Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dining Alfresco ...

... As summer wanes into autumn.

Bathe in the soft, golden light, gently warming, yet bringing with it a hint of crispness, a slight chill. The sky is blue as blue can be and the sunsets are spectacular. Put on a sweater, pull up a comfy chair. I'll pour you a glass of wine as we savor simple food and these last harvest days before we go indoors for the long winter. Eat up, it's all good for you.
Broad beans from the farmers market sautéed in olive oil with slices of Claudia's garlic, Cypress Grove's Truffle Tremor, pitted kalamata olives, so easy to pop into your mouth, heirloom tomatoes on a bed of organically grown arugula - both from the farmers market - drizzled with a basil-balsamic vinaigrette and punctuated with chunks of fresh mozzarella, Neiman Ranch incredibly delicious dry salame (not too much though, just look at those circles of fat!), small, sweet peppers, fried in olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt, black unpitted olives paired with slivers of roasted garlic (a favorite of mine from France), local whole wheat walnut bread from Brio, grilled andouille sausage with a grainy dijon mustard for dipping, line-caught smoked salmon (pair this with goat cheese on a slice of walnut bread - heaven!),

and always, always a glass of wine - sometimes rosé if it's warm out, but mostly a deep, satisfying red to ward off the approaching evening chill.

Savor the sunset as long shadows creep along the garden creating deep shade here, a pool of golden light there. The sound of honking prompts you to lift your head to the sky to watch the geese flying south in their familiar V- formations. Closer above you the last of the swallows flit about, dining on the just-hatched winged ants, so rich in the protein the swallows will need for their long flight south.

We must never take this bounty of nature for granted. We must nurture it, hold it in the hightest esteem, care for it, honor it, assure its cycle of life - as dear as our own.



Copyright © 2005-2007, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved

14 comments:

  1. Fantastic spread with a gorgeous sunset! Wow!

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  2. A simple, yet delicioso spread...I'm sure it took you all evening to finish all that, chat and drink lots of wine...I would!

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  3. What a gorgeous sunset and I could just fancy some of the food right now.
    Anne

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  4. Beautiful post, Christine! What a perfect meal for a perfect evening. Good to see you back.....I do agree with you on the glorious bounty of nature-I am probably guilty at times, not often, but, occassionally taking it for granted...thank you for reminding me how precious nature is!

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  5. I can't think of a more perfect way to toast the end of summer!

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  6. Thanks Joe. We love our local, organically grown food and feel very, very lucky to live in this part of the world.

    Yes, Peter, we often take our time nibbling and sipping - until the cold drives us indoors.

    Thank you Paz. I'm sure loving your photos and prose.

    Well, Anne, I can see that we need you to make a trip across the pond and "out west". I would feed you well. :)

    Thanks so much Jann. That last paragraph just popped in as I was typing and looking out my window at the beauty around me.

    Thank you Katie. Neither can I!

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  7. That's a beautiful thanksgiving from the heart! Thanksgiving of the moment. You've captured it perfectly in photo, food and word! Thank you.

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  8. Lovely spread and gorgeous sunset. See you at the end of the month.

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  9. Awww, Tanna. I'm blushing. Thanks so much for your always kind words.

    Simona, You must be having a wonderful time in Italy. Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  10. Such beautiful poetry - your words, the pics and the food!

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  11. Beautiful photos, beautiful post. Beautiful ode to autumn which is my favourite time of year!!!

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  12. Thank you Cynthia!

    Thanks for visiting Valli. I love the lake photo on your blog. Stunning!

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  13. You never know I might just take you up on the offer of being fed!
    Anne

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