Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Beautiful Weekend

This past weekend had its share of ups and downs, but far more ups than downs especially on account of the beautiful weather. After several weeks of soupy humidity, temps in the upper 90s, torrential rain, and violent thunderstorms, a huge storm front blew through the East Coast on Saturday night, killing business at the restaurant, but on its heels was a cold air mass that brought delightful levels of humidity and a cool breeze to us.

Sunday was a day to marvel at how beautiful this planet is and we spent a good bit of the early morning in the back yard, with me putzing about pruning and trying to control the weeds that are everywhere thanks to the past several weeks of rain.

Our First Sunflower of the Year
Out in the back yard, we noticed that our first sunflower is blooming. While we used to plant ornamental sunflowers, we haven't in the past several years. We haven't needed to. Our bird friends and the four-legged bushy tailed grey birds do a fine job of distributing black oil sunflower seeds everywhere. Even at this immature stage, the goldfinches are all over the sunflower blooms. They've spent the last few weeks on the sage blossoms and recently the anise hyssop.

Eastern Box Turtle
The beautiful weather brought out this fairly young box turtle. The dogs were fascinated. I believe that it was feeding on honeysuckle berries along the tree line in the back. After coffee in the back yard, we decided to grab a quick lunch at the local kebab house, a place near us that has been open for several years. I was always leery of the place and now I know why. The kebabs are pretty miserable. Compared to the places in Northern Virginia, this place doesn't even rate a mention, hence no name and no pictures.

It's always a good time out with Ann no matter what the food. After the fairly miserable kebab experience, Ann started lobbying immediately for soft serve. It was a really good diversion from lunch to sit outside on a beautifully cool and sunny day and eat ice cream without having to crush it before it melted all down my hand. And laugh about lunch.

Back at home, we decided on burgers. I've put enough burgers on the blog this year that I didn't feel the need to photograph yet another one.

Monday was a long, tiring day, kicking off at 2:30 in the morning with a call from the Sheriff's Office informing us that somebody had sneaked out of the house and was busted trespassing with his girlfriend at the high school. The consequences for said person were swift and severe and the repercussions much more than he bargained for, but the whole ordeal left us drained and without a lot of sleep.

I was in and out of the office early on Monday and we all converged at the house simultaneously around 1:30, ravenous for some food. I grabbed a couple of boxes of pasta on the way home and we had it simply with sage and a little leftover quesillo especial (aka queso Oaxaca o queso quesadilla) from the fridge. We all, reprobate included, sat at the dinner table for a late lunch.

Cellentani/Cavatappi/Spirali with Sage and Cheese
On Sunday, Ann asked me if I would make a calamari and white bean salad for dinner on Monday, a classic that I learned from two restaurants in Richmond, VA and a former sous chef who worked at both. This is a dish that I hadn't made since our Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner three Christmases ago. It is so dead simple to do: open and rinse some cannellini, slice some red onion, and dress with liberal lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Then sear the squid for just a few seconds. Add to the bowl with the beans and some fresh baby arugula. Toss and eat.

Squid and White Beans with Baby Arugula

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