Sunday, September 7, 2008

Inlaw Visit = Trip to Monticello

You never have to twist my arm to take you to Monticello. Few places truly stir my soul quite like Thomas Jefferson's home place. In fact, you could probably say it's amongst my top favorite 5 places on Earth. And TJ is my fav president for four reasons:

1. He was a red-head
2. He was a lefty
3. He had the soul of an artist and a poet
4. He was the original American "foodie" (thanks for reminding me of the obvious joelen! lol!)

If you guessed this is really not a food related post, you'd almost be correct. :) I didn't eat anything at Monticello (unless you count the pack of Lance crackers I consumed while taking in the view), but I do have a few culinary references for you. I'll try and let the pics do most of the talking.

If you haven't been here, I highly encourage you to go anytime between April and October on a cool clear day. You'll feel like you're standing on the edge of the universe looking at a 360 degree view of the shenandoah valley.

During Jefferson's time, his house was considered the "curiousity of the neighborhood" as it did not embody the Georgian characteristics of the day. The kitchen was also not in a separate building, but underneath the house, with the cook's room being right next door:

My very favorite part of every visit, is a trip to the garden. Below you'll see the entry gate. The garden and vineyard/orchards below are each built into terraces.

There are benches all along "Mulberry Row" (a row of mulberry's on the top terrace above the garden level) that you can park on to enjoy the amazing view.

"I have lived temperately," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1819, "eating little animal food, and that as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet." Jefferson's favorite were English peas. A man after my own heart :)

He also kept fruit orchards which are still tended.

Thomas Jefferson has been described as America's "first distinguished viticulturist," and "the greatest patron of wine and winegrowing that this country has yet had."

And the most food-related item in this post-- Barboursville 2004 Octagon -- a.m.a.z.i.n.g. That's all I'm going to say- you need to try some for yourself. Hands down my favorite red. Ever. And you can pick a bottle up at Monticello, at Barboursville vineyard or a local wine shop in VA. Salut!

1 comment:

Joelen said...

Great write up! You might get a kick out of this regarding Thomas Jefferson: