Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Friendly Fourth

My neighbors, Dick and Carol Uschyk hosted a lovely BBQ in their backyard over the fourth. They served ribs, chicken, frittatas, potato salad, beans, rice and assorted plates that the guests brought. Now that I am foregoing meat, I satisfied my appetite with frittatas and smiled pleasantly as others devoured flesh ( no judgement, mind you ).I also provided Dick with a bottle of Alacante Bouche from the grapes harvested atop the entrance to Greystone. I can’t and won’t be able to tell you what the wine is like because I never sampled it. A Chef by the name of Lars Kronmark gave it to me after an event at the Culinary Institute one year.Since my memories of the CIA are bittersweet at this point, I am passing along all those items that I have collected over the years.

I spoke with Dick’s friend, Peter as we discussed some of the history of the Napa Valley. I did not know for instance, that many people had snubbed Francis Ford Coppola’s opening party at the former Inglenook Winery ( I have learned that they are now planning on restoring the name, and abandoning the name Rubicon Estates ). Over 200 guests were invited, and only the Mondavi’s showed up. Robert Mondavi inspired Francis to start processing some of the classic grapes of that area.

After dinner, we gathered across the street to watch the annual fireworks display after sunset. It turned out to be an enjoyable evening. Earlier in the day I had spent three hours swimming at Bothe State Park ( which has been slated to close at some point ) and received a righteous sunburn on my face,neck, back and arms. The image above is of a thistle that was discovered during my hike with Don Freeland.

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