Sunday, October 21, 2012

21 October 2012

We had a very full, but fun, weekend! It was picture-perfect when it comes to Fall in North Georgia. On Friday night, we had our friends, Josh and Vanessa Brackett over to the Side Porch for the first time. Carmen Slaughter joined us for a fun evening. We dined on North Georgia grass fed burgers, lemon oregano potatoes and Vanessa's delicious black eye pea salad. We talked about every possible topic, laughed, listened to good music and relished the fellowship of enlightened friends.

On Saturday, we were treated to a bonfire and outdoor dinner at Laine and Bill Wood's beautiful home, "The Treehouse." A great group of friends gathered around the ring of fire for hot dogs, great side dishes, s'mores and lots of laughter. We tried to spot meteors, and joined in song for Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. It was great, great fun, and a perfect way to welcome the cool Fall night.

Today started out slow but gathered spontaneous momentum. It was a drop dead gorgeous day, so we felt the need to do something outside. Serendipity ruled the day! On a whim, we decided to visit Gibbs Garden in Ball Ground. The wonderful gardens on over 200 acres are 30 years in the making. The visionary garden designer, Jim Gibbs, greeted us personally at the reception area and explained the map of the grounds to us. This destination is simply jaw-dropping gorgeous! Every where you look, the plants and landscape design is impeccable. Some of the highlights included the Japanese Garden, exact replica of Monet's bridge and the Manor House. We can't wait to return in the Spring to witness over 50 million daffodils in bloom!

On our way back from Gibbs, we decided to stop by Sharp Mountain Vineyard. Luckily, Jeff's parents were on their way back from Dahlonega, so they met us there for a tasting. We chatted with the owners and wine maker and enjoyed the last bottle of their 2010 Cabernet Franc. While I had not planned on cooking tonight, I had a last minute inspiration on the way home. For some reason, I decided to make Croque-Monsieur's for Sunday Supper. I paired the French ham and cheese sandwiches with an organic cauliflower and parmesan soup. Jeff took some of the last peppers from the garden and stuffed them with some smoked string cheese for a delicious appetizer. I paired dinner with a 2010 Collage from Sharp Mountain which is a North Georgia Bordeaux. Our simple Sunday Supper was a gracious ending to a phenomenal weekend.

As Iris Dement has been serenading, go ahead and go home!

Bon Appetit!

The Menu:

- Croque-Monsieurs

- Organic Cauliflower and Parmesan Soup

- Sharp Mountain Vineyard's 2010 Collage (North Georgia Bordeaux)

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