Monday, December 12, 2011

Hello Stranger

So, it's been a while. I really have a commitment issue with my blogging habit when it gets nice outside. In Montana, you have to take advantage of those few short months of sunshine and warmth during which I, for one, am OUTSIDE as much as possible! But now that the ground is covered in white for the next 8 months, I think it's time to settle back in front of my computer and attempt my writing once again. I must's good to be back...

I know this is technically a "food blog", but this entry is in honor of some special PEOPLE in my life. And, of course, I will tie in some of the food we enjoy together!

This Christmas, Jordan and I are heading south to Tennessee to be with FAMILY for the holidays. I guess maybe the fact that I have not been back to Nashville since LAST DECEMBER has made me a little emotional about my family and friends there. As I was looking through pictures of my parents' visit to Montana last summer, the sentimental tug on my heart was beckoning me to blog about it. I'm such a sap!

Ed and Sue.

First stop upon arriving in Missoula...naturally a brewery!
Big Sky is a personal favorite. (Mainly because the samples here are FREE, and I can usually drink no more than ONE of the FOUR 4 ounce glasses they give you. Such a light weight!)

This is a familiar sight for anyone who has ever taken a peek at my blog.
BIGA PIZZA is an absolute MUST for visitors to Zootown. Also a must is starting your meal there with the antipasta platter. This was my parents' inaugural meal in Big Sky Country!

My father should get royalties for the promotion of Montana products during his time here.
In this particular case, Mr. Ed says you should eat your huckleberry preserves!

Here, he is showing what fabulous coffee LOOSE CABOOSE offers.
I just love how passionate he was about things made in Montana! Hehe!

We took a road trip to GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. It was gorgeous, as always, but a little bit sweeter due to the company i was keeping.

This was take three of a picture at Glacier. Jordan and I were laughing uncontrollably and dad's finger STILL made it into the shot somehow!

There are not many places where you can have a snowball fight in July!

My parents fell in love with the mountain goats. But really...who wouldn't think these creatures are absolutely adorable! Mom & dad wanted to take one home. That might be taking it a bit far.


Jordan and dad acting goofy. I am truly blessed that my husband and father get along so well.
Now if they would only share that huckleberry ice cream with me!

Another highlight in the Missoula restaurant world...CAFFE DOLCE.
We shared the local lamb burger on homemade ciabatta with goat cheese and local thick-cut bacon, Housemade pasta with prosciutto & parmesan, and Field greens salad with stone fruits.

Meeting friends for a creamy treat at none other than BIG DIPPER.
I have sat at this picnic table countless times, but this was one of the happiest memories there.
This moment was also the beginning of Momma Sue's Big Dipper infatuation. She has even asked if we could ship it to Tennessee for her!

Good Food Store Cheese Tasting Class = The most delicious way to spend your First Friday
List of the cheeses and recipes we got to taste!

GREAT HARVEST on a Saturday morning. Can't get much better than that!
Our spread of Apple crunch rolls, Savannah bars, Cream cheese & berry scones.

A sunny Saturday at the Farmer's Market of Missoula.
I'd say, by the looks of things, our day together was blissful!

When you come to Montana, MEAT should be on the menu!!
Char grilled buffalo steaks / Grilled rosemary smashed potatoes / Field greens

This was the first time my parents had ever eaten steelhead, this type of trout that tastes very similar to salmon to me. Jordan and I discovered it as a favorite after living in Montana for a little while. Another is easier on the budget than fresh salmon.
Grilled steelhead and squash.

Remember my mention of mom's obsession with Big Dipper. Well, she forced us to go back with her for another taste of sweet goodness. She practically had to threaten us to order our dark chocolate & nut-dipped cones. Then we cried the entire time we suffered through the eating of the best ice cream in Montana. Cruel, I tell you...

Last dinner in Missoula with my parents at JAMES BAR. The way to start a meal here is with the hot & crispy sweet potato tots! I bet you can't eat just one!!

The dinners were delicious, the trips were a blast, the desserts were decadent, and the laughs were too many to count. But moments like this...Jordan and dad bonding over a guitar lesson...and quality time spent TOGETHER with my precious parents were the TRUE treats of this visit. More satiating than any meal could ever be.