Friday, May 21, 2010

Breathing in the Pace of Eden

Ham patiently wrapped around tenter asparagus, Eggs folded over gently sautéed spinach and spring greens, pasta marinated in pesto then sprinkled with feta, all of this drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. This plate of succulence, all accompanied by coffee, juice and a treat of fresh blueberries, crumbled pound cake and whipped cream, yes it is a lovely place to breath in the pace of eden.

We arrived in St. Louis last night just after dark and while it was evident that the Park Avenue B&B is lovely, it was a little hard to appreciate the beauty of the building and the grounds. After putting our things in the room we went down to the parlor last night with our lap tops, lured by brandy available to us in the decanter. There was not much brandy there, but as we are both lightweights, it was plenty. But there was lovely music playing, the room is decorated with antiques and a lovely victorian elegance. To our pleasure, Kathy brought us a glass of champagne to enjoy, since there was not much brandy. The wine was much more our style anyway and it was a lovely way to wind up our first evening in St Louis.

We are staying in the fleur-de-lys room here, complete with walk in shower and jacuzzi. There are a couple of tastefully placed fleur-de-lys around the lovely victorian room. It is cozy, lovely and just right for a quick episode of relaxation.

Jodi quickly got to work taking photos of the room, before we placed our own brand on it. She is still unnerved by the shadow she could not seem to get out of her photos, even more by the light that came on in the middle of night during a storm. She does not think it humorous that I keep telling her it is a lingering spirit. I did not wish to unnerve anyone else with talk of ghosts at breakfast so the verdict is still out on spirit inhabitants, but I really like the human ones.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring's Generosity

Today I went out with Lucy and perused my strawberries, there were some ripe, succulent and ready to be enjoyed! I am loving this years reawakening of the earth. Last year, after my return from Paris, I promised myself to be home in April, May and June hence forth. My pleasure in my yard had been diminished over the last several years with vacations smack in the middle of Spring. This year has been so sweet, maybe even sweater because of the dearth of enjoyment in recent years. God has watered in just the right quantities. The birds are plump with worms and singing their joy each day. My roses are all in full bloom and even ready to be pruned. The forget-me-not’s are opening their tiny periwinkle faces to me. They were my grandmothers favorite flower, between them and the lilly of the valley (just done blooming) she has been on my mind frequently this spring. My water lilies are opening their pink blossoms to the sun each morning in worship. The grass is green and velvety on my feet as I walk in my yard.

Picking the tender, fragrant crimson strawberries this morning reinforced my determination to stay home and participate in the beauty unfolding right here in my own back yard, it is not Kansas, nor Oz, but it is heavenly!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chenonceau Mornings

It was another time and another place several years ago with another person. My first road trip in France included a visit to Chenonceau. It was a well worried trip and included a night at a hotel very near the castle. Auberge du Bon Laboureur, had been recommended by multiple people on multiple web sites. The visit, to what is still to this day my favorite castle of the Loir, was magical to me. After we dinned at the Auberge in the garden behind where we indulged in a lamb and spinach plate. I do not remember much else, other than it was a fabulous meal. Good food, good company and a lovely environment, all made it memorable. We went to bed well sated. The room was nice, a comfortable bed, toile walls and windows without screens that opened to the street. It rained during the night as we slumbered in our gastronomic high and we woke to the softest spring morning I have ever experienced. The world was right at that moment, birds singing, the soft spring air on our skin, the essence of fresh rain, resting in a comfortable bed with a person I loved. I thought life could not get any better. In the ensuing years I have experiences other ”Chenonceau mornings”, some with the other person who really gets that and many without. This morning is such a day. It rained last night, seriously rained and the earth is redolent of wet. The birds are ecstatic with the morning pickings and are proclaiming it with loud passion. Yesterday I prepared Croissant dough and this morning rolled it out, rolled them up and baked lovely golden flaky croissants. These I served with Rhubarb jam that I made last week with rhubarb from my parents garden, and cafe au lait. I don’t know how many Chenonceau mornings I have left, but I do know that I appreciate (recognize the full worth) of each one granted me.