Sue and I had a wonderful day celebrating her birthday with not only a couple mile walk through the woods, but also a nice scenic foliage drive over some of the back roads around here.
We topped off the day with a marvelous ham dinner that I cooked, and a fun movie.
I took the first 3 pictures the day before on Monday because the sun was out, and the late fall foliage colors were just so beautiful.
Good thing I got those shots because we were covered in a thick blanket of fog all of Tuesday morning.
We started out the day Tuesday with a surprise breakfast creation that Sue had found and wanted to try of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, grated cheese, and salsa. Man, that was good with a little coffee!
Fortunately, the fog broke somewhat by late morning when we took a hike along Scruton Road whee it wraps along the base of the back side of Blue Job Mountain. We decided not to hike up Blue Job itself because of the fog. Glad we did because the foliage we saw was just wonderful.
We took a nice, leisurely drive back home, and then just settled into relaxing until the time to start the party came at 3:30. Rising to the occasion, I popped open a special (as in $40) bottle of Ridge 2016 Hooker Creek Zinfandel. While that breathed out a little, Sue got some snacks together for our backgammon games.
The Ridge was quite sharp out of the bottle, even after about a half hour of breathing. So, we just sipped it hoping we'd get to experience a nice smoothing out process. Unfortunately, even by the time we sat down for dinner at 6:15, the wine was, in both our opinions far more 'sharp' than it should have been.
I've had far, far better zins than that for half the price. In fact, my original thought was to get a bottle of 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel because we've had it before, and even at $15 it was a really nice zin. I'm quite surprised at the Ridge. It's a well respected wine, and this particular zin was highly rated even on Wine Spectator. Perhaps it had been stored incorrectly at the State Liquor Outlet, but I'm unwilling to give it, or even another Ridge, a try at that price. I'm not a novice to wine, and that was 'sharp', way too sharp at that price point.
But dinner itself came out so good. I was just a simple oven backed ham with a Double Mustard Sauce I made from a book Sue had given to me. It had, obviously, 2 different mustards: a Dijon and a dry mustard as the base. To that was butter, garlic, lots of fresh parsley, chives, onion, and just a couple of other herbs to bring out the richness.
Our movie of the night was the really pleasant 2020 Drumline.
From our walkway by the screen porch.
Looking up at the trees in the backyard by the screen house.
Up by the rock wall and glower garden.
Surprise breakfast creation that Sue had found and wanted to try of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, grated cheese, and salsa.
Fog hung in the woods at 8:20 am as we were fixing breakfast.
And it got progressively heavier as the morning wore on. This was taken at 9:16am.
Starting out on our hike along Scruton Road.
Beau chasing after Sue under a canopy of bent colorful leaf covered tree limbs.
I actually took this picture, and am pretty pleased with how I've improved my composition skills by watching how Sue goes about it.
This just took our breath away.
Sue starting some of the prep work for dinner as I got the ingredients for the sauce for the ham together.
Oven backed ham with a Double Mustard Sauce, and side of herb and onion peas. You might wonder what happened to the carrots Sue was washing off in the other picture. Well, they were late pulls from the garden that she had been keeping, hoping they'd be okay by the time this dinner came around. They were just too soft, so we did a Plan B....