The Cool House: Soul Food and FDR

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soul Food and FDR

We needed, as we periodically do, to get off the Island and into America. The weather was at it's autumnal finest, so The Guy determined a trip up the Hudson Valley to Rhinebeck would get us far away from the metro area and provide some prettiness in the form of fall color, too. We went the long way round, up the Palisades Parkway and the leaves were already bright red, orange and yellow. At home, they are barely changing.

The Hudson Valley

He'd picked out a restaurant for lunch, The Terrapin in Rhinebeck, which is just a weird coincidence because I'd been reading about it here only last week. He'd hit upon it because it had a bar, a bistro and it served tapas (you had me at "bar", baby) but hadn't told me what it was called. Nor that it was housed in an old church. So unbelievably cute. And the food? Three words: duck quesadilla wedge. They serve it with fresh guacamole, which I managed to eat rather than wear. As you know we love anything involving duck, so much so that The Guy thinks it is a health food and pronounced
"I was going to be good and have the shredded duck confit sandwich but I think I need something more substantial"!?!
I had a couple of glasses of Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc and The Terrapin Soul Food Plate: fried chicken, collard greens, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and pan gravy. It was Southern comfort cooking at its best, although you'd have to be a better woman than me to eat both the mac & cheese and the mashed potatoes. So to my great disappointment I had to leave the mac behind. Sob.

Eleanor and Franklin at Home, Hyde Park, NY

Lunch over, we continued my Roosevelt obsession, and stopped at the Presidential Library and New Hyde home of my heros Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Springwood, FDR home, Hyde Park, NY

After the tour of Springwood, which is interesting but not as full of treasures as I'd expected, and the grounds, we picked up some cards with quotations by Eleanor Roosevelt in the gift shop. What I really wanted was this chess set: FDR v Hitler, so brilliant, but The Guy vetoed it, probably on the grounds that I would always be FDR and he would be forced to play Hitler and he would beat me every time. We can't have that now, can we?

Section of Berlin Wall outside the FDR Presidential LIbrary

Outside the Presidential Library we saw more pieces of the Berlin wall. This is getting to be a regular part of our trips. This sculpture of a man and a woman were made by Edwina Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill.


Jean Martha said...

I love the Terrapin!Yummy sandwiches. You're the second person I know of that went to FDR's this week. One more and it's a hot new trend! LOL

Definitely hit Rhinebeck closer to Christmas again. They line all the trees on the main street with little fairy lights and it's heavenly.

Marilyn said...

Oh, lovely. We visited Rhinebeck about two years ago, and I have a picture of Josie "with" Eleanor & Franklin. And I've heard good things about the Terrapin. A very nice travelogue!

modernemama said...

visiting FDR's place before Nov 4th was a must for me, it embodies the Zeitgeist

Anna @ D16 said...

Aww, you went to Rhinebeck! My hometown. :)

Terrapin is great. That church has been a lot of things over the years (though, interestingly, I've never actually seen it function as a church), but Terrapin seems to be lasting the longest.

Next time, I'm getting that soul food plate. (I'll remember to skip breakfast.)