Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Last Day trip and Picnic for 2010

I recently enjoyed what was probably my last day trip and picnic this year with my sister, Pat. The occasion was a friend’s book signing in New Hartford, CT. Patti Kierys wrote a book titled Christmas in the Country, an historical account of The Ullmann Farm in Pleasant Valley, CT. The Ullmann family arrived in Hartford in 1884, and the following year settled in a homestead now known as Squire’s Tavern.

The book is a charming and captivating account of the family’s personal stories and holiday traditions, brought to life by authentic recipes and numerous photos, including a tree decorated with Patti’s own re-created Victorian ornaments. Similar ornaments designed by Patti have often adorned trees at various esteemed residences in Connecticut, like the Governor’s Mansion, as well as travelling all the way to the White House in Washington, D.C.

We loved the fact that the venue for Patti’s book signing was the Gallery at Jerram Winery in New Hartford. This was my first visit, so of course we went early for a wine tasting and picnic which we had picked up at Passiflora Tea Room, Café and Herbal Shoppe, also in New Hartford. Not only do they have great-tasting local, organic food but have some fun special events on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Check it out at www.passiflorateas.com.

Jerram Winery was founded in 1998 by Jim Jerram, owner and winemaker. Our tasting consisted of 6 wines, both red and white (out of 11 on the list) several of which were award winners. The property and buildings are unique and welcoming, especially the Tasting Room, a former butter factory that is 107 years old. We look forward to visiting again, perhaps at a different time of year, and learning more about the history of the farm. www.jerramwinery.com.

I don’t foresee any picnics during December; this month will be devoted to holiday festivities, including shopping. Now that Black Friday is over, I look forward to a slower-paced shopping experience. If you also enjoy a more leisurely and fun type of holiday shopping, consider the following two venues:

Friday, December 3rd, from 4:30-9:00pm. Shop ‘til You Drop at Woodside School, 30 Woodside Road, Cromwell. With over 60 vendors (including authors Patricia Sheehy (http://patriciasheehy.wordpress.com) and Jan Mann (www.cruisingconnecticut.com) you should have plenty of gift choices. Enjoy free admission, raffles, door prizes and refreshments.

Wednesday, December 8th from 5:00-8:00pm. Heart of the Country, 169 Main Street, Old Wethersfield is hosting a Girls Night Out with authors Patricia Sheehy, Jan Mann and Maureen Chapdelaine (www.notmymotherswedding.com) Enjoy light refreshments, including a treat from Jan’s picnic basket while you browse at this unique and diverse gift shop.

Hope to see you at one of these events.

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