The forecast for today was for warm, humid weather so we closed up the house and turned on the air-conditioners as soon as we got up. We left around 9 AM for the Howell Farmers Market so I did not make coffee and we did not have breakfast. At the market Linda bought a nice assortment of fresh vegetables. I bought a bag of Kenya AA coffee beans from Teeko’s and some apricot and raspberry Rohlicky from the Czech Bakery. It turns out they are not vegan so I won’t buy them again.
We decided to see if John and Diane were available for dinner. We had no sooner made these arrangements when I got a text message from Chuck indicating that the coast was clear at his shop in Novi and we were good to go on the refrigerator swap. I talked to him shortly thereafter and indicated that we had assumed it would not be today so I had not yet cut the support 2x4s or found the additional help that we would need and, in light of that, had made other plans. That was fine with him and we agreed to aim for next weekend.
Linda surveyed her inventory of ingredients and decided that the warm Farro with dried cranberries and nuts would be a good dish to have Diane help make. Diane retired at the end of the school year in June and had asked Linda if she would show her some of the ingredients and prep/cooking methods she uses. Linda likes working with friends in the kitchen, sharing what she has learned and learning new things herself in the process. Diane is her longest term, non-family friend. As an English teacher she had lessons to prepare and papers to grade almost every evening. As a result John, who has worked most of his adult life as a framing carpenter, took care of preparing their evening meals. Now that Diane is free of her teaching obligations she would like to learn more about cooking.
Linda wanted some non-dairy ice cream for dessert so I was sent to get it. I went to the Home Depot in Brighton first where I bought some thin (1/8th inch thick) rubber sheet material, a small tool pouch, and 2-person forearm lift strap. The rubber material will be for the edges of the plywood in the new built-in sofa, cushioning the seat when it is closed. The tool pouch is for working on the tower (my carpenter’s tool belt is too big) and the lift strap is to help with the refrigerators and anything else heavy we might need to move.
The only place within a seven mile radius of our house that consistently has the non-diary “ice cream” we like is the Kroger on M-59 at Old US-23, so that’s where I headed next. In addition to the Coconut Bliss they had a cashew milk based product so I bought some of each. I bought vanilla and salted caramel in the CB brand and snickerdoodle in the cashew product. By the time I got home I only had a couple of hours left before John and Diane were due to arrive so I worked in my office and uploaded blog posts for June 16 – 20.
John and Diane arrived right on time at 4 PM. I opened our bottle of Viva La Roja from Heart of the Desert Winery in Alamogordo, New Mexico and we settled in to easy conversation. I found this red table wine particularly to my liking; very smooth with a hint of sweetness and no tannin.
Linda and Diane eventually started preparing dinner. John and took that as an opportunity to go look at the bus project. The ladies made a mixed greens salad with dried cranberries and other add-ins and put out a choice of dressings and sliced a loaf of Italian bread that they brought, along with a bottle of Pinot Grigio that we opened to have with the meal. The main dish was Farro with dried cranberries, almonds, onions, garlic, and kale. It was all very tasty and well received.
By the end of the meal it had cooled off enough to sit on the deck comfortably. Linda served the cashew milk snickerdoodle non-dairy ice cream with fresh sliced strawberries and it was very good. I showed them what we had done with antennas on the tower and the cable entrance box and then we went back inside. John still works full-time so they left around 9 PM as it takes at least 30 minutes to get back to their house in Farmington Hills which is about a mile from our old house.