Really. For just one day in my life I would like to indulge in copious amounts of chocolate, decadent full-fat cheese, greasy delicious fries, and some good old-fashioned beer (by the bottle or the draught - heck, even the can). So, you know what? Let's do it. I'm an adult, I can make my own rules.
We’re going on a mission through the Whiteface Region is search of Adirondack yumminess and I am determined to ignore the annoying little angel on my shoulder that repeats hourly, "do you really need that… a minute on the lips - a decade on the hips… remember the first taste is as good as the last…" Shut It, conscience. Today, I’m knocking you out of commission - sit back, quiet down, and for the love of everything good - shove some chocolate in your mouth. Today, is my day off. (Don't judge -if you were with me for my last weighing in on the holidays post you’ll remember I accounted for at least one day off!)
I’m going to indulge as many senses as possible and (to appease what will surely be a guilty conscience soon enough) I am going to claim to be doing it for the sake of my job. It is my duty to try let you know about the awesomeness in our region, right!?
Upper Jay: The Farm-Fresh Way
So, yeah, we have an additional mission today: we need to entertain the child. No, not the inner child - the 5 year old, I’m-bored-it’s-a-day-off-of-school child. Oliver, big sister Gabrielle, and I head for a place recommended by several coworkers - the Sugar House Creamery. The name alone sounds too good to be true - especially in this season; visions of sugar plums dance in my head.
I'll admit we had a little trouble tracking down this sweet spot via internet - they are working on a website, but for now a google search directed us to the general location and we decided to take our chances. It was a good call - totally easy to find as it sits directly on Route 9N just north of the major intersecton in Upper Jay.
We pulled in and stopped at the store - which we are told is open 24 hours and runs on an honor system. It's located between the Creamery's two onsite Bed & Breakfasts, and a couple of large barns sit on the hill above it. So picturesque it's like a scene from a movie.
We were soon greeted by Alex - he's young, energetic, and he and his girlfriend are the owners of the Creamery. He offered us a tour of the farm and was more than patient answering Oliver's onslaught of questions (I had lost control of the interview the minute the 5 year old spotted the cows).
We learned a few fun facts: the cows were all lying down chewing their cud because it was mid-afternoon, and that is exactly what they are supposed to be doing; they wear "earrings" because they came from a larger farm and that was how they were accounted for - here they all have names; they are milked twice a day - morning and night; the baby calf was named by a contest winner; Will is the token one-eyed barn cat... Seems Alex should give tours for kids, because Oliver definitely wants to go back!
The Farm Store offers a good selection of goodies from fresh milk to cheese, baked goods to artwork. And, here is where I break my diet for the first time today - come on, forget the low-fat milk and fat-free cheese, when in Rome... Payment is quick and easy - if it's after-hours there is a box for your payment, and Alex noted he's heard people coming in at midnight at times.
Starting this winter, there is a Snowy Market held onsite every Sunday with offerings from several different farmers from througout the region.
We can't wait to make it back over here this winter. But, for now, our journey must continue, and right now we've got Wilmington in our sights.
Wilmington: Truffles & Taffy & Toffee, Oh My!
Going into this part of my day, I had to acknowledge I knew it could be dangerous. I quickly laid down the law: no grabbing, no begging, no touching - if you are good, you will be allowed one treat. And then, I repeated the same rules to Gab and Oliver.
The smell of chocolate - and all things that are good in the world - met us at the door of the Candy Man Home-Made Chocolates. My resolve was already faltering. I immediately realized why the parking lot was full of cars from near and far (Ontario, Quebec, Florida, Pennyslvania, Tennessee - it was quite the gathering). I wasn't the only one with sensory overload... Oliver was literally a kid in a candy store.
And, then there was the three-foot Chocolate Santa!! Yes, we entered to win him. No, I do not know what I would do if we won. But, I do know it would not be conducive to enjoying just one-day off my healthy food regimen!
We did a good job. We each picked just a few pieces to try. That is what I love about the Candy Man - you can buy one piece, one pound, a box, a bag - you name it. So, we did. I chose sea-salt caramel truffles and a dark-chocolate caramel, Gab went with the milk chocolate caramel and the buttercrunch toffee, Oliver wanted one of the green ones and one with little white balls. YUM! that's all I can say; my mouth is watering just thinking about the salted truffle.
Obviously, we all highly recommend a stop at the Candy Man - and, if we win the Santa, we'll be sharing - be sure to check back!
Ausable Forks: Ditch the Kids - they don't like beer & pizza anyway, right?
Since Gabrielle is home on college vacation and looking to spend time with her little brother, Greg and I take the opportunity to enjoy a few hours out and about on a Saturday. And, what is this - we just happen to be driving by 20 Main in Ausable Forks on a Saturday at 3:49pm when a welcoming sign beckons us to stop in.
We both like live music, and I have wanted a reason to stop by this great little locals bar. They have recently refurbished the inside, and added a cool little entertainment/event area out back, and I haven't been by to see it. I will say this - if you haven't been in a while - it is DEFINITELY worth a visit!
We talked to the current owner Dave, and as fate would have it ran into former owners (from back a few decades). We met a ton of friendly folk. I ran into several folks from Lake Placid and we all enjoyed the drink of the night - a coconut rum something-something - which was concocted by the guest bartenders.
After spending a couple of hours enjoying the live music by the evening's featured artist and local favorite, Gene Gilbert, along with the proffered drinks, I was actually contemplating Dave's offer to be one of the future Guest Bartenders. It was definitely time to move on and have some dinner before I agreed to something I don't know how to do. (Although, it might be fun just to keep track of how many orders I botched up and bottles I dropped - what do you think?)
Calzones the size of a Football
We had been told we needed to grab dinner at Mad River Pizza Co. I am one to follow directions (sometimes) so, off we went - across the street and down a few doors toward the delicious smell of pizza.
We entered Mad River and grabbed a couple of stools at the bar. I will say, while there weren't a ton of people dining in, the take out counter was hopping. We weren't in a rush so we grab a couple of beers, and after consulting on some of the local favorites placed our order. We decided we'd take it home as it was getting a bit late. But, it was fun sitting at the bar as we had a great view of the pizza-making process. I can't believe how many orders were cranked out in a matter of minutes - these guys have their system down.
We were told the calzones were huge. HUGE. But, for the price (under $10) we figured they would probably only feed one - so we ordered pizza as well. We were wrong.
The Rustica pizza - I had narrowed it down to that or the Greek Leo (I like white or pesto sauces) was almost too pretty to eat. Although we happily did.
And, of course, since we are indulging - and the only thing more indulgent than chocolate (in my world) are carbs... we ordered the breadsticks - awesome. Garlic, butter, parm, and made to order - we can verify it (remember we were watching the kitchen while we waited!).
And. Of course. I can't go anywhere without ordering fries. I know I've mentioned before that I am a fry-snob, and I am. And, I will tell you this - I would go back right this minute and order these wedge fries if someone would drive me while I finished typing this. They were seriously the best wedge fries I have had in a long, long time. If you think you have better ones - I would love a sample - really, I love fries.
Sinful, Indulgent, Decadent. A Naughty Job Well Done
I take my job very seriously. Obviously. And, when I am asked to write about a topic - well, you can bet I am going to break my diet, sacrifice fitting into my favorite jeans for a week, and indulge for the sake of the team. So, as naughty as breaking my diet may have been - I hope I still make the nice list this season - since I did this all for you.
Gifts of fries, cheese, and chocolate can be delivered to me at the bar - I'll be the one slinging the drinks with a look of total confusion on my face. But darn, I'll be happy doing it.
(Disclaimer: no children or partners were forced to eat fattening, decadent, delicious foods during the making of this blog. Indulgence was on a purely voluntary basis.)