While on our recent trip, we got to spend one night with two of our very favorite people in the whole world. They live on property that's tucked miles off the main grid and to visit them is to have a relaxing retreat.
We only stayed overnight but when we left in the morning, I was smilng and had enjoyed several belly laughs the night before.
My very good friend, Peggy, is a like a surrogate mother to me. She has this way of teaching me new things every time I see her and she's one of those friends who, no matter how long it's been since the last visit, always picks up where we left off.
This visit, I learned a new recipe while watching her put together a wonderful, simple dinner for us. I had made a cake the day before we traveled and we enjoyed it later. While sitting in the kitchen, talking over cups of coffee, I watched a gazillion birds fly into the bird feeder and she told me about the cycle of birds who visit them in the spring. We watched the pine squirrels scurry across their property and we even got to see the first woodpecker of the season land on a tree outside their dining room window.
Peggy is very active and I love hearing her stories about her volunteer job down at the local soup kitchen. She's one of the cooks there one day a week. She also loves crafts and her eyes lit up when she asked if I wanted to see the newest things she's doing. Mostly, she is doing things for other people. She had several little craft projects where she is putting together little gifts for children at the soup kitchen for Christmas.
She is a great listener and story teller. As we were visiting, I asked her what she had done last year besides volunteering and surprisingly she said, "oh, I went to Ireland for two weeks". Really? I said. Do tell. While she talked a little about the food and walking into the pubs, the best part was when she non-chalantly said, "oh, and I got a tattoo." A tattoo? Yep, she got a tattoo in Ireland. For the life of me, I can't remember what it is and I never saw it but she said the artist told her she was the oldest person he'd ever tatted. That's my friend ~ she's such a trend setter!
Secretly, I'd love to go on a trip with Peggy. I'm not sure she has ever met a stranger and the best way I can desribe her is "love with skin".
What I learned from Peggy this visit:
~ Make a big batch of brown rice and freeze it in two-cup ziplocs. Flattened the bags so they store well in the freezer.
~ She made this really yummy pork roast by thawing out some brown rice and placing the roast right on top of the rice. She zested and juiced one large orange. She diced up a whole onion and and placed those ingredients on top of the roast, covered it up and baked it until done. So simple and so delish!
~ Make a batch of steel cut oats and store in a tupperware in the fridge. Every morning, scoop a serving into your bowl, add a slight amount of water and microwave. You'll never know it was pre-cooked. She told me that's how all the restaurants do it.
I love you, Peggy!