A weekend in the country is idyllic, but when the host, a bon vivant named Galen, promises endless amounts of his cooking and cocktailing, a weekend in the country becomes something else entirely, an experience of ecstatic sensory overload that defies reason. Five of us arrived on a sunny Saturday afternoon, planning on enjoying the scenery and sunshine before the Derby began. It began with wine- Verdejo, Sancerre, Prosecco, Verdejo bottle #2. We took a walk and returned to the first course- deviled eggs, broiled feta, and shrimp all taken alfresco on the deck overlooking miles of rolling hills. We drank Dale’s Pale Ale and a little more wine.
Then we made mint juleps (see my post on juleps here) and watched the race.
Later we dined on beautiful blackfish, served with simple dressed green lettuce. Dessert was pie and a really great ice cream that Galen buys locally. There was more wine and then some dancing.
The next day, Galen pureed pear and added it to prosecco for a morning cocktail. He poached eggs and I gamely fried up some bacon. For Sunday supper (after enjoying a bottle of 1993 Veuve), Galen threw a pork tenderloin on the grill that he had marinated with garlic and herbs. Minutes later, he came out again with fresh pink salmon covered in lemon and dill. That, along with salad and baked potatoes, made for a simple yet perfect meal.
Galen claims most of his recipes comes from Cook’s Illustrated, but the man has an innate understanding of food and a true love for it, which is why I award him Noria’s Gold Star for Entertaining.