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January 24, 2013 / gem

Fourth time’s a charm

Wow! I can’t believe this was my fourth visit to Coal Stove Sink…time flies! Once again I chose a mid winter visit and fortunately Mother Nature decided to add some white, fluffy stuff to the bone-chilling arctic freeze impacting the Northeast. The scenery was spectacular in the morning with about 1.5 inches of snow cover with the sun shinning through the tree branches with lots of sparkles of light. I also noticed the new mirror over the stove…very nice!

Puck crosses the creek.

Puck crosses the creek.

I also had a wonderful companion join me in bed to help keep me nice and warm. No, Ellen didn’t make this trip…instead Puck joined me and his company was much appreciated especially on the walk up to the cottage after midnight. I was over-served at the wonderfully decorated bar in the main house during the evening that started with a perfect Bourbon wonder with All Spice to go with my Old Spice [called a Lions Tail]. It warmed me right up and got my appetite engaged in preparation for a sumptuous dinner of Roast Tenderloin of Beast perfectly cooked (thanks to Drew and his timing from his iPhone). John Wyatt added his own unique brand of color commentary from down under that contributed to the lively conversation that was not remotely connected to work related topics. We were joined by [Xena, Zander and Zack] all of whom offered unique perspectives on life’s wonderful challenges. An example was the curriculum available at Colorodo College that enables students to concentrate on a single class for 3.5 weeks called a block. One such block involves re-reading Homer’s The Odyssey…the interesting part is students do this on a boat off the coast of Greece traveling to the exact locations (Ionia and Anatolia).

Lion’s Tail recipe inserted by the editor
2 oz. bourbon
.5 oz allspice dram
juice from 1/2 lime
2 dashes Angustora bitters

Lion's Tail found on the net.

Lion’s Tail found on the net.

Drew brought an excellent Cabernet (Palmyra from Western Australia) that paired well with the Beast especially when the Beast was topped with a “killer” horse radish cream sauce [special note: add 1/4 teaspoon of Coleman’s mustard to the sauce for a special zip]. The sleeper of the evening was definitely the Grenache (Clarendon Hills from McLaren Vale, 2005) that pleasantly surprised everone’s palate. OK I know what you’re thinking…two great wines from down under simply represents a little brown-nosing with the boss but I assure you it was simply serendipity at work or play as the case may be.

Zane’s tenacity persuaded me to try a taste of chocolate (I never touch the stuff) with vanilla ice cream for desert and I must admit that it had the power to convert me into a chocaholic at least at that moment. Washed it down with one of Zane’s Cailfornia Shirahs that was nice and smooth.

I watched the conversion of the CSS Cottage from hearth to conference center for some [software security] thought leadership planning led by jOHN Steven after a robust breakfast of farm-fresh scrambled eggs, fresh sausages and perfectly toasted English Muffins. Zane added a small bowl of blueberries that helped me remember the wonders of the previous night (blueberries improve your memory…even when Bourbon reduces it).

One thing is clear as a bell…the CSS is wonderfully warm and comforting even in the midst of an arctic chill. It is also stirring the embers of my memory banks as a now familiar and very comfortable place to enjoy a winter sojourn.

Jim Routh

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