Looking out to blowing, blizzarding, white-till-eternity, oh-no-snow, snomaggeddon, so-white-the-house looks grubby, SNOW, I see that the wind’s bending the icicles horizontal.
Peeling off the mental sweaters, hat, mittens, parka, boots and muffler to find a glimpse of gorgeous Wisconsin summer. Summer! Teddy and Along-for-the-Ride Heidi and I were there in August. We picked sour cherries in Door County and then made a Green Bay stop on our way back south to the Madison airport. John and Karin live in Green Bay, their welcoming door is always open, or at least unlocked, and they always know what to do and say with a boy. John likes to cook stuff.
Back from that morning’s farmer’s market, John had made, serendipitously, cherry soup. Zzzzrrrraaarrrrrzzzz, all our antennae were lifted and bent towards each others. The brainlovefood waves grasped, gained purchase, and sonared, etwined, merged, into lunch.
I don’t think the word “tablescape” has hit Green Bay yet. Perhaps that staunch and sturdy city in the crook of Wisconsin’s thumb will duck- ha, ha, you missed me! – and tablescaping will fly on by to North Dakota. Although, I sincerely doubt it will stick there either. See, the table scapes itself in places that know better than to assume pretense. Check out this 11 minute lunch we put together last August. Is it not beautiful? Was it not serendipitous? Did the clock read 10:43? A bit early for lunch. They are wild out there! Wild. And they don’t need no dang art director, catering guru, or party manager to scape it!
A sandwich script of Renard’s cheese, (they had it), nice white, firm, but not factory-firm, sliced bread (indigenous or carried in with the wayfarers? can’t remember), butter (we all had a stick in our pocketbooks),and the seasonal-only, do-not-travel-well, one-of-my-all-time-favorite-things, cherries. Wisconsin summer is the sound of a typewriter’s clacking drifting out of a window over silent, heat-glowering pavement. Wisconsin winter is the glare of sun off a snowdrift, the sound of car tires tearing into bulky clusters of snow. Nostalgia for either season is brought on in heavy waves by the smell of hot butter in a Revere Ware skillet.
The cherries were meant as a gift but, as luck would have it, they were what you call a “Judd Apatow” in the trade. In the words of Mr. Apatow’s wife, “A trip is something we do together. It is something we would do whether or not it was a present for me. You get to go, so it is for you also. That means it is not a present. It is an activity that would happen anyway.” Change the words ” a trip” to “cherries” and you get my drift. Cherries are most definitely an activity. An activity you would want to happen anyway, any way.
Holy linoleum, what a delicious combination! Before we got to the table, I wanted to shout, hit me again! Hit me with your grilled cheese and cherry stick!
Thank you, Karin and John. Got you on my mind in this Wisconsin-style blizzard. Style with substance, four white feet of it.