Although my social media accounts would lead you to believe I disappeared over the weekend, I really only went up Chicago-Way to visit with HME. The benefits of visiting HME are always too many to list, but I will do my best.
Time escapes me. While I’m forced to admit we’ve been friends for more than 20 years, while I’m with her, I feel 20. Clocks are not a thing. Years merely translate to wisdom and achy joints, they don’t actually exist.
We also schlep around room to room, jammified and braless.
Packing for HME’s is like, grab some comfy clothes, one outfit in case you have to be presentable, and take your pillow, because at some point, your brain and your mouth will exceed maximum usage limits and your eyes will close. Going to a fully-functioning home is the best trip, because you can pack light. Mr and Mrs HME have coconut oil for Moo’s skin and honey for her cough. They have sunscreen and quilts.
Most importantly there are relevant intellectual conversations to be had. If I put all my and my friends’ interests into Venn diagrams, HME and I have the most overlaps. We talk about art, literature, dance, architecture, music, philosophy, depth psychology, religion, food, education, and assorted social issues. I think and learn more in 24 hours of HME than I do in a week.
There is always delicious food. It’s a foodie haven, as Mr HME is one of my favorite cooks. Mr HME assigned me the task of teaching his betrothed to cook while she lived with me in 1998. I didn’t have a lot of success with her, but she’s come a long way from thinking the oven light switch controls the broiler. This weekend’s menu included pulled pork, smoked and dressed properly, pesto & vegetable pasta salad, homemade ice cream and brownies, sausage biscuits with gravy, beignets, banana bread, rib roast, grilled sweet corn, and my favorite — a countertop filled with assorted cheeses, crackers, veggies, hummus, fruit, and prosecco.
I snapped a photo of the rib roast.
You ever cook anything in a way you hadn’t planned, or substituted something because you’re out of what you meant to use, but it turns out to be better than your original method? Cooking serendipity? This is what happens when you run out of propane and end up using the part of your grill that works like a wood stove.
Behold, rib roast ala HME:
I don’t love meat, and I only had one bite of this because Mr HME shoved a fork of it in my face, but it was delicious. It may have been the best bite of beef I’ve ever tasted. I sacrilegiously seared Sassy’s because she won’t eat it so rare, but as I put it on her plate I told her, “These were happy cows and you can taste their happiness.”
I ate two ears of the sweet corn, though. Ate them like my squirrels do — standing up and gnawing quickly, as if some other larger animal might eat it or me before I was done.
This weekend I was introduced to sipping tequila. My initial reaction to this was confusion. You don’t throw it back and feel the burn, which I think is rather the point of tequila. No, you sip it. I asked, “So does that mean I’ll just take my clothes off really slowly?” Sipping tequila is some sorta liquid ambrosia. Your tastebuds are romanced with a rich complex elixir, until a brandy-like heat coats your tummy and sweet blasphemy escapes your lips. I can’t even.
We took in the view. We toured a little in town. We sampled olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We browsed an antique mall and ogled the candy store. We took all the children to a toy store where yes, we all played and yes, we all wanted a new toy. I got some iced coffee and took pictures of doors. We walked around for as long as I could endure the heat and humidity.
I had a lovely weekend.
Fed my belly.
Fed my soul.
Almost starved my anxiety.
Today I’m so tired all I can do is yawn and swipe at my watering eyes, but it’s a good tired, y’know?