Culinary Montana: Visit to U.S. Part 2

Brunch with Family

Rober: Our first morning in Missoula was great. We woke up early and went to the local market to buy fruits and veggies for brunch. The brunch was a party with waffles and pancakes at Jessica and Jacob’s home, where we met their families. It was really fun! There were a lot of fruits and homemade jams made with products from Margie and John’s (Jessica’s parents) garden. Everything was delicious. Plus, we drank mimosas, listened to several vinyls, and met some of their friends.

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Jessica: Los fines de semana, cuando no tenemos mucho que hacer, nos gusta ir de “brunch” con nuestros amigos. Normalmente preparamos pancakes con plátano o huckleberries-un tipo de arándano salvaje que crece en las montañas. Cuesta mucho cogerlos, así que utilizarlos en los pancakes es perfecto porque solo pongo unos pocos en cada pancake. Esta vez hicimos waffles también, hechos con harina de trigo de sarraceno, la manera de hacerlos de mi familia. Acababa de comprar una máquina de hacer waffles en una tienda de segunda mano, y tenía ganas de probarla. 

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Oops, we were too excited to eat and didn’t take a photo of the food. All that remains are the rinds from a delicious Dixon melon. 

 

Fall Gathering

Jessica: En las afueras de Missoula, hay una granja que pertenece a la ciudad y al departamento de parques. Hay varios caseríos restaurados y un campo de manzanos de la época de la guerra civil. Durante el verano se puede visitar la granja los sábados, allí organizan diferentes eventos como bailes y fiestas abiertos al público en general. 

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Bike parking near one of the old farm buildings.

Rober: There is a really original annual party held on a farm near Missoula to welcome the fall, and we happened to arrive just the day before! We parked our car and hiked for a while to reach the venue. There, we met up with Jessica’s parents and we all ate pulled pork, potato salad, cornbread, a greens salad, and pies. We also tried Missoulian cider from Wester Cider, a company that produces traditional cider. After trying it at the fall gathering, we were able to visit the cidery on our last afternoon in Missoula.

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The homestead is set back in the hills a little outside Missoula, and you have to park on the road and walk down the path to get there. 

Cocktails and Beverages

Rober: I was pleasantly surprised that during our stay in Missoula we went to several bars and breweries where they make their own drinks. That’s the case at Montgomery Distillery, where our friend Alicia works. There, they just serve products that they distill, like gin, aquavit, or vodka. I chose a gin & tonic. We also tried more interesting, new stuff for us during our trip, like a “punch,” which was a mixture of drinks (we chose one based on rum and mezcal) that you share with friends, as well as Malort, a bitter liquor from Chicago made of wormwood, that Jessica’s brother, Nate, is a fan of, and also Twisted Tea, a hard iced tea.

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At Western Cider the last night of our visit. 

Jessica: En los últimos años han abierto unas cuantas destilerías en Missoula, pero la que solemos visitar es Montgomery, porque trabaja allí Alicia, la novia de mi hermano. Ofrecen cócteles conocidos como martini y old fashioned, pero también tienen cócteles originales inspirados en Montana y sus alrededores. El cóctel Greenough Park, se llama así por un parque que también visitamos durante el viaje, y Smoke Tones, me imagino que se llama así por los colores que se forman en el cielo por el humo de los incendios que hay verano.  

 

 Cider Pressing Party

Jessica: Las manzanas en Missoula crecieron muy bien este año. El año pasado el árbol de nuestros vecinos no produjo ni una manzana, pero este año había manzanas por todas partes, incluso en nuestro patio trasero. Hacer sidra es el antídoto perfecto para esta circunstancia. También es la actividad idónea para una fiesta porque todo el mundo puede colaborar. Hay que preparar y cortar las manzanas para la prensa, y todo el mundo puede darle unas vueltas a la manivela. Al final, tienes una bebida clásica de otoño.

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Rober: The day before the party we went to Jessica’s parents’ to pick apples, plums, and pears, some of these to bake pies for the party. After that, we picked more apples in Jessica’s backyard–we needed a lot of these to press cider the next day. During the party, we met a lot of people, including Marta, a Spaniard from Valladolid who was working in Missoula. We pressed cider and ate some of the soups we had helped Jessie cook in the morning. Margie and others also cooked yummy dishes for the party. It was kind of a potluck.

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We had a few stations with removing bad spots from the apples and cutting them into smaller pieces. We thought we might have rain for the party, but it turned out to be a great night for cider making. 
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Rober takes a turn at the cider press.
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Straining the cider.

 

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