Monday, July 06, 2009

A Good Cellar Rots Labels

We went to Vermont for the weekend, to check on the progress of the repairs being done there and to revel in the perfection that Vermont in high summer exemplifies. The raspberries are coming in, and the wild strawberries carpet the meadow- especially around the tree where my Mom's ashes are buried. Milo loves it there, and we invited a friend and her daughter who is as close to a sibling as he has.

The kids played so well together that we grownups were able to just hang out and cook and drink and read like normal people. It was amazing. The years of mandatory vigilance have paid off; now we get to actually enjoy ourselves. The enormous excavator parked in the driveway may deserve partial credit, but we were pretty happy.

Saturday night we grilled lamb leg steaks and salmon, and made sautéed roots (carrot, turnip, chioggia beet) with fennel plus brown rice, steamed beet greens, and a reduction of wine, vinegar, maple syrup, curry, cumin, sage, and apple juice that worked on meat and fish alike. I perused the cellar, and stumbled upon some forgotten treasures, one of which we opened to celebrate: a 1990 Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf. Oh, the insanity. A dusty, sweet, evanescent tapestry of longing that deepened into a pool of lavender, cherry, and licorice. Poor man's Burgundy indeed.

The next night we made pizzas, using almost entirely local ingredients (the sauce, flour, cheese, toppings, and pepperoni). Various combinations of the leftovers, plus newly purchased garlic scapes from our pals at Taylor farm. The only hitch was that the grill ran out of gas after the first pie so we had to finish cooking them in the oven. Not a catastrophe. We drank a 2000 Thackrey Aquila Sangiovese, which tasted like a new release. His wines defy age better than anything I have ever drunk.

Also, the red clover in the meadow was full of butterflies; Milo had demanded that we bring his net, and boy was he right to think of it. No butterflies were injured during the making of this post- it was strictly catch and release.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It sounds like a perfect weekend in every way. Our wild raspberries have been busting out all over, too, although strawberries are done, I'm afraid.

I love and miss Vermont.

Zoomie said...

Fun kid photo! Glad you are teaching him to catch, enjoy and release!

peter said...

Jen: Our strawberries are done, too. I'm thinking of ripping half of them out and replacing those with everbearing.

Zoomie: The release part is harder, but he's getting the idea.