Sunday, July 15, 2018

weekend visit, continued

It's mid-July. Warm, lovely to the core. As I do my very early, trimming of the garden, snipping this spent flower and the next, I'm back to filling my head with music. Remember Purcell's Nymphs and Shepherds? No? There is a famous recording of it from 1929. 250 schoolchildren from Manchester, England, with no musical training, were given a chance to perform it. And they did. And it's innocent and lovely. Listen to it if you want a backdrop to this leisurely day of flowers and berry cakes. Of summer views and farmette moments.

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Breakfast, on the porch.

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What, Ed -- do you think you're free of my camera today? Nope.

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An entire morning and then some making Yotam Ottolenghi's lemon and black currant stripe cake (only I can't find black currants so I'm using mixed berries).

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It's one of those complicated projects that I would not otherwise undertake, but my friend is here to chat me up as I work away. (Theses are her pics)

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Make the puree, make the oddly complicated but oh so delicious buttercream, then the cake, and then start rolling it all together.

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Nearly finished. Just needs the frosting and a dribble of the leftover puree. A pause to watch Diane play with the cheepers.

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We paused, too, to watch the final ten minutes of the World Cup. I suppose it's fitting that, apart from the cake (Ottolenghi is an Israeli-British chef), dinner will have a French twist to it. The young family is here to eat with us: kir royal (yes, it's a Sunday favorite around here) to sip at the outset (with stinky cheeses for those who just are too hungry to wait for dinner) and a salade niçoise (I like the recipe from Saveur best) for the main course.

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(I've photographed it before, but it's just so colorful and a little different each time, so here it is again...)

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Of course, there is also a home twist of the fantastic Wisconsin corn (it's very very hard to find corn on the cob in France: they mostly import it)! The perfect mid-summer meal.

Okay, let's get the dinner out onto the porch!

(What about me??)

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(You can come, you just can't eat a salade niçoise yet...)

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All followed by the cake, of course.

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With the clever interior...

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After the meal, we retreat inside for a post dinner moment. Snowdrop, somewhat energized, works hard at wearing us all out! She plays "family," she tells stories, she dances, she whirls and twirls and we sit back and wonder when any of us had that much energy.

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Goodnight, goodnight, sweet post weekend dreams to the little and big ones in our lives!