Monday, August 4, 2008

The Berkshires and Beyond

Yesterday saw us spending another carefree summer's day in the countryside. This time it was the Berkshires, which is an area I particularly appreciate. This gorgeous region always provides a fun time for us. I love the genteel country feel of the towns and villages, with their colonial era clapboard houses and tidy little cottages. I love visiting the local bakery and cafe, scouring the antique shops and used bookstores. Yesterday in Kent, CT- a beautiful, white picket-fenced, New England town- I was sure to visit the local chocolatier. I ordered a couple of different caramels and a truffle or two. The caramels were interesting. One had a light crust of salt on it, it was certainly different, perhaps a little too heavy on the salt. The other caramel had a sprinkling of black sesame, which was so subtle it was completely overwhelmed by the chocolate covered caramel.
Hubbabubba enjoys fishing these parts. The Housatonic River makes for some incredibly verdant scenery. Hubbabubba fished, the kiddles and I took a hike and played along the riverbank. Munch was secured in a pack on my back. Big Boy Kiddle annointed himself trek leader and Kidlette was second-in-command. With a big stick he swashbuckled through the brush, she made me say "thank you, Leader" every time she held a branch aside so I could get by.
My job was the official caterer of our expedition. I filled a cooler with picnic fare. I made a pasta salad that was recieved somewhat tepidly. But, honestly, how could a pasta salad made with wholewheat pasta, spinach, and feta cheese beat fresh-baked peanut butter cookies? Crusty still-warm french baguette...? They took a few perfunctory bites and were like "next?"
The next yummy thing in this case was homemade ice cream that would make Ben and Jerry weep (and I am very fond of both of them). On the way home we stopped at Main Street Sweets in Tarrytown, NY. A line that stretches out the door is usually a surefire way for me to lose my taste for whatever's inside the door- but this place is worth it. They do ice cream very well. Admittedly I was a little dissappointed that the Peachy Peach I ordered wasn't as...peachy as I remembered it, but the kiddle's vanilla and strawberry scoops were just outstanding. Fresh and creamy and pure and everything good about ice cream. A perfectly sweet ending to a perfectly sweet day awwww.....

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