Late summer camping with friends, a tour of Milk Street Distillery, and sweet little plum & cherry picnic pies in this week’s edition of Thymeline!
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Late summer. Time for me to try to fit in all the pickling and summer traveling I can before the seasons change and the weather turns cold! Here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to this last week:
Late Summer Camping
I just came home from a relaxing weekend camping with a large number of longtime friends in North New Jersey. The drive for us was a little long, but totally worth it. The whole affair was organized by one couple, and we stayed in a secluded cabin with a cute little river running behind it. It even had its own area to picnic and grill. We spent our time grilling, eating delicious foods, and chatting. Some of the people there I’ve known since I was a teenager, some fifteen years ago. These days, due to a variety of reasons like schedules, moves, new jobs, and shifting hobbies, we don’t get to see each other nearly as much as we used to. The last few days – just hanging out into the late hours laughing and catching up – it’s been like no time has passed. I feel incredibly lucky that we can have get-togethers like this every once in awhile.
Milk Street Distillery
While we were in the area, a few of us had the chance to check out out Milk Street Distillery, which opened up earlier this year under the care of brothers Gordon and Mike Geerhart in Branchville, New Jersey.
Upon entering an old grey building, guests are greeted by a small but well-appointed bar and retail space. Large windows provide a view of the production facilities to the rear of the building, and a few regulars were enjoying lovely looking cocktails. After a personal tour of the bottling area and a look at their gorgeous shining stills, we sidled up to their polished wooden bar and tried each of the three spirits they currently have on offer: Black Vulture Vodka, made with local corn and carrying a sweet and subtle taste; Dam Break Rye, an unaged rye grain spirit that makes for a fantastic Old Fashioned; and Wooden Leg Rum, a silver spirit made from black strap molasses and evaporated cane juice. I brought home a bottle of the last and look forward to making some extra special cocktails with the silver rum.
Milk Street Distillery is definitely worth a stop if you happen to be in the area – take a tour and enjoy a couple of their house cocktails while you’re there. I personally can’t wait to try their aged spirits when they’re ready for tasting next year!
In The Kitchen
On the recipe front, I finally got around to making a preliminary test batch of sweet, fruity mini pies using the same technique as my savory picnic pies. These sweet cherry and plum picnic pies need a little more tweaking, but at least they came out looking super cute!
This week, the hope is to pickle some peppers, make some healthy dinners, and take another try at perfecting these pretty little pies. Meanwhile, I’m reading through Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki and The Asian Slow Cooker for some recipe inspiration.
Now, let’s share some links and have a wonderful Monday!
- Short rib on a pizza? Yes, please.
- I have a mighty need for this Pan Roasted Chicken with Pineapple Chile Glaze, maybe paired with this Apricot & Honey Bourbon Sour Cocktail.
- Hard not to fall in love with a blackberry galette as pretty as this.
- Let’s just eat lots of peanut butter and be happy with our lives. Loving these Peanut Chocolate Chip Energy Balls & Peanut Butter S’more Ice Cream Bites!
- These Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Hand Pies speak to my mini pie obsession.
- Between the articles from Tiki Week 2017 and John Besh’s Guide to New Orleans, I’m feeling some serious wanderlust.
- The mermaid I wish I was is all over the new Neon Abyss Collection from Black Milk Clothing!