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.




18 comments:

Marigold Jam said...

Lovely way you have of telling the story. Glad you were able to enjoy your picnic in spite of the rain and that Florida isn't all theme parks and the like!

Molly said...

Mariglod: Florida is a beautiful state, more so if you stay off the beaten paths.

Wisewebwoman said...

Love your stories, Molly, you have a winsome way with words.

AND you should find the flashlight app for your mobile. I have and it has amazing light. Free. Ask Bean.

XO
WWW

Susan Kane said...

So Good to see you!! The recipe looks and sounds delicious. Your photos portray to much.

Thanks for reappearing.

Elephant's Child said...

It sounds (and looks) delightful.
My kitchen goddess tiara is sadly tarnished. And I am not sure where the countess of cleaning lives at the moment. The grubby gardening version gets worn a great deal more often.

aubirdwoman said...

Lovely photos wish I could come and have a cuppa and chat with you. I too have been expementing with cooking. Struggling with steamed peaches at the moment. The first batch the peach cut in half beautifully, but since them the peaches just wont cut neat.
We have lots of fruit from Florida in the supermarket at the moment and I often think of you.
hugs from downunder

Lee said...

There's nothing quite as romantic as piddling by candlelight. It's a must for everyone to do...at least once in their life! :)

Love your pics, Molly. I felt as if I was there with you. :)

Relatively Retiring said...

Those sound such good recipes - thank you.
Doing almost anything by candlelight is enjoyable.

Isabelle said...

Eating cake by candlelight - or any other light for that matter - sounds preferable to me.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I love all the colors of those veggies.

And I prefer that side of Florida, too - I'm not much for huge tourist attractions.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It sounds like one of those quaint English villages in detective novels . You're lucky you lived to tell the tale !

Thimbleanna said...

You had me at cake! (Definitely not the hummus though LOL.) It sounds like you had a great time with your friend and that the power outage made for a fun adventure. Thanks for the link to the salad -- it looks wonderful.

Dee said...

Dear Molly, I'm going to click on your link for the carrot/beet salad. I find both vegetables delicious, especially beets.

Thanks so much for sharing with us your day with a friend. Days like that are so welcome. They help me feel a deep down contentment both with the place and with the people I'm with. A contentment that for me is deeper than happiness. And thanks for the tory about "piddling by candlelight." Did you laugh afterward or simple share with your friend the joy of living, just for a while, part of what used to be the way our pioneer ancestors lived? Peace.

Shirley said...

How I love the way you write. So vivid. Not sure about piddling by candlelight, however ;)

StitchinByTheLake said...

I think I must have caught your domesticity bug. Jerry and I traveled in England and Ireland for two weeks last month and ever since we got home I've been weeding flower beds and cutting back hedges. And tonight I made the most delicious pumpkin pie cupcakes. :) blessings, marlene

persiflage said...

You inspire me. My domestic lesser deity crept embarrassedly out and I cleaned the oven. Doesn't really compare...
I

ganching said...

I like your Nicolas Mosse bowl and the salad looks good too.

Pauline said...

Just spent a delightful twenty minutes catching up on your doings. I'm still chuckling over the cooking of your kettle. I did the same thing with my first one!

My weeds don't stink but they proliferate, especially when I'm gone a good part of the week. I now have to hunt for the vegetables!