The New Year’s Eve festivities are in full swing – guests are enjoying dinner, games, conversation and of course, libations. Chef Wes’ menu is a big hit as usual, starting off with a fun amuse of a Lobster Corn Dog with Carrot Ketchup. As one guest told me, “you know you’re in a high-end place when the corn dogs are made from lobster”. Other highlights of the evening include an Oyster Sampler with Preserved Lemon & Whitefish Roe, Ahi & Passion Fruit-Truffle Vinaigrette, Cucumber & Champagne Mignonette; Squab Roulade with Foie Gras & Wild Rice Stuffed Cabbage, Minus 8 Vinegar; Marrow Bean Soup with Smoked Pork Won Ton; Seared Ahi with Ricotta Gnocchi, Fennel Purée, Olive Mousse and Poached Lobster with Celery Root-Potato Purée, Spinach, Black Truffle, Cognac Butter. After dinner it is off to the Tank & Trough for games, Texas hold’em, fireworks and music by Mudslide Charlie. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of a fireworks display reflecting off the snow on a crisp Montana New Year’s Eve, you just don’t know what you’re missing. As we approached midnight, the crowd grew more and more excited, not just in anticipation for the New Year, but also because one of our guests (who just happens to be a famous drummer) had joined the band for an awesome jam session. Midnight brought cheers, toasts and well wishes for new friends and old. The forecast calls for another six inches of snow tonight so 2009 will arrive in a fresh blanket of white. Happy New Year from all of us at Paws Up. Cheers.
– Jim Nielsen
Merry Christmas from all of us at Paws Up. Christmas Eve was a beautiful day that found our guests basking in the sun while they played outside in our big backyard – ice skating, horseback riding, snowmobiling, tubing and dog sledding were the top draws. Christmas Eve evening brought our annual kid’s craft party where our younger guest made tree ornaments and decorated cookies – a little overindulgence of sugar just helps keep up the holiday spirit. The highlight of the evening was of course the visit from Papa Noel…Saint Nicholas…Father Christmas…Kris Kringle…Pere Noel, the head elf himself, Santa Claus!! Santa visited the kid’s party and then made his way to guest homes to deliver toys and good cheer. Here is a picture of me giving him some last minute instructions (and of course my last minute wish list – peace on earth, the end of the recession and my very own Rock’em, Sock’em Robots). Christmas Eve dinner was terrific, highlights included Seared Beef Tenderloin with Crispy Cheese Curds, Mustard Braised Kohlrabi, Onion Marmalade and tradition with a twist: Lacquered Goose Breast with Chestnut Stuffing, Delicata Squash, Maple, Broccoli.
Horse drawn sleigh and wagon rides have been popular all holiday season; here is a shot of our fine Norwegian Fjord team, Pete and Re-Pete. They have been busy every evening taking guests on rides through the homes.
Christmas Day brought fresh snow and cloudy weather, the perfect day to curl up in front of the fire and enjoy the company of the ones you love. Many of our guests did just that, while others spent the day checking off those activities they hadn’t had an opportunity to try yet. Dinner preparations are in full swing. Taking a look at the menu, I can’t wait to try the Roasted Elk Loin with Dried Cherry Porridge, Kohlrabi, Cherry Syrup and the Baked Montana – Huckleberry Ice Cream, Almond Cake, Meringue and Chocolate Huckleberry Sauce.
Happy Holidays from all of us at The Resort at Paws Up and best wishes for the New Year.
– Jim Nielsen
After much anticipation, the snow has finally arrived in The Blackfoot Valley! We have 6-8 inches on the ground now and anticipate much more in the coming weeks. In fact, the extended forecast is predicting a White Christmas! We’re hoping that this much snow and the very chilly temperatures will bring the snow geese by on their migration. They came by last year, so we hope they make an annual pilgrimage to Paws Up. I love this time of year at The Resort. As I type this, I’m looking out the window of my office across our expansive meadow and up to the Scapegoat and Mission Mountains–all blanketed by white. I can’t wait to get out on a snowmobile and out of the office.
Christmas is only a week away and we’re ready. We can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with our guests. Santa’s on his way…and we’ll make sure he leaves on time to deliver presents to the rest of the world. Last year, we caught him relaxing with his feet up in a Big Timber Home, and had to remind him that he had many more places to go. We also found his reindeer flirting with the ladies of our resident elk herd. It won’t happen again. We promise.
– Jim Nielsen
Greetings from frosty Montana. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” around here; trees, lights, and decorations abound and the ice skating rink looks ready for a triple-sowkow. The forecast is for continued cold weather and snow, so we are all looking forward to a “White Christmas”.
Some great news for all of you foodies out there, we have our first feature chef and vintner for Montana Master Chefs 2009. Texas’ own, Kent Rathbun of Abacus, Jasper’s and Shinsei Restaurants will join us fresh off his defeat of Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America.
Our first vintner on the books is the renowned winemaker and owner, John Williams of Frog’s Leap Winery. This landmark Napa Valley winery has consistently produced world-class wines and has the best motto in the wine business: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies” and the only cork that says Ribbit! when you uncork the bottle. We are off to a great start and the soon-to-be-announced chefs and vintners are equally as impressive.
All you fans of Bravo TV’sTop Chef, keep an eye on this season’s competition from New York. One of the competitors will face off against Stephanie Izard, the winner of The Top Chef Cook Off Challenge from Montana Master Chefs 2008 in MMC ’09. Who will it be? Stay tuned.
– Jim Nielsen
The Wheels on the Bus Go ‘round and ‘round…as the carbon footprint goes down and down….
This past summer at the Resort at Paws Up we began looking even more closely at our carbon “evil ways,” and made many adjustments. Perhaps the one that carried the biggest unexpected punch was the purchase of a school bus.
We paid $5000 for a bus in excellent shape, and quickly found the most colorful and fun driver in all of Montana. On the first day that “Dale”, the driver, loaded the bus with 12 employees they all left the resort singing out the windows.
His ridership very quickly grew to an average of 30 employees per day, though I suspect the singing waned and more iPods joined the commute. Dale picked his riders up daily in Missoula, Montana and drove them 35 miles to the Resort in Greenough–located in the heart of the Blackfoot Valley.
Not only did all of the riders save on gas, but we only paid $50 per day in diesel, plus Dale’s time….and the collective footprint of the Resort was reduced greatly. Just one of many efforts the Resort is making to contribute to “The Greening of Greenough”.
Mentioned on Eco Luxury Living