I sit in my study (the term is more appealing than “the guest bedroom”) staring out the window at the rain and fog. We’ve had days and days of very heavy rains. All the lakes are full and streams overflowing their banks. My NOAA weather radio has blared flash flood warnings at least a dozen times in the past 48 hours. The road behind my house, just down the mountain from us, is closed due to water rushing across the pavement. A car wandering into that fast-moving water would be swept across the road and several hundred feet down the side of the mountain. “Mountain” may be too grandiose for the terrain. Regardless, the occupants of a car washed off the roadway almost certainly would be killed and would ultimately end up several hundred feet lower than the road, probably in a pasture on the farm below us. But that’s not why I’m sitting here writing, is it? No, it is not. I am sitting here writing because I feel a need to share information about the food in which I’ve been indulging myself.
If you’ll look carefully at the photo, you will see a glass full almost to the brim with coffee milk stout. Slightly to its left and in front is a small plate loaded with two cheeses (manchego and extra sharp white cheddar) and large green olives stuffed with garlic and jalapeños. I find the image of the plate appealing, but not as appealing as emptying the glass and causing the plate to become bare. Yet I had a bit of a time convincing myself to ruin the “painting” I made without acrylics or oils. I’m enamored with the beauty of simple foods, put together in such as a way as to look elegant. While my photography skills may not capture the beauty of my culinary artwork, my eye appreciates it. And so do my taste buds. The only things missing from the plate were pickled herring and sliced radishes.
All this talk of food seems to be causing the fog to lift and the sun to reveal that it has not left us for another galaxy. Though the view outside my window is not bright, it is no longer a picture of doom. And the bitter cold weather seems to have loosened its grip. The world promises to reward our sullen days with a bit of warmth and, if we’re lucky, a few dry days. After a brief break, I look out the window again to see blue skies and real sunlight. I believe in my heart of hearts that my milk stout, olives, and cheese are responsible for the change in the weather or, at the very least, my change in mood.