Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Magical Visit From Mom

Mom came to visit ~ and food became a symphony.
When I am with my Mom ~ I have the privilege of entering a world I often yearn for
but is mostly silent in my everyday life.
I have to share with you the wonderful places we discovered on her recent visit.
Saturday ~ Mom, Jaci (my daughter) and me spent the day in West Hartford.
What a wonderful place to spend a day!
There is the older area and the new Blue back Square.
It is FULL of wonderful places to eat
and one of a kind shops as well as a huge Barnes and Noble,Crate and Barrell ,Whole Foods etc.

Here is Mom and Jaci as we were waiting for our lunch at GRANTS ~
home of the best bakery in West Hartford.
It even got rave reviews form Oprah!
We brought home a heavenly Lemon Cake ~ OH MY GOSH ~ was it good!

My lunch was as good as it looks!

This is the ceiling in the bar area.

And the beautiful sculptures on the green.

Monday ~ We went to the world renowned Mayflower Inn.
We go there every year when Mom is here.
It is well beyond most folks price range to stay at the Inn but lunch is a doable treat!
This is Mom's dessert ~ mouthwatering Berry Bread Pudding......
and my Pear Carpaccio.

The beautiful stairs that go to the guest rooms.....

and the library of my dreams.

The Shakespeare Garden that never fails to take your breath away.

My sweet Mom is in her true element here ~ surrounded by Shakespeare and English style gardens.
She is a writer and this kind of setting is truly her inspiration.

This is the back of the Mayflower Inn ~ looking from the garden.

I forgot my camera on Tuesday but MUST mention the most amazing restaurant where we had lunch ~
" The Watchfactory Restaurant" in Cheshire, Ct.
The chef and owner ~ Markus Patsch ~ was the chef to the late, great Victor Borge.
He serves Austrian Country Cuisine in a sweet , soothing setting.
He created the beautiful pine wood decor himself , I was excited to see he had the same french country curtains I have in my sitting room!
Outside on his garden patio ~ you feel you are in Germany.

Thursday we spent the day in Westport and had lunch at Paul Newman's restaurant ~
It was simply out of this world.
They use small plate portions and encourage ordering "for the table."
Everything is so fresh ~ local when possible and also many items such as their chicken
are from the Amish in Pa.
It is located on the grounds of the Playhouse Theater.
Mom was hungry for a good ole fashion cupcake and luckily ~
the famous CRUMBS just opened a shop in Westport!
We got 6 heavenly cupcakes ~my fave was the Boston Creme and the one that looked just like
an over sized Hostess Cupcake (the chocolate kind with the white strip on the top.)
By the time I thought to take a photo of our luscious treats ~ well there were just CRUMBS left ;)
By the way ~ they do deliver to 48 of the United States of America.
When Mom leaves ~ it's like a devastating blow in the gut.
Here is the guest room ~ after she left ~ looking and feeling very empty .......

The flowers I put at her bedside have began to shrivel and dry out.....

the pile of empty bags ~ each stands for an exciting or heartfelt purchase ......
a moment of laughter and the joy of a great buy.

We had a pajama party with Ashley one night and Mom ordered us all Carole Hochman jammies
from QVC but their arrival made me cry thinking of our visit.

She left me with a pot of herbs on my porch......

pedicured piggy toes .....
and since flip flops are my shoe of choice from April thru October ~
she made sure I had the best ones she could find ~ from Coach .

We surely did follow the advice of Shakespeare in "Venus & Adonis" .....
"Make use of the time ~ Let not advantage slip "
I enjoyed every morsel of time with you Mom, my taste buds are still dancing from
our symphony of food.....
thank you for making me feel like such a princess.
I love you!
Please enjoy this recipe from The Mayflower Inn ~

The Mayflower Inn & Spa Spring Pea Soup
Serving Size: 5 Portions

2 lbs Fresh English Peas
1 ea Yellow onion (chopped)
3 stalks Celery (chopped)
1 clove Garlic (chopped)
½ bulb Fennel (chopped)
2T Olive oil
2 T Mint
1 cup Cream
2 quarts Water
To Taste: Salt and Pepper
1. Shuck the peas and reserve the shells
2. In a large pot, add Olive oil, the chopped fennel, garlic, onion, celery and pea shells and sweat down
for 15 minutes. Use low heat not to achieve any color, just trying to extract flavor.
3. Add the water and simmer for 20 minutes and then strain and reserve the liquid.
4. In a pot of boiling water blanch the English peas for about 2-3 minutes and strain out the peas, add
the mint and blend in a blender. Making a thick puree.
5. Add the blended peas to the stock and whisk.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste
7. Finish the soup by adding whipped cream (no sugar) and whisking it in, gives it a nice silky texture.
Fresh lavender and good olive oil makes for an elegant presentation for the soup
please note ~ I live in Connecticut , USA.
All eatery's mentioned in this post are located in Conn.


Emme said...

Tears stream down my face as I read your beautiful description of our week together. Children are one of a mother's greatest joy, but to have a daughter like you is indeed a treasure. I'm still re-living every moment we shared, while secretly planning our next adventure! I love you with all my heart.! Love,

Pat Winter said...

I loved the visit with your mom and Jaci. I know it was special. I also know how fortunate I am to have mom 6 miles away.
I'm going to go call her to see if she wants to go to the beach in the morning......then perhaps lunch at an outdoor cafe'. Thanks for sharing your beautiful time spent with your beautiful mom.I thoroughly enjoyed your adventures...and food.

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