Thursday, August 07, 2014

Piddling by Candlelight and Other Delights

Domesticity comes to me in spurts. I get by on a minimum, get by, get by, get by, until the howl goes up "There's nothing to eat here!" usually on an unannounced visit from The Bean. Warn me and I will provide, drop in and you'll eat as the Romans do. Us Romans eat well. We eat our veggies and drink our wine and are generally happy as clams with the service. Twenty-somethings we're not, but I like The Boy to visit and don't want him to starve while here......So.

Early in the week the fridge looked a little bare. I could feel a spurt coming on. We'd worked our way through all the leftovers and hadn't seen The Bean for a week. First I made Carrot and Beet Salad, a recent discovery from Scaling Back, my current, favourite food blog. It's a simple recipe but Oh! So delicious! If you can get yourself into a zen-like trance, the julienning and slicing of the carrots and beets won't seem too tedious. Zen-like trance achieved, I chopped away.

As my hands chopped and sliced, my mind wandered back to the weekend. Sunday afternoon we re-connected with an old friend and set off "on an explore." It was a grayish day, a delight in Florida, and raining sporadically. But neither wind nor rain nor gloom were about to deter us from our explorations, so, in the middle of a drenching downpour, we were confident that, in five minutes or less, the sun would peek through again. And so it came to pass.

We wandered down side roads to little towns off the beaten track. It was like stepping back in time to an older Florida, one in which amusement parks and frenetic fun were not the main draw (can you tell I'm not a Disney fan?)

One where time passed more slowly, while you lingered under giant spreading oaks and sipped your iced tea and watched the world go by. We found a little grove by the water and sat under some of those shady trees to eat our sandwiches.

My friend has a of wide range of interests so we chatted and sat and caught up on a few lost years.

Then off to explore some more. To a little fishing village, way out on the gulf, surrounded by water. We had an idyllic afternoon, just wandering around and, towards evening, stopped at a little, rustic, seafood restaurant for supper.

It was raining hard when we parked and dashed for the entrance. Inside was decidedly dim. Ambiance, I thought. But no, a power failure. They seemed unconcerned and ushered us to a table by the window. It was casual and cozy but we could still read the menu. Leaving the OC to peruse it, Becky and I went in search of the ladies' room. Oops. Total darkness!  As in inky blackness. Death by falling into a porcelain commode did not sound inviting.....What to do? Cell phones? Hardly enough of a glimmer. Then, through the gloom, a woman approached bearing candles. Aha! We would not have to cross our legs and sit tight for the duration! So we got our ambiance --- piddling by candlelight!

By now I had all my beets and carrots chopped. It had seemed effortless.

Next I made some hummus. Yum, yum.

And then a cake. Yes, the OC is trying to lose a few pounds, and I'm not trying to have what he loses come to roost in my britches but it is nice, like Winnie the Pooh, to have a little smackerel of something sweet with your tea and your books in the evening. Hence Strawberry Almond Cake. If you're not drooling you should be. It's delicious....

Spurt of domesticity over, I exchanged my Kitchen Goddess tiara for my gardening hat  and headed outdoors to my pet garden project, but that's a story for another day.