Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pure Gold....

Merry Mount was all aglow last weekend, thanks to the gorgeous late-afternoon sun that stretched long shadows across the backyard and tinted the fields a warm amber hue. A nice change, thank you, from the frigid white-on-white landscapes that have been way too common this cold, icy and snowy Ohio winter.

 A great time for a visit (and a birthday celebration) at the farm.

 A little quiet contemplation at dusk.

 A beautiful sunset.

 And a collection of fabulous friends.

 A little "birthday cake"
And a lovely dinner that everyone pitched in to help cook. Watch out for these guys' knife skills!

 On the menu: Mary Anne's outstanding Island Pork Tenderloin (for a hint of the tropics!), roasted sweet potato wedges with a maple glaze, and some gorgeous brussels sprouts.

No complaints about this colorful dinner!

 And for dessert? An amazing towering chocolate cake, Graeter's ice cream and Rett's homemade hot fudge sauce. (A few recipes below.)
 Next morning? Cozy start to the day.

Furry friends.

 And a lovely Merry Mount breakfast: Fresh fruit, grilled polenta, and scrambled eggs.

One last question. How many people does it take to change a light bulb at Merry Mount?
A village, I guess! And a long pole with a suction cup attached! Brilliant!

Rett's Hot Fudge Sauce
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter,sliced
pince of fine salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light cornsyrup
2 tablespoons water
9 ouncesbittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In measuring cup with a spout, combine cream, butter and salt. Set aside.

In medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, corn syrup and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves; increase heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil. Cook until a dark amber color, about 1 to 2 minutes, without stirring. Remove pan from heat and carefully pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture. Take care since the sugar will bubble up when the cream is added. Whisk until smooth.

Put the chocolate in a large, heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream/sugar mixture over the chocolate. Add vanilla and whisk until smooth. Serve the hot fudge sauce warm.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Reheat over low heat before serving.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds sweet  potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 1 inch wedges (you can peel them but they are good with the peels left on, too)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Sea salt and freshly grated nutmeg for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes on large, foil-lined baking sheet with the oil, season with salt and papper. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from oven, and toss the potatoes with the syrup.

Return to oven. Roast, tossing twice until the potatoes are beginning to brown and are tender, about 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle warm potatoes with lemon zest, sea salt and a pinch of nutmeg.