~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday over at Like Mother, Like Daughter
Yikes, I've missed quite a few of these! Shameful...
But I have been busy, you know.
Anyway, BOTH children are away from home and so The Viking and I are enjoying not only a brief glimpse of what life will be like for us once Man-Cub finally gets the heck out of our house in eight years but also a reminder of why on earth we ever decided to spend the rest of our lives with each other in the first place.
We're overflowing with Happy over here right now!
But first, the Pretty
(because what have we got if we haven't got order?):
I have at least one post about my hydrangeas each year. I'm completely besotted with them. And they obligingly burst forth into joyful bloom each and every summer. This morning was so leisurely that I wandered around the garden a bit, taking a few photos.
*Sigh* You are so pretty! Hey, little bug!
This is a Mandeville or Mandevilla. I try to get two each year to plant at the base of the kitchen porch stairs so they'll entwine themselves around the stair railings all they way up to the kitchen door. They'll be stunning by the end of the summer. But I've never seen them quite this red before!
And now for the Happy:
The Viking and I indulged in a casual, but fine and intimate, dinner for two last night. Candles, a bottle of wine, classical music, quiet conversation, you get the idea. I had texted him right before he left work saying, "Why don't you pick up a few steaks on your way home," and he was happy to oblige.
He is so smart. He brought an enormous rib-eye for me ( I couldn't finish it)...
...and a salmon steak for himself. The Viking loves fish (especially salmon) but I hate hate hate it so I never make it (poor man). This is the height of indulgence for him!
I had one of my proudest culinary moments last night! I wanted to make dessert and have it in the oven before The Viking got home. The only thing I could make with the ingredients I had was bread pudding. Now, I love bread pudding (AND I have a fantastic recipe that a friend gave me from his Irish grandmother) but The Viking feels just meh about it. So I put my thinking cap on and tried to think what I could do to bread pudding to make it more palatable to him...
I spied the slightly soggy banana threatening to rot in the fruit bowl and...EUREKA! The Viking LOVES bananas! On the spot, I altered my recipe (which I am typically not good at) and got to work. I sliced up the banana and added it to the torn bread in the baking pan. I heated milk and butter, then whisked it slooooooowly into whipped eggs and sugar, then added 2 Tablespoons of rum (why is the rum gone?).
Ten minutes sitting on the counter, then about 45 in a 375-degree oven and WHAMMO! Banana rum bread pudding!
(I know I'm rambling on here but) The Viking looked at it resignedly when he sat down to eat.
"Is that bread pudding?"
"Just taste it, please. You don't have to eat it if you don't like it."
He took one bite and his eyes got wide. "What IS this? Is that banana?? And rum??"
"Do you like it?"
"Is it 'Kick-Ass'?" Slightly crude, yes, but it's become The Viking Standard of Good Cooking.
"ABSOLUTELY! Let's pour some more rum on top!" (Why is the rum always gone?)
And, of course, it was super for breakfast this morning with a steamy cup of lavender Earl Grey tea!
Whilst cleaning up after dinner, The Viking was putting the leftover salad into a plastic bowl to store in the fridge. I stopped him, asking if he could possibly find a clear bowl to put it in. When he looked at me askance I explained, "If I can't see what's in there, I won't know what it is and I won't use it." Then I turned back to the sink, thinking the matter was settled.
And it was, but not in the manner I had expected:
This is what I discovered when I went to the fridge for milk this morning. Clearly, he was having none of that transferring-from-one-bowl-to-another business. This makes me laugh each and every time I look at it, whether in photo or real-life form. Do you see why I love this man?
Finally, the Real:
This is sad, so very, very sad. Guess who forgot to ask the girl who was feeding the dog, fish and guinea pig while we were away on vacation to also water the plants?