Category: Travel

…and now we return to our regularly scheduled program

Friday, July 9th, 2010 | All Things, Books, Eats, Family, Travel

Has is it been an entire year?

I’ll admit: once I got out of the habit of posting a blog entry every day, it became ever easier to just abandon the project entirely.  But lately, I’ve begun to (re)consider: perhaps the best way to ease back into this process would be to dash out these episodes, as the mood or inspiration strikes, sometimes including photos and at times, not.  And just see how it goes.

This is what I’ll write today.

To recap the entire past year would be an exercise requiring more time and energy that I’m ready to dedicate now.  But to fill in the most recent highlights:  I spent two late spring weeks in Spain, eating and drinking (and photographing) my way through Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada and Madrid.  (Glorious!)  In mid-June, I had another birthday (somewhat less so), followed in rapid succession by the commemoration of several milestones: a 70th birthday, a funeral, a wedding, and a 50th anniversary.

And tonight I sit in my apartment on the eve of little Joshua’s first birthday, assessing the 15 pounds of chicken wings I just purchased to prepare for the celebration tomorrow.  (Quite the grisly scene of fowl carnage it is… so you see: sometimes the lack of photographs is a very good thing.)  For the marinade, I’ve settled upon Gourmet’s recipe for “Asian barbecue sauce,” even as its lack of specificity strikes me as strange.  I’ve never come across a recipe for “European sauce,” after all.

Last week, I read through Aimee Bender’s The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, about a girl who discovers she can taste emotions in food — specifically the feelings of those preparing it.  I picked up the book having been intrigued by its premise after catching an interview with the author on NPR.

If this weren’t surrealist fiction, if this were at all possible, what impressions would my family and friends sense in these chicken wings, lingering beneath the tangy hoisin and sweet shaoxing wine?

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…to the shores of wine country

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 | All Things, Arts, Drinks, Family, Friends, Music, NYC History, Travel

High fuel prices may be forcing most of the antique sellers online; we trekked the entire 50 miles of the sale without coming across a single dealer. But while Route 90 wasn’t the cornucopia of collectibles we’d envisioned, the entire weekend didn’t have to be a bust.

We decided to pack in early after a head-scratching encounter with one local woman and her chicken coop, during which we received some serious misinformation about the normal egg laying schedule of hens. (6 eggs a day? We may be city folk, but we’re not that gullible.)

The eastern shore of Cayuga Lake hosts just two active wineries compared to over a dozen along the western edge. Although we were given (more) dubious information about how the Cayuga County-side farmers historically have been less willing to sell their land for use as vineyards, a more probable explanation for the discrepancy is the west-to-east moving jet stream which creates a warmer (and somewhat less vine-friendly) eastern lake coast.

We stopped in for a tasting at 72-acre Long Point Winery in Aurora — the second winery to open its doors on the eastern side of Cayuga Lake, in May 2000. (King Ferry Winery was the pioneer, in 1984.)

After picking up several bottles of the whites for which the Finger Lakes region is best known, we moved on, bidding adieu to Route 90. Continuing on the scenic route home, at Ithaca’s Six Mile Creek Vineyard, we sampled and bought more award winning Riesling. That afternoon, the tasting room overlooking the sloping vine-covered hills was also hosting half a dozen greyhounds and their owners, who were at the winery for the Grapehound Wine Tour — an annual Finger Lakes hound/wine tasting event, now in its third year.

From the wine trail to the ice cream trail

Some places are worth a stop, just because you like the looks of them. Richford’s Dairy Treat caught our eye as we made the turn onto Route 79, with its hulking black smoker parked in the front lot, and huge signs advertising BBQ chicken and 24 flavors of soft serve ice cream — mixed to order.

My creamy espresso cone did not disappoint.

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From the sales of Montezuma…

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 | All Things, Friends, Travel

S and I had reserved high hopes for Montezuma, New York, deducing that the northern terminus of the Route 90 Sale — farthest from the city, and with the least picked-over stock — would yield the greatest treasures. The reality turned out differently: Montezuma, population 1400, had little to offer in the way of sales… or anything else for that matter. We breezed through the sleepy town in under 15 minutes.

The local scene may be much more happening next month during the Third Annual “Montezuma Mosquito Fest”…

Even locating a spot for breakfast turned out to be somewhat of a challenge. We passed on the “German Food” truck in Springport, and settled instead on the Be Happy Cafe in Union Springs, where 2 eggs, bacon and unlimited French toast (touted on the menu as “made with real Italian bread!”) set us back just $4.95 per person.

Even our return pass through lakeside Aurora proved a little disappointing, though we did find a cool collection of authentic ship steering wheels, bleached and weathered from years of salty spray, handles worn smooth by countless captains’ hands. No doubt a bargain at $125 apiece, but the prospect of lugging one of those iron-cored hubs onto the Metro North proved too daunting, even for our intrepid crew.

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