Friday, August 14, 2009


Our friends are back on the road today, so we had one last dinner together last night. The guys manned the grill and talked about guy stuff out back. Ben surveyed the great yard-high forest of baby Rose of Sharon bushes in the FairyDell and asked to take one home.

He was offered any and all to take with him, as well as his choice of a pot from the great terra-cotta graveyard out between the garages. We had started with one old haggard bush, overshadowed by the huge honeysuckle branches, but whose valiant purple trumpets would equal any lily in the realm. And now, just from drop-downs and bird-scatters and whatever way the wind blew, we have perhaps a hundred brave slender trees of them, purple ones and pink ones and white ones---the latter two with a deep mauve circlet inside the well.

The original purple bush:

Lil and I stayed downstairs, just chatting and having something cold to drink. She knits all the time, and her needles clicked away as we talked. She also presented me with a lovely round “World’s Best Dishcloth” which can be seen below peeking out as a hotpad beneath the farfalle dish.

We looked back at the little treasures that I had gathered in our small forays to the Flea Markets---the baby-sized silverware, the dress, the set of dessert plates, and a set of lovely muted lampshades for the chandelier, which make it look much more elegant than did the tiny candlestick-sized rosy ones which sat way high like Stan Laurel’s hat. The angels were on the downstairs Christmas tree, so when we packed the stuff away, I just put them on the chandelier:

The rest of our group arrived, and we put the dinner on the buffet:

The square Tupperware in front is Chris' creamed corn, cooked a couple of weeks ago, and taken from freezer to microwave to table.

Steaks and turkey Kielbasa:

Some glazed baby carrots---I’d never bought the little white ones before, so I thought we’d try them for company---besides they LOOKED pretty. I took our BabyGirl’s serving out before I put them in the skillet in a butter/brown sugar/Buttershot glaze. The difference between ours and hers was striking---hers were pristine white and orange; ours looked like the calves of someone too long in the tanning bed.

The bowtie and cheese casserole behaved itself admirably during dinner, being delicious and fulfilling all its duties, but now just WILL NOT lie down properly, and insists on sitting there sidesaddle on the page. I knew that those bratty fusilli were known to behave that way, but farfalle are, by definition, the Gentlefolk of the pasta world.

Some buttered sprouts, especially for DS#2, whose favorite vegetable they are:

We’d been petting and nurturing one particular tomato plant, which was a new variety for us: Pineapple tomatoes. They had a good bunch of those folds around the stem which promise a good tangy old-fashioned tomato taste.
And here he is---the finished product. It’s the big orange-ish slices in the front---I didn’t want to put anything on those slices to compromise the natural flavor, after all that watchful anticipation. And it was lovely---almost between fruit and tomato, with a good sweet tang and rich juices.

So I made only half the plate into Caprese, interlaying the Big Boy slices with fresh Mozzarella, then a little garnish of fresh shiny basil, with the olive oil, pink sea salt and Balsamic on the table for anyone who wanted the whole Caprese experience. DO click this one for a close-up:

And though I’d made the six-yolk boiled custard for a banana pudding the day before, we seemed to be out of bananas, so I used the last three slices of the lemon pound cake, cut it into cubes, halved a box of lovely red strawberries, and layered it all into this:

Strawberry Trifle.
We passed the last of their home-grown blueberries to scatter, plugged in the decaf, and had a lovely dessert time. We took a large serving to my dear neighbor, whose favorite thing is strawberries, as we walked our visitors out into the summer twilight and hugged goodbye til July, when we hope to see them in Virginia.


Anonymous said...

Oh for goodness sakes sweet cousin, I can't believe all this is sitting here in front of my eyes. Now I'm absolutely starving. Got home from work at around one and haven't stopped for lunch yet. And believe me, after seeing all this, a peanut butter sandwich will NOT suffice.

Strawberry kisses

Kim Shook said...

For some reason, my post here disappeared! What I said was: "Virginia?? Virginia?? You're coming to Virginia next year???"

Keetha said...

That looks - and sounds - delicious. It was almost like being there.

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