Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rainy hike on Sugarloaf Mountain

This weekend was so full that I am going to let the pics do most of the talking.

My brother flew in from Boulder, CO, and DH and I drove to Philadelphia to meet him on Thursday night. Before he arrived, we had time for dinner at Penang, a Malaysian restaurant in Chinatown. This was one of our favorite restaurants, when we lived in Philadelphia and ate out more often than we did at home.

We had to drive around a while to find parking. Unfortunately, in my hunger, I left the camera in the car; and pictures of food in take-out containers don't have the same visual effect, so I will be as descriptive as possible. Try to picture a mouth watering medley of dishes...

Appetizers: Roti Canai (crispy pancake & curry chicken-potato dipping sauce) and Crispy golden fried squid (fried squid cooked with spicy sauce)

Main course: Green nasi lemak (coconut rice fried with mixed vegetables and shrimp in ginger sauce) and Seafood Lo Mein (egg noodles cooked in heavily flavored egg sauce with shrimp, squid, straw mushrooms and mixed vegetables)

Dessert was on the house and not in the menu - sweet bean custard.
Everything was as delicious as we remembered.

I whipped up some of my brother's favorite dishes for lunch on Friday.

Mutton Biryani

Raita (a salad of chopped onion and tomato in yoghurt)

Kolukattai (steamed rice cakes with coconut, sugar and ground cardamom as filling)We had friends over for dinner on Friday night and I was head chef again.

Appetizers: Vegetable mini-samosas (no pics)...and a concoction that I call spicy chicken dry fry. It was so dry that it had to be accompanied by liberal quantities of alcohol.

Gobi masala (cauliflower, peas and carrot)
Mutton fry (DH's last-minute contribution. I did not have time to take pics until there were only 3 pieces left!)

Palak Panneer (fried tofu and spinach) Peas Pulavand naan (again, no pics). What a great pictorial narrative this is!

Dessert: Paruppu payasamWe went on a hike yesterday. There were 6 of us, so we drove to the trailhead in 2 cars.

We had planned to do the Nelsonville / Notch / Breakneck Ridge trail, but Rockland County has so many hiking trails and we had printed out several trail descriptions from the internet, each of them slightly different, so we might have hiked sections of other trails as well. (after the hike, I discovered that the trail we covered is most probably the Wilkinson Trail). What we do know is that we drove an hour and a half to Cold Spring in NY, stopped at the town to stock up on lunch (we don't go anywhere without food), then headed north. We parked by the roadside and followed a yellow trail that for the first mile and a half, ascended steeply, then levelled off. We had picked the perfect day. The temperature was in the low 50's but because of the steady rain and wind, it felt like it was in the 40's. We had one pair of gloves between the 6 of us. At one point, we had to scramble up the rock face. Wet, cold and unsure if we were going to complete the loop, we plodded on. The conversation hovered around chicken noodle soup, foot massages and comforting alcoholic drinks.

But we came across beautiful scenery and the mood improved. Even this damp and cloudy day had pretty views to offer.

The Hudson was dulled by clouds,

but from one of the highest points on the mountain, the view is always spectacular.

We crossed a few streams,
a cairn
a purple rock,
munched on snacks,
then stopped for lunch (DH insisted on a special mention of this ham, pepperoni and salami sandwich, which he said was mouthwatering).

The rain and wind stopped eventually. After a while, the yellow blazed trail became blue, but we had lost track of which trail we were following.

After 4 1/2 hours, we came across this waterfall......and descended the conveniently placed steps... get a closer view of the waterfall.

Few things are more magnificent than the sound of running water!

We continued along the trail and finally reached the road, but we had to walk more than a mile along the road to get to the parked cars. We estimated the total distance to be about 7 1/2 - 8 miles. Now that the hike was almost over, the sun beamed at us, in all it's glory.

Back in the little town of Cold Spring, our dream of hot soup was soon realized and we headed home, contented.
One of our friends stayed with us last night, and we settled down to watch the latest Harold & Kumar movie, but before long, I was fast asleep.


Abby said...

I've been to Penang a couple times - it's one of my favorites in Chinatown, too (second to Vietnam).

Sounds like a fantastic hike!

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of water, it is just so relaxing. Glad you had a nice time and glad you found some nice soup.

joyRuN said...

Gorgeous pics! And loooove Penang - I sorely missed it when we left the city.

Lakshmi said...

Kavi, the food looks so good and mouth watering. You are an awesome cook.

Melanie said...

absolutely love the sound of water. I saw an ocean for the first time at age 23... so it's something I don't take for granted anymore. Lovely pictures, glad you had a great weekend!

Tammy said...

Those views look fantastic. So glad you had a fab weekend.

Pearl said...

ooh, what a lucky brother! :)

Bee At Work.. said...

You really are a great cook. All your dishes are mouthwatering. I wonder how u can cook all these must be really good!! I missed out a lot on your blog..u seem to be having great fun..enjoy!!!

Ravi said...

Yummy pics and good post. Wish you a Happy Tamil New years day tomorrow (4/14)!

Heather said...

Looks like a fun, busy weekend!

Erica said...

Good stuff- the Kolukattai sounds awesome! I have never had anything like that. Beautiful pics from the hike too!

X-Country2 said...

What a great weekend! Beautiful pics.

aron said...

looks like such a pretty hike!!

lauren said...

i love the hike pictures and all that food you made - man!! when can I come over and eat??!! ;)

I Run for Fun said...

Lauren, you are welcome anytime. Let me know the next time you are in NJ. We must meet up.

Amy said...

Pretty hiking photos! :) Love the waterfall at the end.

I couldn't help but think that I would not be as prepared as you guys, bringing a wrapped sandwich and all. I would've been the starving hiker with a granola bar!