The house smells of abundance tonight. The bread was freshly baked, crab cakes fried, chicken barbecued for the salad and three tri-tip roasts were braised.
When our guests arrived, there were trays of sweetest summer fruit piled high on trays on my kitchen island and baby quiches for those who would like something light to munch on.
I'm hoping when I rejoin the party in a few minutes, that the bread pudding with rum sauce has been inhaled. I made it mostly as an excuse to buy the rum, which I can divide what is left among my roses and clematis tomorrow. This week some of them bloomed together just like the illustrated books from the east coast publishers promise. These cooperative bloomers must be rewarded with spirits. If I get to this task quickly, the fall bloom may reciprocate with branches bent down with blossoms generously as that first big spring flush.
I am exhausted, but pleased. I don't look nearly as good as the house, but I can hear laughter on the patio and in the room where cards are being played just outside my closed study door. Making our guests feel important by the care with which the meal is planned and presented is what brings me happiness on a night like this.
Back to these friends.