This weekend was pretty much foodie nirvana! It actually started on Friday with lunch at Seasons 52. Connie and I went there several years ago in Orlando with my older brother John and his wife, Linda. It was very good but I don't remember it being extraordinary. Friday's lunch certainly was extraordinary. We call it the Kappa Lunch Bunch. It's a group of sorority sisters who get together for lunch several times a year. We rarely repeat a restaurant. I think Seasons 52 will be an exception. Everyone seemed thrilled with their food. Gay had the fish tacos and raved about them. Lori, the hamburger. Mary, the sushi. Patty the salad and bruschetta. Debbie and I had the portabello mushroom flatbread. The others at the far end of the table seemed to be as happy as we were but were too far away to chat with. The flatbread was perfect. Thin slices of mushroom, four kinds of cheese, fresh spinach and roasted garlic drizzled with truffle cream. Here's a photo of my flatbread:
Friday evening was the Indy Wine Fest. It's a fund raiser for WFYI - the public radio station. No, the food wasn't great. Well, except for the eggplant. But, the focus was on the wine. 300+ wines. All you can test. Several wines disappeared early. We'd gone through the list and highlighted several we really wanted to try. They ranged from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnays to Pinot Noirs and Cabernets. There were a few bubblies thrown in for good measure. We were smart about the whole deal and took a cab downtown. The reds really weren't at their best not being served with food. The whites were a different story. Awesome! We had several that'll go on our list. And, we got to spend some time with our dear friend, Chef Joseph and his partner Juan. We also got to chat with some of the folks from Huber Winery and were very relieved to find out that they watched the tornado skip around the farm and had no damage. Now, we need to confirm that our friend, Maggie (who owns Rosewind Farms) is ok.
Saturday morning it was up at the crack of dawn to head to Columbus for a meeting. Connie took a nap and I met with my clients. One of my favorite kinds of meetings - the yes you can afford to retire ones! Makes it all worthwhile!! From there, we were off to Burton's Maplewood Farm for the National Maple Syrup Festival. We've gotten to know the Burton's from the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market. Their syrup is amazing. I always have a bottle of it in my fridge.
Registration was at the school. On our way down we'd passed our friend JJ Boston from Chef JJ's Back Yard in Broad Ripple. He was driving his Big Green Egg Bus. We'd honked and waved and laughed that he was probably heading to Medora. Indeed he was. On our way into the school we bought a "tour" from JJ. A pork taco, a beef slider and frites. All were fabulous. A total home run! Here's JJ:
Inside the auditorium there was a maple syrup and King Arthur flour cooking contest going on. One of the judges was a friend of mine from way back when - Rick Hofstetter. Rick and his wife own the Story Inn. Not only is it a great place to stay but the restaurant is worth the drive!!
We boarded the bus to the farm at the school. Aussie was helping:
Oh, and yes, it was a school bus. No seat belts and teeny, tiny, windy southern Indiana roads. Yikes!
Off the bus and up the driveway. Lots and lots of buckets! Here's Connie, Mark and Chris:
And, some of the buckets:
Then, off to the side was a re-enactment of a coffee house. Fascinating. One of the estimates is that there was a coffee house for every 250 Londoners in the 1700's. The gal described the entire process of coffee making from roasting the beans to the sugar.
Up the hill we saw the man eating chicken:
I know, I did the same thing. GROAN.
They had a lot of vendors set up. One of our favorites was Local Folks. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the owner. We've talked to his wife at the farmer's market but haven't bought any of their products because I prefer to make my own pasta sauce etc. That'll change now that we've tried their mustard. Wow, was that stuff ever good. Mark loved their blueberry preserves. In fact, he named that as one of his favorite things about the day!
Our other favorite was a fellow who was working with clay - primarily plates.
From there we were off to the other re-enactors. First up was a family fixing dinner. The fellow was cutting up a pumpkin and was going to roast it over the fire with port and maple syrup. Sign me up! He was going to toss the seeds for the heirloom pumpkin so I asked if we could have some. We now have a baggie of wonderful seeds!
Next, we learned how maple sugar is made. Best of all, we got some samples. Here's Connie chatting with the fellow about the various sugar molds.
The last re-enactors were Lenape (Delaware) Indians. This fellow was softening a deer hide to make moccasins. He said he'd first soaked it in deer brains then was rubbing it on this rope. He was SO interesting to chat with.
After we finished with the festival, we were off to find two local covered bridges. The Medora Bridge is in pretty good shape. The Shieldstown bridge, not so much.
Finally, on our way to drop Chris and Mark off in Columbus, we stopped at The Brick in Jonesville for one of their famous hamburgers. I can see why folks love them!