It was very important to me, when they came to see us, to share with them a simple country meal to show them our "traditions." Our intended menu included grilled chicken, beans and carrots fresh from the garden (also grilled), and maybe a cherry pie made with the tart cherries we just picked. We also thought about fried zucchini cakes with feta cheese and maybe some potatoes. An early morning trip to the farmer's market finalized the menu and we were off to a great start. The four of us drove around the area, along the way sharing with them fields of wheat just being combined, others being baled. The soy beans are struggling in many fields this year, but we introduced our friends to those as well as field corn (and what it looks like when it has been terribly dry). Our drive passed by farms of varying sizes and functions (grain, cattle, etc.) When we returned home we, of course, showed them the garden (weeds and all) :) and the laying flock.
While we were out on our tour of the area, Z mentioned that he would like to try venison some time. PLAN CHANGE! :-) As soon as we arrived home, I got started on dinner, thawing some venison backstrap to fry up for sampling. It was such a hit, we decided to cook up rest of the backstrap and have it as a main course instead. While it was thawing, we had a lovely chat and the guys started talking about the lawn. Z had never ridden a lawnmower, so Shane, with his new found mastery of the mower, took Z out to the back yard to teach him how. It was FANTASTIC! He looked as delighted as Shane was the first time he rode it.
Our country meal came together nicely, consisting of venison, rosemary roasted potatoes, mixed fresh veggies from the garden, zucchini cakes and cherry cobbler. I had hoped to have time to make a pie, but the cobbler was simpler and tasted amazing. After dinner we taught them to play euchre (a card game most commonly played in the Midwest) and we thoroughly enjoyed a couple games. It was an absolute pleasure to share our slower lifestyle with some city folks. It was obvious that the way we live is very different from the pace and style of their city lives. Whenever we have the opportunity to share our life and learn about the lives of others, we jump at the chance. In this case, we were especially grateful to have the opportunity since these dear friends will soon be moving out of state with the ARMY and will not have the opportunity to visit often. I must say, we are blessed to have such awesome friends.