Lest you think that I've got Scotland-colored glasses on, I will be focusing on American travels today!
|Perfect croissants in their limelight at the CIA|
After a failed attempt at scheduling a meeting of old friends in Edinburgh, those same friends turned out to be visiting the U.S. for a holiday of their own-- in Vermont. So Sue very kindly asked if I could figure out a trip to Vermont, as it was 'in the neighborhood' and they'd be in the beautiful mountain country for over a week. Google Maps informed me that the drive from DC to Vermont would take about 10 hours. Knowing Europeans' penchant for underestimating distances in the U.S., I had thought this would probably be too far-- not to mention getting the time off work. However, I quickly calculated: the drive from Northampton to Edinburgh would have been over 6 hours, and that was what I had asked of them... so I daydreamed and got a little creative.
|Witchy woods at Innisfree|
So here are a few photos from the first part of the journey: staying near New Paltz with Ginny, visiting mosquito-ridden but oh-so-beautiful Innisfree Gardens, and stopping for lunch at the C.I.A.
A stone set 'just so' with its lake and lily pads beyond
The always-fresh moss growth which had Ginny wanting to breathe it all in at a gulp
Ginny capturing an intense red bud amid all the greenery
After some serious stalking, we annoyed into flight what we think was a Great Blue Heron. He thought himself quite the Cock of the Walk, I must say- hard to perturb that one!
After getting eaten alive by the midges and mosquitos (wasn't raining hard enough to keep them out of our hair), we gave in and drove over Poughkeepsie way to the Culinary Institute of America.
Funny note: the CIA's grand building was originally a Jesuit novitiate seminary, which succeeded Frederick, MD for the care and feeding of Jesuits from 1903 to 1969. There is still an inlaid crest at the entry which signifies "For the glory of God" in Latin. I suppose one can cook to the glory of God as well...
The Apple Pie Bakery's Grilled Chicken Sandwich (verdict: mighty good)
Ginny enjoying her Truffled Grilled Cheese (N.B. Apple Pie Bakery is the only restaurant at the CIA campus that doesn't have a 'dress nice' code and require reservations, so it was perfect for us garden gnomes)
My golden standard: the chocolate chip cookie (verdict: I've had better. They couldn't decide the statement they wanted to make)
I'm not sure what made her think of lobster, but think she did, and it provided quite the adventure for my palate, having never had plain lobster before (lobster bisque or lobster ravioli being the closest I'd yet come). With non-sugarplum'd daydreams of Julie Powell's encounter with Real Live Lobsters vaguely making me uneasy, I still wanted to see how it was done, in a real Yankee kitchen. And I'd tried some really sweet King Crab legs at a Washington waterfront eatery, so I imagined lobster meat would be sort of similar.
|Awaiting judgment in the bag on the table|
Oh, and there was lemon butter sauce. Don't forget the expert mise-en-place!
Like a deer in headlights...
A little culinary fun: Scary Crustacean terrifies Vinton the Cat (notice the brandishing of the lobster, and the two eyes glowing from the cat doorway... Mr. Vinton was not best pleased.