So the trip to our annual sales meeting has come and gone. We stayed at the lovely Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. The hotel is a historic landmark, built back in the 1800's. For those who like Stephen King, the hotel was the basis of his novel "The Shining" (apparently he gained inspiration from staying there). Anyway it had a very surreal feel to it, with the creaky hallways and old rocking chairs that were placed on balconies throughout the hotel and random doors that led to nothing in particular. So needless to say there were plenty of people that had the heebiejeebies in the hotel, especially when the power went out. That would've been the perfect time to play some pranks on the guests. Instead, our room party was interrupted by security because we were being "too loud". Oh well.
Anyway, did some fishing and caught nothing. Well maybe a piece of floating seaweed on a stick. I had a sunfish follow my bait for a bit but he was too small too catch anyway so I let him eat the bait and swim on his merry way. After an hour on the lake fishing in the 100 degree heat I had enough and went golfing instead. Apparently we missed the fishing fun as one of the girls caught three 18" trout minutes later that was nicely fileted and fired up on the grill for dinner.
I unfortunately didn't get to go shooting at the range. The VP of Time4Digital accidently switched laptops with me so after he was already half way home I realized this and he had to come back to switch with me. So unfortunately I missed the shooting festivities. The shooting was at a range in Poughkeepsie, right off the Mid Hudson Bridge...so right down the road from good ole Marist. No wonder why on a quiet day you could hear something like gunshots. All this time I thought that was coming from the ghetto. Who knew.
Anyway, the highlight of the sales meeting was the Wild Game Hors D'oeurves dinner we had cooked for us on Wed night by a James Beard award winning chef. It's hard to explain through type but let me just tell you it was fuckin fantastic. Could barely taste any of the "gameyness" or toughness you get with eating game. All the flavors were blended fantastically. The menu included:
Butternut Squash Ravolis, served over a bed of greenes and heirloom tomatoes
Venison Burgers (mini sliders) served in a mini wicker basket over a bed of Pommes Frites. Awesome. I had 4 of them.
Braised Pheasant served in a sushi-roll type wrap, with wild greens and shaved carrot. Almost tasted like a vegetable dumpling. Pretty good, although too much greens for me.
Smoked Trout served in a martini type glass with arugula leaves and capers. The trout was great, tasted like smoked salmon.
Wild Turkey (not the drink) Pot Pie. Pretty good, especially the cheese crust that was baked on top like you would get with french onion soup.
Bear Empenadas. Yep. Black Bear. In an empanda. Served with a spicy mustard sauce. Pretty good. A little dry, but I guess that's bear.
The best part was our publisher had all of the meat in his freezer from kills that he did. Everything was killed by him but the trout. Pretty crazy what an award winning chef was able to do with it. Felt like I was on the Food Network.
There were some fantastic desserts as well that topped the meal off. I guess you had to be there to appreciate it. Or just take my word for it. It was really, really good. For all I know we could've been eating rat. But man, it's amazing what a really good chef can do.
Nothing else really fun happened. The grounds are very nice and there's no tv in any rooms so it's a place of seclusion. But definitely worth a stay (albeit a pricey one) if you needed a weekend retreat without any of the distractions of the modern world.
Friday, August 04, 2006