A Feast for Fools

With the Delta Covid variant rearing its nasty, unwelcome head, our vacation last week was fairly restrained. The more we read about this ultra-contagious variant, the more cautious we have become. As cases soar around the country—even in Maine—this seems like the sensible and safe thing to do.

But we did squeeze in a few treats, and the last one on Saturday was especially fun, despite the weather being horribly hot and humid. With masks firmly in place, we went to Meridians Shop in Fairfield. Meridians is a store of delights that features wine, beer, chocolate, cheese, cracker, and nuts as well as other goodies. It’s even more of delight when you have $70 gift certificate. (Thank you, Rose & Steve!)

Into the basket went all kinds of goodies for a picnic at home. Because I am, ahem, more than a little food obsessed, it was a gleeful experience for me to choose rather expensive treats and not worry about the price. Beer, Brie, cashews, pecans, crackers, and chocolate all went into the basket. And cookies. Because what is a picnic without cookies?

Shopping done, we headed home straight into a bank of black clouds and a brief but thrilling storm. Thick flashes of lightening streaked across the entire sky. On the side of the road, the wind blew the Queen Anne’s lace back and forth, back and forth. The rain bucketed down so hard that we could barely see the car in front of us, but fortunately everyone drove slowly, and there were no accidents. Even with the windows closed, the sweet smell of rain on wet pavement came through.

It took us no more than five minutes to drive out of the storm. Within ten minutes, the rain had stopped and there were blue patches in the cloudy sky. The road was dry, and the Queen Anne’s lace was still. But a crack of thunder behind us reminded us that the weather gods have the last laugh.

When we got home, everything was wet, and eating outside was not an option. No matter! We would have a dining room picnic.

Here is an array of the treats we bought.

And a close-up of a beer that tickled Clif, who is from Bangor.

He especially liked the snappy slogan. After all, we think of Maine as north of north.

Apparently the beer was pretty tasty, too.

In fact, the whole feast was pretty tasty, a fine way to end our vacation week.


Nifty posts from some of the lovely blogs I follow

Note: Every week, it’s difficult to settle on six nifty posts from the many wonderful blogs I follow. This week, for some reason, was even harder. So many great posts. I could feature more than six, but lists that are too long tend to be daunting, and six seems like a good number. Anyway, here is but a brief sample of the terrific posts I read in the last week.

Yet again, Thistles and Kiwis dazzles us with food from fabulous Wellington, New Zealand. Am I jealous? You bet I am.

Tangly Cottage Gardening Journal features a fantastic way of potting up plants that doesn’t kill your back or knees.

Ju-Lyn, of Touring my Backyard, glories in cherry tomatoes.

On the Snail of Happiness, behold Speedweve! I am not sure I can adequately describe this device for mending sweaters. Read the post and marvel.

At Breezes at Dawn, a striking picture of red flowers against pines.

From mazeepuran, more luminous red.



86 thoughts on “A Feast for Fools”

  1. I agree about having a healthy fear of the delta variant, not to mention whatever may come next. But it sounds like you did a great job of creating a satisfying holiday.

  2. Such a great idea to pick up some lovely food and drink at a time like this. We are also very wary of the Delta strain of the virus, despite being vaccinated. Australia generally is lagging behind in buying/manufacturing vaccines, and our two daughters are still waiting for theirs. We are all in Lockdown in our various states, so can’t see any of our family at the moment, but we have sent them some vouchers from some nice cafes and restaurants and of course, our favourite chocolate shop!
    Fortunately spring has arrived so we are spending time in the garden and doing a long daily walk with our masks on…still a challenge to stop my glasses from being steamed up!

    1. I’m beginning to think this country should be in lockdown, too. What’s happening in the South is downright scary, and I feel it’s only a matter of time before the North gets hit hard, too. Delta, alas, really travels. Best to you and your beautiful family. Hope you can see them soon. And spring always brings so much cheer.

  3. Vaccinations not withstanding, we remain on the cautious side here too. Your treats look very ‘treat-worthy’ and must have contributed to a lovely picnic – glad the weather didn’t put you off that idea!

  4. Treats, and driving into, and quickly past, the rain and lightning, and having a picnic in the dining room…it all sounds pretty delightful!

  5. I am so glad you are being cautious. I have had both my vaccinations and know I have antibodies so I presume that if I caught Covid it is unlikely to kill me but who wants to be ill? That was a brilliant present yoiur friends gave you and how lovely to spend it on one last gorgeous picnic at the end of your hioliday! Shame about the storm making outside too wet but a picnic indoors is also fun. I’m not sure who the fools are in the title – you are certainly no fool!

    1. A-w-w-w, thanks! It just a silly saying we have in our house when we have food that is extra special. πŸ˜‰ On a more serious note…who wants to be ill is right! Also, we want to give our hospitals as much time as possible so that they are not swamped with sick people. And just as important, protect our children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated.

  6. Looks like you got some GOOD stuff! We are being cautious too. It makes me sad. I feel like what should have been the best years of our life, what we worked for all those 30+ years, is being squandered by people that don’t care.

    1. Yes. Sigh. They are putting the rest of us at risk, especially children twelve and under who can’t be vaccinated. Sigh. But they can’t ruin our chocolate and cookies, can they?

  7. I’m wondering why that IPA says it’s west coast. West coast of what in Maine? I bet you heartily enjoyed that picnic. I love shopping like that when I’m on vacation and have budgeted for a few luxuries.

    1. West Coast IPAs traditionally are characterized by a bold hop aroma, a bit of bitterness and citrus/piney aroma and flavors. They can be as much as 7% alcohol: higher than other pale ales. North of Ordinary is 6.4%, while the brewery’s New England IPA is only 5.2%. (Gone are the days of Schlitz and Old Milwaukee in aluminum cans!)

  8. I really like how you roll – can’t have a picnic outdoors, have it at your dining table! Your stash looks fabulous …. it would have been a great meal no matter where!

    Sorry to hear that things are getting disquieting yet again. Keep safe and sane!

      1. Which is why we need mini-celebrations each day to make good memories …
        Still, it is more challenging on some days.
        Keep safe and sane, Laurie!

  9. When the Delta variant landed here the numbers of people catching Covid soared; the numbers hospitalised and passing away also rose, but not as nearly as sharply thanks to the vaccine. Restraint and caution is definitely the wisest approach, and picnics at home are thoroughly recommended, particularly if there’s lots of chocolate and cookies!

    1. Chocolate and cookies are great restoratives. Has your area recovered from the Delta variant? I was wondering if there was an arc. Always hopeful, I guess.

      1. There was a peak in Delta variant infections a little while ago. A sharp lockdown reduced numbers but now infections are rising slowly again, albeit from a lower base. The government releases daily figures for infections and deaths: yesterday’s numbers were 33,904 new infections and 111 new Covid-related deaths. To put this into context, we now have no rules around mask-wearing and social distancing (although many people – me included – remain cautious), while nearly 90% of adults have had at least one jab and 77% are fully vaccinated. So although the situation is better than it was at its height, I wouldn’t say that we have recovered from the Delta variant. Rather, we are learning to live with it. Although most of the new infections are amongst people who are unvaccinated or have had just a single dose some double-jabbed people are still catching it and getting ill. My personal view is that there are grounds for cautious optimism, but the need for vigilance and caution remains high.

  10. This new variant is pretty infectious, Laurie. You’re wise to play it safe. What a mess as we head into a fourth surge. Your gourmet picnic at home sounds like a great treat. I hope you enjoy more of those.

  11. I think an indoor picnic is a GREAT idea … especially as the pandemic rages on. And what a treasure trove you two acquired!

  12. Now, THAT’S a picnic, Laurie! Super idea. I got a kick out of your Bangor Beer, as my sister and all her grown children live in Bangor and the surrounding towns. But she raised them in Millinocket, which I consider truly north of north!

  13. A basket of treats is a great way to end the week! The weather here has gone from blast furnace to cool and cloudy. Autumn is just around the corner.

  14. Your treats look so good. When I was drinking beer and other adult beverages, I thoroughly enjoyed a good and hoppy IPA. The weather gods always, always have the last laugh. I was teaching that to my grandsons when one said that the thunder and lightning were finished so we could go out. I suggested we wait a bit. A couple of minutes later there was a big flash and boom.

    Thank you for including me in your list of nifty posts. I’m sorry it took me so long to stop by to say thank you. I stayed mostly offline while the boys were here. πŸ™‚

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