Earlier this week an especially lovely couple invited us over for an al fresco meal in their east Birmingham backyard. The weather was perfect, one of the first cool nights of the year.
I sure will miss that Southern summer produce. At least I'm moving to the land where figs and chestnuts grow on trees.
Okay, that's everywhere. But, you know, the place where you pick them off the tree and eat them, instead of paying $6 a pound.
With some Gran Cuvee Rose we had bruschetta with various toppings: eggplant + thyme, tomato + basil, and lily confit +ricotta. Erm.
On to the next course: a red wine from Navarra (no matter how much I tell myself I'll have more Spanish wine over the next year than I could ever want, I can't get away from it) with an arugula, fennel and pine nut salad.
And for the third course I made a simple angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil, pecorino, black pepper and greenery (chives, mint, basil, thyme and scallions).
I had tiny little hostess jitters serving it, doubting for a moment its simplicity, and thinking 'i hope I'm pleasantly surprised'. Jyes. I was.
It's hard to leave old friends, definitely. But perhaps equally as hard is leaving newer friends, ones with whom you feel you are on the cusp of many beautiful nights under the stars.
*photos by morgan jones johnston