Weekend Warriors

What a weekend. It came and went at a speed with which I am not comfortable but they always do. Friday evening was shaped by serious eating, merriment and entertaining. Partner-in-crime and I invited both sets of parents to our home for a dinner party. What followed was a spectacular evening marked by my sister’s recipe for flavorful guacamole, real tortilla chips procured from our local Mexican joint, fresh flowers, a spin around the block on a new bicycle, seven pounds of caramelized pork with all the trimmings, nine bottles of wine, countless beers, two short orders of martinis, grand times, the sharing of stories and endless laughter. A repeat gathering is already in the books for March. As for the wine selection, we were across the board but had a new contender in the mix, Meiomi Pinot Noir. This new favorite was introduced to me recently by a very bosom pal. I traditionally opt for larger than life reds but this Pinot Noir is dynamite and fits the bill. Pick up said at Winestore in SouthPark Charlotte. Thank me later and I’ll share your praise with my friend.

Sometime just after midnight, once the masses returned to their respective corners of the world, the two of us got down to business. With Miles Davis crooning in the background, we loaded the dishwasher, cleaned countertops, blew out candles and tidied the kitchen. I must admit, same evening cleanup is a first for us and we will most definitely duplicate said for the next go around. It was such a joy to wake up to a sparkling clean kitchen Saturday morning. Not a joy? The splitting headache. Did a cat take a nap in my mouth in the night?  Opportune start for a Saturday that was intended for a road trip to the Mountains. Insert sarcasm here. Seize the day and sojourn on we did. Twenty minutes into the drive we had to make an emergency stop at the local gas station for ice cold Coca Colas and salty peanuts. Both were delicious. Sometimes you do what you have to do. 

A pair of hours later, we pulled into a beautiful, snowy Blowing Rock. We had reservations at a local favorite of ours for lunch, Bistro Roca Antlers Bar. We had the entire glass encased back porch to ourselves including a table directly in front of the roaring fireplace. Talk about romantic. We overlooked the naked limbs of trees and watched the grey, ominous skies with excitement. After a wonderfully enjoyable lunch of scrumptious burgers slathered in homemade mayonnaise and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, we walked in the snow along the main street before jumping back in the car, marveling at the white flurries falling around us and heading to our destination.

Upon arrival in Jefferson, we made a pit stop at the local grocer to pick up a few items to supplement those goodies that we packed for the dinner that we would prepare in the mountains. We spent the afternoon in front of the fireplace reading, watching movies and altogether enjoying a night away from home. Sometime around 8.00 pm, after standing on the back deck wrapped in blankets with necks arched marveling at the Milky Way, we began cooking in the kitchen. That night, I fell asleep listening to the howling winds and bracing myself for snow that the weatherman projected. It should be noted that we picked up extra groceries just in case we were snowed in. Wishful thinking. The morning brought no snow but gravely glacial temperatures. We plan to return in a pair of week’s time and better luck then. En route home we stopped here and there to investigate and when passing through Wilkesboro, came upon a spot for grub that appeared worth exploring.

If you are ever in the area, make it your business to stop at Cagney’s Kitchen for some serious home cooking. This location is a new one so be sure to secure the address before heading in this direction. The menu has everything and their brother on it from eggs, an assortment of pancakes, cinnamon toast and oatmeal to corn beef hash, Virginia ham liver pudding and salmon patties. You can also order eggs prepared the old fashioned way, bacon and hash browns (prepared two ways) as well as biscuit sandwiches and the likes. When asked your bread of choice, I implore you to abandon the no carb decree and opt for the buttery biscuits. They come with sausage gravy but are earth shattering drizzled with honey.  I would love to tell you that I had an egg white omelet with steamed veggies but that would be a big, nasty fib.  After our decadent meal, we were back on the familiar highway headed for the Queen City. After an afternoon of organizing, laundry, gym, a pedicure and spectacular football that sadly did not involve our cherished Panthers, we roasted a chicken for dinner with the respective accompaniments. I will post that recipe tomorrow, it is an oldie but goodie. Hoping and wishing that you too had a bon weekend and for those observing Martin Luther King Day, a long one at that.


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