Monday, September 29, 2014

The French Tarte is back, sort of

lemon tart

prepping the chocolate ganache tart

caramel nut tart

Sunday, September 28, 2014

John B. Hudson Trail in Exeter, Rhode Island

Last weekend Susie and I met up with friend Magali at the Staples in University Heights just off of north Main Street. Magali climbed in the back of our car and the three of us drove west out of the city to the Arcadia Wildlife Management area in Exeter, Rhode Island. Using Ken Weber's Weekend Walks in Rhode Island, our plan was to hike the John B. Hudson Trail, one of a series of trails that crisscross Arcadia. Magali's friends Sandy and Roger, both avid hikers, would also be joining us near the trail head.

After parking our cars at the trail head just off of Route 165, the five of us plunged into the woods. The day was warm and humid and even though were were near a variety of bodies of water there was nary a mosquito -- a pleasant surprise particularly since most of the trail was in deep woods dotted with tunnels of mountain laurel that seemed to turn day into twilight.

Nevertheless, the path was strewn with rocks and roots most of the way and the return leg was through a fair amount of muck which required us all to be rather nimble, not a characteristic I'm particularly noted for. But it was fun.

But it was a gorgeous day to be out with an added bonus of having Roger and Sandy regale us with stories of past hiking adventures, particularly on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Sandy and Susan

Although we were under cover most of the way, we did come across a tiny family cemetery deep in the woods: the Wilcox family once lived near by and their remains, or rather the stone markers that once marked their final resting places, can still be found inside what was once a substantial stone wall.

About midway through the trail itself we came to Breakheart Pond and an old fish ladder on Breakheart Brook; like the cemetery, it too, had been abandoned and long neglected.

the blackness of the rocks in Breakheart Brook paralleling our return trek puzzled us

We missed a turn on the return and ended up Frosty Hollow road which took us back to the highway and then to the parking lot.

Along the way we came across yet another historical cemetery (no. 5), this one marked by just two stones: one to the Barber family and the other to Edward Lovejoy who had served in the 2nd Massachusetts during the Civil War.

Paris in the past - Napoleon's Tomb at Les Invalides

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Halibut Point State Park on Cape Ann and lunch in Gloucester

On Sunday, August 10 we took a day trip to the northeastern corner of Massachusetts in search of water. Located at the very tip of Cape Ann north of Boston, a jutting of land that contains Gloucester and Rockport, lies Halibut Point State Park.

For two bucks you can park and stroll around an old quarry within spitting distance of the ocean -- leading us to wonder if nearby Rockport was named for a port where they transshipped rocks.

Anyway, it was warm and humid but gorgeous as we strolled around the quarry and then found our way down to the beach and scrambled among the rocks. Lots of fun and a great place to spend an afternoon.


After leaving the park we went in search of lunch somewhere by the water and ended up at the Seaport Grille in Gloucester, the home of Gorton's Seafood (I loved their fishsticks when I was a kid).

cold beer on a hot afternoon

fish and tortillas

fish and chips

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Enjoying the last days of summer in southern New England

The past week or so here in greater Providence (or lesser Rhode Island) has brought with it early autumn weather: crisp, warm days balanced by cool, almost chilly nights. Summer, it would seem, is behind us once again.

Work has been good for me while the French Tarte is gearing up for her next baking adventure -- more of that soon, I hope.

In the meantime, such gorgeous weather has drawn us outside again and again over the past few days:  on the East Bay Bike Path just south of the city, strolling Lincoln Woods State Park (north of city) and a walk around Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

East Bay Bike Path looking west across the bay.

notice the 3-masted ship motoring up the bay toward the city

kayakers at Lincoln Woods park

contemplating the kayakers and her next move. . . 

Freeland-Davis-Thompson families just inside the entrance of Mount Auburn

The Hughes family - beneath the angel lifting a child out it's coffin the inscription reads "to my wife and child"

The Sphinx

Bigelow Chapel

The Rev.Aaron Green family