Friday, July 12, 2013

Two Nights Into One: July Fourth Vacation Fun on Lake Champlain

In late winter or early, early spring K. and I connected about a potential camping adventure somewhere between Philly and Boston. After a few emails back and forth a new plan was formed, and that was to meet between Westport and Port Henry New York, at the family cottage of K.'s bf J. I hadn't seen K. or J. since visiting them in 2010 on the way to L.'s wedding, and meeting up at a cottage on Lake Champlain sounded like a really solid way of reconnecting. My drive up was slightly more eventful than I would have liked. My phone charger stopped working, my oil needed to be changed, I went through a toll and my EZPass didn't work. Just little things that stress me out and when piled on top of one another didn't leave me entirely free of worry. But I had written down the directions because I knew we were going to be in a pretty much cell and internet free zone (hallelujah) so I didn't get terribly lost until the very end of the trip, which was not surprising whatsoever. That first night we caught up, snacked on one thing or another, had some drinks and generally eased into a nice rhythm for the trip. At one point K. and I were outside and J. ended up fast asleep in this chair for quite some time.
And then the next day was upon us. K. made us all scrambled eggs with caramelized onions, cheese, and maybe scallions?
Then we drove to Port Henry to do a more thorough grocery shopping trip for the next couple of days. It was a gorgeous area. Lake to the east and Adirondack mountains to the west. Just magic stuff scenes around every bend and curve of the road.
That second day I made my artichoke jalapeno dip and we ate it while playing a game of some kind.
J.'s family has been coming up to this area for a good lot of time. His grandparents, his mother and her siblings, and now he and his sisters. For the majority of our time there it was just the three of us in the cottage itself, but the neighborhood certainly had a bustle to it. Plenty of folks with similarly long histories in the area taking advantage of the holiday week. Not that it was a week of holiday for most. The world certainly went on around us, but I enjoyed more fully unplugging than I've done in quite some time.
So I had a pretty good idea that I wanted to stop in Kingston, NY on my way north to buy some meat to contribute to our meals from Fleisher's, and it's good that I already had that inkling, because about 60 miles south of the Kingston exit my phone died, and about 30 miles south of Kingston my car began telling me it would like an oil change. This was also when the EZPass debacle took place. I just. The thing worked the whole time except going through that exit and now I know I'm going to get some sort of crazy ticket and I'll be mad about it. ANYWAY. I got off at Kingston and eventually was able to find a place to get an oil change and then another place to buy a new car-phone-extension thing. And it was only then that I finally turned my attentions to locating Fleisher's, which wasn't so hard. I arrived at the tail end of the Kingston farmer's market, which was kind of neat. Once I arrived in Fleisher's I tried to flirt with a butcher and make myself seem hardcore by suggesting that me and my three friends wanted to eat a steak that was nearly "blue." This wasn't entirely untrue we did end up with a pretty rare steak, but not blue-rare...though I mean really, how is talking about a willingness to eat nearly raw steak in any way a sign of flirtation? Pretty much it isn't. In any case. He did suggest and give us a really nice cut of steak and I truly did consider inviting him to join us (mostly joking...all joking?) in consuming it. So the second day of our vacation or was it the third? Steak was grilled, never mind the rain that was falling.
And my god. It was delicious. No joke delicious. Seriously. At K.'s suggestion I did almost exactly three minutes per side and then just left it alone to rest. LEFT IT ALONE. I need to get better at leaving my meat alone while smiling at strangers and learning how to flirt. All this meat flirt conversation is confusing, I'm sure. I believe that this was a dry aged sirloin?
K. made an arugula salad with tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan.

I brought a bottle of wine my father had given me while in North Carolina, which went down easy and well with the steak and salad.
And while it certainly was pink, I don't think anyone would call it quite "blue." My butcher boyfriend might have been relieved. Or disappointed. I'm not sure. In any case, if you have the opportunity to get meat from Fleisher's, do.
And then I taught K. and J. the glory of Catan and we never turned back. I believe I won this first game (I was blue) but they were quick learners and our Catan playing from that point on was often not concluded with a victory on my part. GOOD TIMES.


Huck said...

The steak-salad-wine-Settlers combo seems pretty much perfect.

nc catherine said...

Another food blogger posted a video of Jamie Oliver and his no fail steak recipe. Close to what you did, altho he turned the steak after a minute so one minute each side three times then let it rest. He oiled his a bit with olive oil and then did weird things with raw garlic and smacking the meat with fresh herbs as it cooked but yeah, leaving it alone to rest appears to be key. Looks like an incredible time on flat cold water after an awesome time on bumpier perhaps less cold but salty water. You do know how to rock summer, yes you do!