We traveled to Rhinebeck, NY to visit our daughter at the camp she is working at. She had the day off, so she was able to join us for a day of hiking and tastings.
To burn off some energy, we spent the morning hiking at Ferncliff Forest Preserve. We found the observation tower and all fought our fears of height to reach the top (and to come back down, which is even worse).
Even 4 year-old Cam made it!
The forest was beautiful but very buggy. I was very glad that the plans to camp there fell through.
Due to the bugs we ate our picnic lunch in the car then headed back into town to wander the shops. Our first stop was Bumble and Hive, a store dedicated to honey. I had never seen a honey tasting bar before, it was heavenly! Note the smiley faces on the tasting sticks, it really was a happy place. And…this was only about half the honeys they had for tasting.
I bought some local Linden honey that I really enjoyed, but could not bring myself to buy the imported honey I really loved, a $20 strawberry tree honey from Italy. At the other end of the store were the balsamic vinegars to taste, including some truffle balsamic, which was simply a flavor I had never experienced before, I had to bring some home to use on the tomatoes from my garden! I looked for a bottle, there were none, oh no! But the store owner gave me their last bottle, the one on display behind the tasting dish. So the first thing I did when we got home was make some Truffle Balsamic Tomatoes. (Recipe below)
Walking on down the street, we were handed some blueberries soaked in coconut balsamic vinegar. Some things just are not meant to be combined, it tasted like eating suntan lotion. Not a happy tasting. Writing this I am getting that flavor in my mouth again, ew!
Our last tasting of the day was at Tousey Winery. It is always an experience doing a wine tasting with my husband, weblike exactly opposite wines, me the dry whites and full-bodied reds, he the sweeter whites and no reds at all. So, we bought 3 bottles, a dry rose and their house blend red for me, their house blend white for him. Ben, the owner, was a joyous host, definitely enjoying sharing his wines with us. I took a picture of him, but I caught a funny expression, so out of courtesy to him I am just including the picture of the wines.
Truffle Balsamic Tomatoes
3 Heirloom tomatoes, cut into large bite-sized pieces (from the garden)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Truffle balsamic vinegar
A sprinkle of Kosher salt
Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Add the vinegar and sprinkle of salt, stir to combine well.
Serve immediately. Enjoy.