With my first sip of very strong coffee (at 4:45 am!), after being woken by a very time confused and jet lagged five-year old, I am abruptly brought back from my time away. Friends have been calling and e-mailing their “welcome backs” and wondering if I am happy to be home. Well, yes and no.
For starters, it’s pretty excellent to have a cup of bold, rich coffee made in my slow drip Chemex and “no” because I don’t have the turquoise sea as the backdrop to soothe my bleary eyes. I’m glad the heat wave that made everyone miserable last week left us with cooler 80’s and low 90 temperatures to deal with, a welcome weather pattern for my cooking aspirations for the coming week.
And boy, have I missed cooking with my friends!
Of course I loved being with my family in my kitchen away from home, creating feasts together for numerous lunches and dinners. My daughter became an expert at making “batata fritas” (that’s Portuguese for french fries by the way), serving them so proudly for our late afternoon snack, along-side olives and fresh goat cheese, while my oldest son spent his time crafting the perfect garlic bread, drizzled ever so generously with olive oil and smothered with garlic, and my little guy squeezed plump oranges into the sweetest juice we’ve ever tasted.
I spent lots of time with my Portuguese friend Celia, talking about the foods we enjoy making for our families, while making “Sopa de Vegetal”. She even surprised us one morning with a chocolate glazed almond carrot cake and taught us the real way to mold Marzipan figures (which I’m sorry to say won’t be revealed until a future blog).
So, our kitchen was certainly bustling, often crowded in fact, as we enjoyed cooking together.
But I crave cooking with friends the way some crave a scoop of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge. And for that reason most, I am glad to be home. I can’t wait for my CSA pick up tomorrow afternoon and the time I will soon spend with Debbie making something tantalizing. I’m anxious to get some fresh strawberries and rhubarb this Saturday morning at the farmer’s market and make pies with Liz; and I can’t wait to make jam and tapenade with Jackie. Basically, I need to connect with my friends and catch up while we cook together.
But for now, I need to get my kids settled and off to their various summer camps and activities. I guess I should thank my little guy for waking me up and getting me going! More later!