saep lai.

That means “delicious” in Lao, and that’s exactly how I feel about last weekend. A dear friend came to visit (long-time readers may remember him from this post), and it was the perfect way to re-acquaint myself with home after my month on the road and the whirlwind that is the beginning of the semester.

D. arrived on Friday, after a long bus ride. I took him straight to a Lao feast, complete (though you can’t see it here) with Beer Lao I picked up from our local beverage store. Tam mak heung, nem khiaow, khao niaow, and a red curry fish dish with a Lao name I can’t remember. Saep lai.

On Saturday morning I made pancakes and we ate them on the porch!

And then we went to the farmers’ market and on a short walk to these waterfalls (seen here in D.’s hipster-view).

On Saturday night, I made a tomato tart with goat cheese and about a quart of farm cherry tomatoes. (This is the one with the dijon mustard slathered on the inside of the crust.) That salad is all farm veggies, too: red peppers, grated beets, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce. D. brought a growler of a delicious amber brew from his home.

On Sunday morning, we drove to a neighboring lake to go out for a fabulous brunch on the deck. Cheesy grits in homemade sausage gravy, corn beef hash with poached eggs in a dijon hollandaise, rosemary potatoes…so good. Then we visited a distillery and tasted brandies, bourbons, gin, and rye. I was too busy enjoying myself to remember to take any pictures there.

And then it was time for D. to catch his bus home. It was a full (and tasty) weekend!

I enjoyed another glass of beer from the growler D. brought, and prepped Monday morning’s class.

I also ate these roasted vegetables. The eggplant was particularly delicious, and a nice way to conclude a fantastic weekend. I also started another pinwheel blanket (also a wedding present). Pictures of that soon!

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sundays are for birthday brunches.

The boy is celebrating a birthday this week, so yesterday we headed west, one lake over, for a special birthday brunch. On my plate: poached eggs on top of sausage smoked in house and grilled focaccia bread, with incredible rosemary roasted potatoes. And a glass of organic local grape juice. On B’s plate: focaccia french toast with raspberry puree, rosemary roasted potatoes, and a link of a different homemade, in-house smoked sausage. And a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. And coffee.

B, looking serious. Also, a jazz band! They did a blues-y cover of Springsteen’s Hungry Heart. Swoon.

The view from the porch of the cafe — looking out towards the lake.

And here we are. (I share these here even though clearly I have much to learn in the taking-attractive-photos-of-yourself-with-your-arm-outstretched department. I also have a perpetual problem with closing my eyes during photos.)

And here’s the beginning of my windschief hat. I am very excited about this. Time to start thinking about making dinner after a very long Monday on campus.