[Here comes the cavalry!]
We had friends come to dinner last night. I was so excited to see them. I feel we’ve been in renovation exile here! After they left I started thinking about our main group of Idaho friends. We first met these guys nine years ago when Rob was on a hotshot crew with them in Pocatello. I think it’s safe to say this crew of boys will always been our life and to our great delight, one by one they started getting married and we love the ladies they’ve brought into our posse, too.
When we lived in Pocatello, we were social instigators. We loved to throw big dinner parties with loads of food and delicious drinks and copious amounts of dessert and after dinner tea. We would have gladly gone bankrupt just to host our friends in our home and feed them — it was such a great time and it’s something we still love to do, whenever we can. To have two of those lifetime pals pop by for dinner last night gave our new little home such a great feeling of love and friendship. We took them for a before-dinner walk out on the land and laughed aloud as all the dogs careened through the sagebrush, up and down the riverbank. We’re now entering into recruitment mode wherein we try our best to convince all of these beloved pals of ours to buy property near to where the farm is located. We need them all close by once more, just a telephone call away from joining us for a dinner party. Wish us luck.
With that said, before our friends arrived with their dogs, Rob spent most of yesterday working on a batch of ossobuco with elk*** and some of my freezer-fresh garden tomatoes from last summer. We took the recipe from Rohan’s cookbook Whole Larder Love — a cookbook after my own heart. It’s so beautiful to read through and since it was created by a kindred, I can’t help but to respond to the imagery and the ideas captured on the pages. Actually, if I were to create my own grow/gather/hunt cookbook it would be a lot like this one, except there would be more working dog photos. By the way, if you haven’t heard of Rohan, I do recommend his blog as well as his Instagram feed. He’s talks about important stuff. All the time. And I admire his photography very much.
Anyway, Rob whipped up this amazing elk ossobuco bedded on polenta and a chocolate cake to go with and we all ate ourselves silly and then sat and talked with tea and a bottle of lovely, extra dry riesling until Laura and Jeff forced themselves to leave for home. I wish they could have stayed the night but I shouldn’t get greedy about these things.
To our delight, what we had imagined this home could be when friends and family come to visit became an apparent and beautiful reality last night. We had a cozy fire in the living room fireplace, both kitchen bar tops were handy food prep spaces, no matter where we were working in the kitchen we had a solid view of our guests and a comfortable conversation distances, our dining room table was a pleasure to linger at, our sofas fat and plush. In short, we are so glad we made this home what we imagined it could be. I have absolutely no regrets regarding how long our renovations took or the struggles that came with doing those renovations during what has been a hard, hard winter for this part of Idaho — even now, as I type, it’s snowing steadily outside and I’ll probably need to shovel the walkway to get out to the truck when I drive to the post office at noon.
I have the studio warming up and am looking forward to creating for most of the day. Have a lovely Monday. Make it beautiful.
***Rob had a successful (hail mary) elk hunt this year. He shot a cow over in the Hell’s Canyon region of Idaho in late November and packed it out in -22F weather. I am so deeply grateful to have this meat in our freezer this year. I thought it was going to be a skinny year for us, and we were so short on time for hunting and food getting and the snows have been so deep and treacherous for upland hunting — it’s been a difficult winter, a true winter, for all the critters, including us. I prayed hard for this elk of ours and even had middle of the night anxiety about our food stores and empty freezer (!!!) for a few weeks leading up to Rob’s success in the field. When Rob phoned me to tell me he had a cow down and was coming home I truly rejoiced.