I was around six years old when I first walked into her music room, sat on the bench, and touched my first piano key. I was a small, curly-haired bundle of energy. During most piano lessons, I prefered to sit on that bench, swing my legs back and forth, and tell her stories about my week. I had made a new friend.
She saw me through the various phases of my musical journey, whether it was during my pre-teen years when my parents had to force me to practice or during my highschool years in which I practiced piano two hours a day… only because I didn’t have time to practice three. There were recitals, in which I sometimes won the honor of playing a duet with her, and there were candy canes every Christmas. Once a week for over ten years, I would sit at that piano bench and be pushed to excel. I never knew what I would use that musical talent for, but I knew that I loved it. And I knew that I was grateful to Mrs. C for always pushing me, always encouraging me, and always believing in me.
Now I know why my parents forced me to practice and why Mrs. C. taught me to love music. It’s become an important part of my life. Whether I’m playing piano at church or performing at a wedding, it’s a gift that not only I enjoy but that others around me can enjoy.
So last night, I was thrilled that Mrs. C and her husband were coming over for dinner. I don’t take piano lessons anymore, but Mrs. C and I are very good friends.
She and Mr. C. drove up to the house in style… Is this not the perfect, little car?? They collect antique cars, but I think this one is their favorite because it was completely renovated by their sons. In fact, she and Mr. C were in Florida, when their sons got together and made this classic look like new. It was like Extreme Makeover…The Car Edition. 🙂 The guys were working on a deadline, because they had to finish before Mrs. C and Mr. C came back from vacation. It was definitely a labor of love, and the car is beautiful! I could have spent all day outside, just snapping pics from every angle!
In fact, Mr. and Mrs. C won a trophy right before they came to the house for dinner!! They went to a car show and won a trophy for having the nicest Ford there.
Okay, I suppose I should get to the food now… Sorry. It was just SUCH a cute car! 🙂
For dinner, I made Chicken Cacciatore — a saucy blend of mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine, herbs, and — of course — chicken. I’d share the recipe, but I’m honestly going to tweak it a bit. I feel that it’s missing a bit of flavor, so I’m going back to the drawing board on this one. So I think I’ll wait to share the finished version. 🙂 I will say this, freshly grated Parmesan adds so much to an Italian meal… If you’re having guests over, don’t skimp. Buy the real stuff. It’s so worth it!
And an Italian meal isn’t complete without homemade bread, so I made a RosemaryFoccacia Bread. This is one of my favorite bread recipes, not only for the flavor but also because it’s one of the quicker bread recipes I’ve tried. Recipe to follow tomorrow. Definitely a must-try… It’s sooo good!!
And for dessert, Mrs. C brought the perfect blueberry pie. No exaggeration there. It was perfect. The crust was flaky and perfectly browned… The blueberries were sweet and plump… It was perfect. She even labeled it ‘BU’ for blueberry. See, she bakes pies ahead of time and freezes them for when the fresh fruit isn’t in season. Last year, she had about 25 pies in the freezer, and she had every one of them labeled. (Don’t get me started on the fresh jams that she and her husband make. I’m talking everything from blueberry, to grape, to rhubarb, to peach… They do it all!).
It was such a fun evening of good food and catching up. I wish that I had remembered to ask Nate to take a picture of she and I together. So here’s a pic from years ago… It’s filled with good memories, so I’m going to share it. Ignore the fact that it’s a pic of me during my awkward stage, which included frizzy hair and braces. Hey, don’t laugh. We all went through one of those stages!! 😉
What made you smile yesterday?