Return to the Fort

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To conclude our Denver trip to Craftsy, we invited Jen and her husband, John, for dinner at The Fort. They picked us up at the hotel and Jen and I were both wearing our hand-knit sweaters. Located in Morrison, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a 30 minutes drive from the city of Denver, when darkness falls, one can see the sparkling lights of Denver in the distance. Almost as soon as we were seated, my dear friend, Holly Arnold, owner of The Fort, sat down to join us. It was Holly's father, Sam Arnold, who created the Fort in response to a request from Holly's mother to build him a castle. And it was here, in this incredible setting of the American old west, that Holly spent her childhood. Holly treated us to my favorite bison bone marrow to accompany our dinner of elk chops. (Julia Child was said to have once ordered a second helping. I tried that on my second visit and then was too full for the rest of my meal. I knew better this time.) Holly also regaled us with delightful stories of the history of the Fort which was created by her parents. She also gave a tour to show us the many photos of the family (including her pet bear Sissy), dignitaries including Boris Yeltsin, George Bush, and Bill Clinton, and food world people including Julia Child, which populated the restaurants' walls. We had the pleasure of meeting John, "The Mountain Man," who is a weekend presence at the Fort. He is a extraordinarily skilled leather-worker and when he showed me the rose barret, Holly exclaimed that since it was my name, she wanted to purchase it to offer to me. But the "Mountain Man" said with his eyes that the gift was coming from him. To my delight, Holly gave me a copy of her father's leather-bound "Frying Pans West" television cooking series with its companion cookbook. Sam was a dear and long-time friend so this was very special to me. Sam Arnold's Frying Pans West cookbook & DVD'sPhoto credit: Jenn "Knitty Baker" and Woody Wolston