Yesterday I went on my 4th Herb & Wine Trail along Cayuga Lake. It was a gorgeous day, if anything almost too hot! We decided to go around the lake to hit the 3 wineries on the East side. I almost always run into problems driving into Ithaca. I can't stand that city. Anyway, I got through it relatively easily...or so I thought. After Six Mile Creek Vineyard I thought I'd just continue up Route 79 to hit the others on that side. We were driving...and driving...and then we seemed to enter another world. I could almost hear the banjos playing-it was like we entered Deliverance. Oh my God! Beautiful countryside, but shacks with garbage lining the properties. Unbelievable. I figured we went wrong and turned around. I got directions at a gas station (no dueling banjos, but the people there...friendly, but a bit type cast...) and then realized I had to go back into Ithaca. Yuck. I got back where I needed to be-routes 34 & 13. Then I missed the branch off and was on 13-only 13, so around I went again and we finally got on 34! Only an hour and a half or so and a journey to Deliverance out of our way. At any rate, we were back on track and hit the remaining wineries!
The herbs were great this year. These are the plants I came home with this year: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, 2 cilantro, oregano, sweet marjoram, fennel, purple basil, sweet basil, lemon basil, dill, chives, Roma tomato, and red beauty pepper. As for the food-some great, some yucky, and I got recipes for all of them: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Fennel Seed-Onion Dip, Marinated Feta, Basil Pasta Salad, Creamy Potato Soup, Tomato and Bread Soup, Rosemary Corn Soup, Tuscan White Bean Salad with Salami and Red Onion, Creamy Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs, Wild Thyme Chowder with Chicken and Corn, Fresh Baked Onion Oregano Bread with Oregano Pesto, Russian Vegetable Salad, Old World Pasta, Asian Noodle Salad, Corn Bean Dip with Cilantro, and Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade.
While in Deliverance, we missed some rain around the lake, but after our second to last winery-the rain found us. While on the road to our final stop the rain became a downpour with thunder and lightning. But, on the way home it cleared up and by the time we got home all was quiet-and a lot colder! It had been in the 80's and now was only in the 50's.
It was a great time, as always. I love this yearly excursion! Great herbs, wine, scenery, and friendship-who could ask for anything more?