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At our most recent dinner parties, we have endeavored to feature and highlight our own home grown and local ingredients. Lemons from our glassed in front porch (or what I facetiously refer to as our orangerie), eggs from our back yard chickens, the newly emerging mint from our herb garden, and the venison, pheasant and heritage pork my husband harvested over the Fall.

eggs from our back yard chickens

lemons from our front porch


Fill four glasses and a cocktail shaker with ice. To shaker, add 6 ounces bourbon, 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 cup apple cider, shake vigorously. Strain into glasses.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart



5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 shallot, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

fresh salad greens

4 eggs

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, transfer to a paper towel. Transfer 3 tablespoons bacon fat to a large bowl, add lemon juice, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add bacon and salad greens, toss and divide among plates.

Poach eggs, divide among plates, garnish with more black pepper.


Recipe adapted from Saveur




1 1/2 cups cream

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Scotch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 (12.25 ounce) jar butterscotch topping

8 egg yolks

Heat oven to 325F. Place 8 ramekins in a roasting pan, set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, half-and-half, brown sugar, Scotch, vanilla extract and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Add butterscotch topping, whisking to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk butterscotch mixture and egg yolks to combine. Pour 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

Pour tempered egg mixture into cream mixture, whisking to combine. Return pan to heat, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.

Divide mixture among serving cups. Fill roasting pan with enough water to come halfway up sides of cups. Cover pan with foil. Bake until set, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from oven, remove foil. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove pots de creme from pan, cover, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sea salt if desired.