Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A weekend in Columbia County

House Party House with a great view of the hills and valley

New England never lacks for things to do, and that includes Colombia County, across the MA border into New York and even Duchess County, also in New York.  We traditionally drive the Mass Pike for a country weekend over Columbus Day, but this year we had just returned from Spain and our host was on his way to Ireland.   So . . . we planned an  early December weekend,  hoping for the best, weather-wise.  Of course, one might have planned a late October weekend and been in for a hideous surprise.

We saw lots of broken branches along the road almost all the way across Massachusetts.  Finally, on the far side of Springfield, the damage was less.  The leaves were gone, of course, and with them the color, but a wintry landscape of hills and bare trees has its own beauty.

On Friday the host cooked a lamb cassoulet,  accompanied by green beans, scalloped potatoes, and salad.  Mega-yummy.  Our friend from NYC brought dessert, a bread pudding to die for.  With it came a whiskey-caramel sauce that was so good one had to gasp.  Yes, all this after the lamb and side dishes and plenty of cheese and good bread as hors d'oeurves.

Saturday we drove to Bard College to see the concert hall:  Gehry's Fisher Center at Bard College    --almost but not quite as good as a trip to Bilbao but certainly cheaper.  We also visited the Hessel Museum of Art on campus,  Art Museum at Bard College which had some provocative art in a great exhibition space.  You can study to become a curator there.  Imagine my surprise to find a  copper and aluminum work by  sculptor by Carl Andre whom I had read about the night before in the New Yorker.  Talk about serendipitious.

Saturday evening we participated in the Winter Walk in Hudson, MA.  It was great, a nice family evening with a Santa Parade,   entertainment, food, and lots of open galleries.  Hudson's Christmas stroll

Back to our hosts to a chili supper, provided by moi.  The tapas appetizer was excellent, thank you New York Times.  More good dessert and bread pudding the next a.m. for breakfast.  Couldn't have been better.  We brought bread at The Loaf in Hudson, a whole wheat bread called Miche.   Very dense and delicious and with no sugar.  God, I hate whole wheat gunked up with sugar--a total abomination for sandwiches.   But don't get me started.

Geese always know when hunting season begins
We also visited the Aldi supermarket in Hudson and stocked up on Christmas Stoellen at a price you wouldn't believe.  I stopped at Agway  in Great Barrington and bought 50 pounds of squirrel food for our poor starving critters.

A good weekend, all told, with fun, culture, nature, good friends and good food.  You can't ask much more than that.  Hope to lose the  2+ pounds (eek!)  staring back at me from  the bathroom scale.  A vegetarian  lo-cal dinner last night.   Curried cauliflower and chick peas.  Thank you again, New York Times!

Hudson, NY:  Christmas Walk


Grapeshot

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So beautiful!!