I'm not quite sure what I refer to as home, besides America really. I've now been here for a week.
I spent the first 3 days in NY state about an hour north of the city with a guy that I'd met online. We had a really great time. However, even though our email conversations are incredible that "thing" that I was hoping for in person, just wasn't there. So back to the drawing board for the whole wanting to be married sometime in my 30s thing. However, the weekend was still fantastic and I wished that we lived in the same city so that we could hang out more.
Our three days were really fun. We met in Newark's aiport and headed to this dive Italian restaurant in a neighborhood that's a bit ghetto (although this is how I'm inturpretting most of Newark to be). Anyway, we had some great spaghetti and meatballs and wine served in water glasses. We asked for red wine and the only question was "You want that chilled or room temperature?" I'd never realized that was even a question...
Then we drove out to our B&B for the weekend, the Alexander Hamilton House. This place was great. Tons of information in narrative form about what to do in the area. We took our host's advice on our first full day and headed out to an incredible outdoor museum, Storm King Art Center. Think of all the cool art of Burning Man without having to be covered in playa dust.
At the end of our walk we ended up at a pavilion having a piano, violin and cello concert. Perfect.
Then that night we went to Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Ever since reading about this place on Kayaksoup's blog, I've wanted to try it. Holy fuck was that expensive. You all know me, I'm totally willing to spend money on food and spend it we did. However, I have to say that it was incredible. Truly a once in a life time meal. The restaurant is situated on a working farm. Almost everything your eating from vegetable to animal comes from the farm. We went with the 8 course farmer's feast and wine pairing, because if you're going to do it, then you should go all out, right? The presenations were incredible, service was spot on. Our only complaints was that in one course we couldn't really taste the pancetta due to the overwhelming presence of sesame seeds and that face bacon is a bit disappointing. It's funny now going back to L's blog to see that we had identical starting amuse bouches. Which would mean they've been serving them for over a year.... boring! Below are some of my photos, but her's are better, so go look.
Loved the first presentation:
All lightly salted and perfect.
Slightly disappointing course. But I love that it's a die that's been skewered.
The next day, I woke up stuffed and maybe just a bit hung over. It was a low key day. We started by checking out the Croton Dam. This place is huge.
And while we were there empty. It was lovely to wander around. We saw some berries I'd never seen before (anyone?)
After that T induldged me and we went out to a book store so I could get the next book in the series I'm reading (The Liveship Trilogy by Robin Hobb, I'm addicted). And then decided to do a tour of West Point. I'd never have thought of doing this. However, I really enjoyed it. It was pretty and I learned a lot.
We ended the day with a movie and a new Scrabble game. Darn near close to a perfect day.
And now I'm back in the Heartland with my family. I've been with my parents in Waynseville, Ohio, where their antique store is. My mom induldged me (I'm so spoiled, really) and made stuffed cabbages. Relatively easy, but a pain with all the rolling. However, with the two of us working together it went pretty fast. And was super delicious.
In my kitchen, those would be Penzey's spices, however, I don't actually have any dried onion or garlic salt. In the past I've used fresh onion, but I think the concentrated flavor in the drying is necessary.
Currently I'm at my cousin's place in Amherst, Ohio. Last night I saw many aunts and uncles, a few cousins and their spouses and a 2 year old second cousin who's got a charming personality. It's great. But I don't want to live here.
The constant question has been, "What will you do after Russia?" All I can answer with is "move." At this moment in time I'm thinking Vancouver, Portland, Asheville, France, Spain or Italy. As always, I won't know until the minute I've decided.