Monday, February 20, 2012

Rest and Relaxation (and Chocolate Smuggling)

We spent yesterday at a spa relaxing, something I've gotten into in 2012. I didn't really make any resolutions but I have begun figuring out what it means to relax. It turns out it's pretty good. You should try it sometime.

After returning home and taking a nap (more relaxation) Jen was lying on the couch and reading a book when she said, "It's going to be summer soon, we should have a nice pasta that is like the summer."

It's been a mild winter but February in New York is not exactly the best spot for summer temperatures or ingredients. However, I was on the case, and I put together something anyway.

Jasper Hill Harbison - Aged 2 Months

The other night when we had the Montenebro cheese I bought an extra cheese for Jen, this Harbison from Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont. The reason I bought it was because I found out that Montenebro was rubbed with penicillin and Jen is allergic to penicillin. I thought that fact would freak her out enough that she wouldn't want any. It turns out she was brave and I was wrong.

I thought this cheese was safe given its creamy texture.

Leftover Pasta with Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, Kalamata Olives, Arugula, Capers, and Feta Cheese

For the main course I made this pasta which is vaguely summery. I mean, it contains only leftovers and they're mostly items which are canned and jarred. Let's just pretend that all these canned or jarred items were things we'd grown and jarred ourselves.

The pasta was made with spaghetti, grilled artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, capers, fresh baby arugula, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Shmaltz Brewing Genesis Dry Hopped Session Ale

I didn't really have any summer beer (as it has long since been consumed) so I poured this Genesis Dry-Hopped Session Ale from Shmaltz Brewing Company. This was an aggressively bitter ale with floral notes from the hops, despite the bitterness. It was very sessionable. (This is the part where I wait for you to ask what the hell that is supposed to mean.)

Oh! You don't know what sessionable means? You must be terribly uninitiated into the world of craft beer! It means that you can drink multiple of them in one drinking session.

I'm sorry. I thought you were of higher beer intelligence than that. The word sessionable, like so many, was created to identify and embarrass people who don't know its meaning.

That, my friends, is what true food appreciation is all about.

Munson's Chocolate Sampler from the Spa at Norwich Inn

Last night we couldn't quite fit in dessert at the spa so we made the ill-informed decision to get room service late in the evening and have a huge delicious slice of chocolate raspberry cake and a plate of little local Connecticut chocolates brought to our room along with tea.

We ate the cake, then moaned for a while. The chocolates we let sit on the coffee table overnight before carefully packaging them and bringing them home for dinner tonight.

As far as I can tell they were from Munson's Chocolates and they were fantastic. Even though we paid for this I feel like I was doing something wrong by wrapping it up and smuggling it off the premises in my backpack.

I think this is just a testament to how boring and unadventurous my life is.

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