Monday, April 5, 2010

A Stone Barns Sunday

Chicken On the Run
On Easter morning, NCT, LTV, JC, and I rendezvoused at Grand Central and caught a 9:56am train to Tarrytown. Our destination? Rockefeller State Park and its 10+ miles of broad, bucolic trails. Although I like the steeper and rockier hikes at Cold Spring and Breakneck Ridge, I did enjoy the easy conversation that Rockefeller's paths allow, as well as the quick pace that JC set. We explored the park's "thirteen bridges", traced the southern boundary of Swan Lake, and spent some time observing the hyperactive mating rituals of some very muddy frogs in a very brackish bog. NCT even claims to have seen an eagle (perhaps a hawk?).
After exhausting Rockefeller's trails, we cut across a long, rolling green field and entered The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture; moved by a desire for baked goods and cold drinks, we headed to the Center's cafe and shaded flagstone terrace. The unseasonably hot April sun, in my opinion, forced me to purchase and quickly devour a large slice of cold potato and goat cheese frittata, a serious helping of chilled beet salad, and one bottle of Fizzy Lizzy grapefruit juice (I rarely ever drink juice or soda, so clearly something untoward was taking place). This stands as one of the best meals I've had in a while, and it particularly felt fitting as an Easter lunch; I'd even stowed a Cadbury cream egg in my backpack for a mid-hike celebratory hike, but I forgot about it until I'd returned home and unpacked. C'est la vie.
Food and shade nearly resulted in a catatonic outcome--i.e. nap time--but we roused ourselves to tour the farm, and thus see the flora and fauna that would soon rest on Blue Hill's elegant dinner plates. In the course of our self-guided tour we saw the following: a gorgeous greenhouse with dirt floors and a retractable roof; a boisterous sheepdog guarding many woolly and hungry sheep; lots of roosters clucking up a storm; several pigs snorting and rooting about in muddy straw; sleepy cows on a sunny hillside; four humans trying to peel pithy grapefruits (that would be us).
Verbena and Rosemary Babies
Perhaps someday I will nibble on petite lamb chops and dandelion greens on Blue Hill's summery terrace; until then, however, I'm happy with picnic lunches and early spring hikes, sunny afternoons and a sleepy train ride home.

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