Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lizzie and Emeril: Last Day of Va-Cay in Fall River

Ok, ok, last post on our trip, and then I'll stop torturing you. (It's starting to feel like when you're forced to watch other people's vacation slide shows--although, I always liked those, even if I didn't know the people.)

The last day of our mini-break was Sunday, and we spent most of that poking around nearby Fall River, MA, the hometown of both Lizzie Borden and Emeril Lagasse. Fall River is a lovely town taking its name from the Quequechan River that flows through the city, a Native American name meaning "falling water." OF COURSE, we could not pass up the opportunity to visit one of the most haunted sites in the country. We toured the Lizzie Borden House, but I'm sad to report that neither one of us had any other-worldly encounters there. Boo hiss. Maybe one day we'll return and be brave enough to stay overnight, as it is now a working B&B. However, in the meantime, I did steal some pears (just the drops!) from the pear tree out front. I thought I might make some Lizzie Borden pear butter to commemorate our visit. Tee hee. According to police transcripts, Lizzie said she went to the barn to find some sinkers for a upcoming fishing trip and gathered some pears to eat along her way. When she got back to the house 20 minutes later, she "discovered" the bloody body of her father, having been whacked with an axe while he napped on the couch (though just eleven times, not 41!). After we left the Lizzie Borden House, we checked out Lizzie's home that she bought after she was acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother, called Maplecroft. And naturally, our Lizzie Borden tour would not be complete without a trip out to Oak Grove Cemetery to see Lizzie's final resting place.

Before we left Fall River, we had to pay homage to the city's rich ethnic heritage and have an authentic Portuguese lunch at a great restaurant called Terra Nostra. We began with Portuguese soup with chorizo, kale, cabbage and white beans, and the most delicious codfish cakes. They were not unlike salmon croquettes, but lighter in texture, with a very crispy exterior, and served with a spicy, vinegar-based raw sauce for dipping. Cyd couldn't resist their crispy, rotisserie chicken for her entree, but I think I had her beat hands-down with a traditional dish of cubed pork and potatoes with steamed little neck clams, all bathed in a rich, wine-and-tomato sauce. Divine! Our whole meal, with appetizers and entrees, was only $32, and we brought half of the generous portions home as leftovers! If you're ever in Fall River, MA, I highly recommend a meal at Terra Nostra.

We headed home about 2pm, as I was on a schedule. I wanted to make it back to Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY to buy more frozen pie cherries before they closed at six. Even though we got stuck in some awful traffic around Springfield (mostly NYC folks heading back from Cape Cod or wherever they were for the weekend), we made it just in the nick of time, and managed to purchase six buckets--36 pounds of cherries!--to haul back home to the freezer. (Two were for my cherry-loving pal, June, mind you.) We decided to make one final stop before getting back on I-90, a Greek pizza joint (don't ask) called Four Brothers Pizza in Valatie. We enjoyed a "small" antipasto salad with their homemade Greek dressing (between the two of us, we couldn't finish it), and a very good Brothers Combo pizza with several different meats and veggies. The crust was cracker-crisp, and it was clear that the brothers used quality ingredients at their restaurant--from the garden-ripe tomatoes in the salad to the generous amount of ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese on the pizza. We ordered a medium pizza, and still brought some of that home with us. So that's another good restaurant recommendation if you find yourself in the Albany area/Hudson region.

We arrived home late Sunday to some hyperactive dogs that were VERY glad to see us. As soon as we got them fed and settled down and the car emptied of all our bounty, we hit the hay. Poor Cyd had to be a work bright and early, but mercifully, I still have a few days to recover from our whirlwind, whole-week-in-a-weekend vacation before I'm due back at work on Friday. But I'm back at the market on Saturday, so I have some work to do at home, too. Sheesh! Vacations are never long enough, are they? But this was definitely a fun and memorable one. I hope you enjoyed the lengthy travelogue. (We will soon return to our regular programming of cooking and recipes, I promise!)

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