04 May, 2009

coming back down to earth

Generosity, overwhelming laughter, an obsessive devotion to every aspect of food that met and even possibly (possibly!) surpasses my own... what an unforgettable weekend. Three days and nights of endless chat, endless stints in the kitchen wrapped in aprons, exchanging tasting spoons with precisely NO attention to swine or any other flu. Seven women and two boys who did not want for fawning attention, a formal garden full of plunderable delights like a gargantuan flowering rosemary bush, a patch of mint to rival Kew Gardens' patch of mint, thyme, marjoram, the firmest spring onions any of us had ever seen, much less eaten, and most magically, a vast bed of asparagus just coming on. I can only tell you that you have not properly eaten English asparagus until you've steamed it minutes after cutting it, and raced it to a dish of mustardy, buttery, lemony sauce.

Foxi Rosie, Sam, Adam, Katie, Pauline, Susan, Jenny and Caro: thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sheer joy of shared FUN: much more on this tomorrow when the recovery process has begun in earnest. For now, a simple thank you with lingering memories of a laden, candlelit table, bursts of giggling over badgers and "come and smell my cork," the best pork crackling known to man or woman, listening ears for a new chapter read aloud, a sun-dappled Sunday walk with stomachs full of minty lamb burgers and homemade tatziki, a walk through the damply touching tiny village church, my first Yorkshire pudding, and conversations with a roommate kept on even though there was plenty of room for us to move to a single. Starry skies, chill breezes, raids on local butchers and delis.

Raised glasses to Rosie, our beloved leader who, if there was an ingredient or luxury she did not bring along, it's only because it was illegal.

Three loud cheers to the "Gathering of Nuts in May", the first of many reunions!


Foxi Rosie said...

So evocative and beautifully written. I would relive every moment again, every week if I could.

Kristen In London said...

Me too, darling... especially, perhaps, that late afternoon walk in the blinky light. Nah, it was the asparagus!