Last Saturday night I had dinner with friends Liz and Guy near Mountain View in Arkansas. Apparently guy is a fairly good cook. It’s a bit tedious watching him in the kitchen though. I could tell the story about brownie making but that would be a gross digression from this short story.
Guy was busy in the kitchen cooking a red sauce loaded with Italian sausage and portobellos. He also had at his disposal a zucchini from his garden about 15 or 16 inches long. Most cooks are intimidated by a zucchini that size but not Guy! He preceded to cut it lengthwise and gut it of seeds, then loaded it with the sausage and tomato sauce. I sat at the kitchen table and watched him carefully place about a half pound of shredded mozzarella and some parmesan on top, wrap the whole affair in heavy duty foil and tuck it into the oven.
Liz caught me gazing out the kitchen window and suggested a back yard tour. She has a beautiful water garden complete with a waterfall, pond and masses of flowers and flowering shrubs. A couple square raised beds were overflowing with vegetables … tomatoes big as my fist, bushy genovese basil 2 feet tall, cucumbers, radishes and rhubarb. I went home with a bag full of that basil and promptly made a batch of delicious pesto!
There were masses of day lilies, zinnias and all manner of bright blooms all around the perimeter and walkways. A beautiful yard.
Back in the kitchen Guy was also preparing a giant yellow squash. This one was being stuffed with Alfredo sauce loaded with onions and garlic, portobellos and shrimp and covered with mozzarella.
Ninety minutes later I was hard pressed to say which was my favorite! Along with a broccoli salad and fresh cucumbers I left there stuffed to the gills. Check out the recipe’s here.
Around 10 p.m. we headed over to the Mountain View square to listen to some folk music. I missed seeing a new acquaintance, Allan Cates, playing with some other folk including a woman on hammered dulcimer, which is just about my favorite. It was mighty fine and the city has done a tremendous amount of work creating great spaces for dozens of jam sessions to perform at one time. I was full as a tick and the weather was still in the high 80’s with equal humidity so we didn’t stay long. Long enough to know I’ll be back with a lawn chair and a tall cold drink!