Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day by Day

I'm home today and a bit tired, but I thought I'd show you the kinds of things we packed into our 4 day getaway.

We arrived mid-afternoon Friday to the smell of something wonderful cooking on the stove. It was a fresh stock. Aha! This was to be a gourmet weekend. As a group, we helped Mareseatoats on her mission to cook her way through the Thanksgiving issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. This was the French onion soup smothered in Gruyere. Yum.

And the sauteed artic char with a pan fried redskin potato/olive side. OMG. It was not to be believed.

The dishwasher? Moi. By Saturday night, we had the mechanical dishwasher working properly once again.

After dinner sport? Trapping what appears to be a Black Widow spider in the television room. My sister was not going to be outdone by my Wolf Spider stories. She wins--especially after I witnessed her do a catch and release. Incidentally, nobody elected to watch any television over the weekend. I wonder why?

Saturday was full with 8 hours of knitting classroom with Jane Slicer Smith and her brilliant book of patterns. I now own this book that she graciously signed.

Proof that I didn't sit on my needles during class. I learned some color work weaving with finishing secrets, mitering, short row techniques and I polished skills for adding texture to knit goods. Jane is on tour now and again in January. If you have the opportunity, I'd highly recommend her workshops (and her book). I missed the Sunday class, but I understand she'll be in Michigan soon, so I'll probably look there to take her class on sizing and fitting for her fabulous mitered designs.

While we were knitting, the men elected to follow the grapes and did a tour of local wineries. They were a bit shnockered, and we were tired after a full day of classroom, so we elected to drive to Crozet for dinner. We ate at Fardowners where the food was plentiful, delicious, modestly priced and best of all, there were no dishes to wash and no spiders to capture afterwords. However, my brothers did begin the prep for our Sunday dinner by making the brine for the pork loin.

While Friday and Saturday weather was rainy, Sunday dawned clear and warm. We piled in the car for a drive to the city of our grandmother's birth. Once home to 5 mills, the town is a bird sanctuary now with only a couple of homes with human residents. Several homes were abandoned.

I don't know the history of this home, but I found the collapsing metal roof looked like an interesting subject. It's one of the few original homes left in Pedlar Mills.

This was Flossie Constance Tucker's place of birth. My sister searched fruitlessly for the graveyard (you can sort of see her in the mid right side of the photo). The home is long abandoned.

After a long day of looking around the southwest corner of Virginia, we came home and helped cook again. Sunday's dinner was a brined and grilled pork loin, sweet potato casserole and a salad with fresh beets and goat cheese. We polished the meal off with homemade vanilla ice cream and a mile high apple pie. As an homage to home (Michigan), we topped that off with Sander's caramel sauce. I will say, most of the recipes we tried from this magazine, deserve to be prepared again and again.

As you can see, it was a great weekend and I feel rejuvenated. Still, it's good to be home and sleep in my own bed. I'll play a bit of catch up later. Right now, I'm off to find my own copy of Fine Cooking.

All photos RudeeK (with the exception of the one of me slaving at the sink).


clairedulalune said...

So glad you had a wonderful time! The food looks beautiful! The houses look so interesting!

Miss T said...

Yum, onion soup. But that spider...ew.

Stephanie V said...

Welcome back! That looks like a really relaxing time. Lots of different things to distract the mind plus good food. How much better can it be?

Brenda said...

I have heard that spiders bring good luck, so lets hope the luck comes in the form of them vacating your path for awhile. Send some my way. I could use some good luck. Ha. Glad you had a good time! I was kidding about the spiders coming my way...very afraid of them and snakes.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh man all that food looks so good. Haven't heard of some of it but it looks and sounds great. Every time I have my kiddos at home, I want to try something different, but no they always want the same old things. So finally they have begun to have Thanksgiving at one of their homes so I get to sample something different. Christmas will forever, as long as we can, be the SOSO. Love to hear family stories.

Anonymous said...

I think I put on 4 pounds over the weekend, it was utterly delicious.


Ruth said...

Sounds a great time glad you enjoyed.

Renie Burghardt said...

Now that's what I do with spiders, large or small-trap them and deposit them outside. I always heard they're good luck too.

Looks like you had a great time and ate a lot of great food. I was going to ask if you gained any weight? But how much can one gain in 4 days?

Love the pictures.

Happy Wednesday!

Gail said...

I wish I had been there. Your words helped me feel like I was.

Rudee said...

Renie, I lost 2 pounds...it must have been the knitting (and skipping the sampling of all that wine).

NCmountainwoman said...

What a wonderful chronology of your fabulous trip. I loved all the photographs (well, except the spider).

Are you going to make that cape? Great post.

Jane said...

Yum, the food looks delicious and so does the knitting book. Glad you had a great time.

Glennis said...

You had a great time by sound of it, and you didn't starve, that's for sure, yum that food!!!
I also loved that special old falling down house, its too good not to be restored.

jeannette stgermain said...

What a splendid weekend and delicious food! It also made me think of having to learn "shortrows" once and for all!

PS I did respond on your comment on my post for the Love of Rocks, but I went out of order!

Sandy said...

ahh great post, enjoyed it all.