On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


Today: Wine about it.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]This weekend I took a little road trip to Little Compton, Rhode Island with my family to Sakonnet Vineyards to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  Why whine about growing older more experienced, when you can wine about it?

While the rest of the gang enjoyed their tasting, I got to enjoy some time with my niece (she’s underage by… um… 20 years and 9 months) and walked around the grounds a bit.  My sister-in-law showed me how to feed Nora with a bottle, just in time for my little babysitting adventure next week.  I am going to teach her so many swear words.  Just kidding.  Obviously.

I made it back to the tasting room to sneak a few sips from my sister’s glass.  I usually gravitate towards the whites, but I really liked the Cock of the Walk Red(awkward name; tasty, spicy wine), and brought a bottle home to share with Nick.  Thirtieth birthday parties, bachelorette parties and Bruins games aside, I rarely drink beer (truthfully, I rarely booze anymore period), so avoiding gluten in that way hasn’t been an issue.  Wine’s sort of tricky though, because I’ve read that some vineyards use flour in their barrels, or during the wine making process.  I figure a sip won’t kill me.  And if it does… welp, that’s probably a good way to go.  Thoughts about death and diets aside (I am delightful, no?), we had a lovely afternoon.

After the tasting, we enjoyed a cheese plate on the patio as the sun started to emerge.  The property is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is very relaxed and warm.  It is definitely well worth a day trip from Boston.  There’s much more to see in the area now called the Farm Coast, including specialty shops, antiques, working farms, vineyards, breweries and lovely scenery.   When I worked in Rhode Island I called the area “the miles between my office and home, where I get speeding tickets and then cry because I am hungry, stuck in traffic and generally crabby.”  The Farm Coast has a much nicer ring to it.  Less whine, more wine.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you a wine person?  I tend to pick the prettiest label… clearly, I have a lot to learn.


Today: The Paparazzi Club goes to Portsmouth.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]As nine of us sat down for dinner at Portsmouth’s Black Trumpet, cameras were drawn from pockets and handbags and given prominent spots at the table.  “Is this a paparazzi club?” our waiter asked.  Sort of, if you consider artfully arranged plates of food, cute antique shops, and rustic bridges to be celebrities.  (Side note: If we were to form a paparazzi club, can our theme song could be modeled after that of The Babysitters Club?  Please.)

A day that had all the makings of a CSI episode (namely, traveling across state lines with people I met on the internet, complete with a dying iPhone battery) proved to be a fantastic way to spend a Saturday in New England.

Though I like New Hampshire far more than I like Rhode Island (which isn’t saying much, sorry), it has never held much allure for me.  I loved our family trips to the White Mountains to ski, and once even summit-ed one of those mountains (and stayed awake all night, convinced I’d encounter a mountain lion or serial killer… or both).  These days, New Hampshire seems like a good way to get to Maine.  Or, in an emergency, to the border.  I am pleased to report there is much more to New Hampshire than a lack of helmet laws, a now-defunct Man in the Mountain, and a penchant for living free (or, you know, dying).

From bustling sidewalks to charming seaside vistas, Portsmouth was the perfect day trip from Boston, made only more perfect by the company (Elina, Jen, Michelle, Bridget, Meghan, Bianca, Megan, Daisy, and Emily).  Emily, Megan, Bridget and Daisy all have ties to the area– they had great suggestions for places to eat, grab coffee, shop and explore.

We started the day with lunch at the Cataqua Public House and a tour of the Red Hook Brewery.  We ordered samplers of Red Hook’s brews (never fear, I only had a few sips of each… I was driving, after all) and appetizers to share.  The fried artichoke hearts and sweet potato fries were especially good.

After plenty of snacking and lots of catching up, we made our way over to the brewery’s store, where the tour would begin.  Having toured the Dogfish Head not too long ago, I sort of knew where beer comes from, but looked forward to touring Red Hook.  Our guide was quite a character (in the best possible way), but rather than actually tour the facility, we went up to a single room overlooking the the brewery floor.  It was a bit stuffy up there, so I ducked out early to get some fresh air (I make a point to not faint whenever possible).

We were soon on our way to downtown Portland, where we enjoyed tea, treats and people watching at Breaking New Grounds.  We stopped into Stonewall Kitchen and several other shops and took in the view from a waterfront park.  Elina and I ducked into Three Graces Gallery and fell in love with Denise Duong’s whimsical paintings.

By the time 5:30 rolled around, we were all eager to sit down for dinner.  We had the back wall of The Black Trumpet to ourselves, and settled in at copper topped tables with glasses on sangria in one hand, and cameras in the other.  While most of the girls ordered from the Restaurant Week menu, I chose a salad and one of the “medium dishes,” a squash ring potato latke with sage quark and candied crabapples.  While the menu was quite varied, there were few vegetarian options.  Both the salad and latke we good, but nothing extraordinary.  The ambiance, sangria, and delightful company more than made up for that, though.

We are so lucky in Boston to have such a warm, welcoming community of bloggers.  To be able to venture outside of the city with this group of ladies was a real gift.  By the time I pulled into my driveway in Southie, I had a full stomach, a much evolved appreciation for the Granite State and a smile on my face.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite day trip?

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Today: What the peck?

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Nothing says fall in New England quite like a morning spent apple picking.  Nick, Clark and I joined our friends from The Pawsitive Dog for a field trip to Schratner Farm in Bolton.  After some training, we spent a bit of time at the farm, filling up our peck-sized bag with apples straight from the orchard.

I am excited to break out my newest cookbook and put that peck of apples to good use.  I saw Amy Traverso, author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook and lifestyle editor at Yankee Magazine, speak at TECHmunch this year and couldn’t wait for her book to hit the shelves.  As luck would have it, Amy was signing copies at Twelve Chairs this past weekend, at the first Eat Boutique Local Market.  I have a feeling I may need more than a peck to work my way through these tasty looking recipes.

As we headed back to the city, with a very stinky Frenchie in the back seat (he spend the morning chewing on fallen apples, rolling in mud, eating grass, and swimming in a drainage pool), I had to pull over to capture a shot of these beauties.

Isn’t it amazing to be stopped in your tracks?  My mind– racing from the directions on the GPS to plans for making apple crisp and apple muffins and baked apples and apple sauce and oh crap, where’s my phone— was instantly quieted by this perfect moment on a back country road.

Why the peck don’t I head out this way more often?

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite apple recipe?


Today: Help, I’ve fallin’.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]

(…and I can’t get up (at 00:30.) And I can’t stop laughing. And I am going to Hell.)

Okay, but where are the Splenda Pumpkins?

Fall is a magical time in the Northeast.  And other places, too, I’m sure. Even though I’m practically elderly, I still get those back-to-school butterflies and look forward to the promise of a new (you are no longer in) school year.  While some may choose to mourn the passing of Summer, I’m trying to focus on all the fun Fall has in store.  That doesn’t mean I’m taking my beach chair out of the trunk just yet, however.

On Tap for Fall

  • Marathon training continues and the weekly mileage creeps higher and higher
  • Soccer starts next week (which gives me juuust enough time to buy shin guards and attempt to re-learn how to play via You Tube videos)
  • A weekend in Newport
  • Green Monster seats for the Red Sox v. Blue Jays
  • Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run 10K in New York
  • Jimmy and Colleen get married!
  • Paint, fabric, built-ins, and furniture galore
  • Tufts 10K for Women
  • The Boston Book Festival …bigger, better, and still free.
  • Clark’s anniversary (hard to believe a whole year has passed)
  • Speaking of Clark, he’s definitely wearing a Halloween costume this year
  • Christie and Mike run the NYC Marathon
  • Vacationing in the Western Caribbean and Mexico!
  • Thanksgiving (a.k.a. an excuse to bake turkey-shaped cakes)
  • My 10 year high school reunion (should be good for a laugh or ten)

Squeeze in some apple picking, leaf changing, college football watching, and a sweater dress or two and I’d say we’ve got quite the Fall ahead of us.  Press your Life Line if you agree.

Also On Tap for Today:

What do you love most about Fall?