Summer dreaming and a new routine

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By: Rachel Shenk

Rachel Shenk

Back when I first met my future husband, Jim, I would bike out or find a ride to “the farm,” an old farmhouse just outside of Goshen where he lived with a few other guys.

The house had been brought back to life by my brother several years earlier when he and his wife were starting their married life. I had even stayed there with them and helped in the garden and with summer canning.

A few years later, here I was again. Jim, my future brother-in-law Tim, and several others were installed in the farmhouse and it became a little getaway for us college students. It was far enough out of town to make it feel like country, yet close enough to be accessible. Once I was invited to come out, I became a habitual visitor. Impromptu music jams, tasty cookouts by the fire and enlightening late night conversations over coffee kept me going back. I never knew who might be there and what might happen.

It was a wonderful space. The farmhouse itself had two porches, a summer kitchen and a smokehouse. Out back, a big red barn also hosted a few tenants. The large kitchen was a welcoming place, especially when the old woodstove was cranking out the heat in the deep of winter. We gathered there around the table to eat and chew the fat. In the warm days of summer, we walked barefoot through the grass and reclined on the porch, watching the sun go down.

During that lovely summer, I started spending more time with Jim. The kitchen table became our spot to dream about the present and the future. There was talk of building guitars and baking bread, of taking trips to Europe and playing music. We became good friends. Summer turned to fall and I left for Scotland, living in the damp climate of Aberdeen. We exchanged letters. It was snail mail back then. Our lives slowly drifted apart. And we never did go out on a date…

These many years later, Jim is building guitars and I am baking bread. A few months ago, we decided to drop in for a drink at Constant Spring, in downtown Goshen. You might say we were finally going out for that date. It has become an enjoyable weekly routine. We always sit at the bar and we always have popcorn. Our drinks change from week to week, according to what’s on tap. We continue to dream and have enlightening conversations but these days, we get home a little earlier! What are some of your enjoyable routines over food and beverage?

Here is a recipe for almonds that go well with beer.

Spicy Almonds

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne

Directions

  1. Mix salt and cayenne in a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Fry the almonds in the butter and olive oil on medium heat, stirring until they start to pop and lightly brown.
  3. Immediately pour into the salt and cayenne, mix and stir.
  4. Let cool and enjoy!
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