Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Perfect Day for Black Raspberries

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With apologies to J.D. Salinger, who also lives in New Hampshire and is not likely to be reading this blog (although who knows?), I had to borrow from his "A Perfect Day For Bananafish" title from NINE STORIES. [While I've always liked that title, the story, which is set on a beach in Florida, is unsettling on many levels, and that day was far from perfect in the end.]

But today truly was a perfect day: blue skies, wafting white cotton ball clouds, not humid after a clearing storm last night. What better time than to find a New Hampshire lakeside idyll with the kids? My friend Linda told me about a special lake just a half hour from here with a private beach (small admission). So we left her farmstand (the wonderful Tenney Farm in Antrim, New Hampshire) at 1:30pm, got there at 2, and left at 5:15. Just enough time. As we approached, I smelled that warm smell of lake and pine that brings me back to my childhood when we swam at Lake Contoocook in Jaffrey.

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The boys--my two and Linda's eldest grandson--played and swam in the shallow water, which stretches out for a long way before it is a concern, and built dams. We visited the old dance hall that is still on the premises.

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A shadey pine grove just off the beach has picnic tables where we had a snack. A light breeze from the southwest kept things cool and the bugs away. But mostly the boys swam and I read recipes from ROSIE's BAKERY ALL-BUTTER FRESH CREAM SUGAR-PACKED NO-HOLDS-BARRED BAKING BOOK by Judy Rosenberg [Workman Publishing: 1991] from Rosie's Bakery in Massachusetts. Linda gave me an extra copy today and it was fun to talk about recipes and drool over the prospect of good baked goods to come (we decided it would be a fun fall-winter-spring project: a recipe a week and we'll compare notes, as she has a copy, too).

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END OF AFTERNOON

Next time we will bring a picnic lunch and will each make something transportable from ROSIE's BAKING BOOK. [Linda also gave me a Victorian book about using time wisely that had belonged to her husband's step-grandmother, Elizabeth Tenney. We stopped to see the family plot in Antrim on the way home--and there she was, buried with her husband, and his first wife.] There was something transporting about our beach afternoon: not a great distance but far enough away (in an entirely different region of the state) to feel like a mini-vacation all its own.

We came home by 6:30 and my husband had not only barbecued chicken ready to eat but he had picked a quart of black raspberries--enough for a pie, or cobbler, or loads of muffins.

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TEMPLE USES an OLD SHURFINE PEANUT BUTTER CAN THAT HIS FATHER ALSO USED FOR BERRY-PICKING

We also had leftover pasta salad and a squash casserole from last night (summer squash, yellow and zukes, from Tenney Farm, cut in ribbon strips and layered with yellow onion and shredded cheeses--I'll add fresh local tomatoes in season), minted iced tea (my father's old recipe using applemint from the garden), and watermelon--on our patio out back under the awning of our well-used, well-loved "Martha Stewart Patio Set" from K-Mart ("Yes, K-Mart"). A perfect summer supper.

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SQUASH CASSEROLE SERVED from a FARM TABLE on the PATIO

Ah, July in New Hampshire.

1 comment:

Mrs. G said...

I've never seen a squash casserole that looks like that one! if you get a minute, one of these days, would you mind sharing the recipe? it looks GOOD :)