full circle in the hundred acre wood

I’ve been “away” at “Camp Longleaf” this week. Away from the computer, that is. A couple of very special old friends, Jim and Betty, came to see us on Monday and returned to their home in North Carolina yesterday. We spent the week playing and taking field trips.

We went barefoot, took a ride to Perdido Key, ate lunch at a marina restaurant and looked at the big boats IMG_0676 and birds who built nests in the eaves there.

We made peanut butter sandwiches and stayed up late.

We forgot to look at our watches.


We played in the pool, made sandwiches quickly to take them outside in the shade, sat around and read books, stood at the windows like children at a city acquarium to watch the deer brushing through the golden wheat out front, deftly slipping seeds from the dry pods as they glided by.

Betty and I played in the kitchen, as we always do, toasting almonds and sesame seeds for an Asian-inspired slaw, tossing sauteed local shrimp with fresh dill, capers, garlic, lemon, scallions and olive oil for a cold plate supper, talking all the while about the books we are reading, the books we want to read, and sharing ideas,(that most nourishing food of all). We trade books, and give each other books. She showed me her grown up I-Pod that caused me to understand for the first time what all the fuss is about.

Betty brought me a gift of Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s new book: The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper.


We fixed a mostly cold plate our last night together here at “Camp Longleaf”  — shrimp in a Dijon and caper sauce, warm Yukon gold potatoes tossed with spinach pecan pesto, sliced tomatoes and a little leftover crabmeat.IMG_0691

The centerpiece of dinner was a recipe from How To Eat Supper. It’s a Thai Cantaloupe Salad. Wow. A feast for all the senses. A perfumed melon was tossed with lime juice, jalapeno and basil. You can imagine the smell. IMG_0687 After supper, we sat on the patio and walked out to watch the full moon rise and listen to the nightbirds sing.

Today, our friends are back home, and I am that happy tired of a child who spent the week at camp and came home slightly sunburned and sandy, with lots of happy memories to feed her soul.

0 thoughts on “Summer Camp For Adults

  1. Melissa says:

    I think that the only appropriate comment is “aaahhhh.”


  2. diane says:

    Im totally enthralled by your words, but even more by your love of food. Growing up here in waaay too sunny Az, I live on meat n taters. Im fat, it’s hot, and I dont FEEL like red meat anymore! Am running out to buy the book in this story and fixing the cantaloupe dish TONIGHT! I feel cool and happy just thinking about those sweet morsels bursting in my mouth.


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