Things That You Learn in The Catskills

This weekend, we went up to our friends’ family home in the Catskills.Spoiler alert: it was relaxing, beautiful, and totally delicious. We stayed in the house for almost the entire weekend, and consumed an entirely inappropriate amount of cookie dough, White Russians, and Cards Against Humanity. 

Here are a few of the things that I learned:

20141025_132039 Grills rock

I love living in NYC, I honestly do. But I miss having a backyard grill. There is just nothing quite like a burger cooked over a grill or a smoky hot dog with charred, crispy skin. These burgers were prepared 2 ways – 1 batch for purists, with only salt, pepper, and the pure taste of beef. The other way was for the crazy folks, with spicy panko breadcrumbs, oregano, sea salt, and about 18 other secret ingredients. I especially loved those spicy ones because they stood up to the heavy char of the grill.
20141025_134951 I mean, that’s a good looking meal, right?

20141025_194533 Have the butcher flatten your chicken

Less cooking time, more even cooking, fewer pesky bones. The butcher can remove the spine, leaving you with a large, flat chicken that can be grilled relatively quickly and then cut quickly for attractive serving. These were simply seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and lemon. Juicy on the inside and crispy, smoky skin on the outside. Wow, I’m totally hating NYC and our lack of outdoor grills right now.

20141025_084723 MacGuyver it

Don’t have a popover pan? Make one out of tinfoil! Husband getting cranky? Put him in the baby bouncer and let him play with the mobile!

Four Fat Fowl St. Stephen cheese

An impulse purchase at a gourmet deli on the way up to the house may have been the greatest find of the weekend. This cheese, made in the Hudson Valley, is EVERYTHING that you want a great party cheese to be. It’s triple creme and as silky as brie with more density, so it doesn’t melt too quickly. The flavor is mild and nutty, with a slight, pleasant tang towards the end, similar to Camembert. The rind looks scary and waxy, but it’s so soft that you can eat it without fear. It’s fantastic on cut up apples, on Triscuts, and on fingers. I actually can’t say anything bad about this cheese, especially since I found out that it’s available in NYC.

The Catskills: Home to Dirty Dancing, random rabbits running around your front yard, and some damn fine home cookin’.

By the way,the winner of the JCPenney giveaway is:

True Random Number Generator   2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG


Congratulations Justin, I will connect you and JCPenney ASAP!


  1. Ann FitzGibbons says:

    Ms. Thang,

    I love everything about this post, and I am sure you guessed what got me most excited. Oh hell yes, that wheel of fabulous cheese! Is there a cheese of the month club? I should join that. I also laughed out loud about the husband, baby bouncer solution.

    The Catskills…? Why yes of course I will join you next time! xoxo