Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chicken Dinners & Hopeless Wanderers

So much has been going on here, and the high points of the summer seem to be stacking on top of each other in such quick succession. I hosted a wonderful dinner with close friends, Kathy and Mary, Sunday night. They drove up north from Windwomen Farm, south of Albany and we shared a good meal of farm-raised chicken over kale and potatoes, all raised here at Cold Antler. The bird was basted with a wonderful blend of butter and mead, brewed by my friend Geoff, then rubbed down with herbs. I also baked a celebratory loaf of fresh bread, as little nod to the holiday that had just passed. Lughnasadh was on the 2nd and the old holiday is known for it's blessing of wheat, first fruits, and the beginning of autumn. I made the bread with whipped eggs from my hens honey from my county and braided it into a circular knot. It was a riot of texture and flavor, also well-basted with butter and sugar. The combination was delightful and we sat under the king maple in my front lawn. We talked of our farms and the food we were raising, our plans, our dreams. We told stories and laughed. I wanted to share all the recipes (meaning narratives, as I don't measure anything) and take copious pictures but instead of making a documentary I just enjoyed the evening. We all went out for ice cream afterwards and I had a splendid time. The kind of time summers are made from.

Another high point: last night my friend Tara texted to let me know she got a hold of the premiere of the new show, Outlander, based on the novel series we both are reading and adore. She came over and we watched the show at my place. It was a wonderful, sexy, adaptation of the books and I was more than a little excited to finally meet Jamie and Claire in the flesh. I posted about my excitement for the show on Facebook and people were so unaccustomed to my girlytalk several folks earnestly asked if I had been hacked by a spammer. The hacking was done entirely by my intense love for James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. Guilty.

Since Tyler is traveling on business Tara spent the night at the farm and in the morning we saddled up Merlin and Jasper for a trail ride together. I learned after about five minutes that Jasper needed some more trail experience (read: manners) before a guest could sit on his back and pony along for a ride. So Jasper went back into the pasture and I gave Tara the saddle and reins. I walked Merlin on a lead rope and gave her a horseback trail ride on my mountain trails. We covered pasture and streams, fields and wildflowers, and when we reached the steeper mountain road that lead up to a big field we talked about her building projects and learning to ride. As we made it to the top, I turned to look behind us at the scene we had slowly earned. The whole of Washington County was nothing but mists and mountains forever. I told Tara to turn around and she did, and thus declared an oath I will not repeat. I smiled at her startled joy. View of mountains and mist at sunrise are amazing for sure, but seen from the saddle they become more. It is hard to explain, impossible not to understand when your the one holding the reins.

We came inside to a quick one-skillet breakfast of chopped garlic, onions, and potatoes and eggs. We shared it and watched some videos while unwinding from the morning walk. She showed me the video for Hopeless Wanderer and I instantly forgot everything I felt for Jamie Fraser when I saw Jason Bateman in suspenders with scruff and a banjo. Also, hilarious. So enjoy this, Antlers. And if you're a witty guy with an acousticl instrument, you should probably email me so I can take you out to dinner. Bonus points for facial hair and skill with testy ponies.


Blogger Cat H said...

wonderful post!

August 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

Loved this post ... I've been in love with Jamie Fraser for years, received the latest novel, Written in my own Hearts Blood and loved every word, finished it with sadness as I felt this could be the last one (!?) My Jaimie dog is named for Jamie as well; he is part west highland terrier .... ...

August 5, 2014 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Jones said...

Thanks for a wonderful dinner and excellent conversation, all served in a beautiful setting! Mary and I had an outstanding time and look forward to seeing you again, this weekend, at the orchard and cidering workshop!

August 5, 2014 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Lone Pine Farm said...

I have spent many a late night with Jamie Fraser, heading to sleep just as dawn peeks over the horizon, a mere hour or two before I must be on my way to my pay-the-bills job. But, I really like the Jamie, Claire, and Brianna that live in my mind's eye - as such, I will not be watching the show, so I do not replace my Jamie with someone else's face. (I had this problem with Game of Thrones - now Jon Snow looks like Kit Harington, and Jon is just a character to me; Jamie, on the other hand..... No, I will keep my Jamie, and the world can have Sam Heughan.)

I love that you are building a community around you, and sharing all you do - you definitely live with the dial turned up to 11, and I admire that :)


August 5, 2014 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Iowabovine said...

please instruct her to hold reins correctly !!!

August 5, 2014 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I hope you all enjoy Outlander with me!

August 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Iowa, she is just smiling and posing during a lead ride, not taking lessons from me :) First time on a horse since she was a teenager and feeling comfortable is a good start!

August 6, 2014 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Nancy po said...

Funny video with some of the SNL guys too. Never heard of that series, but I'm not a big fiction reader. I thought maybe this was a re-do of the Highlander series....

August 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I am right there with you in the loving of James Fraser! I have got all the Outlander novels on my kindle and I am re-reading them from the beginning on my morning train commute. It makes the commute go by much faster! (only I have been reading in the evenings and weekends as well, as let's face it, I'm hooked even though I'm re-reading!).

August 10, 2014 at 4:21 PM  

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