Of Lumberjacks, Gluttony and Rampant Excess


I’m back in Germany but will be leaving in a few days for France.  Hallelujah!  By the end of any vacation we spend in the States we are totally worn out from eating and drinking to excess; just ready to leave.  But we did have fun with the whole family together and my husband’s cousins in New York, the State not the city.

fish fry brian

I really don’t know where to begin, but I guess I’ll start with the fish fry.  Our son Brian and his cousin Kenny have been friends since they were toddlers.  Before we sold the house in New York, our land adjoined theirs and the children would run back and forth through the woods to play.  They’ve kept in touch and always find a way to see each other.  I love them both 🙂

fish fry kenny

The fish were caught on the cousins’ land and the photos were taken by Brian and Kenny.

Fish fry Fish laid out

I promised the boys that I would cook anything they caught but that they were to clean them “fishmonger clean” BEFORE they brought them home.  They did and I did, seasoning the fish with Old Bay before deep frying.  I need to buy and leave a Manfrotto tripod at the Pennsylvania house 🙁


They also brought home assorted vegetables from the Farmers’ market that I roasted with olive oil and herbs.


Of course salad, but no pictures of the fried fish because the photographer was too busy eating 🙂


The next day, over a huge diner breakfast, we started reminiscing about sausage and pepper sandwiches we have eaten and decided to make our own.  Jade is in love with diner breakfast and resents the fact that there are no diners in France.  She’d be big if we lived here full time 😀


We haven’t unpacked our many boxes in Pennsylvania because we want to get some repairs and painting done (the kitchen is red), so I don’t have a big black skillet and had to buy something for the fish fry.  I found a nice deep skillet at K-Mart and yes it was a Paula Deen skillet, and I know about the N word thing but I think it’s nice that she doesn’t have to worry about repressing her true feelings anymore.  The skillet is perfect 😀


The Pennsylvania garden is perfect for barbecuing!  I’ll have the boys build an outdoor brick barbecue/smoker kitchen once we get settled.


Hot Italian!


My husband’s cousin Tom Kutchera, the one who gave me the microplanes is a life long professional chef extraordinaire at the Villa Roma in New York’s Catskills.  He has promised me a recipe that will be featured here once I get it 🙂


So, never let it be said that there is nothing to do in the country.  On one Saturday, we were completely booked and had a tight schedule.  First thing in the morning we planned to attend the Callicoon, NY street fair.


For future reference, the 1906 restaurant in Callicoon is a wonderful place.  Pity they don’t open for lunch.


We didn’t buy anything but the people in Callicoon are so friendly!  The music wasn’t bad either.  Still, we had to move on.  The lumberjack competition was starting at 11:00 a.m. in Hancock, New York!


First up was the log rolling,  a manly sport, but not just for manly men but for manly women too 🙂 They are called lumberjills.  Absolutely fantastic!


Then there was the chop a block of wood in half event.  This man was well known and the champion.


This lumberjill was fast and strong during the “saw a slice off”  competition.


Then there was the “don’t try this at home”  chainsawing while standing on a log.


But the most incredible event was when the contestant first had to chop a wedge in a log to insert a plank, stand on that plank and chop another wedge to insert a second plank.


In order to chop down a block at the end of the log.  Boy Howdy!


The lumberjack/jill contest was our favorite of the day, but we still had miles to go before we could rest.  We stopped for refreshments of soup and sandwich.  The tortellini soup was good and the sandwiches were okay but nonphotogenic.


Our last event of the day was the hotdog eating contest, back in our hometown of Honesdale, PA, where we witnessed the 2nd deadly sin personified.


You knew immediately that the standing guy was the one to beat.  While the other contestants were chatting and,  idiotically swilling water, he was loosening his pants and getting ready to compete.  Hey, everybody knew he would take it!  Look at the judge almost handing him the trophy before the contest began!


The champion’s method was to dip the hotdog and roll in water and then swallow the soggy bite standing,  instead of trying to wash the thing down with water like dummy number two there 😀


There were well used barf buckets in the back of the tables for the contestants, but we were the ones who needed them.  Dis-gust-ing!


We left early for restorative drinks at the Hotel Wayne next door.


Next morning, Eggs Benedict with sausages and English muffins, both house made, at Jade’s favorite diner.  Too bad about the hollandaise sauce.  Bottled?  Powdered?  Monsanto? Whatever.  In all other instances, this is an exceptional, old school diner and if you’re in town, call us up and we’ll meet for a meal!


The cousins grilling fabulously thick rib steaks from the German butcher (pictured) to accompany grilled lobster tails (not pictured) for lunch.


After lunch, the kids went to the Dollar Store and purchased 3 plastic floats and a styrofoam cooler.


The stream behind our house is deep enough for a canoe or kayak and flows to the Delaware river.  They had a ball!


Too bad they forgot to get our phone number to call for us to pick them up 😀


Anyway.  My birthday lunch at the Hotel Wayne.  Blue collar shirts were de rigueur.


We began with shared appetizers of pot stickers and battered eggplant (see lead photo).


I had clams and bacon in a tasty broth with house made bread. Everyone else had either salad or pasta.


Caesar salad.


Pasta with shrimp and broccoli.


Mystery salad with cheese.


We’ve been going to the Alpine House for the restaurant and butcher for at least 30 years. Flanken, being a German word, I thought I’d swing by and ask for flanken ribs.  I didn’t need to ask.  They were freshly cut and beautifully displayed at the butcher’s counter.  Yes!


I seasoned them a la Creole and grilled medium rare.  Scrumptious and tender!


New platter and bowl I found at the junk store.  Made in Japan, 12 dollars for both Frugal, baby 😀


We’ll speak again when I get to France.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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30 Responses to Of Lumberjacks, Gluttony and Rampant Excess

  1. Mad Dog says:

    It looks like you’ve been having a great time – I’m looking forward to seeing some meals in France, with cheese 😉

  2. Lovely looking ribs. Looks like you’re having a fab time, lots of adventures.

  3. delialah says:

    Your journey must have been amazing! The food looks all so well prepared and healthy! I bet you had a lot of fun!

  4. Plenty of news there, Rosemary. Looks like you had a great time.

  5. What a wonderful “newsy” post – sounds like it was an amazing time!

    • It was Chica. I was determined to fit everything into one post so that I could get on with more current blogging, in France with the market and fish monger 🙂

  6. Karen says:

    It sounds like you had a lot of fun…a nice place for a retirement home with lots to do.

  7. Conor Bofin says:

    Fantastic stuff Rosemary. It looks like you had a great time indeed.

  8. Jody and Ken says:

    Funny, I always feel the same way about visiting Europe (I’d better get back to the States soon or I’m going to need pants with a magic elasto-band waist). The food looks great (even w/out the Manfrotto, but I know what you mean). Am I correct in thinking the fish are bass? They look like what I used to catch in Lake Champlain and in rural Michigan as a kid. Great post. Ken

    • Hi Ken and thank you. I think we eat more and often when we are traveling. The good thing about having the house in the U.S.,is that we are not obliged to go the fast food, pizza route. Still, with the house in disarray, eating and cooking does get out of hand 🙂

      Those are bass and I think they had some perch.

  9. Great line about the fish monger clean and the bit about forgetting the phone number! 🙂 Glad you had a great trip.

  10. Trish says:

    what a lovely time! you seem to live a charmed life, always surrounded by interesting people, with great food!

  11. Over eating and having lots of fun are what vacations are all about. I am sure the little lumber jacking helped you burn off a few calories.

  12. What a strange, fun East Coast Trip! I love it. Mmm Old Bay 🙂 Fish that fresh must have been incredible! And those flanken ribs…I’m swooning! 🙂

  13. Monsanto hollandaise sounds delish 🙂

  14. Scarfalloto is the best diner name EVER! I would want a meal there every day too!

    Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. So much fun to read!

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