Faithful Living: Dining is fine in the fog
By JOAN BAY KLOPE
Whidbey News Times Columnist
August 13, 2010 · Updated 12:56 PM
One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you’re eating with friends.
— Laurie Colwin, ‘Home Cooking’
No doubt the summer of 2010 will be remembered as the summer we looked out upon a sea of fog. Morning after morning. Then, in what has seemed like a tease, the sun has managed to shine most days early afternoon into the evening. All this has done little for the garden I so greatly anticipated.
Determined to be a true gardener, I purchased seeds and dirt pods. I read directions, pushed seeds to the correct depth, and watered with care. I placed my starter trays next to a kitchen window so I’d faithfully tend to the watering and cheer each seed as it miraculously awoke up and stretched beyond its bed of soil.
In a matter of weeks my luscious green trays longed for the outside and I transplanted them into my raised beds after acclimatizing them outside. I’ve watered and weeded. And today I have a slew of green tomatoes, one zucchini, and a half dozen summer squash who resemble pollywogs unable to grow into big boy frogs.
We’ve turned to the sea to comfort our dashed hopes for a garden extraordinaire and she has not disappointed us. With her abundance of gifts we have developed favorite recipes for preparing mussels and nearly swoon each time we bread an oyster or dip a warm crab leg into our favorite mixture of melted butter, Old Bay seasoning, and a dash of vinegar.
Better still, we have shared these glorious moments with friends and family. And truth be told, it’s as much about the preparation as it is about the eating. There is this delightful process that begins with a recipe search. It continues with gathering ingredients, mixing carefully paired libations, and tossing the sides. It culminates by looking around a table filled with those we love, crediting the One who brings it all together, and diving in.
It is at this nearly holy location that we also plan the future feasts, for the berries are ripening, the potatoes are peaking out from the soil, the hunting seasons are drawing near, and the apples are swelling. All these gifts are best enjoyed in the company of family and friends. Stomachs are filled; hearts bonded.
And in spite of the fog, we have taken to occasionally carting our food outside or ordering specially selected foods to go. I recommend Hot Rock Pizza at our Farmer’s Market or fish and chips from Seabolts. I don’t know why, but nearly everything tastes better outside where the beauty of our island can feed the soul. Steve Poole promises a few more warm days ahead, but don’t get so busy you might forget there are beaches to explore, forest trails to discover, prayers to be whispered, dogs to be walked, and friends to laugh with.
There are ice cream cones to devour, political ideas to hash out, plans to be made, and meals to be planned.
Reach Joan Bay Klope, email@example.com.