Summer evening

We dined this evening at the invitation of my erstwhile physician at this country estate in the Village of Ashton. Euphoria I know is a combination of many things not the least of which is psychotic ecstasy (itself a derivative of incalculable and often unconscious stimulants).  So while I cannot aver without protest that the sole resource of my euphoria this evening is gastronomy, it is nonetheless very close to being so. Our host is a reputed fine cook. As well I have the advantage of having come to table with that blunt additive, a sustainable trace of an appetite having eaten breakfast many hours earlier and only having had a small plate of fruit and cheese midday. All of which was punctuated by an exhausting 45 minutes on the tricycle in the garage this morning and a prolonged dip in the pool this afternoon.

As we afterwards foregathered around the wooden table on the patio overlooking the meadow, the theme of conversation descended almost precipitously beyond one’s health and the weather to the keener subjects of politics and travel. The notable interruption was the grunts and groans of gratitude following each mouthful of the meal. The meal was one which all of us have shared many times before though always with the singular touch of the chef-in-residence. The plate is for literary purposes entitled “Caribbean Pasta” though the recipe in fact evolves from a young amorous Italian couple from the Preston St area of downtown Ottawa. True, the recipe is capable of what might generously be called “innovation” but predominantly it is a simple motif with traditional winners such as olive oil, Maldon salt and red pepper flakes. The dessert too was nonpareil, a mixture of homemade cobbler and fresh fruit.

For reasons I can’t explain we escaped the annoyance of bugs until after eight o’clock this evening when we retired from the al fresco dining venue.

As always our return home along the Appleton Side Road was an uncompromising delight. The elongated sunlight hours approaching the summer solstice on June 20th heightened the pleasure of the day.