Beautiful Days, Fantastic Friends

We are so blessed with all the sweetness of life.  We have this spot on the earth where we can simply sit on our patch of land and watch the ocean and the birds the animals and vegetation surround us and we don’t have to do much about anything, beyond notice.

And then people come to us.  We assume it is because they like us, but it feels good when they’re here to see them have their own enjoyment of the place and leave taking some refreshment from it.  They drive off looking a little wind-blown and smelling of campfire smoke and crab, which lingers with one all the way home.

These two photos carry the sensory memories I want to store away for when I’m back in Africa.  The first one is a grass and mint soup with wild foraged berries served at one of the best restaurants in the US, just up the road:  The Willows.  The second is our crab catch, just from today.  It is fun to see my hunter/gatherer (I’m not sure which one catching crab is) males return from the sea with their pinchy bounty.

A simple side I made for a gathering this week was a take on corn on the cob seen on the menu at Pok Pok in Portland, a wildly popular,  Chang Mai style restaurant   If you have travelled in Southeast Asia, you know the sort of ambiance they were going for:  outdoors, functional tables and chairs, odd strings of  Christmas lights in the rafters to make the place a little fancy.  You also know that in a place like this the food is going to be fire-cracker hot and it was.  All that was missing from our SE Asian expat days was the sweat slowly trickling down our spines and into the bands of our underwear and the Tiger beer.

I rarely eat corn.  About 10 years ago a friend, on a diet, impressed upon me that corn is what farmers feed to hogs to fatten them up.  Corn never looked very innocent to me after that.  If, however, you find some delectably sweet, tender, summer corn, you can treat it the same as having dessert, go whole-hog, if you will.  In that case, you should bathe it in coconut creme, chili, and lime.

Finally, I will share a blog introduced to me by delightful house guest/dinner mate, Jing Fong.  She works for Yes! magazine so she is already predisposed to looking at life through a glass-half-full lens.  A Cup of Jo is a snack of happy, creative living.



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