Friday, May 9, 2008

A Little Earth With A Little Heaven

Earth's crammed with heaven.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Amazingly fun agenda this weekend, beginning tonight with an alfresco dinner party. I was out this morning, snipping herbs and enjoying the perfect weather, when I realized it would be an ideal evening for Country Chicken on beds of mashed potatoes followed by Strawberry Sugar Bread with cold whipped cream. Better get busy.

I got a new cookbook for my birthday. My French Kitchen by Joanne Harris. (Joanne wrote the novel that became one of my favorite films, Chocolat.) Anyway, this cookbook has a recipe for what she simply calls Country Chicken... a recipe of bits of bacon and shallots and white wine and french mustard and handfuls of fresh herbs marinated and then roasted with tender chicken pieces. It looks divine. I have a box of Pappardelle pasta I've been hoarding for a special occasion, and I think tonight fits.

While I understand that not many folks enjoy throwing dinner parties anymore, I certainly do. Especially here. Especially now. Candles flicker from tree chandeliers and gravel crunches underfoot and stars twinkle and crickets soothe and the firepit mesmerizes and the laughter comforts. Souls rest here, it seems. Or at least they stretch out a bit. The earth here seems a little crammed with a little heaven. It makes my heart sing.

(As a side note, I'm eager to see how Millie responds to tonight's company. She's doing beautifully. I can't thank you enough for all the advice. Last night was the first night of sleep I've gotten in almost two weeks. My mattresses are (temporarily) on the floor, and I suppose that had everything to do with keeping Millie calm and quiet, but still. We slept all night! Finally.)

And as another side note, more apron toolbelts hit the Freeman House Shop on Monday! I'm excited about the new frills I added to these. So much fun.

Until then, I hope your weekend is crammed with a little heaven. -Brin


betty r said...

Well look at that, puppies are like babies, they do settle down to a routine sometime. Good to hear that you both got some sleep.
Oh and your recipes sound so delicious, I know that the strawberry bread is, I've tried that recipe and wanted to eat all of it myself.
Have a great dinner party..sounds fun-tastic!

sea mystery said...

Sounds like a dinner party I would definitely attend. You will be the "hostess with the mostest" with all that you described. Enjoy yourself and your friends. xxoo

Anonymous said...

I am coming for you Brin, a little warning is always nice.

Anonymous said...

Sounds heavenly! Save some for me!

tricia said...

Yes! i agree with you on the joy of having dinner parties, they completely energize me.

jill said...

The dinner party wounds fabulous. Hope the evening with your company is full of puppy kisses and laughter. Congrats on Millie sleeping through the night - you have the magic touch! Love your E.B.Browning quote. Happy weekend!

jill said...

Oops, I meant to say the dinner party SOUNDS fabulous. I must be too WOUND up tonight! Time for a slow ride on the porch swing.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Plan to! You have a blast!

Lovely Lady Laura said...

Brin, Life with a new puppy can be as sleep deprived as life with a little new-born, for a while anyway.

How cute that your mattress is on the floor! I could never bring myself to crate a dog (although I don't fault anyone who does) but rather, I placed our puppy in my laundry hamper (it was open weave and didn't have a lid) so she was at eye-level with me in the bed. It helped alot to keep her from whinning at night; she just wanted to feel close. Dogs get lonely.

Now she's 60 pounds and takes up half of any room she's in and we all laugh about when she was small enough to sleep in a clothes hamper!

Have a wonderful dinner party!

Amy said...

Can the strawberry bread be made with any berry? Jim's allergic to strawberries.

Sue Neitzel said...

Oh Brin, I loved every word from this post, I just wanted more, when is your book coming out? You are my soul sister, you do know that, don't you? lol Enjoy tonight, it sounds heavenly!

Anonymous said...

hey brin~

How was the dinner party? It sounds wonderful. If we were neighbors, I'd bring the coffee. :o)

Glad puppy is doing better. She's probably hoping if she's a good girl she'll get a piece of that strawberry bread! :o) YUM.

Have a blessed weekend,

Minnesota Kathi said...

I love your strawberry sugar bread! I may just have to dig out my precious strawberries and make a loaf :).

Happy Mother's Day Brin, I hope Millie remembers to get you some flowers! Perhaps like the beautiful ones in your Monday Moments!

Sending you big hugs today!

Kathi :)

CourtneyHope said...

I just checked out your blog for the first time and I have to tell you, I think I like you:)

Thanks for living and loving life to the fullest.

And question for you: What part of East Texas are you located in?

Terri and Bob said...

Your menu sounds totally delicious. As today is Mother's Day, I was looking forward to a special menu... but it seems my little darling has chosen macaroni and cheese for me... it might be the perfect thing, who knows?

Sue said...
Thought you might have fun seeing another Freeman House!