The Tarletons were coming for a day by the pool. They live in the big city, where most of the world lies at their feet -- from their roof top deck to their charming walk to the harbor, but they do not have a private pool, as I do at Del Boca Vista.
We had picked this date a long time in advance -- before we knew it would rain the entire month of June, or work obligations would interfere. We picked today and had a fall-back rain event, but we hoped.
And after 3 hours of torrential downpours, lightning strikes and a by-god tornado warning Friday night, and an overcast muggy Saturday, today was the jewel of the summer. "Pick of the week," the New England weather men say, and assuredly the pick of the summer.
Saturday I did my house cleaning, and laundry, and the groceries for our lunch and poolside snacks. The boys like their big sandwiches, and Stop & Shop cooperated by having the roast turkey breast we love so much -- real meat, not squirmly deli turkey. Seeded rolls and banana peppers, thick-cut bacon, dijon mustard, (2) kinds of cheese. I bought swiss and american because I already had cheddar at home, and we were off to the races.
As I waited for them Sunday, I took an inventory of my goods, and found the cheese had gone missing. This happens to me periodically when I do a large grocery -- I don't pay attention to whether all the bags made it into my cart, or into my house, and it seemed that the cheese had been a casualty. Did I even BUY cheese? I second guessed myself, found the receipt in the trash and yes I had.
Oh, I left it in the trunk - gross, but still, it is cheese, and as the French enjoy reminding us scoffingly, it doesn't need to be refrigerated, nor should it be. But no, it is not in the car either. I consider for a moment going to get some, but I have already been out once this morning for more mayo and a salad dressing in case anyone wanted salad, and the boys are on their way. It is too bad, but oh well. There is the cheddar and the string cheese I keep because I should eat more calcium.
The Tarletons arrive and we have a big discussion about the order of business: pool, lunch, DQ, peach picking. It is only 11:30 and we agree it is too early for lunch, but Nick says could he have a little something. We each take a string cheese, and discuss whether the "chedder twist" is actually a different cheese or dyed mozz. We think it is dyed.
I have pita chips, Twizzlers, and water in our day bag anyway, and we take off for poolside.
Setting up in our chairs, I take out the pita chips, and...HEY. "I found the cheese," I say. The cheese was in the bag with the chips, which has been in the "rucksack" and is now at the pool with us -- 1/2 pound American, 1/2 pound Swiss.
I decide I'll put the chilled bottled waters next to it, push the whole thing under my lounge chair, and it's fine. It's fine. And we have a delightful pool date.
When neighbors set up next to us with an actual PICNIC BASKET, we are jealous, humbled, and hungry, so we break camp and head home. The deli bags go into the fridge and giant turkey sammies are made. I came back from washing my face and call out, "don't forget the cheese," because Jay is about to take a bite and Nick is nearly finished with his masterpiece.
The swiss has formed into a mass, like crayons left outside. I begin to separate the American, and offer to tackle the Swiss, because (as I say) "I have a system." I warn them that it involves fingernails, but the truth is that the swiss is going nowhere. It has become a block that requires reslicing. Jay says cheerily, "I think I'll have the American."
Sandwiches, chips, cranberry rickies. Leave room for the DQ. Plus, we still have peach picking. We do both for hours. hours. Shakes and blizzards followed by picking (though the peaches are not in fact ready and the orchard should do an hourly check before they continue to sell you 1/2 peck bags for $12). We berate ourselves for not thinking to get the full peck and split it, esp after it is clear there are no ripe peaches left.
Our favorite thing at the Nashoba is to get the bottle of wine and relax on their porch drinking it. The wine. not the porch. So we did it twice.
Came back home to find the American cheese right where I left it next to the stove -- sweating and miserable, and wondering what it has done to deserve this hell-journey I have subjected it to. Those who have been waiting for me to say I threw it out can now exhale. I did finally throw it out. it is curse-ed.
But that was still a fine good sandwich.
Happy weekend, readership. Bact to the rat race tomorrow