Sunday, September 28, 2008

Staycation's All I Ever Wanted

With my parents away on a real vacation in Europe, I thought it would be a nice time to take a staycation at their place, to get out of the city, kind of like going to a B&B except it's free. And unlike a B&B, I had to feed the ornery goat that resides in our backyard barn. Interestingly, I'm so used to living in 550 square feet in the city, that my former home in the country felt too large, with its dark, empty, creaky, dusty open spaces.

I had envisioned a gorgeous fall weekend of colorful foliage, hiking, apple picking, and so on. Instead it was dreary gray and miserably drizzly all weekend. We still managed to fit in a visit to Applewood Orchards & Winery - I think it was the only winery left in the Hudson Valley that we hadn't yet visited.
I couldn't tell the difference, but Jesse thought Applewood's wines bested them all, so we actually bought a whole case, when normally we'd politely buy just one or two bottles.

Applewood also features orchards for picking, but we weren't in the mood, so we just walked around, saw their pretty gardens, and headed back home.

The chilly gray day called for a warm, hearty dinner. I made chili, using the wealth of banana peppers and tomatoes from my mom's vegetable garden, along with some local onions, half a bottle of beer, and ground turkey (nonlocal and nonorganic because there wasn't much selection at the Warwick Shoprite). The chili wasn't very spicy because of the dearth of spices available in my mom's kitchen, but it was simple, fresh, colorful, and yummy. I put Jesse in charge of making cornbread, using the recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill course-ground cornmeal package, and it actually turned out great. He's a good sous chef. We paired it with Applewood's hard cider, a perfect accompaniment.

Now I'm back at the grind, back in the city. I finally managed to get a shot of the view from the deck of the apartment I don't really live in. The huge monolith of a building on the right is some kind of Verizon station, and the tall buildings straight ahead are the Bushwick projects.

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