Saturday, October 28, 2017

family at the table

As you add years to your belt, you change -- a little, a lot, in this way and that. But there is one thing within me that has stayed the same: I have always held the belief that a well cooked meal, prepared in the company of your beloveds, then eaten together around one big table, is one of the most valuable and infinitely pleasurable experiences you can have in any ordinary day.

Today was to be a cooking day and it did deliver some incredible moments for all of us.

But let's roll the day back to the beginning -- not an ordinary beginning to be sure.

I wanted to clean the farmhouse from top to bottom.


And so Ed slept and I cleaned.

He wakes and asks -- why didn't you ask me to help? I smile indulgently. From top to bottom. He can't do from top to bottom. Only I can.

We sit down to a pre-breakfast of fruit...

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And then I harvest the last of the flowers that wont withstand the deep freeze that will come tonight, while the cheepers watch...

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(Irises! Lavender!)

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And now it is noon and the young couple arrives with lunch for us and it is one beautiful, heartwarming meal!

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Immediately after, my younger girl and I roll up our sleeves, don our aprons (sewn for us by my ever wonderful sister in Warsaw) and get to work.

The menu is ambitious in that it is labor intensive: stuffed agnolotti, a kohlrabi frisee salad, apple crisp with ice cream.

Agnolotti are tiny funny shaped stuffed pasta pockets. We are pros! We've made pasta dishes before (gulp! it's been a while...)! We get to it. Ed and my son-in-law leave us to play disc golf. My daughter and I revel in the smells of roasting squash, garlic and sage.

She stuffs the little pockets expertly. Hundreds of little pockets! (We will eat them all!)...

And in the late afternoon the young family arrives and Snowdrop is just so excited!!

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But oh, how she has grown! She is happy to play food games with her uncle,  do a complicated puzzle with her dad...

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... or to run up for a hug from her aunt...

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And our cooking work continues, with only a momentary break for a picture...

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As dinner approaches, we gather in the kitchen...

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... and soon, very soon, dinner is served!

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I think Snowdrop says it best when she looks radiantly around her and exclaims -- our big family is here!

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The little girl's smile is ferociously sublime!

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She launches into a story  -- with all the gesticulations and exclamations that are so her own!

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When nudged to eat more, she demures and tell us -- I'm sorry, I'm busy talking!

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You cannot help yourself -- you just laugh and laugh, because, well, just because! Does there have to be a reason?

A most perfect day. I'll remember it for a long, long time.