Food Trip

With respect for the holiday and its celebrants, gratitude for school administrators who deemed to give us the day off, and absolute pity for those in our family who were forced to remain slave to their computer, My Girl and I ventured North yesterday in search of edible delights.

Our first stop was apple picking in Red Hook, in Dutchess County. We found a new place by browsing the Chowhound website, one that was not too big, not too commercial, and not too faraway: The Grieg Farm. We loaded up our bag with Empires, Macouns, and Macintoshes for eating; Jonagold’s for a pie. By the time we got our bag weighed and chose two small pumpkins from their patch (a real patch too, where the pumpkins were still connected to their actual vines—not just a patch of dirt where the cut pumpkins had been dumped), we were hungry.

We stumbled on Gigi Market by making a wrong turn. It’s the kind of place that wouldn’t have existed that far north five years ago. It specializes in local food from the Hudson River Valley (they list 34 farms that their restaurant supports on their menu), and does rather sumptuous things with what they get. We had a bowl of Minestrone that was delicious and filling. I had to work hard to persuade My Girl that we would be passing on the cookies and brownies there because another opportunity for dessert was yet to come.

We took a pit stop in Rhinebeck, which also seemed to be a bit more interesting than on previous visits. They have an old Five and Dime where I got a nice crochet hook, clasps to keep My Girl's mittens on her jacket sleeves, and old fashioned autumn leaf stickers. We spent far too much at the local independent bookstore (Oblong Books), but it’s hard to feel too bad about that. Plus, I found two new YA books for school: Hate That Cat (follow up to Creech’s lovely Love That Dog), and Gibson’s new Moxie Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank You Notes (a follow-up to the earlier Moxie Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little).

It was getting late, and since I always seem to end up getting lost on the way home from these parts, we hit the road. Our next stop, Hyde Park, wasn’t far at all. Dessert was to be had at the Apple Pie Bakery CafĂ© at the Culinary Institute of America.

I have wanted to go to this place for years, and it was, in fact, on my Summer To Do List, but since it was combined with going to a drive in movie (and the movie never showed anything the whole family could enjoy) it got passed up for The Amazing Tour of Miniature Golf Courses. What a mistake! This place warrants its own trip.

We had an impossible time deciding what to order. The mousse served in a little eggshell? An amazing tiramisu? Marzipan gelato?

My Girl finally chose the lemon meringue “pie,” a little tumbler with zingy lemon curd with some crust somewhere inside (it was eaten so quickly that I barely got a look at it) and a little browned meringue hat on top. I had a little tumbler with butternut squash (cooked way down with butter and some sugar into it’s most delectable essence), a round of gingerbread sponge cake, caramel/mascarpone custard, and then a little French macaroon as top. I had never tasted anything so surprising or scrumptious. I was sad when I had finished it but took delight in the strong coffee.

Our evening was bound to be a disappointment, as nothing could cap our day better than the meringue and macaroon. Still, we have today off too, and who can complain about that?

I took all those photos, so nobody can get mad at me.