Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm Back!

So I’m back from my wine-tasting weekend in Shenandoah Valley. I’ve been looking through my pictures and just noticed that, though I took a lot, I don’t have that many pictures of the actual wineries. Which is strange, but kind of makes sense if you’ve been to a winery. They’re sort of dark inside, so you’d need to use your flash, and I guess I just didn’t want to draw attention to myself as everyone was enjoying their wine. Instead, I took pictures outside the wineries—see the flower pot above and the weather vane below.

I had the same issue with the restaurants I went to. On Friday evening Adam and I had dinner at The Joshua Wilton House, and the setting was candle-lit, quiet, and on the formal side. I had a beautiful meal—pork loin with panzanella, all drizzled with a delicious strawberry glaze—and I was dying to take pictures of it, but I didn’t think I was supposed to. I mean, I don’t know, what’s picture-taking etiquette? Have any of you ever whipped out your camera at a fancy restaurant?

There was one place, though, where I didn’t restrain my urge to take pictures. We had lunch one afternoon at Edinburg Antiques and Tea Rooms, which is an adorable little place where you can get some proper English tea and other assorted goodies, and Adam and I had our own little table in a private room, so I let my trigger (camera) finger run wild.

We had scones with strawberry preserves and clotted cream, along with assorted tea sandwiches, and the best Earl Grey tea either of us has ever tasted.

The tea sandwiches were ham, chicken curry, and, of course, cucumber.

I’m a sucker for tiny sandwiches and cute dishes, so I really liked this place—you might be able to guess that from all the pictures.

Aside from all the wining and dining, we did a bit of shopping as well. There was a farmer’s market where we stopped and loaded up on homemade goodies for the pantry, and, as luck would have it, there’s a book fair going on in the area right now, as well. Of course, I went right to the cookbooks. I got two hardcover “The Best of Gourmet” books (2002 and 2005), both with a list price of $40.00, for—are you ready?—$6.00 each! I was like a kid in a candy store. I also picked up a reprint edition of the original 1903 Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book for just $1.99!

This book is almost as much an instruction manual for domesticity as it is a cookbook, and I’m looking forward to some amusing reading with this one. Here’s a taste of what’s inside: “I have found in my teaching that only the pupils who do not know how to wash them properly dislike the washing of dishes. When I hear a young lady say, ‘I hate to wash dishes,’ I know she is not a trained worker and does not know the best ways of doing things.” So there you go. If you think you don’t like washing dishes, you just don’t know how to do it right! If you suffer from this condition, I recommend picking up a copy of this book. It has a whole section devoted to the fine art of dish washing.

So, as much as I loved the shopping and the drinking, and as quiet and beautiful as was the setting, it’s still good to be home. I missed my cat and my own bed, and I haven’t cooked anything in days! It’s time to get to work on that. Plus, I have 14 bottles of wine to work my way through. Cheers!

14 comments:

Elle said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you had a nice time! Funny--I hate doing dishes...I must be doing it all wrong! haha

Gretchen Noelle said...

What fun pictures! Love seeing you in the mirror and I am super jealous of your great cookbook finds! What fun!

Kevin said...

Those are some nice photos. It looks like you had some tasty food along the way.

Leah said...

I love all those old handbooks on housekeeping and domesticity; they're great for a laugh!

14 bottles of wine? I'll be right over!

Daziano said...

I was in Virginia last week! Never thought of visiting the wineries though... Did you take a tour or something? Which one do you recommend? Thanks!

chou said...

I love the picture where we can see your reflection :). Welcome back.

noble pig said...

What an amazing trip. I have of course always wanted to visit that wine region.

I am truly jealous of your wonderful trip.

Vicarious Foodie said...

Thanks everyone! I had a good time, but Daziano reminds me that I've left out all the details about the wineries!

Daziano: The one I most recommend is Barboursville (www.barboursvillewine.com). They conduct tours and have beautiful wines, whether you like red, white, or dessert.

Erin said...

Sounds like a fun trip! I love that old cookbook... it will be fun to read!

Lina said...

welcome back home! Looks like you had a lot of fun! Im jealous~! I also love the beautiful photos.

Private Chef said...

Hi There

I just stumbled upon your blog and think it is an excellent read for foodies and especially like the photos and design of the blog.I started off as a blogger myself and realise the importance of a good clean design like you have here. I have now bookmarked it for myself to read and have added you to our new list of "all the food blogs in the world" on www.ifoods.tv which we have been compiling for the last month! Hopefully it will send you some traffic in the long run. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on food so keep up the good work and talk soon. Cheers

Daziano said...

Thank you very much!!!!!!

Renaedujour said...

I love the old and regional cook books because they're such a great cultural snap shot. Please post all the fun stuff, as I must be in the group that does not know how to do dishes.

Neen said...

Lovely! I'm so glad that you had such a good time, and your photos are fabulous. We didn't end up taking any at the wineries either, or at Joshua Wilton...though the food was superb. I particularly remember the soft shell crabs, and Do really wants to get their recipe for Gateau Basque. Great story: during our last hour there, our bed broke! For real! We were in room 3, reading in bed after breakfast, and the bed separated from the headboard! Very exciting/embarrassing!