Showing posts with label Food and Wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food and Wine. Show all posts

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Food For Thought

This is Day 19 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Your favorite meal. Please visit the other participants for more stories.

Wow, I think this is the hardest prompt yet. I can't write about my favorite meal because I can't pick just one. So I'll try and categorize some of my favorites - in no particular order.

Most Anticipated: Pizza. I make homemade pizza about every other weekend.

Biggest Yum Factor: Grilled Skirt or Flatiron steak with a simple sauce of olive oil, garlic, parsley and anchovies, always served with potatoes.

Comfort Food: Macaroni and Cheese with Hatch chile peppers.

Favorite Vegetarian dish: White beans and rice with caramelized onions.

Favorite Seafood (at home): Grilled Salmon tied with Maple Soy Salmon, always served with potatoes.

Favorite Meal Out: Crab Legs or really any seafood meal along the coast.

I realize these aren't all complete meals, but the "with-its" vary depending on what I have on hand, and as always, potatoes make everything better.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tuesday Wines, Wednesday Chores

This is Day 13 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is The day after last night. Please visit the other participants for more stories.

This topic could conjure up all sorts of tales from the truly bizarre to the painfully mundane. Last night was fun but definitely not bizarre, and today leans more toward the mundane.

The third Tuesday of each month is our wine club meeting (American Wine Society). We are currently meeting in a private room in a downtown restaurant, where many of us have dinner first. 

After dinner, we began with a half hour social where we chatted with friends, talking about our cats, the weather and the dreadful parking situation. 

During the meeting, Sara Gutterbock, from Mutual Distributing Co., gave a delightful and educational presentation of Ancient Wines for Modern Times, and we tasted two whites and three reds, all from Italy, as she talked in detail about the varietals, history, locations, and ideal growing conditions for each. 

These were not your run-of-the-mill grocery store wines, not that there is anything wrong with that. That's where most of mine come from, but many of these varietals are rarely found outside their region. For the whites we had a blend of 25% Pinot Blanco, 25% Pinot Grigio and 60% Tocai Friulano (now called Tai) and a 100% Garganega Soave Classico. For the reds, the first was a blend of  90% Monica, 5% Carigano, and 5% Bovale Sardo, followed by two single-grape wines, Nerello Cappuccio and Uva di Troia.

We sampled the wines with a variety of cheese, crackers and salami that complemented the wines, which were all available for order. We enjoyed them all, and ordered some for ourselves.

As for the day after, it begins with watching Netflix and writing this post while hubby has breakfast with a group of amateur radio enthusiasts. Then comes the more mundane task of hand-washing all the tasting glasses from last night, unloading the dishwasher and a host of other daily chores. 

Rumble, rumble, thump -there goes the garbage truck. The recycle truck will be along later -then we'll haul the bins back to the house. The neighbors across the street have a large piece of trench-digging equipment at work in their yard. It is 26 degrees, and I don't envy those working outside as we anticipate the onset of snow showers this afternoon.

Yep, just another Wednesday...the day after Tuesday night.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Got Mussels?

Since everyone loved my (non-compensated) review of Phillips Maryland-Style Crab Cakes so much, I thought I would bring you another new-found seafood favorite of mine - straight from your grocer's freezer.

I would like to introduce you to Pier 33 Gourmet Mussels in Butter Garlic Sauce.

Not all frozen seafood is created equal, and not all of it is good. I've eaten mussels from many restaurants and there were some winners and losers there, too. 

Why, you ask, would I suddenly buy frozen mussels? Well, I'm a frugal shopper and avid seafood lover, so when I saw them on a buy-one-get-one-free sale, I said, why not, and grabbed a package.

Within a day or so, those little fellows were in a pot getting ready for a prime-time performance as an appetizer. To prepare you simply cut open the package and empty the contents into a large lidded pot and heat on high for 8-10 minutes and presto, you have a bowl of steaming mussels in a yummy sauce. 

We complimented them on their performance by quickly reducing them to a pile of empty shells.  They had good flavor and texture, and were tender and grit-free. 

Pier 33 Gourmet Mussels are pre-cooked and pasteurized and contain no unpronounceable ingredients. Mussels are also high in protein, Omega 3, Vitamin C, and Iron.

We gave them two thumbs up, and I went back and got two more packages while they were still on sale. They retail for around $4.99, and you get about two dozen per package.

Mussel Trivia: Did you know that the orange mussel meats are females and the white mussel meats are males?

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not Just Another Day!

February 18th is:

National Drink Wine Day

National Crab-stuffed Flounder Day

National Battery Day

Ash Wednesday

But most importantly

It is Hubby's birthday!

A great big Happy Birthday to my hubby!

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Thursday, January 29, 2015


This is day 19 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Steamed.

Image Source: Bkt Tinggi BBQ
Steamed seafood is a favorite of mine.  There was a place on the beach in Florida that we used to go to for their steamed mussels. It was across the street from the Gulf, perched on the bank of the intracoastal. The view was fantastic and the mussels were equally as good.

We would sit by the window and order a bowl of mussels and a couple glasses of chardonnay.  This was accompanied by their delicious bread and butter. Yum! 

Sadly they closed, and even though they reopened a few years later in another location, it was not the same. I continue to order mussels but I haven't found any to compare to those.

On another note, I was a little steamed yesterday when a bottle of olive oil slipped through an opening in my cart and broke at my feet, dousing my shoes and jeans.  Ugh!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Quote of the Week

This is day 16 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is 10 Years Ago, I was probably ___.

A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face.
― Maya AngelouLetter to My Daughter

The year was 2005, we had just gotten through 15 months of insanity where hubby traveled on business 2-3 weeks at a time.

I happened to read a small ad in the newspaper about a new wine shop that had opened up near us. We weren't all that much into wine at the time, due mostly to lack of knowledge and places that held tastings.

That was about to change...but that's not all that changed. We started going to the wine tastings on Saturday afternoons, and it was not only educational, it was a social thing. The owners formed a chapter of the American Wine Society which we joined.

There were wine dinners, live music and later Friday night get togethers at the wine shop. Unfortunately the local business was not enough to sustain them, and they had to close the shop. On the last of these gatherings we decided that we wanted to keep this going, so now we get together about once a month, bringing food and wine to share. We've been doing this for nearly 8 years. We have had dinners, taken trips, had parties, gone to weddings and rang in the New Year. 

A number of us even attend the same church now.  All because I saw this one little ad in the newspaper. Was it fate, karma? I don't know, but I don't think it was just chance. Whatever the reason, I'm grateful for and value all these friendships tremendously.

So what was I doing 10 years ago?  A lot less.  Cheers!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Comfort Food

This is day two of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery.  Today's topic is Favorite Winter Comfort Food.

Wow, who knew such a simple, straightforward topic would be so challenging?  There are a number of foods which fall into the category of "my favorites" and/or "comfort food", but they are not categorized by season. In fact, there are very few foods or dishes that I consider strictly seasonal.  It is not taboo for me to make soup in the summer or eat ice cream in the winter. 

When I think of comfort food, I think of dishes like mac and cheese, a plate of potato hash, a burger, pizza or anything with bacon, none of which I would relegate to the winter months.

That which comes closest to fulfilling both the winter and comfort requirements would be pecan pie. I only make this around Christmas and it is my favorite pie. While it is obviously food, and I only make it in the winter, it seems odd to call it my favorite winter comfort food.

What are some of your favorite winter and/or comfort dishes?

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Class of 1943

Today would have been Mom's 89th birthday. Seventy-one years ago she graduated from the Mattanawcook Academy. The academy was founded in 1847 as Lincoln High School. The name was changed to Mattanawcook Academy in 1850.  Today it is part of Regional School Unit No. 67, which includes Mattanawcook Junior High School, and Ella P. Burr Elementary School.

Here are some facts and other tidbits about her home town.

Lincoln was a small town with a population (according to the 1940 census) of 3,653, and the major business in the area centered around sawmills along the Penobscot River and the pulp and paper mill.  Mom's younger brother worked for a while in the paper mill, and if you have ever smelled a paper mill in production, it is not a scent you will forget.

As of the 2010 census, Lincoln had a population of 5,085 and having increased less than 1,500 in 70 years, it is still a small town.

Every area has their signature food, and a favorite of mine is the New England staple...Bean Hole Beans.  These are absolutely a treat.  First dig a big hole and build a fire.  Then take a cast iron pot with a lid (I have one of these), fill with beans, salt pork (or bacon), onions, dry mustard and molasses.  Bury the pot in the pit of coals and wait...8-10 hours later you will have a delicious pot of beans. I remember Mom telling me about eating bean hole bean sandwiches for breakfast.

Above and beyond the bean hole beans, the food that brings me a sigh squeal of delight is fried clams, preferably those found at clam shacks along the beaches.  Others may favor the oohed-and-aahed-over Maine lobster, but give me a plate of fried clams (whole or strips) dressed only in salt, and I am one happy camper.

These are from the Sea Hag in Florida.
On rare occasion you can actually get good fried clams somewhere other than New England. While these aren't quite the same, they are a good substitute.

Along with the good comes the not-so-good.  Black Flies.  If you live or have visited in the northern states in the summer, you know about Black Flies. They bite, but even more irritating to me is the swarming around your face. They are tiny, a 16th of an inch or less, and they can get in your eyes, so you are constantly swatting them away.

While doing research for this post, I found a list of residents buried at the South Lincoln Maine Cemetery, also known as the Mohawk Cemetery.  A number of my relatives are buried there, including my grandparents, great grandparents and uncles.  There is an old wrought iron fence around the cemetery, and at the gate there is (or was) a water spigot for visitors to get water for the flowers.

There is a lot more to the State of Maine and the Town of Lincoln, but these are a few of the things with which I have a personal connection.  For anyone interested, there is more information at their web site Welcome to Lincoln.

I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
- Eliza Cook

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Links to pictures and more info are in bold.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pizza Pizza!

It is day 21 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Yes, I made that.  Head on over to WWFC to see what the other participants have cooked up.

Who doesn't love pizza?  I always look forward to pizza night, which is usually every other weekend. There are a number of places nearby that would be happy to deliver us the semi-hot pizza of our choice for $9.99 or whatever is the deal of the day.

However, according to my husband, the best pizza doesn't require a phone call, an internet connection or a tip for the driver.  The best pizza place is our own kitchen.

Yes, I made that.
Start with a ball of homemade dough, add sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings and bake. Then sit back with your favorite beverage and lose yourself in the deliciousness that is pizza. This is my favorite, pepperoni and onion.

Lest you think I do it all, it is a team effort.  Hubby takes it out of the oven, slices it and serves it up.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Image Source:  Antwelm
Today is the first day of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and we are starting off in a traditional cheesy fashion. Today's prompt is Gouda.
Now we all know Gouda.  He's a cheesy fellow whose ancestors hail from Holland, but he's easy going and doesn't mind it when things get dicey or somebody takes a slice off him. Nope, shredded or smoked, he always brings something good to the party.  

The one thing that does offend him is when we mispronounce his name. That's right, here in this country we call him goo-da or goo-duh. Before we send him into a complete meltdown, we should remember that he is a foreign visitor here and afford him the courtesy of pronouncing his name the way he's used to.

Listen to the Dutch Pronunciation of Gouda.  That's better!

Some Gouda facts: 
  • Gouda is more of a style of cheese than a kind of cheese.
  • It's taste is dependent upon how long it is aged.
  • It is aged between 4 weeks (young, which is typically served on sandwiches either cold or melted), and up 12 months or longer.  These old Goudas are often served with strong pale beers or Port wine.
  • It is the oldest recorded cheese still made today.
  • It is not restricted, meaning that it is not required to be made in Gouda to be called Gouda, unlike Parmigiano-Reggiano which has a protected designation of origin and can only be made in certain regions of Italy. 
Now go and see what cheesy treats the other participants have cooked up.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Fluffernutter

This was my lunch the other day.  Hopefully the nutrition in the peanut butter offset the empty calories of the marshmallow creme - a gooey layer of carbs and sugar slathered on a slice of white bread.

The Fluffernutter was a phrase coined in 1960 for the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.  Marshmallow Creme (also known as Marshmallow Fluff) was credited to several inventors Emma and Amory Curtis in 1913 and Archibald Query in 1917, both from Massachusetts.  During World War I Emma Curtis created a recipe using peanut butter and marshmallow creme on white bread, which she then sold to Durkee-Mower Inc.  They changed the name to Marshmallow Fluff, which paved the way for today's Fluffernutter.  It soon gained popularity and has been proposed as the official state sandwich of Massachusetts.

The Fluffernutter is still most popular in New England, so what is a Southern gal doing eating one?  My Mom was from Maine and she would occasionally make them for lunch as an alternative to the many, many bologna sandwiches I ate.

Now that I've admitted it, who else enjoys a Fluffernutter?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is it a Blintz or a Crepe?

It is day 14 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Where can I find a good blintz". Visit Nicky's post to see who's still hanging in, and where they go for a blintz.

This is the Sweet Sage Cafe in North Reddington Beach, FL.  We found this place last fall, and from the road it looks like a tiny little place, but there's plenty of seating inside plus a gift shop chock full of souvenirs, jewelry and pretty knickknacks.

The patio is even more quaint with signs, decorations and figurines everywhere.  They are open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and the food is very good.

I'd never had crepes before.  I know you're asking how could anyone not have had crepes.  I like to try new things, especially while I'm on vacation, so when I spotted them on the menu I jumped at the opportunity.  I chose the banana & coconut, and they were warm with creamy filling and tasty toppings.  Hubby and I split this for breakfast.

Now from what I've read there is very little difference between crepes and blintzes.  However, since these are crepes, I can't tell you where to get a good blintz.  But I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed my first crepes, and highly recommend them, and the Sweet Sage Cafe.  It would be a lovely place for a Valentine's Day Brunch...if it just weren't so far away.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Waiting

I sit and wait.  The waiting becomes unbearable.  I wonder will my suffering never end?  Suddenly I hear a deep rumbling growl.  Startled, I look around...nothing.  Tick, tick, tick.  I hear the clock slowly, painfully clicking off the seconds one by one.  Just when I think I can't take another minute - Ding!  Pizza!

Written for Friday Flash 55.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Got Doughnuts?

Picture this scenario.  Tina and Ryan are lounging in front of the TV watching a Food Network marathon when Tina yawns and says "you know what would be good right now?"  Ryan stands and stretches.  "Well, we just watched 3 hours of food shows, so I'd be surprised if you're not hungry."  

"You got that right!"  

"So, what do you want?  Are you having a Big Mac attack or is the piece de resistance a bucket of the Colonel's chicken?"

"Nope.  Do you remember where we used to go late at night after hours of old movies?  That last show reminded me."

"Let's see, the last show was about a family of immigrant bakers.  You want bread?"

"No, silly, doughnuts.  More specifically, Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  A chocolate covered, creme filled piece of pure deliciousness - and a large diet Coke, please.

Image source:  Steve Jurvetson
Now as I reside in the Krispy Kreme capital of the world, there is some measure of reality here.  

I remember as a teen going to a pajama party (I think the current term is sleepover) and the girl's dad worked 2nd shift.  When he got off work, he took a half dozen wound up teenage girls to Krispy Kreme for doughnuts at 2 a.m.  What a treat!

On another occasion, before we were married, hubby and I went and got a fresh hot dozen of the classic glazed doughnuts after some late night TV.  Now I think they close at 11:00.

This was written for Write on Edge.  This weeks prompt was to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece in which a local or regional item or industry plays a role.  I chose to honor Krispy Kreme for 75 years of making the best in doughnuts and memories.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Learning to Eat

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is day 28 of the writing challenge and those who are still standing will be weighing in with today's prompt, the turning point.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to turn on to some great writing.

Today's prompt is the turning point.  That should be an easy topic to write on, right?  We've all had at least one, and probably many smaller, less significant ones.  So what is a turning point?  I found this definition:  When an action or an event takes a turn for the better or for the worse, or changes direction.  This could mean getting or losing a job, getting married or divorced, moving out or moving in, among other things.

Dinner at Waltz
I've experienced all but one of those, but perhaps a more significant turning point was food related.  I learned to eat!  No, not really, but it seemed that way.  My Mom was a great cook and everything she put on the table was delicious, however as a kid I didn't always like it and if I didn't like it (or thought I didn't like it) I didn't have to eat it.  My father was not an adventurous eater, and so Mom's repertoire was limited.  After fixing something once that he didn't care for, she vowed not to serve that to him again.

So I entered adulthood still thinking Mexican food came from Taco Bell, and wouldn't dream of eating Chinese, Japanese, Indian, (real) Mexican, German, or any of the other cuisines I now enjoy.

Then, when I was in my mid 20s, enter my boyfriend, who is now my husband.  He liked all these things and more, and wanted more than just meat and potatoes.  He took me to a Mexican restaurant called Casa Galliardo's, and that was the beginning of my conversion.

Before that going out meant seafood or steak.  With my newly discovered taste buds, I even became more experimental with seafood, and pretty much if it swims, I'll at least try it.  Well done steak - forget it!  I've eaten crawfish and alligator, and tasted kangaroo and ostrich.  I found I like spicy foods too...who knew?  Indian and Thai, bring it on.  Jerk and Cajun, yum!  Our most recent discovery is a lovely little authentic Greek restaurant. 

That was definitely was a major turning point which has made for some really delicious meals.  We like to say that we vacation for food because we like to check out all the local specialties.  So I say thank you to my husband for broadening my culinary horizons.

Waltz Seafood at John's Pass

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for everything that makes our lives special.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

My husband
My friends
My cats
Good food
Diet beverages
Being safe and warm in my house
Being able to buy groceries
Dining out
Summer days
Going to the beach
My sense of smell
My health
My leaf blower
Being loved
Evening strolls
The freedom to be myself

Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kicking Back

Today's Lunch - Fish & Chips
We're taking some time for a little R&R.  We will return to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Delights

Happy Easter everyone!  This year Easter falls on April 24, or one day earlier than the latest possible date.  Because of the changing dates, Easter could nearly be considered a "floating holiday".  I mean think about it, Christmas is always December 25 no matter what day of the week it happens to be, and Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November, no matter what the date.  But Easter can be as early as March 22 and as late as April 25.  Why is that?

The calculations are a bit complex, and I confess I find it too confusing to read, absorb and spew it back for you, so here is the way one source explains it:
Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM) date for the year. In June 325 A.D. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon (EFM) dates. From 326 A.D. the PFM date has always been the EFM date after March 20 (which was the equinox date in 325 A.D.).*
Aside from the date-related confusion, Easter brings many traditions, some religious, some cultural and some just for kids.  Here are some of the things you see around Easter.

Easter Eggs.  The egg, the pagan symbol of rebirth, was adopted by Christians as the symbol of Jesus' resurrection.  Today, a popular Easter activity is an Easter Egg hunt. Here's a tip for boiling all those eggs.

As with most holidays, there is one or more foods associated with it.  First is a tasty treat called Hot Cross Buns, which were allegedly small wheat cakes baked to honor Eostre, goddess of Spring.  Later, Christians substituted sweetbreads blessed by the church.

The roast lamb found on many Easter dinner tables dates back to the first Passover of the Jewish people.  People would eat the roast lamb, hoping that God's angels would pass them over, thus the term Passover.

Ham is another popular Easter entree.  In the early days before refrigeration, any fresh pork that wasn't consumed during the winter before Lent was cured, and since this process takes a while, the hams were ready just in time for Easter making them the perfect choice for Easter dinner.  

What are some of your favorite Easter traditions?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Green Giant

Have you ever seen
A pepper big as me
I think I must have fallen
From a giant pepper tree

I was such a handsome fellow
My picture she did take
She sat me on the scale
My weight she didn't fake

When she sliced me open
My secrets to reveal
What she saw I thought
Would surely make her squeal

Posted for One Shot Wednesday

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wine Tasting in Charlottesville, VA

Last weekend was filled with fun, friendship, and wine tasting.  It was a nice, albeit cold, weekend in Charlottesville, VA where our group of 13 tasted our way through some really good Virginia wines.  Please join us on our journey.

We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with dinner at the Aberdeen Barn.  The food and service were excellent, and it was conveniently located near our hotel.  We were all given consecutive rooms on the same floor so our enthusiasm wouldn't disturb the other guests.  After dinner we commandeered the breakfast room to meet and discuss our plans for Saturday.  The wine and conversation flowed freely around the tables we had pushed together, and we nailed down the wineries we wanted to visit.  This was our first visit to the area, so we were fine with whatever was decided upon.

We met in the parking lot after breakfast the next morning and sorted out riding arrangements.  It was cold but sunny, and a good day to be out and about.

The first stop of the day was First Colony Winery.  The tasting room was in a beautiful setting with gorgeous trees in full bloom, and daffodils and grape hyacinth dotting the walkway.  We tasted an array of wines including an interesting Tannat which is seldom used as a stand alone, and petted the resident cat as he dozed in his chair in the sun.  We walked out of there with several bottles of their more interesting varieties.

Next it was on to Blenheim Vineyard & Winery.  They were having an event in the tasting room, so our tasting took place outside.  Yes, it was cold, but we did have a gas heater to warm our hands and/or glasses of wine.  Blenheim  has a lovely selection of wines, and we enjoyed them all thoroughly.  We picked up a couple of our favorites whites, Chardonnay and Painted White.

By this time we were beginning to feel the need for lunch, and there was a small deli just a few miles down the road.  The sandwiches were yummy, but I think we overwhelmed them, so lunch took a little longer than anticipated, and to stay on schedule, it was decided to forgo the next winery.

We soon arrived at the much-anticipated White Hall Vineyards, and it was everything it had been described to be and more.  There was a crowd around the tasting bar where the pourers were holding court.  The guy who was pouring for us was an absolute hoot, and had us all laughing.  We tasted a lot of excellent wines and made more purchases.  One of the group favorites was Edichi, a sweet dessert wine with flavors of plum, walnut, and raspberry with a rum raisin finish.

Just when you think it can't get any better, we made our way to Veritas Winery & Vineyard just before they closed.  This was our first seated tasting, and we were divided between two tables.  We tasted six wines, which were all excellent, and guess what?  Yep, we bought more wine.  My favorite here was a sparkling wine called Scintilla, made from Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay grapes.

That brought an end to our tasting adventures, and we headed back to the hotel to regroup for dinner.

Sunday morning we awoke to an inch of fresh snow, and thus there was a snowball fight in the parking lot as we loaded the cars.

It was a wonderful weekend.  We ate, we drank, we bonded in ways that simply meeting for a couple hours once a month can't accomplish.  I am looking forward to more such getaways.


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