A Weekend in the Country

Summer’s Farewell Barbeque

It was a beautiful Saturday evening. The sky was a cloudless cerulean blue and there was a soft breeze to kick up the leaves which were just beginning to fall. The kids were in heaven having been given permission to just be kids. Days like these inspire people to be outside and relax. And the home I was generously given permission to stay at had the outdoors in mind.

The home was on a gracious 100 or more acres of property with green rolling hills, tallgrass and mature trees that had seen generations of kids climbing in their branches or swinging from rope swings. The home itself had been recently remodeled to accommodate a close-knit family with a handful of small children. The kitchen, while not large, housed professional grade appliances and loads of workspace. The great room called for you to sit and relax, with large windows facing the property and high ceilings decorated with exposed beams. When the morning sun shone through the windows, the room was bathed in a golden light. The house is lovely, and while inside, you instantly feel cocooned in a peaceful silence and a welcome atmosphere. You feel comfortable right away.

While the house invites you to sit, but the property invites you to explore.

When you walk out onto the back patio, you can tell the owner loves where he lives and loves to invite people to sit and stay a spell. The first thing you notice are multiple living spaces, designed in such a way that you’ll want to explore and view different parts of the property.

Stepping out, you’re greeted by one of the property’s stone firepits with a large stone fountain adjoining it. He has surrounded the pit with wooden Adirondack rocking chairs. Next to the firepit is a sectional sofa facing an outdoor television, perfect for watching football on the weekends. Showing his eclectic side, the owner repurposed a trough and a pair of rot iron futures from the property as a hanging planter. He placed it as a divider between the TV area and the second dining table. Over this worn and ash colored table is a pergola with exposed bulb lights woven through its beams, shedding an inviting glow to the area.

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For dinner that night we wanted to give homage to the fading summer and rising fall. We uncorked a bottle of rose and pulled out the cheese, crackers and charcuterie.

We carefully arranged Irish gouda, marinated mozzarella, peppers, Havarti with dill, prosciutto and sopresetta salami on a worn wooden cheese board. Next, we placed a beautiful melted brie on a hammered copper plate, topped it with homemade peach preserves and surrounded it with cranberry and pistachio crackers.

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Then, we set to cook our meal. I sautéed onions and red bell pepper and grilled turkey bratwurst. We also grilled local corn, which we wrapped in butter and seasoning salt. Finally, we placed the brats in hoagie rolls and topped them with the sautéed veggies and some homemade tomato jam. Although our spread may have been simple, it was the perfect meal to enjoy our landscape and the season.

To finish the evening, we roasted marshmallows with the kids over one of the fire pits and made s’mores. When all of us were tucked in to bed that night, we could feel the joy and relaxation of the day melting into our bones. Spending the weekend outside, relaxing eating well and not having to follow a schedule was what each of us needed.

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