Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Weekend at Traumhof

Thanks to all our farm chores, Johnny and I take turns visiting the kids and their families. Johnny visited Traumhof, the home of Kevin and Jessica and Ian, over New Year's weekend while I stayed home and milked goats. The next weekend was my turn. I like to get there while Jessica's beautiful Christmas decorations are still up. I love the village, the tree, and all the light and icicle garlands throughout their house.

It was fun to see this village farm woman feeding her geese in the snow while I was warm and cozy and chore-less indoors.

Every year there are new elements to the village scene and each year I see new details I missed in previous years.

Outdoors, Kevin had erected Santa, a snowman and a penguin. But it was time for them to go into storage for the year so he brought them indoors to dry off before deflating and packaging them. They looked like they were enjoying their brief stint as indoor decorations.

This year I was at Traumhof in time for the barn Christmas party. Traumhof is a dressage training and boarding farm with the nicest, friendliest group of horse people and, of course, lovely horses. They're not all dressage riders, though. Gary and his horse Brody are the sole western contingent. Annelise rides a Percheron, pictured being led by Annelise's two-year-old son.

Although the food up there is always wonderful, since both Kevin and Jessica are excellent cooks, Jessica really gets carried away with holiday baking, to my and Johnny's great delight. This year she made a cranberry dessert for the first time that I'd never heard of. Her Cranberry Clafouti was fantastic. Clafouti, I've learned, is a traditional French custard cake that has many variations from the original cherry one. I can't imagine anything much better than Jessica's cranberry version.

When not eating or partying, I had fun playing games and zip-lining. The zip line runs from Ian's play structure through their woods. It's a challenge avoiding branches. Here is Ian nearly to the downward end. To see his run on video, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py--QSu4eUM

It was a long six hour drive home on Monday and I was tired that night. But what a fun weekend with good people and plenty of animals to keep me from missing my own: lovely horses, several friendly barn dogs owned by boarders and staff... and Traumhof's two indoor cats, including Ian's incomparable Bangle the Bengal, here having a bit of a rest on the dining room floor.

Now it's back to life on our farm, where the food is not nearly so good. Fortunately, Jessica sent goodies home with both Johnny and me, some of which we put in the freezer for future nibbling. A taste of Traumhof will linger in photos, memories... and food.

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