Gordon Gregory made this delicious soup for dinner last night!
Remember those perfect poached eggs used in Chef Jarrett Schwartz’s April 23 blog post?
Well grab some more of those local eggs and try his BLT Soup recipe topped with a perfectly poached egg and Snake River Farms Bacon crumbles, no…. chunks!
Gordon Gregory, http://www.GordonGregoryPhoto.com, is not only an excellent photographer but also a wonderful father, husband and home chef! He made the soup last night for his family’s dinner and, before sitting down, he decided to photograph it. Pretty darn good looking picture and, from this morning’s report, pretty tasty, too!!!
Her is the recipe from Chef Jarrett Schwartz, http://www.chefjarrettschwartz.com
BLT Soup Topped with 3 Minute Perfect Poached Egg/Snake River Farms Bacon
3 cups of vegetable stock, 1/8 cup olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 6 smallish tomatoes like roma( the riper the better) , 1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped, 2 sprigs basil fresh…salt and pepper, 1/4 cup red wine, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp apple vinegar
Add oil, all vegetables and herbs,saute at med high for 3 minutes, add wine, reduce by half, add stock simmer for 15 minutes, add vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper to taste…simmer for 2 minutes…then puree in blender
Transfer to soup bowls, add cooked chopped Snake River Farms bacon, a few leaves of arugula and a perfect 3 minute poached egg (follow blog link above) drizzle with a fine olive oil and serve…..no savor!!!
This early in the season it’s sometimes hard to tell in Jackson Hole that it is actually, truly, for-real Spring. But you can’t fool the animals. They know long before we do that the season is making its great, galactic shift. Proof positive: yesterday, I saw a mama grizzly and her cub (from the safety of my car). The day before, a mama and two cubs. Then later, one bison, nine moose, one eagle, two herds of elk and a koi swimming in a warm springs (there’s a song in here somewhere…).
Being an unrepentant foodie, signs of spring immediately bring to mind thoughts of eggs. Local hens are a-laying: Hallelujah! Loads of fresh, beautiful, colorful eggs (and if you stay at Windswept Ranch, one of The Clear Creek Group’s fabulous Jackson Hole vacation rentals, you can actually gather your own eggs every morning. No kidding).
Now, before you protest that eggs are fattening or cholesterol-raising, read this article – a very interesting breakdown on the egg/health dichotomy: Eggs: Healthy or Not? And this article: Eggs Are Healthy.
Local eggs – from hens raised on a small farm or even in somebody’s backyard – simply taste better. The yolks are dense and rich. Many large “organic” farms keep the henhouse lights off for most of the day (and allow the birds little access to the outdoors in order to be called “free range”). The advantage to the farmer of keeping the birds cooped-up in the dark is that they burn less calories and therefore lay more eggs…but the yolks from these eggs look thin, pale and anemic – and they don’t taste half as good.
For absolute top nutritional value, eat your fresh, local eggs within seven days. Yup! Seven! They stay good for weeks after that, but the seven-day mark is when they’re most beneficial. Eggs can also sit out for a week or more, unrefrigerated – however, once they have been refrigerated, they should stay that way.
Here at The Clear Creek Group, we are a little nutty about eggs (not just me!). In fact, the cookies you find when you first arrive at your Clear Creek Group home are made with Jackson Hole eggs. Check out my post from 2012 for that everyone-come-a-runnin’ recipe! And, luckily, you can find gorgeous eggs from Jackson’s finest chickens at local markets and farms all over the valley. Jackson Hole has a growing number of artisan farmers, bakers, beekeepers and cheese makers, all of whom take great pride in their fabulous products. One of my favorites is Generation Farms: a small, organic gem of a farmstead specializing in fruit and poultry. They do eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, and even goat cheese. I’m not sure I could adequately explain how intensely delicious their berries are – strawberries, raspberries, honeyberries and huckleberries. In season, you can find these bright treasures at Jackson Whole Grocer and the Farmers’ Markets (Generation Farms: 307.200.1082).
Another favorite is The Hole Egg, which sits right smack in the middle of the Jackson Hole valley on Spring Gulch Road. Our luxury rental homes at Amangani and Spring Creek Ranch look right down upon it, so I’m always thinking about eggs when I’m at those properties, too
The Hole Egg started, literally, with a few pieces of leftover lumber and a young man from Buffalo, Wyoming, named Anders Rae who decided to build a chicken coop.
Anders now has about 100 happy chickens, a good mix of Red Stars, Bantams, Ameraucanas and beautiful Black Tail Buff Marans. All the eggs are extremely pretty, ranging from a rich chocolate\rust color to pale blue to dark green (which I hear goes good with ham!).
The Hole Egg supplements the hens’ diet with oyster shells. Why? Because calcium makes the shells hard! Anders’s birds spend almost all of their time outside eating worms, bugs, and whatever they can find on the ground. They hang loose all day, pecking and clucking, and then go into the warm coop at night. Anders is also a rancher and an excellent wood crafter, and he reportedly give eggs to his clients (I’m thinking I have a small construction project that should only take…forever, maybe?). The Hole Egg: 307.217.1715.
So now is the season of the egg. Symbol of rebirth, renewal, fertility. A representation of the offerings brought to the Holy Temple. And a downright perfect food, wrapped up in a tidy package.
I simply can’t help myself and must end with this:
What do you call a chicken crossing the road? Poultry in motion.
Love to everyone,
OK, I really just can’t stop……I have to share this recipe and how to poach the perfect egg… who thinks this stuff up?
So, don’t forget to buy, like, six dozen eggs on your next visit to the store or Farmers’ Market. You’ll need them because here is the first of some knock-your-socks-off recipes by one of Jackson Hole’s best chefs:
Chef Jarrett Schwartz’s 3-minute Farm Egg with Spring Vegetable Salad,
Walnut Vinaigrette and Sea Salt
[Images courtesy of Jarrett Schwartz]
Serves 4 People
4 farm fresh eggs
4 heirloom carrots, cut into batons
Handful of fresh green beans, sliced thin
Handful fresh snow peas, sliced thin
1 head cilantro, picked
Few pieces of fresh basil, torn
1. Get a large pot of water boiling, add vegetables (one type at a time) and blanch for 3 minutes each. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
2. Put all veggies in a bowl and toss with dressing.
3. Arrange on plate and top with sea salt.
4. The egg is foolproof: put a square of plastic wrap inside a large spoon or small bowl, rub olive oil on the plastic wrap, and crack the egg into the plastic-covered spoon or bowl.
5. Tie the plastic around the egg in a little package and drop in boiling water for exactly 3 minutes. Cut the egg open with a sharp knife and pour out on top of salad.
1/4 cup walnut oil, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt pepper to taste…mix well…
Where do I spend most of my time in Jackson? Outdoors, where else? The Snake River Sporting Club, tucked between the river and the mountains, is the perfect spot to watch the winter flurries fly by, catch the spring trout, take a leisurely tube float down the river or watch the fall migration amble by your cabin door. Just a few minutes down the canyon from Jackson, the Sporting Club’s location is central to everything I adore.
I love watching the birth of Spring! The days are long, temperatures mild and the sun warm. Yes, we still get the occasional snow showers, but they bring our June flowers! The wildlife are moving and visible around almost every turn….including downtown Jackson! On a recent picnic we were enchanted by a fox chasing our snowballs, birds with feathers so blue they blended in to the sky, moose, buffalo, eagles and elk….all in one day!! Why don’t you consider a last minute Spring vacation in Jackson? You’ll see, it is one of the best kept secrets in the West!
Come see us-
Fishing right off the property on the Snake River
The Snake River
Family horseback ride up in the Wyoming canyons.
Snake River view from the drive along the property to Cabin and Clubhouse
Long view across the golf course from the back of Cabin 91
. On the great valley floor, near the confluence of the Snake and Hoback rivers,
The Snake River Sporting Club spreads out over 800 gorgeous acres of pristine
wilderness, wetlands and the undulating velvet greens of the 18-hole, Tom
Weiskopf-designed golf course. Cabin 91sits on a bluff overlooking the golf
course, just a short walk from the clubhouse. It is a peaceful, traditional home
with its roots in Wyoming log cabin tradition but with striking architectural
elements and world-class comforts that place it firmly in the
21st Century. Cabin 91 is a wonderful Jackson Hole vacation rental -
comfortable, homey and luxurious, with unfettered access to the many adventures
and amenities of the renowned Snake River Sporting Club.
North elevation of the Cabin. Looking at the living room window, master bed to the left.
A substantial stone portico marks the transition from land to cabin, where a simple, welcoming front door opens to a foyer and light-filled great room. From the front entrance the eye is drawn across the warm, inviting great room right back out to the terrace and mountains beyond the glass doors. In the high-ceilinged living area, a wonderful semi-circular sofa curves around a glamorous red leather coffee table, facing the view and the big stone, gas fireplace. One side of the fireplace wall has a huge flat screen TV mounted within custom cabinetry, and the other side has a fully stocked wet bar and wine cooler.
Throughout this Jackson Hole luxury rental home, paintings and drawings celebrate the vast freedom outside the windows: horses and wildlife, the age-old harmony of river, forest and hill. Jackson Hole is truly a land of plenty; and its bountiful harvest is offered in full array year round: fruit, produce and heady flowers in the warm months, local meats and sweet root vegetables in the winter; always a delicious, homemade treat to be brought home and devoured from the Farmer’s Market or the many local-focused groceries and shops.
The kitchen and dining area share the great room, the light of the fire and the big views outside every window. The kitchen is trim and well-equipped – and a pleasure to cook in, with a Wolf range, a Sub Zero fridge, smooth golden stone countertop, even a warming drawer. Upholstered stools are pulled up to the breakfast bar. In the dining area, a magnificent octagonal table seats eight.
The master bedroom of Cabin 91 stands at the end of the first floor corridor, a handsome space with built-in cabinetry and bookshelves flanking a stone, gas hearth. A king size bed, upholstered in leather, faces the fire and is footed by a generous leather bench. A door leads out to the long stone terrace. The master bath is a spacious, sybaritic place. Double sinks set in a long marble countertop stand across from a big, walk-in glass shower and a deep soaking tub with fabulous views across the landscape and up the mountain tops.
Two guest bedrooms share the master corridor. In the first – really a junior master – a leather-upholstered bed faces a gas fireplace; windows all around the room let in clear mountain light. A door leads to a private bathroom with double sinks, soaking tub and separate glass-walled shower. The second bedroom is across the hall from the master, a pretty and comfy refuge, with a bathroom and a view out over the entry drive.
A corridor off the living area leads to a wonderful, light-filled office, where a pull-out couch offers extra sleeping space if needed. Creamy walls and soft wool carpeting enhance the feeling of tranquil retreat. A long desk provides ample workspace, illuminated by a generous task lamp; and a bathroom with a shower/bath combination is just across the hall.
Cabin 91’s second floor begins with a wide landing filed with art, where two flowered armchairs offer a quiet, removed spot to read. Two simple, carpeted guest rooms open off the landing. Each has an ample closet and an upholstered queen bed flanked by bedside tables and reading lights; the two upstairs bedrooms share a full bathroom, accessed from the hallway.
Cabin 91 overlooks the wide river and rolling lands of the Snake River Sporting
Club. Famed throughout the world for its spectacular trout fishing, the Snake
River is also a 1,000-mile long playground for rafting, inner tubing, kayaking
and treasure-finding better than any water park. Guests of Cabin 91
are welcome to use the Club’s golf course, which is rated one of the best in the
nation, and in winter becomes a fabulous canvas for Nordic skiing and
snowshoeing, with miles upon miles of groomed trials. The nearby Snake River
Bend Ranch offers trail rides across the property and into the vast National
Forest. There is hiking, mountain biking, even dogsledding… and when day is
done, head to the Clubhouse for dinner at the restaurant or a drink in their
big, firelit public lounge. Even better, let The Clear Creek Group send a
private chef to your door for a feast served in the great comfort of Cabin 91.
Cabin 91 overlooks the wide river and rolling lands of the Snake River Sporting Club. Famed throughout the world for its spectacular trout fishing, the Snake River is also a 1,000-mile long playground for rafting, inner tubing, kayaking, ice skating and treasure-finding better than any water park. Guests of Cabin 91 are welcome to use the Club’s golf course, which is rated one of the best in the nation, and in winter becomes a fabulous canvas for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing, with miles upon miles of groomed trials. The nearby Snake River Bend Ranch offers trail rides across the property and into the vast National Forest. There is hiking, mountain biking, even dogsledding… and when day is done, head to the Clubhouse for dinner at the restaurant or a drink in their big, firelit public lounge. Even better, let The Clear Creek Group send a private chef to your door for a feast served in the great comfort of Cabin 91.
Welcome, Spring, to Jackson Hole. We’re a snow-loving town, but you make our hearts sing. That sweet light air like a cowboy’s kiss. The lemony green of newborn leaves. The birdsong, rising again. It’s true love. You’ll see: walk around the streets of town, hike the trails, sit beside a rushing river, and you’ll see it. Everybody’s smiling. The earth is stirring. And there are flowers – flowers – coming up through the snow.
We love you, Spring. Come again, and again, and again.
To get in a Spring frame of mind:
First, look at these spectacular pictures by Henry Holdsworth, a visionary Jackson Hole photographer.
Next, toast Spring’s arrival with a long, slow breath of fresh air.
Finally, pick a new flower for an old love.
Photos courtesy of Henry Holdsworth, Wild by Nature Gallery, www.wildbynature.com
Bear tracks have been spotted in the snow, signifying that some bears are out and about after spending the winter in hibernation. Here is an update on a few of Grand Teton’s most famous bears, and few other tidbits!
Photo by Diana Stratton
Grizzly bear 610, now 8 years old, could emerge with new cubs of the year. She weaned her last litter last spring and likely bred shortly thereafter.
Grizzly bear 399, now 18 years old, should emerge with 2 or 3 yearling cubs this spring. She spent most of last summer with 3 cubs of the year, but observations late in the fall suggest a possibility she may have lost a cub before denning.
Bears with cubs of the year are usually the last ones to emerge from their dens.
Adult male bears are the first out of their dens, with more than half out and about by the end of March.
As our snowpack slowly wanes on the valley floor, courtship and breeding is occurring among many wildlife species, including wolves, ravens, river otters, bald and golden eagles, wolverine, great-horned owls, and Canada geese.
Migrating birds are also showing up in numbers, buds on deciduous trees are starting to swell, and locals are eager for green leaves to emerge, even though this likely won’t happen for another 6 weeks!
In the coming weeks, snowshoe hares and long-tailed weasels will begin to shed their white winter fur.
At higher elevations, snow continues to accumulate, promising a good summer run off and adequate forage production for many herbivores – bighorn sheep, moose, elk, pika, marmots, and white-crowned sparrows among others.
If you haven’t, call right now (book a flight as well, if distance requires) and make a reservation for the whole family. Then get ready for a true Holiday Spectacular. The Jackson Hole Playhouse is local theater at its very best. Every summer, every December, and every winter, the Playhouse puts on a new show – usually a Broadway musical – of wild, rollicking fun, performed by professional actors and excellent homegrown talent.
Every show is preceded by dinner in the Old West-style saloon (served by a singing, dancing waitstaff). The hilarious Christmas show is one of the highlights of the season in Jackson Hole; I’d feel bereft without it. Santa shows up every night, he loves it so much!
The family behind the Playhouse is as wild and wonderful as any Broadway production. They’re worth a play of their own, with enough plotlines to rope a herd of cattle.
I first met the Garnicks in 1991, when I brought four of my kids from Atlanta to Jackson Hole for the first time. We stayed at the Heart 6 Ranch, because we’d heard great things about it. And it was great: days of roping, herding, horseback rides; nighttimes spent loading our plates with mouth-watering home-cooked meals and telling stories round the campfire. A storybook vacation! But best of all were Vicki and Cameron Garnick, owners of the ranch and parents of eight gifted children. My kids loved their kids; as parents we had tons in common (despite Vicki being a very strict Mormon and me being very not!)
So soul-stirring was our week at Heart 6 Ranch that we decided we might as well move to Wyoming: our hearts had clearly made the switch already and some year later, we did it! Vicki and I have been friends ever since; as have our kids. The picture is me with Brian, Ashley, Jamie and little Chandler.
Vicki and Cameron were born to the theater. They met backstage at a production of West Side Story in Provo; and ran off together to Las Vegas two years later to be married. When their first daughter was born, they moved to a dude ranch in Wyoming (obvious choice!).
Vicki remembers it as an amazing winter: 27 feet of snow completely buried the lodge; snowmobilers would ride right over the top of the building, not knowing it was there; Cameron had to cut a staircase of 17 steps to reach down to the front door; and Vicki didn’t leave the house from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. Cocooned inside with a little baby, she thought about theater. And thus was the dream of buying the Jackson Hole Playhouse born.
When winter eased up a bit, Vicki and Cameron hatched a plan to earn the money for the Playhouse. Cameron, they decided, would sell hunting trips (he already had a stellar reputation as a hunting guide), and Vicki would load up the truck with all the extra liquor from the Ranch and sell it in Jackson.
So, baby on board, she went to bars around the square with great success. Everyone was happy to buy. Then she stopped at the liquor store. The owner, nonplussed, asked Vicki what the heck she thought she was doing. Had she actually sold any? Oh yes, replied Vicki, all around the square! We don’t drink, she went on, and we have a dream of buying the theater, so we thought this would be a great way to raise money.
The man followed her out to the truck to see what she had, told her he’d buy it all for $8,000.00 and then said, “Young lady, you are bootlegging liquor, and that’s a Federal offense. Go home and don’t ever tell a single soul in town about this until I die…I am the Teton County Liquor Commissioner!”
So Vicki and Cameron raised the money, bought the Playhouse and, as promised, never breathed a word about the liquor commissioner until he passed away.
They loved the Playhouse more every year – while keeping up with the dude ranch and the hunting camp as well. Cameron would take his clients hunting during the day, and camp out with them at night…and still make it to his Playhouse performances by riding his horse to the river, tying it there, swimming across to where Vicki was waiting, and then swimming back when the show was over. There’s no business like show business!
Thirty years later, the Jackson Hole Playhouse is still going strong, with shows they sometimes take around the country and overseas. Vicki has eight children, each one a talent in his or her own right.
One is in his first year on full scholarship from Julliard. One has her own Animal Planet show, and just produced a film called “A Cowboy’s Creed.”
One has a band, runs a restaurant and directs local productions. Another directs after-school programming in Buffalo Valley. A daughter lives in Nashville (but is here in Jackson for the Christmas show), running a 12-K every morning and singing and dancing at night. Their fourth, a full scholarship Julliard graduate, just starred in a Tony Award-winning off-Broadway show, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” One was just accepted into the American Academy of Theatre Arts in NYC.
From left, Jessica, her son Gideon, Vicki, Savanna, Cheyenne.
All simply rock. The Garnicks are Wyoming’s very own Von Trapp family.
The whole town loves Vicki; a recent setback brought an outpouring of love and support from the community that Vicki said made her feel like she was living out “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Want to see the fantastic Garnicks in action? Who wouldn’t? “The Christmas Survival Kit” (a 12-step program to laugh your way through the holidays) opened on December 14th and runs through January 4th – so now’s your chance. Two of the eight Garnicks are performing!! Show up at 6:00pm for the Hot Cocoa bar, and Wassail with a touch of bourbon, with a festive holiday dinner served at 6:30pm, just in time for the show at 7:30pm.
Kids are welcome and adored at the Jackson Hole Playhouse. One of Santa’s helpers (remember, I told you he comes every night!) takes children for a ride in a tiny sulky pulled by a miniature horse.
“Spoofs,” a tongue-in-cheek outtake on the Oscars, opens in February, with a red carpet, comedic sketches of all the nominees and audience voting. And plans for the summer production are already underway. So call right now! Go once, and I just betcha you’ll go every year from now on.
If you wonder what Vicki and her gang will be enjoying for their Christmas Eve meal, check out her unique, yummy ( I just made it) and easy shrimp recipe below. Also, be sure to catch a ride to Yellowstone with their famous and funny snow coach guides. It’s a ride you’ll always remember.
Have a wonderful, magical holiday season; and a joyous New Year.
Shrimp Moska, from one of The Garnicks’ old guests from New Orleans:
Large shell on shrimp: at least 6 to 8 per person
2 cans of bay leaves
2 cans of rosemary
6 lg garlic cloves, fresh
Fresh pepper, lots of it sprinkled generously
Salt, sprinkled generously
Lay the shrimp in a rectangle baking dish. Cover with the rosemary and bay leaves. Take garlic cloves, cut and lay generously over the leaves. Do the pepper and salt over that. Pour the olive oil over it all.
Bake at 425F for 7 minutes, then turn the shrimp over and bake another 7 minutes. The shrimp should be pink. Oil and shrimp will be hot…spoon onto a plate with a lip, take fresh french bread and tear and dip into hot oil, peel the shrimp and eat. It’s messy and delicious.
Happy Holidays! Phil, Morgan and I have built The Clear Creek Group portfolio of homes based on strict minimum standards. We may have a house which is the mirror-image of the house next door and represented by another company, but while they look the same on the outside they are vastly different on the inside! Our homeowners join our portfolio because they care about their homes and appreciate the standard of care with which we nurture our guests. Homeowners are always updating their lodges, ranches and homes, keeping pots and pans sparkling and fabrics clean and fresh. We are grateful to represent a fine collection of properties and to have the opportunity to share them with visitors to Jackson.
Dream of your visit to Jackson Hole as you peruse the the before and after images of one our most popular Teton Village Lodges, Granite Ridge Lodge 3193.
We are enjoying loads of fresh snow! Jackson is quite possibly the most beautiful place on earth right now! I love the sound of winter sleigh rides jingling through a starry night and the exhilarated gasps of skiers, faces flushed with color, wearing smiles wide and bright as they finish the day’s last run.
There are so many cozy spots in this Lodge, I had a hard time deciding which image to use! Shoshone Lodge has 5 bedrooms, a game lounge with a bar and fireplace, theatre, library with fireplace, two living rooms, each with fireplaces, an elegant dining room, huge kitchen, two laundry centers and so much more! It is most certainly a classic western style lodge with nary a detail overlooked!