Musing with Max

Musing with Max

July 31, 2011

Vacations for winos

Everybody knows Frank and I love wine...well at least everybody that knows us. If not all one has to do is look at our recycling buckets! So when we decided we needed to get away for a few days because this unemployed business is really bringing us down; we decided that we should hightail it upstate New York to the Finger Lakes wine region.
For several reasons:
1. It takes 4 hours driving to get there (not bad)
2. We can rent a house and Max can come and relax

3. We can rent a house on a lake (Seneca) so Frank can go boating

4. We can rent a house on a lake so we can watch beautiful sunsets
5. We can visit beautiful wineries and do tastings!

Stop number 1 Fox Run Vineyards

for their amazing Rieslings, Lembergers and to die for ports

and the energy in the tasting room...and the cafe for lunch, but more on that later.

Stop number 2 Hosmer Winery

For their blow you away sparkling wine, in addition to the others,

their down to earth niceness and their awesome shopping bags, the real FIND of this trip.

Stop number 3 Sheldrake Point Winery

For being a port in a storm

and the sheer beauty of its location

for its awesome Rieslings

and for making me happy...must be all that wine!

Stop number 4 Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery
For being so funky looking
and the lovely tasting girl with her restaurant suggestions in Ithaca and the award winning Riesling
Stop number 5 Standing Stone Winery
The one and only
for its awesome $5.00 17 wine tasting...

for hiring the best tasting people and for their incomparable ice wines

Stop number 6 Atwater Estate Vineyards

for knocking Lamoreaux Landing off as the place where I want to get married

for their amazingly delicious unoaked clear wines, even though all sparkling was sold out

for having this sign at their front door

and unfortunately that had to be the last stop, because, we need to leave more for the next time which will hopefully be soon. Who needs Napa Valley, when you have this around the corner?

July 30, 2011

Just call me Traveling Max

Ready to go
...bye bye South Orange
smells just like home

doesn't feel just like home

Ooh water

Dinner on the deck sounds like a good idea

so we can watch the sunset...whatever that is.

then I can take a nap

I love my bed

but I like this one better

OK, that was fun, can we go home now?

Here we go.

July 20, 2011


Day lilies before the deer started chomping on them...
Hydrangeas...inside and out

Ferns defining the color green...

Japanese Maple making Frank happy...

Herbs making me happy :)

Max wondering what that buzzing sound is ????

July 16, 2011

Garlic Breath

I know someone who hates garlic. Hates it so much that when she orders a dish at a restaurant she always asks if it contains garlic and if it does will then proceed to ask if it can be removed or she won't order it. This is someone who claims to be a good cook. Sorry but that just doesn't jive with me, or probably with most cooks. I adore garlic and have a tendency to go a little overboard when adding it to just about anything. Just about every fish fillet or steak I cook is done the same way: salt & pepper then brushed with a mixture of minced garlic (lots of it) and olive oil and maybe some herb and then sauteed or grilled, brushing with the olive oil mixture as needed.
I'm of the mindset that if I want fish, I want fish and want it to taste like fish whichever fish that might be; so adding a whole bunch of other stuff to it just beats the purpose. Garlic & olive oil however will always enhance anything. I do the same with London broil, pork tenderloin, chicken pieces, etc.

So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite condiments in the world is Aioli. Aioli is, plainly put, garlic mayonnaise...and it is heavenly. What in my mind makes it even more heavenly is that for the most part you need to make it yourself, and homemade mayonnaise is sublime. Problem is you need to gobble it up within a couple of weeks, raw eggs you see, my kind of problem. Either way, when Summer starts to show itself and we start to move outdoors and the heat starts to rise I can't wait to make an Aioli platter, which is a French dish, from Provence or the South of France or some such place where we can transport our little heads to. It consists of poached codfish, artichokes, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, beets, carrots, red and green peppers, hard boiled eggs, aioli and capers for garnish. I usually use salt cod which I soak overnight then simmer until tender and let cool. For the most part the vegetables are cooked and cooled but I like to cook them and them marinate them in a little olive oil and, guess what?...garlic! The peppers I usually roast on the stove and then marinate them guessed it...olive oil and garlic. Then I make the aioli:

adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook:

8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 egg yolks, at room temp.
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
juice of one lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups of oil (combo of peanut & olive)

1. Puree garlic in food processor or blender. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until light and smooth, and add to the garlic. Add salt & pepper to taste, lemon juice, and mustard and process to a smooth paste.
2. With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a slow steady stream, blending constantly. Continue blending until you obtain a thick, shiny sauce.

The aioli platter looks beautiful with the sauce siting in the middle and all the other foods surrounding it
My thinking is that once you have the cod and the aioli the rest depends on what you have on hand, to a certain extent.

When serving make sure everyone gets a little bit of everything

and then you can pretend you are in this movie.

Le Max pense qui est simplement grand!