Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Harvest at Somerset Ridge

In three weeks, our amazing volunteer "pickers" have harvested all of the beautiful grapes from the vines! We picked, partied, dined and wined. Cindy and Dennis and their team made sure everyone had a good time. We served lunch to 80 people each day under a tent down between the water's edge and the vineyard.

I do love Harvest at Somerset Ridge!

What a weekend! I'm exhausted, but happy as a clam. The 50 year reunion of the Wyandotte High School Class of 1959 went beautifully! I saw people I had not seen since graduation day! My Goodness...we are certainly a young handsome group!

The committee had as much fun as the others, and let me tell you, that is rare. We are usually putting out fires, not literally of course, thank God, handeling disorderly classmates who have partied too much, trying to find more ice, more beer for Bill, and such. Not this time, it all went off without a hitch. The Hilton Garden Inn in Kansas City, Kansas did a wonderful job.

This photo was taken on Friday evening. Not bad for a bunch of old broads, eh? We had a similar photo taken in 1959. We all had longer hair and pearls! Wish the other members of Our Gang could have joined us this time. I just wonder how I got to be the shortest one!

AH-h-h-h-h-h-h......at last.....peace and quiet. Harvest is over, the class reunion is over, the cookbook is over. I wonder what's next?
Oktoberfest Art in the Vines!

The Art in the Vines show during our Oktoberfest celebration is my first priority. We have doubled the number of artists for this show! The date is Sunday, October 11th, opens at 12 noon and closes at 5:00pm. Cindy and Dennis Reynolds, owners of Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery, have a great day planned for you, so don't miss it! It should be a wonderful Midwest autumn day, lots of room for everyone, lots of art, wine, food and fun! And the Oktoberfest music of Willie Kirst as he strolls through the vineyard! In his Lederhosen!

I must be honest, I haven't painted much lately. With the reunion, harvest at vineyard, cookbook projects and catering, I simply haven't had the time or energy. I will be painting for the next month, so I should have some new work at the show.

The artists we have lined up are all local. Somerset Ridge is all about supporting local products and artisans. When they decided to let me organize an art show, that was the first thing they asked for.... local artists! In a town with the Plaza Art Show that brings artists from everywhere but Kansas City, Art in the Vines is a wonderful opportunity for the amazingly talented artists from right here. And it is such a fun day! Wandering through the art down in the vines with a glass of wine is a great way to spend an afternoon!

Speaking of Oktoberfest, do you cook a special meal for your family with all of the great foods and recipes from Germany? Arch was German and very partial to beer and brats! He loved German Potato Salad, Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, Apple Strudel....he loved it all! But I think most of all, Arch loved Wild Boar! While he was stationed in Germany, he found the boar to be one of his favorites. When he returned to the states, no wild boar. Over the years, he developed a recipe for what he called Mock Wild Boar. This takes 3 weeks to make! He would start it around December 1st and during the week of Christmas, we were all treated to a feast fit for King Ludvig himself!

Arch and I cooked it one year for a harvest event and it was a big hit. Earlier this year, Jasper Mirabile and I cooked a "Pig 101" dinner at his restaurant and we included Arch's Wild Boar. I am thinking I am just about ready to share this, up till now, well gaurded recipe. Arch would be 83 on October 25th, so I will continue to think this through, and possibly give you his recipe on his birthday. Maybe......

But for now, how about a recipe from one of my fellow Wyandotte graduates who submitted this recipe for our reunion cookbook. Thank you Larry Johnson!

Larry said this recipe came from his wife's family, who immigrated to Russia from Germany during the reign of Catherine the Great. when the Russian Revolution occured in 1918, they left Russia and came to America, settling in McCook, Nebraska. This recipe originated in the Volga Valley in Russia.


Beef Pot Roast, allowing 1/2 pound per person
6 carrots
6 stalks celery
2 green bell peppers
1 large box of raisins
1/2 box crushed ginger snaps
2 bay leaves
2 quarts cider vinegar
3/4 cup dark molasses
salt to taste

Three days prior to the dinner, buy a nice pot roast and trim off the fat. Place the roast in a non-reactive pot large enough to submerge the roast in cider vinegar.
Peel the carrots, chop the clery and green peppers. Add the vegetables and bay leaves to the roast and vinegar. Salt to taste. Cover the pot and refrigerate for 3 days, turning the roast in liquid at least once a day.

On the day of the meal, about 3 hours prior to serving, remove the roast from the refrigerator, saving the vegetables and vinegar. Rub the roast with flour. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. when hot, add meat and sear on all sides over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Turn heat down to medium-low, pour in the marinaded vegetables and add enough of the vinegar to come 1/4th the way up pot. Simmer about 2 1/2 hours. Roast should be ready to fall apart. Remove roast from liquid, keep warm under foil.
Crush half a box of ginger snaps and add to liquid in pot. Next add 3/4 cup molasses and a large box of raisins. Turn up the heat and let mixture boil until it is the consistency of thick gravy. If it is too thick, thin with more vinegar marinade.
Carve the roast and pour the gravy over the sliced meat. Serve with the vegetables.

Thanks again, Larry! Great addition to our cookbook.

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