Saturday, May 09, 2009

Let's Stalk

As the Renaissance Man has felt more mobile of late, I have been all too willing to escort him around town and to put him in the way of good friends and delightful adventures.

Last evening, we enjoyed one such outing as we drove south to visit dear Friends at their farm hidden back in the wooded hills. We especially enjoy visiting these Friends as our willingness to make the drive makes them willing to serve us dinner, and we end up sitting around the fire for hours talking about the most interesting topics.

Almost as soon as we entered the door, we were greeted warmly and gradually shepherded toward the dinner table, where we enjoyed lusciously creamy manicotti with homemade vegetable sauce, fresh steamed and buttered asparagus, a vividly tart salad with fresh greens and over-wintered apples, and a hearty flaxseed bread, all accompanied by homemade grape juice. (As you might imagine, all this food was grown on their farm and put up for the winter -- these Friends are definitely after my own heart!)

We rounded out the meal with a perfect rhubarb pie and pungent mint tea, and though the gents seemed inclined to sit back and discourse, I found myself revved up for a walk.

So I helped clear the table, and then we ladies headed out for a gentle hike, greeting the sheep and the newborn lambs, browsing the garden, and inspecting the plantings around the house.

When we returned, my arms were laden with pencil-thin stalks of asparagus and enormous rose-tinted stalks of rhubarb, fresh from the garden. I also had a handful of lambs quarters from my "weeding" and another bunch of stinging nettles (that my Friend could not believe I would pick barehanded).

The Renaissance Man and I lingered a few hours longer, of course, enjoying the conversation in the ever-darkening cabin, and when we headed home, we carried an overflowing basket of spring deights with us.

And if this doesn't get me back into the kitchen soon, nothing will.

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