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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Into The Woods

Into the woods
And down the dell,
The path is straight,
I know it well.
Into the woods,
And who can tell
What's waiting on the journey?
                    Stephen Sondheim

Oh my.
A trip into the woods.  Out in the country. Out in the woods.

Michael and I were invited to a get together this weekend that was out in the woods.  We knew it would be beautiful.

It. Was. Stunning.

It was a physical and culinary journey.  What a joy to be surrounded by delightful joyous people who love life and food.  The day was devouted to relaxing, enjoying each other, and eating.  Heaven. 

We took the winding roads deep deep into the woods.  I'm talking deep into the woods. The drive alone was gorgeous.  Lush and green. The first stop was for amuse bouche snacks at Sandy and Ian's house, a charming home nestled along a hill side with a creek across the road. We made our way up the steps to the sounds of laughter spilling through windows and out into the holler.  Good start.  It was going to be a great day.

Round One: Amuse Bouche.

Ian was frying zucchini fritters and plating them while Sandy was pouring her Spanish Sangria.  Everyone was munching on Ian's fresh salsa.  Michael and I brought salmon canapes. The zucchini fritters were fantastic.  Hot from the skillet with fresh squeezed lime juice.  Brilliant!  The lime juice took the fritters to another planet.  Totally bright.  Totally unexpected.  I love being surprised.  Sandy's Sangria was another jolt of unexpected pleasure.  Fresh lemons, oranges, limes, peaches, and kiwi macerated in Spanish Funador Brandy mixed with Spanish Margues de Ceaceres red wine.  Wow!  Really? It was the best sangria to ever pass my lips.  Soaking the fruit in brandy was something that never occured to me...ever.  I will be making it.  Yup.
After a few glasses of sangria and plates of nibbles, we made our way up the hill to Harriette's place.

What can I say?  Nothing.  Can't even describe it.  Our Fairie Princess dubbed it The Bluegrass Hamptons. Indeed.

Gorgeous.  Chic.  Jaw dropping.

We checked out the pool for sunning.  Quiet and peaceful.  Now, I normally keep my clothes on in social settings.  It just seems proper.  Heck, I usually even wear underwear.  But, this was a pool party, after all.  Done.  Into the pool with not one ioda of care for the absence of hair product.

Round Two.  Dinner. 
The Princess brought it with her Yellow Tomato Gazpacho as a starter.  Velvety smooth and sweet.  Drinkable, literally. The acid  from the lime gave the natural tomato sweetness somewhere to land. Balance.

Harriette prepared Tenderloin of Beef with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, roasted potatoes, and perfectly roasted asparagus with fresh cherry tomatoes.  The beef was butter-tender.  The gorgonzola cream sauce was.......crack in a bowl. (not that I have ever or will ever experienced crack cocaine).  It was just beyond delicious and addictive.  Butter-dripping bread was the perfect sponge for any wayward plate sauce juices.

We finished with Jan's Chocolate Cake layered and topped with Peanut Butter Cream frosting. Moist. Rich. Fantastic.


As we cleared plates in the kitchen, we noshed on the remaining gorgonzola cream sauce.  Seriously. Jason, Greg, Sandy, and I used Tostitos Scoops to finish it off. Scoop after scoop after scoop.

What a great day!  What fantastic and  generous hosts! We were honored to be there.
Thank you Ian, Sandy, and Harriette.

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