America’s Next Top Model
The week may have started out on a sour note, but it ended on a sweet one.
Megan’s birthday is next Saturday, but we celebrated her birthday yesterday. Our friends Rik and Lu, who are both EMS workers, are so busy that it’s hard to find a day when they are both available, especially once summer starts and they start being the medics on hand at festivals and events all over Northern California. They also spent a month in Honduras this spring, helping out as volunteers at clinics in remote areas.
Since they were available on Friday, Friday it was. Monica and her husband Joe (he’s in the background of the picture of Jessica) came, as well as Erica, Jessica, Lichen and Phoebe, and we all had a wonderful time.
Lu and Rik had raised a couple of pigs which were slaughtered a few weeks ago, so they brought ribs and pork burgers. I usually don’t eat pigs due to humane reasons and environmental ones – and living half a block from an overly active abbatoir for a few years, especially in the summer, didn’t help matters – but I found myself unable to resist. Everything smelled and looked delicious, and I knew they had been raised kindly and without pesticides and antibiotics, so I indulged. I don’t know what Rik spiced the burgers with, but they were the best burgers I have ever had.
Besides the porkapalooza, we had barbecued shrimp for which I made charmoula sauce, and Megan made grill bread. Lu brought her famous salad of quinoa, spinach, red onions, almonds, mint, cilantro and lemon dressing, and Monica brought a lovely caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil and mozzarella.
You’d think that would be enough, but Jonathan* made a pie from the strawberries he picked from the garden that very day:
Erica brought graham crackers which she made from scratch that day – only Erica would actually make graham crackers – and marshmallows, which she made with chocolate nibs embedded inside them. Again, only Erica. We toasted the marshmallows over the fire and spread them on the graham crackers for instant s’mores.
We sat around the fire laughing and talking as the dogs romped around the garden and the sun set behind the trees. It couldn’t have been a more perfect evening.
*He was wearing a t-shirt that read “You can’t trust atoms. They make up everything”.