For the evening celebration, we headed over to New Paltz for a grand dinner in the home Agnes Deveraux, which is adjacent to our favorite New Paltz restaurant, her fabulous Village Tearoom restaurant. We were greeted warmly with an elder flower champagne cocktail accompanied by crunchy potato latkes topped with house-made gravlax. As you may remember the blog posting about the incredible dinner she made, featuring confit of Hudson Valley duck at Billiam van Roestenberg's Liberty View Farm. Dear Agnes remembered my mentioning that duck and lamb are my two favorite meats and to my delight leg of lamb was the main feature of this nights dinner. The lamb had a savory stuffing which was from the Union Square cookbook (Agnes had been a chef there). Agnes is a fantastic host and pulls out all of the stops for her 10 joyful guests seated around the dining room table. The first course was a delicious beet and cara cara and navel orange slices, with a walnut vinaigrette. The Tuscan beans were perfectly cooked and incredibly flavorful, and the shredded brussel sprouts called for several helpings. For dessert, we all ate slices of her signature Honey Bee Cake, which she frosted to resemble a bee hive, patterned after my Honeycomb Chiffon Pie in "The Pie and Pastry Bible," and a traditional Buche de Noel chocolate log roll cake complete with meringue mushrooms. It was accompanied by Vidal Ice Wine, Jackson Triggs, Niagra. In addition to the wonderful food and company, the highlight of the evening for me was meeting Gar Wang and her husband Ron Gee. One of Gar's many artistic talents making felted clothing. She was wearing this incredible one piece top made from felted wool, and hand formed with her hands. Actually she described the strenuous process which involves stretching a huge length of the wool using one's entire body. While I was talking to Gar, Woody relished the opportunity to practice the partner aspect of T'ai Chi, doing push hands with Ron in the living room. Before too long most of us were engaged in learning a bit of T'ai Chi or T'ai Qigong. We returned to Billiam and Rene's Liberty Farm to enjoy their warm hospitality as we did a month earlier. Our house gift was the "Rose's Perfect Pie Plate," which Billiam insisted I sign and date. Rene's scrumptious scrambled eggs breakfast, not to mention the two delightful dogs who have now stolen our hearts, made it hard to leave. The following morning, we drove to Miele in Princeton: next week's posting.
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