Just a little over one mile, deep in the wintry forest of Ponderosa State Park is where you will find the Blue Moon Yurt along Lake Payette. Here is where you will have an experience like no other as a four course culinary adventure awaits.
Only accessible via snowshoeing or nordic skiing, B and I strap on our snowshoes while hubby clips into his skis. Lisa, co-owner of Blue Moon Outfitters of McCall greets us at the trail head before we begin our journey.
“Take your time, enjoy yourselves and once everyone arrives at the yurt is when the party will get started,” she tells us.
Freshly covered with powdery snow, the winding trail introduced us to towering Pondersoa pines, wildlife and a feeling of pure contentment and excitement at the evening ahead of us.
As we arrive at the yurt, we remove our snowshoes and ski’s and slip into the comfortable slippers that we brought along with us in our packs. Stepping into the yurt we could hardly believe our eyes.
Persian rugs grace the floor of this yurt and the family style tables are decorated with beautiful glowing candles and fine linens. The warmth from the wood burning fireplace is immediately noticed and we are greeted by smiles from everyone in the yurt. With rosy cheeks and all, we make our way to the big pot of hot spiced mulled wine and help ourselves while B settles down with his hot cocoa.
“This is delicious mommy,” he tells me smiling from ear to ear.
We sit down at our table and introduce ourselves to our soon-to-be new friends. We are all very curious about one another and this is the magic behind the yurt experience. The friendships that come from here can last a lifetime. We learn that our friends are going to be going on a trip to Croatia in the coming summer. I become very excited because one of my best friends regularly visits Croatia so I am able to share a little bit of insight with them. We continue to laugh, tell stories about our day and before we know it, Lisa asks all of us (26 to be exact) for our attention.
“Welcome everyone to the Blue Moon Yurt! We are very happy to have you with us tonight!!”
Lisa introduces us to the evenings menu and we are all silent and listening carefully. We begin with crunchy starfish calamari with a sweet ginger sauce and then come the sesame asparagus spears that disappear within minutes. Luckily the plates keep coming and we all help ourselves endlessly. We do try to keep mindful about saving our appetites for the main course, but it is hard!
Then comes one of my most life changing moments. The SOUP. Oh my goodness, this soup. We are home from McCall now for a couple of weeks and not a day goes by that I do not think about this soup!
Lisa tells us the story behind the soup:
“Tonight you will be having “Somai’s Soup.”
We are all listening carefully and she continues . . .
“Not too long ago my friends and I took a trip to Anchorage Alaska and Somai was this beautiful tiny Thai woman cooking in a place called the Thai Market. I don’t know if it’s still there, but when you walked through the doors you headed to the back of the place and there were just a few tables and chairs for patrons. Somai was cooking off of two funky burners pumping out the most amazing food. When we first tasted the soup we thought we had all died and gone to Thai heaven. We were in Alaska for three weeks and we went every other day (if not every day) to have her soup. We were completely addicted! Somai did eventually share her recipe for this soup with one of my dear friends who in turn, shared it with me. I am happy to be able to cook this soup for you here, in the Blue Moon Yurt. Full of flavors from the galanga root (a cross between ginger and eucalyptus), lemongrass, chilies, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, chicken, straw mushrooms, topped with cilantro & green onions. It truly is a bowl of love. Enjoy!”
Our main course arrives and it is sesame grilled salmon with jade sauce that upon first bite was so juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Incredible. I’ve never had salmon so good. Ever. Alongside was a crunchy salad of shredded Napa cabbage with spicy peanut sauce and a sweet cooling cucumber salad with tri-colored peppers.
We finish off the evening with coffee and a desert of toasted coconut ice cream with a killer rum sauce. B is not a fan of coconut and I will tell you, he ate his and mine.
We said our goodbyes to everyone and headed outside. We strapped our snowshoes and skis on and began to head down to the trail that was lit with tiki torches helping guide us back.
I looked up at the night sky that peeked through the towering Ponderosa pines and noticed how bright the stars were tonight. And then a shooting star!
“Mommy! A shooting star! Quick, make a wish!” B commands
That was easy, I thought. We are coming back here and that will be a wish come true, for certain!
And as for that soup? Well, unfortunately it is under lock and key which is completely understandable. But I did try to get it for you, really :) You’ll just have to make your way to McCall to experience it because I can guarantee you that it will be well worth the trip, in and of itself!
xoxo ~ Monica
McCall Trip Roundup:
Part 1: Arriving ♥
Part 2: McCall Town Guide ♥
Part 3: Skiing Brundage Mountain and Apres-Ski at the Shore Lodge ♥
Part 4: A Snowmobile Adventure to the Burgdorf Hot Springs and Beyond ♥
Part 5: A Day at Tamarack Resort ♥
Part 6: Apres-Ski at Rupert’s in Historic Hotel McCall ♥
Part 7: A Culinary Adventure in the Forest ♥
Part 8: Brundage Cat Skiing Adventures & Apres-Ski at the Pancake House ♥