang!