Just up the road from my house there is a monastery where the Trappist sisters wear homespun robes with wide tanned leather belts and make and sell cheese. They are open every day, and you go in and there is no shop, just a sister behind a door and a standard white kitchen fridgidaire filled with glossy red waxed boules of handmade cheese. You give her a check, she gives you a new gouda, heavy and shiny, and silently blesses you as you quietly leave. The whole thing feels like a kind of sacrosanct drug deal. And the cheese. Well, you keep your fingers crossed when you cut into it because since you did the whole shady-monastery-cash-for-cheese re-up you want it to be incredible, and it is. It’s buttery and mild and sweet and just hard enough to go perfectly with a crusty bread and a little white wine. Thank you, sisters.
Crossed off THE LIST, Number 7: Go to Blue Mountain Brewery for some delectable beers. The tail end of the two Blue Mountain kegs we’d gotten for my birthday sustained us through the holidays and facilitated some awesome snow-bound-beer-fueled Homeland marathons, but we’d finally killed them and we wanted more. We drove west, a few miles up the road (right past where we got the Christmas tree) just as the sun was setting, the hills bathed in gilt-bright light until right when we pulled up to the Brewery. So we sat, just at the golden moment, behind huge glass windows to watch the sky turn that sweet pink into twilight that happens only after the sun has gone. And, incredibly, this ten beer tasting flight was only $9. Paradise? It’s on the list.
After the holiday melee, Sweetheart and I finally had dinner, sitting just the two of us at our big dining room table next to the woodstove, talking about the day’s hike, the things done and yet to do, the possibilities of earth, of time, and of adventure. After a few glasses of wine and the third or fourth “we should really do ______” or “we need to go check out ______”, we decided we’d just make a list. Actually write down everything we could think of right off the bat, all of the old haunts and new enterprises, the suggestions and mandates and secret spots people have shared with us so far, and just go through it and cross them off, one by one. And, of course, we’re going to do the same thing when we get back to Brooklyn. Never fear, we will keep you posted.