Last winter we took a little picnic trip out to a small park a short way outside the city. We parked in the lot, grabbed the sleds and basket and hiked up a hill to get to a clearing where there is another small hill to climb. At the top is a fire pit and a beautiful view. But even better than that is the small Laura Ingalls style house that is set of at the edge of the treeline. It has a door, a table, wood and a stove. You can’t really keep too terribly warm in there or anything, it is all ambiance. Blissful, delicious ambiance. If it isn’t too chilly out, you can fire up the stove and remove your jacket, but I kept my snowpants on for good measure.
So last year while we were there, we brought hot dogs to roast on the open fire, cheese, chips, snacks for the kids. And my friend brought a pear-shaped bottle of congac. We had just enough to sip by the fire as the kids played in the snow, coming in to grab a bite or to “warm” by the stove. If they lingered too long and we ladies would shoo them out, urging them to catch as much daylight as possible before it got dark and we all had to squish and huddle in the tiny house.
My whole point in sharing this is to tell you about the cognac. The sweet, savory, better-than-dessert cognac that I kept tasting days later. OK, a whole year later. It was a gift given to my friends by someone else and they were kind enough to share it with us. For an entire year I’ve searched for this ‘yac. I don’t even know if I’d buy it, as it was a bit pricey and chances are I’d make it into a snowcone, drink it all and end up in the emergency room with cognac poisoning. But I just wanted to see the bottle, caress it and reminisce over the day we sat in the little house, warm but chilly, listening to the rain coming down, the kids attempting to sled on a hill of snow while it rained, the men trying to keep a fire outside in the wet, peeing in the dark bushes, telling scary stories, getting a call from my oldest son to let me know he was home puking, slipping down the hill on our way back to the car… fond, fond memories.
The other day at our friend’s Christmas dinner party, she brought out a festive bag that she gave to me, and to my sueprise, guess what was in it? Belle de Brillet pear cognac!! I figured I’d save it for a fine occasion.
Apparently that fine occasion is a cold Wednesday night when the kids are tucked into bed and I’m doing computer work.
Ah well, savor the day, I say.
If you ever have the craving for a pear or pear cognac, let me tell you, Belle de Brillet is some fine stuff.