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Our visit to the farm: American Masala

(Note: For the complete story of our holiday to New York, scroll down to July 2)

Our dear friends Charlie and Suvir live somewhere between Salem and Hebron, New York on a 60+ acre farm that they have named American Masala [1]. It’s out in the sticks, as far away from NYC attitude as one can get and perfect for total unwinding and relaxation.

From our guest house, we could hear the goats and sheep out in the pasture carrying on a conversation with each other. The roosters were our alarm clock, sounding off at the first light of day. Luckily we could roll over for a few more hours of dreamland. Wandering into their spacious farmhouse kitchen, one can peer out of the window over the farm sink to watch the geese swimming in the pond with the ducks waddling across the yard.

I headed directly to the Francis, Francis [2] for an Illy cafe au lait. This is such a great ma chine! You can still be half asleep and make yourself a fabulous cup of coffee. After the second round of coffee, we’d make breakfast using the delicioius heritage eggs from the ladies in the coop. The 80 gals only lay about 3 dozen a day. With these eggs, it’s all about the flavor and the continuance of a nearly endangered species. There’s nothing better than fluffy scrambled eggs or omelets using organic eggs.

Also, the whites of organic eggs whip up higher and the taste is unmatched by any egg from a conventional egg factory. Allen Brothers [3] supplied the steak cut bacon. This company out of Chicago smokes pork belly over an open applewood fire for a full 24 hours, then traditionally cures it. Check out the Allen Brothers website. They have Suvir’s famous meatloaf for sale.

The Fourth of July, found us standing mainstreet side watching the parade in Salem. There were beauty queens, antique cars, vintage tractors, cowboys on horseback, a WWII WAC named Agnes and of course a cow (Mabel I think) pictured there on the right. As every fire truck in the neighboring counties passed by at a mile an hour we thought, “Sure hope there’s not a fire anywhere in the area.”

One day we stopped for a bite to eat at Bob’s Lunch. Some mighty fine burgers where had by all as well as sweet potato and Idaho fries, onion rings, and tater tots. I should have had a chocolate malt, or at least a piece of mixed-berry pie, but I was stuffed. Oh and the owner is actually named Rodney; Bob’s Lunch is named after his father.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Charlie and Suvir’s friend Vibhuti Patel. What a delight to meet someone who has written for Newsweek magazine for some 28 years and has traveled the world.

Our visit was way too short as we were only at the “farm” from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning. From there we headed back to NYC as Joe had never been to the city.