File this under better late than never, I guess! I've been meaning to do a little post about our wonderful day in the country at good friends Don and Marlene, but, well, life keeps happening and here we are at Thursday already!
In any case, last Saturday afternoon, Brad and I hopped in the car and drove the 40 minutes out to Shangri-la - aka Don and Mar's 20-some acres in the country. It was a spectacular day, sunny and hot, but not too humid. Every time we go out, I sigh and tell Brad that I want to live there too. It's so quiet and peaceful, no neighbours in sight, and you rarely even see a car passing on the road in the distance. I would no doubt miss the city a bit, but the tranquility and unruffled calm of country living is certainly alluring to me.
After greeting our hosts and saying hello to the 3 dogs and 2 cats, we started the afternoon off with a glass of Don's homemade mead, 3-years old, I believe, with a hint of choke cherry to tart up the honey-based libation. Refills in hand, we walked down to inspect the handsome new chicken coop, which is now home to three ducks, a number of roosters, and a gaggle of chickens. The ducks have already started laying, but it will be a few more weeks before the chickens will begin production. They are really quite pretty birds and they were quick to gobble up the blueberries that Mar and I threw in for them.
Then it was on to the garden, which was a sight to behold. Fenced off to keep munching deer out, the garden is full of tomatillos, corn, peas, beans, potatoes, beets, you name it! Walking a bit farther, we came to the vineyard that Don and Mar have been planting and tending to for years now. Their efforts are really paying off and bearing fruit, literally. Row after row of beautiful vines that now nestle clumps of small grapes that will be ready for harvest sometime next month.
Off in the distance was the fish pond where Don caught the trout that would be barbecued for our supper. We made our way back to the deck where we laughed and talked over a couple of micro brews as we whiled away the remainder of the afternoon.
By and by, Don went down to the garden to dig some new potatoes, followed by Mar who picked fresh beans. You've perhaps heard of the hundred-mile diet, well this was the 100-metre diet! Trout from the pond and mostly everything else from the garden, all except for the curried shrimp skewers. I guess we blew the distance thing with the curry used on the shrimp. Mar picked that up in Nepal when they were there with Brad a couple of years ago!
Everything was absolutely delish and absolutely fresh! All washed down with a great French white from their ample cellar and followed by a blueberry buckle that was not long out of the oven and homemade vanilla ice cream! We retired again to the cool of the deck and lingered over a tasty dessert wine.
A perfect day in the country, but alas all good things must come to an end, and we had to get home to let our two dogs out. Mar sent us on our way with 3 bars of soap, which she, of course, had made! They smell terrific and I can't wait to lather up in the shower!
Thanks again, guys! And next time I'll try to remember our camera!