Monday, July 14, 2014

More Celebrations

Amongst the many trips to the paint store looking for exactly the right shade for living/dining room, and multiple outings in search of glass blocks, we have managed to slip in quite a lot of celebrating recently.  

For example, last Thursday we took at least two and possibly three passes into the Benjamin Moore paint store, purchasing different shades that all ended up being close to what we envision but not quite, and definitely not ones we could live with for the next many years. Choosing the colors to try isn't a problem but standing around while they mix the paints is a pain.

However, while waiting, we discovered that the world of house painting has come up with some rather clever little helpers. One that we have used a good deal is a square of white cardboard primed so you can paint a piece roughly the size of an 8"x10" sheet of paper; much easier to evaluate a color when it is larger than the 1"x1" sample strip they give you. They also have diminutive, single-use, 2" foam rollers that come in a blister pack in which the plastic "blister" becomes the roller pan!  Very helpful!  We have about 10 different boards all in shades of gray, none of which was perfect. 

However, coming home deeply discouraged one day after a trip to yet another paint store, lo! and behold! one of our samples had dried to a beautiful soft, warm gray color!  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

It was also our 15th wedding anniversary, so My Beloved already had a celebration planned, but it was doubly joyous with the idea that we are finished with paint stores for the foreseeable future!

We drove about an hour out to Forestville, CA to a new-to-us restaurant called Farmhouse Inn.  The setting is lovely and the dining room very nicely appointed. They lost our reservation but were able to seat us anyway, big relief!

We were a little amused by the preciousness of the menu descriptions of such things as "parched summer vegetables," "broken tomatoes," and "sunflower seed strewn farro," but when our choices arrived, we forgave the chef any pretention, as the food was fantabulous!  For my appetizer, I chose the squash blossom stuffed with crab that was the perfect size, a single blossom filled with a rich crab mixture that was mostly, happily, crab. My Beloved had the roasted quail appetizer and, when he was finished, all that was left were some very tiny bones lined up neatly along the edge of his plate - he loved it!

For a main course, I had a heritage breed pork chop that was simply amazing, brined and cooked to palest pink perfection and served with smoked ricotta gnocchi that were light as the long summer evening and braised Swiss chard to cut some of the richness. Easily, hands-down, the best pork chop of my long and happy life.

My Beloved chose their signature dish, Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit, poor old Bugs prepared three ways - bacon-wrapped loin, roasted rack, and confit leg - all with wonderful accompanying mustard sauce. He gave me a bite of bunny, my first taste of rabbit, and it was really lovely.

The service was good, friendly without being familiar, and the only flaws in the whole experience were the ringing cell phone at the next table, which played loudly the first several bars of  Pharrell Williams's "Happy" before the embarrassed owner could fish it out of her purse and silence it, and the overly loud woman at a facing table who had to be very discreetly "shushed" by the maitre-d.

Since it was a fancy date, we also sprang for the wine pairings, so the sommelier brought us each special wines chosen to complement our various dishes. She was very knowledgeable, telling us a bit about each wine as she served it and explaining why she had chosen each one. It was a fun experience for two who like wine but are not particularly savvy about it.

That we got all the way to dessert before I remembered to photograph for Zoomie Station should give you some idea of how focused we were on the tastes on our plates. We decided to share the cheese plate and the fruit and berry tart. The cheeses were carefully selected and very good but the "market tart," as they call it, was truly spectacular. The thinnest, crispest imaginable crust on the bottom was topped with a tangy "cheesecake" custard, then covered with ripe fresh fruits, each at the peak of flavor. My grainy cellphone photo does it no justice. The edible flowers made the whole thing so festive and lovely that I wished there was room for another one but, alas!, we were filled to the brim.

We marvel that fifteen years could have gone by so quickly and that we feel we are still somewhat in that giddy honeymoon stage of married life, trips to the paint stores notwithstanding. In a way, they have been like the feast we enjoyed at the Farmhouse Inn - unexpectedly delightful and very, very satisfying.


Blogger Buzz Baylis said...

Zoomie - it will be fun to try to top the experince adn food next year! :-*

Monday, July 14, 2014  
Blogger Diane said...

happy that it still feels like a honeymoon....ours too!

Monday, July 14, 2014  
Blogger Greg said...

This is Happy on so many levels!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Buzz, okay by me! :-)

Diane, ain't love grand?

Greg, yes, it is! We know how fortunate we are!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014  

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