A Visit with the Beekmans and Mary Todd Lincoln

In some ways, we (Renato/myself) are typical (er, stereotypical) New Yorkers. We have both lived in the city (specifically, Brooklyn) a very long time and it would be untrue if I said the daily influences and environs did not affect us. I mention this because when the Beekman Boys were kind enough to invite us to their amazing farm for the weekend, I went a little overboard in planning an appropriate weekend-farm-upstate-wardrobe (i.e. fitted flannels, hand-cobbled boots, perfectly pilled sweaters, etc…). Thankfully the gentleman farmer look is still rampant in Brooklyn (apparently, neon 80’s is the next fashion forward statement, but I have yet to jump on that bandwagon) and sourcing said goods was impossibly easy.

If you are unfamiliar with the Beekman Boys, you should check them out here. In short (taken from their website) they are: two NYC guys who bought a farm and are sharing their experiment in living better lives, season by season, neighbor by neighbor.

Originally, I knew of Josh via his books. I loved his memoir, I Am Not Myself These Days and encouraged every friend (and even our bookkeeper) to read it. Then, I started following Josh and Brent on their TV Show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys (in reruns on Cooking Channel btw). It is truly aspirational viewing (not unlike Barefoot Contessa but with cute goats). Eventually, our Baked lives crossed paths with the Beekman lives and we became fast friends. And this weekend, we (along with our significant others) finally got to visit the storied farm.

We had a fantastic time. We had hearty farm breakfasts (in a wonderful kitchen with a roaring fire, of course).



We saw actual, real, farm animals and held baby goats.





We toured the amazing farm grounds including a frozen pond, a creepy crypt, and an awe-inspiring garden (yes, it was cold, notice the bundles we are all wearing):


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The Beekman House itself was gorgeous. I cannot possibly do it justice in my photos, but here are few.




Oh, and we attempted to make cakes inspired by (or actually supposedly made by) famous First Ladies. The Mary Todd Lincoln Bundt was in dire need of help, so we added some ganache to her crown, but honestly, I think it needs less egg whites and more egg yolks (and maybe some oil). But we made it mostly as Mary Todd would have.


Then we attempted a Rosalyn Carter Bundt and some Mamie Eisenhower Fudge. How do I explain the outcome? I am sure the First Ladies are/were delightful, but their desserts needed a little help. Regardless, we had a lot of fun and as you can see Josh didn’t seem to mind Rosalyn’s nuclear colored Bundt.



Our biggest thanks to Josh and Brent for having us as guests. We had a wonderful time (regardless of the ghosts).