"Our most ancient metaphor says life is a journey. Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred. . . .This is the traveler who goes on foot, living the journey, taking on mountains, enduring deserts, marveling at the lush green places...as a pilgrim, seeking, wondering." -Patricia Hampl

July 29, 2007

Day at Mirbeau

01Around here, the mere mention of the name Mirbeau sends people into fits of ecstacy: while most people we know haven't been there themselves, the word connotes luxury, pampering, and a healthy kind of decadence (e.g., you can order the chocolate cake for dessert because you know the ingredients are organic). Just an hour or so from Rochester, in the lakeside, historical town of Skaneatles, and one quick turn off the beaten path, there sits a spa of national merit, where one parks the car and walks into a Monet painting. Nevermind all the lavender and lillies beside the startling replica of Monet's bridge over the bubbling pond where the koi fish swim happily around the lily pads, because you have stuff to do.
Mirbeau greeted us with a bottle of delicious champagne in our room (I brought strawberries from home); and somehow we managed to enjoy about half of it before stepping out to prepare for our spa treatments (previously booked). Given robes, lockers, and even the house flip-flops, we soaked in the spa's 12-person, outdoor hot tub (the nearby fireplace was lit despite it being 80 degrees) for a spell before dipping into the cooling footbath of the adjacent "relaxation room," or what Heath called "the Roman Baths Room," pictured here 150x150_resting (though this really doesn't do it justice--so quiet, so dark, so tranquil). This is where spa-goers rest *before* their treatments, ahem. Heath and I both thought we'd forego the typical massage route, so we opted for French Clay treatments that involved paintbrushes and heat blankets. But man, were we shiny after that! With our supple and toxin-free skin in tow, we shlepped (because really, after this sort of treatment one is no longer walking, but floating deliriously) into our respective eucalyptus steamrooms and then freshly showered with all sorts of nice lavender-y spa product to prepare for dinner.498x135_din003
Dinner is four courses: in short: salmon/sashimi; duck with potato and some tricky roasted veggies; beef tenderloin with in-season veggies; "mood-altering" chocolate cake. Additionally, Chef Moro sends "gifts" intermittently throughout the meal, so we also tasted fresh olive bread, champagne sorbet, fresh, still-hot madelines and chocolate-raspberry truffles. A pinot noir goes well with all of it, by the way. Comfortably full, we sashayed back to our petite chateau over the bridge.
This morning, Heath finally got his much-needed massage while I was the only member of a cardio class; once more to the hot tub and steam rooms, and it was time to go home. Ahhhhhhh. This kind of living sure costs a lot of Monet--good thing we had gift certificates.

July 16, 2007

Chocolate Sushi Attempt #1

Have I been sitting on the couch, watching Food Network for too long? Having just spent the first half of my summer vacation trying to scrape myself back into the civil, social world, I finally gave into a creative nagging: to master the art of chocolate sushi. Not that I thought it'd be easy: I looked here and there for some guidelines--even Martha came up short. So I experimented (note authentic baking lingo):
1 cup melted chocolate

4-5 (?) tbsp. karo light corn syrup

stir

skillfully spoon/brush melty stuff onto parchment paper on frozen cookie sheet

sprinkle coconut on

gummy fish

freeze for 5-6 (?) minutes

goop karo onto fingers while trying to roll chocolate without breaking it

put back in freezer and wait for Heath to discover that the Gardenburgers have been relocated


July 09, 2007

After


clouds, sand, water, sky
Originally uploaded by animox72
It has been just over three weeks since we lost my father.

I'm still at a loss for words. I thought I might have been able to write by now, but this just does not come easily.

Heath and I went to visit friends last weekend in New Hampshire, and while we were there, were able to see some friends in Boston, see a game at Fenway, and visit York Beach in Maine. The trip was good, restful. But there is a pain we can't shake.

Goals this week include trying to cook again and writing a little. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you.