Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Colors

So, I will just start by saying, yes, I went to New Jersey for fun.  My sister in law lives there, in Hunterdon County (which is on the Pennsylvania side of the state), and I was way overdue for a visit.  We had a great time… spent an inordinate amount of time eating, with museum visits, hiking, massages, kayaking, and top-down Miata driving fit in between.   Click here for some pictures.

The eating started with dinner at Fusion on Main in one of the cute little towns around where she lives.  It’s Thai-influenced, we started with chicken satay and vegetable triangles (each with a very nice sauce), and shared the coconut shrimp entrée… out on the porch of the restaurant, with a bottle of a French Chardonnay (non-oaked).  

On Friday, we headed to “the city”, where we visited the Museum of Modern Art.  We had secured reservations at The Modern for lunch, which is right next door (and it fact, you don’t even need to leave the museum, quite convenient).  There we started with Champagne, Foie Gras Torchon with muscat gelée and Pumpkin, Couscous and Chestnut Soup with ricotta salata and spiced crème fraîche.  Both were great, the fois gras was wonderful and creamy, the pumpkin soup had all sorts of interesting things mixed in.  For mains I had Beer Braised Pork Belly with sauerkraut and ginger jus and she had Gaeta Olive-Crusted Quail with chorizo, barley, toasted almonds and pickled ramps.  Both were good, but the quail was better, tender and well matched to the accompanying couscous and sauce.  To go with, we had glasses of Pinot Noir. Desert was Apple Strudel for her, and a Chocolate dome (over Pistachio filling) for me.  And some port.   The museum seemed even more interesting after lunch.  By the time we were done at the MOMA, it was raining, but we braved a walk to Ideal Cheese, where we loaded up on some stinky cheese, a salami, and fig jam..  not planning to let our eating standards to go down hill! 

The next day started with really wonderful massages, followed by lunch (and more Champagne) on the porch of the Frenchtown Inn.   I had a plate of several different pates followed by a very light butternut soup with apples, she had a pear and procuietto salad followed by mushroom soup.  They were all quite wonderful.  I wish Phoenix wasn’t overrun with big-box chain restaurants!  This was followed by driving the Miata with the top down, and a stop at a farm stand – mostly for apples, but they still had tomatoes.  We kept dinner simple with a nice salad including those tomatoes.   We started the next day with a hike at Merrill Creek Reservoir (which involved more driving around top-down), where the trees were really starting to get into the fall colors.  For dinner, the kids (along with their kids) came for dinner, where we grilled pizza (using some of the cheese, salami, tomatoes).   Desert was apple crisp the local apples (some kind I had never heard of) which were really good.   And we ate on the back deck… which for mid-October in New Jersey is a rarity.  

The weather continued to get warmer, so kayaking seemed to be the best thing for the last day of the visit.  We went to Round Valley Reservoir and did some paddling.  This was followed by a visit to a different farm stand, where they not only had tomatoes (we were out), but Macoun apples and local pork products.  The afternoon was a drive along the Delaware River, lunch at the Stockton Inn (OK, but not the Frenchtown Inn), then a drive back on the Pennsylvania side.    Dinner (again, out on the deck) was country-style sage sausage, grilled vegetables, salad (more yummy tomatoes), with a delightful Ponzi Pinot, and the rest of the apple crisp for desert.

As I was writing this, it was 48 degrees and raining in New Jersey.  We had 3 dinners and 3 lunches (in 4 days) outside, glad I didn’t put the trip off any longer!

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