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Ever since hearing about a Yurt a few years ago, when my husband and his brothers were unable to find any other accommodations on their trip to Lake De Gray, I have wanted to experience a night in one of these “permanent tents”.

I made reservations for a Fall evening, squeezing our stay in between school activities and Halloween. Our two sons were away at sleepovers, so my husband, daughter and I packed up the car, organized a dog sitter and drove the few hours to Lake Catherine, stopping for lunch and more provisions along the way.

our yurt at Lake Catherine

our yurt at Lake Catherine

I had made a dip for us to enjoy as an appetizer, along with cheeses, olives and a glass of wine while we sat outside and read our books, savoring the quiet evening. Then my husband, with assistance from my daughter, grilled salmon and vegetables for dinner, which we ate surrounded by stars, fairy lights and gently falling leaves.


whipped hearts of palm and feta dip

8-ounces feta

1 can (16-ounces) hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and chopped

salt to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

pinch of cayenne pepper, for serving

crostini, for serving

Puree feta, hearts of palm, salt, oil and 1 tablespoon water in a food processor until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add dill, pulse just to combine.

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. Sprinkle with cayenne and serve with crostini.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart