So I’ve been slacking when it comes to my site. I’ve been busy, what can I say?
So let me take you back, about to weeks ago (9/22). Shaun, Sue, Emelia, Amy and James hopped in the minivan and drove down to Sarah‘s house from NY. Sarah cooked us a wonderful dinner of stuffed chicken breasts (not you’re ordinary stuffing, but cheese, apples, and caramelized mushrooms and onions), stuffed baked tomatoes (bread crumbs, herbs, sausage and cheese), and chive smashed spuds. Once we were stuffed properly like little piggies we moved to the living room and began playing with the children. It was a blast and we ended up whipping out the cameras and blinding the children (although I’m fairly sure they’re used to that) with the flashes.
Once we’d tuckered ourselves out (not them mind you) it was time for double chocolate mousse cake (ahem- heart attack). Some time after that Chris and I took off for home, and the peeps all got ready for bed.
Saturday morning Sarah and Ger left for a pub crawl in NY and the rest of us ventured out to Partners Restaurant for some breakfast. We loaded up on coffee, protein and carbs for a day at the Big E. We went into the various state buildings and made our way through the crowd to the petting zoo and the pony rides, saw the farm-a-rama, watched the horse competitions in the coliseum, ate some food, bought some stuff, and then retired to Sarah and Ger’s place about six hours later. We were all tired and eventually hungry so we went to Parthenon Restaurant for a late dinner. Another bout of playing with children and it was time for bed again.
The next morning the peeps got up and got all of their stuff packed into the van and came to our house for a quick visit before shooting up to the Lee outlets for some shopping. Just as they arrived so did Rie, Dave, Missy, Roseann, Norman, and Yoda (Mom was already there) because they were grouping up to go out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Chris and I cared for Missy while they were gone. After breakfast Rie and Dave were going to look at a few houses in the Agawam area. It was a great weekend. Great food, great company, quality time with family not seen enough. We loved it.
The next weekend started on Friday when I began baking molasses cookies and assembling goodie bags for HT’s bachelorette. Everybody got six tea bags (all different flavors) with a fresh cinnamon stick and a honey straw, some chocolate covered espresso beans, nonpariells, milk chocolate lady bugs, dark chocolate covered pretzels, and a mini chinese takeout container full of cookies.
On Saturday Mom and I went about our normal routine of Farmer’s Market and coffee and grocery shopping. After that Sarah came over and we loaded up the hop-Ryder with the gift bags and drove on out to Framingham for Heather’s special day. The gang consisted of Heather, her future mother-in-law Sandy, future sister-in-law Jennifer, stepmother Lisa, sister Amanda, Sarah and myself.
We drove out to the winery (which doubles as a pick-your-own orchard) and had a tasting of 5 different  wines, three beers, and a vodka.  I didn’t personally care for the wines.  They were all fruit wines (blueberry, raspberry, apple, plum, etc.) and were very sweet which I tend to not love, but Heather did and that’s all that mattered.  After tasting a few people bought some stuff and we ventured outside to the picnic area.  We were a bit early for our dinner reservation so we sat outside and had cheese and crackers and opened gifts and gabbed.
At 5:30 we traveled up the hill to J’s restaurant.  While I wasn’t crazy about the winery itself or the tasting process, I was very impressed by the restaurant.  They took a small, old cottage and transformed each room into a dining room (including the 2nd floor).  As there were 7 of us we were in a private room.  The service that we got was great, never less than half a glass of water in your cup at any time and the minute the wine was empty someone was there to pour more, we never had to lift a finger.
A few of the ladies ordered apps: an autumn bisque, heirloom tomato salad, and Smith’s Havarti-maiden’s blush fondue.  They brought out baskets of warm bread that included a cranberry-walnut rye, French rolls, and sliced baguette along with two dishes of apple butter.  We ordered a bottle of apple wine for a white and some blueberry merlot for the red.  Some of the dinners we ordered were: caramelized sea scallops, rosemary roasted cornish hen, grilled American angus tenderloin, and pork osso bucco.  There weren’t any leftovers leaving with us, we ate it all.  For dessert some shared an apple pie a la mode.
After we left the winery we went back to Heather’s place and gabbed like girls do for a couple of hours.  Some time after 10:00 we parted ways as Sarah and I had to come back west and Jon’s mom and sis had to go out to Boston, then the Cape.
Sunday was spent doing laundry and cooking and planting the bulbs for next spring.  Next thing we knew, the work week was here again.
This weekend Heather marries Harvey.   We can’t wait!
Pics are here and here.

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