Chef's Dinner at Waterside

Three years ago on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Conservative Hubby and I were married at Reynolds Landing at Lake Oconee.

This Friday after Thanksgiving, we celebrated in a very special way: With a private, 6-course meal prepared by one of the chefs at the Waterside Restaurant at Cuscowilla, down the lake a ways from where we were married.

My Dad won the meal for four in a golf tournament, and My Parents were kind enough to invite us as a way to celebrate our anniversary.

It was quite an affair, with a special menu prepared exclusively for us and different (delicious! out of my price range!) wines paired with each of the six courses. The chef would come out with each course and explain exactly what we were eating and which wine we were drinking next.

We started off with a crab and tuan martini over cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions with an English cocktail sauce. The pieces of crab were huge and the sauce was delicious. This, of course, was paired with a refreshing Italian proseco.

Next we moved on to what I think was my favorite course: Brown butter sea scallops with creamy white organic grits, gala apples, and crispy bacon. Rich, delicious, to-die-for. Served with a Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc. (Pardon the photos. I snapped them hastily with my phone before diving in to each course.)

This alone was enough food for a meal, yet we were only just getting started. Next up came petite pork osso buco with creamy Italian polenta (with mascarpone), red wine pan jus, and some veggies, served with La Crema Pinot Noir (an awesome vino). The pork practically melted in our mouths.

After that, we had to take a break for a few minutes. We were seriously full, but still had one main course to go. Each of these courses was large enough to be a meal on its own. I was incredibly glad I wore a dress; otherwise, at this point, I might have had to unbutton my pants, which may have been a rather unladylike thing to do for such an occasion.

Next up: carved smoked tenderloin of beef with potato dauphinoise, mushroom demi glace, baby carrots, and asparagus, served with a Trincharo Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of us couldn't finish all of this course, but Conservative Hubby was a trooper and soldiered on through every last bite of the meat and potatoes. (He did leave a few asparagus spears behind though.)

Next came some lighter fare: a tray of Spanish Manchego, aged gouda, English stilton, and assorted fruits and jams, plus fresh honey and honey comb. I figured one tray would be for the whole table, yet we each had our own. We all nibbled on everything as best we could but ended up boxing up most of this deliciousness to take home because we barely made a dent in it.

During this course, we each were served a glass of Sandman's 10-Year Port, and so we retired outside by the lake and pool to sip our port and enjoy the pleasant weather while the men smoked cigars. This interlude was necessary or there would have been no way we could have enjoyed our final course.

Then it was back inside for the grand finale: chocolate flourless tort with a raspberry drizzle. Divine.

The dessert was served with our choice of a chocolate Godiva martini or decaf press pot coffee. I'm sure the coffee was delicious, but we wouldn't know, because of course we all had to have a chocolate martini. It was Godiva, people. What do you expect?

Our nearly 3-hour dining extravaganza was absolutely amazing. We all came home stuffed and satisfied. It was a wonderful evening, and I'd highly recommend the experience to anyone visiting My Parents at the lake. It can be yours for only $100 per person, which is an incredible steal considering how much food and wine we consumed.

I'm still full, actually. Although I did find room for a piece of leftover Thanksgiving pie for breakfast this morning. Why not continue with the gluttony for another day?





The Pumpkin Patch

Remember back in October when we made our annual pilgrimage to Gail's Pumpkin Patch?

Oh, right. Why would you remember it, when I never remembered to tell you about it? Oops.

I suppose it's OK to go ahead and update you now, despite the fact I'm delinquent. Our pumpkins are still sitting out front so it's acceptable to write about them, right? (Besides, the pumpkins aren't carved, so technically now they're a Thanksgiving decoration ... er, at least I hope. But I guess maybe the Halloween ghost next to them needs to go.) Anyhow. As usual, I digress.

This trip to the pumpkin patch was particularly special because it was Little Man's first visit. He had a great time, as you can see. There was plenty of posing to do. Plus rocks to pick up and (attempt to) eat. And swings to try out.

Of course, we picked out our pumpkins, too.

Little Man found a gourd he was particularly fond of. Mostly he just wanted to slobber on it. Fortunately, the gourd didn't seem to mind.

All of these seasonal adventures are so much more fun when you're with a little one who thinks everything is so interesting and exciting and drool-worthy.

Unfortunately, we didn't do much Halloween celebrating around here because Little Man was sick, sick, sick. But next up is Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know I can't wait.