Our Fair-Going Friends arrived late yesterday, bringing friends of their own---they all live for part of the year in their immense Motor-homes in Florida, and are traveling through the MidWest this Summer, attending every State Fair they can fit into the round of their itinerary.
We had a wonderful time last night, catching up and swapping silly stories---isn't it funny how certain friends or family members just seem to increase your IQ, just by mere conversation? These two we've known a long time---Chris since high school; I met them at our wedding, as they'd traveled all the way from Virginia to Mississippi so that he could stand up with Chris.
We get to talking and laughing, each feeding off the others' jibes and ripostes, and each seems to become exponentially more witty and interesting as the night goes on. They DID bring six bottles of their famous Scuppernong wine, hence the merriment quotient. I had only a token sip, as I do NOT like wine of any sort---we had a toast to good friends and new ones, and then I left my glass somewhere to grow warm and unwanted. And five bottles still stand unopened and untouched, on the pass-through with their comrade who has several inches left in the bottom.
And it was TOO HOT to sit outside. At 6 p.m. I've been such a braggart, talking about this glorious weather, crowing of our Seventies and low Eighties, but feeling I'd earned the right, by dint of my lifelong incarceration in the muggy steam of Mississipi, and my parole to the temperate Summers of Indiana---kinda like a reprieve or an award for all the discomfort, somehow.
And Caro cooked most of our dinner---what a lovely gesture!!! We'd had her divine thyme chicken paillards last week, along with a wonderful Asian salad made of whole-wheat spaghetti, long shreds of bright carrot to match, thrown into the pot just the minute before the pasta was drained in the colander and shocked cool in ice water---a lovely sesame/soy/sweet dressing with ginger and two colors of sesame seeds. So I asked her to repeat the dishes for last night, and she did.
She also made a small dish of long-shredded cucumbers in rice vinegar, garlic and a drop of fish sauce, and I made a big pot of low-cooked southern snap beans, left whole and cooked slumpily tender, with little baby red potatoes cooked atop. And a nice loaf of soft Farmer's bread and butter.
The small dishes in the back are the "Things in Dishes" that I always like to make to have handy in the fridge for snacks or a quick lunch---back there are, of course, Paminna Cheese and Egg and Olive, for spreading on the crackers and crisps with our drinks before dinner.
And to crown it all, a dish of Heirloom tomatoes, brought just for this meal from their garden back home---there are Cherokee Purples and slices of a big red Mortgage Lifter---doesn't that name conjure a great garden of tomatoes, peddled and sold to pay off the farm? And some small yellow ones which had the true tang of a homegrown.
The table is set sorta higgledy-piggledy, with dishes brought from the kitchen and set down by several willing hands, as Chris grabbed the camera.
And for dessert, a tender, moist-crumbed Lemon Pound Cake, topped with whipped cream and the blueberries from their Virginia garden, picked the morning they were leaving home.
We're having a wonderful visit, and I'm sure they'll have wonderful tales to tell of today's Fair adventures when they come home for supper.