27 February 2012

Leap Year Celebration Recipe


Dear Friend,
           Begin by pulling together nine good-hearted, fun seeking friends and renting a cozy cabin tucked away in the mountains of the snowy Adirondacks for a weekend. Throw in cross-country ski equipment. Add to this mix sunny skies and perfect skiing conditions. Top it off with scrumptious meals, lots of mind boggling games, and some rousing conversation. In no time at all, you will have an exhilarating, pulse quickening, energizing good time.
             I am a leapling and that is exactly what we did this year to celebrate my Leap Year birthday. Did you know that there are only 187,000 of us in the United States and only four million in the world? It makes me feel special but more importantly it makes me appreciate the fact that I am still a teenager, in birthday years anyway. I won’t bore you with how Leap Year came to be but for table conversation you should know that a February 29 was added to the calendar every four years to correct the fact that the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days. If someone wants to know more, mention google.

What I really want to share with you is how this fabulous get together happened to materialize and for you to know if the desire is there, anything is possible. It began as an idea by Barbara who suggested going to Lapland Lake, a XC ski area founded thirty years ago by U.S. Olympian Olavi Hirvonen.  Organizing any group is a challenge, but one as diverse and involved as this one is even more difficult. But with determination, lots of emails, and contagious excitement, she did it.

            We packed several cars with enough stuff that looked like we were leaving for three months rather than three days. It was all essential though. We knew we would be miles from any town and we are a crew that likes to be prepared and eat well. Balancing breakfast, lunch and dinner was easy with each of us sharing a meal preparation. Everything fell into place.

            We woke up to a farm fresh vegetable egg scramble with Suz’s famous banana bread, and fresh-fruited yogurt. After several hours of paced skiing we stopped for nutritious minestrone soup served with wholegrain toast slathered with dreamy applebanana butter (made from a banana like fruit with an apple scent grown in Hawaii) and Barb’s raspberry jam, A light meal allowed for an afternoon ski. We returned with ferocious appetites ready for more food. To satisfy ourselves we had Stacey’s guacamole and rice chips and her hummus served with carrots, tomatoes, feta cheese and pita bread. Then off for a night ski to work up another hunger.

            Time was ticking and dinners needed to be quick and easy. Gloria brought avocado cornbread to compliment Jan’s luscious chili for the first night. The next night it was steelhead trout with a maple mustard glaze, black rice, and Miss Eileen’s green salad sprinkled with capers, her new favorite ingredient.  For dessert, it was a birthday almond cake by Gloria with strawberry and chocolate sauce. Yum!!!

            Linda and Katharine made everything from pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to real chai tea inspired with maple syrup and ginger to exotic cocktails, which you will read about in their writings this week.
            So there you have it. I feel as if you were with me. I hope you enjoyed yourself and remember you now know a Leap Year baby.



  1. A great weekend to celebrate a wonderful woman--Jude--everyone's favorite leapling!!!

  2. We should celebrate your quarter birthday every year in the same spot!