Along for the ride:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What's for Lunch?

Having been woken and re-awoken this morning, from 5:30 am onwards, by our relentlessly hungry cat, I ended up ready to go to the barn even earlier than usual. As I drove alongside the fifty acre paddock, which is a rolling hillside terrain studded with mature oaks, I saw a half dozen happy horses relaxing in the morning sun. One was laying full out on his side, with the rest all serenely dozing with their legs tucked beneath them.
As I parked my car, I noticed Roger, the resident coyote, trot over to the herd, roll deliciously in something and then settle down right next to the horses. Was he there because they're friends? Was he there because that's the best darn spot in the fifty acre field? Or was he being Wily Coyote, immersing himself in horse scent and expecting an unsuspecting rabbit to present itself for his breakfast?
My riding lesson was empowering and the camaradery of  the usual gang of riders is a large part of  the experience. We all want to know more and everyone is supportive of one anothers' small achievements. Some of us can remember the planned course we should be taking and some of us get so swept up in riding the moment that it's a rare day without bursts of laughter and missed poles. A new rider joined us recently and her reputation is worse than mine. We decided today to work together and call ourselves "Team Lost".
I made it back home by noon to find a salad prepared and a weeks supply cauldron of vegetable soup bubbling away on the stove. TAO had been working in the kitchen but had not planned beyond the salad for our lunch. I turned away from the quick shower I had hoped to take before setting the table and started looking for a possible menu improvisation.
Butter, garlic and sliced zucchini heating in a pan; oven turned on in anticipation. I threw some frozen green lip mussels in an oven to table pottery dish with a lid, added broth from the soup, saffron, fennel and salt and pepper. I plucked a few leaves of basil and parsely from my garden and chopped them before adding them, white wine and whipping cream to the mix. Covered and shoved in the oven to bake, I tossed some rice and water in with the zucchini, which I also covered on the stove and was able to take my shower and set the table before serving our impromptu feast.
I admit to being drawn to the lazy luxury of a nap this afternoon. The cat was kind enough to snooze on the bedroom chair, rather than glue herself to my side like the nocturnal heat magnet she really is. I'm refreshed now post-nap and I only had to stop writing once to feed the beast.


  1. Sometimes I think it would be fun to get a team together and see what a cat does when he is forced to not sleep. It would take a team because it would be an exhausting endeavor for just a few people.
    I think that coyote is hanging out with his friends. :-)

  2. How civilised to come home to a big pot of soup ! And your tranformation of some of it into Sunday lunch was ingenious .
    Perhaps the coyote wonders why humans are so fond of aftershave ?

    1. S&S, I'd take excess after shave over rotting corpse mixed with poo.

  3. I could not live catless, but I must admit they do tend to push themselves into my life at the most inopportune moments, especially when they are hungry.

    The horse part of the day sounds just delightful. I am so glad you are getting to ride regularly. Group lessons with like minded and talented riders were always fun for me.

    Just made beef barley soup myself. It makes for a perfect meal even without all the extras. Glad to know TAO can fend for himself...sort the kitchen.

  4. Jean, TAO is a great cook but uses every pan, dish and spoon in the house. It's a post-apocalyptic cuisine style. Barley is an unsung hero of the kitchen, as are so many "old fashioned" ingredients. Barley is uniquely flavorful.

  5. I'm so glad you're getting to ride now...and your lunch sounds divine.

  6. e. I must admit that the lunch was a success of total improvisation:) I have to fight every week to carve out riding time for myself. I'm always torn.

  7. Nothing feels better than a nap....

  8. Maria, Naps are a luxury and restorative but they do upset my ability to sleep at night so I mostly avoid them.