April 29, 2016 Lunch – Chicken Chowder and German charcuterie, Dinner – Cameron Estate Inn in Mount Joy, PA
For lunch we ate a pretty standard Pennsylvania German lunch. Corn chowder with ribblets with saltine crackers crushed into the soup and the table set with plates filled with coleslaw, chunks of Lebanon Bologna, cheddar cheese, nuts, slices of peppered beef rolled around a smear of cream cheese, and a couple of other local delicacies.
Sara Jane, the Birthday girl, and Bob, 90 and 92, before dinner in front of their dogwood tree.
We had a very interesting meal this evening at the Cameron Estate
We started with three appetizers, a pear and brie quesadilla, local mushrooms Sautéed with shallots and garnished with Fontina cheese and baked in a puff pastry (which I thought was the best dish of the night because the puff pastry was the lightest and most flavorful I have ever tasted), and a fresh pan sautéed foie gras served with caramelized red onion Marmalade, bread points, and a Hershey’s chocolate-balsamic syrup (another classical dish prepared to perfection and the freshest foie gras I have had in a very long time). We ordered a bottle of Cotes du Rhone that was not very good, so we switched to a bottle of Baron Rothschild Bordeaux blend and ended up with a bottle of Berringer Cabernet Sauvignon. We were luckier with the white, a dry Nobili New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. We drank three bottles of it.
The entrée items were all interesting. I ordered ½ duck with a sweet potato bread pudding that was slices of sweet potato and too moist bread soaked in egg and milk baked into a Neapolitan and Suzette ordered crab cakes with mashed potatoes. We each had grilled thin asparagus. I ordered a Cesar salad made with sun dried tomatoes and real anchovies and no pepper. It was interesting because of its dryness. The dressing and cheese clung to the lettuce, which I liked very much.
The most amazing part of the dinner was the duck and the sweet potato Neapolitan. They were both highly flavored with spices. The duck with apricot and orange zest And the sweet potato with cinnamon, cardamom, and a spicy curry powder. Suzette looked at each other and said, “This is exactly what Dr. Freeman was talking about when he described the introduction of spices from the Orient into European Cuisine during the Middle Ages, the lavish, even excessive use of spices to enrich the flavor of food.”
We asked to speak to the chef and when he came out we saw he was young. We questioned him about how he came to the decision to use the spices so lavishly. He seemed to have come to the idea without much research, so we told him he had stumbled onto a Medieval goldmine of cuisine and about Dr. Freeman’s research and history books on the subject.
He seemed appreciative and we thanked him for being courageously creative. We all left with a warm feeling about the meal and evening.
We went back to Suzette’s Mom and Dad’s home and ate slices of red velvet cake and I had a up of tea.