Harvest Fest at Charles and Martin's house means a few great things: food, fun, food, fun, brown booze, fun, bonfire, more food. When I arrived Kathy's secret homemade gingerbread cookies were waiting to fill our hungry bellies. Look how cute, there are little wiener dog skeletons! This next to a plate of Stephanie's homemade chocolate peppermint cookies and the eating festival had begun. While munching on these sugar crack cookies, Charles gave us a tour of his bee hive which he was able to harvest a good amount of honey from this year. He has Italian honey bees and the Queen is befittingly named Donatella.
Its amazing how much we all do and eat in a 24 hour period when we go up there. After cookies and bees we headed out for cider and the fixins we would need for a meal of what turned out to be 15 people!
At Rickard's Cider Mill, the cider lady filled our gallon jugs to order from a hose apparatus that came directly out of the cider mill. We then headed to Honesdale, a town in PA to check out all of the new stores that have popped up since the summer.
Next a stop at the Alpine, this amazing German Specialty Store. The meat there is gorgeous. The butcher was really bossy to Mart about the meat he selected, but it ended up being unbelievable so it was worth it. I also picked up some fantastic Kielbasa and Chorizo sausage that we enjoyed with fresh crusty bread from this new artisanal bakery, the name of which escapes me, and cheese from the local Caulkins Creamery.
Dinner was as usual a big fun group effort. Stephanie presented a delicious squash soup to start plus a sage cheddar squash tart. I worked with Kathy on a big roasted root vegetable dish we made with butternut squash, potatoes, red carrots, onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme, butter, olive oil and the secret ingredients, Charles' honey and cayenne. Jennifer made a delicious salad of romaine, pear, goat cheese and dressed it with with a garlic maple mustard dressing that was really delicious. I made a baked rigatoni with a pesto bechamel. Mart was in charge of the meat, which he cooked simply to perfection.
For dessert I embarrassingly served an apple pie which had a major crust malfunction. This secret apple pie recipe is from a Erik's Grandma Hare's Family Cookbook. Its his Aunt Sue's award winning Apple Pie recipe, and even though she divulges the recipes in the cook book, there are still some sneaky secrets. First, you have to double the darn crust or it won't be enough to cover the top or bottom of the pie, which happened to me. Bob described it as looking "primitive," but it still tasted great and I did a good job covering the botched slices up with lots of ice cream. Food coma time begins over Whiskey Apple Cider Cocktails and the warm bonfire in the backyard, which I nearly fell into, but was saved in the nick of time.
You would think we would end the eating festivities there but we woke up the next day and headed to a Firehouse Pancake breakfast. $6 all you can eat pancakes, bacon, eggs and potatoes. And these funny ladies were serving us tons of laughs to go with our pancakes. A fun end to a fun and filling harvest weekend. I can't wait for next year!