We love, love, love us some Carol and David. This picture was actually in their kitchen, not ours. Yeah, I know... I didn't take pictures again today. I promise, whoever is next I'll get the camera out.
Carol and David don't live here in Wilmington anymore. They split their time between Raleigh and St. James. So when they're in St. James for the weekend, we get together either down there or here for lunch or dinner and some cards and a nice, long visit.
Today they joined us here for lunch. They brought a big surprise with them that I'd managed to orchestrate and keep from Pootie. Tift had an art show a couple of months ago, and she had some really cool journal boards of her song writing to fill space. I talked to her after her show and asked her about buying one for P. and she said that no, she wanted to give one to us as a gift! So sweet! (P. does a lot of work for her on her fan site, her email blasts, web site, etc.) We made all the proper arrangements, and Carol stopped by the gallery Friday to pick it up and they brought it with them. P. was so happy!
That was fun. Then Pootie and David drove off to AutoZone to see about the battery in David and Carol's vehicle. Carol and I went in for a visit and had some wine. The men returned triumphant (I missed what was wrong with the battery) and we had some lunch.
Peel 'em and eat 'em shrimp
The shrimp were huge and tasted nice and fresh. They didn't need much in the way of ornamentation. I had some spicy cocktail sauce for them and some Old Bay and that was about it. The squash gratin got some raves from the table (except David, who didn't eat any, not being a vegetable fan). We went to the Farmer's Market downtown yesterday and got some gorgeous produce, so I utilized it in the gratin. I layered (all thinly sliced) yellow squash, yellow onion, round zuchinni, and tomato in alternate rows, salted it well with kosher salt and topped with cracked black pepper and a thin layer of panko crumbs, then drizzled it with olive oil. I baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 450 and it came out crispy on top and nice and bubbly underneath. Very tasty. Carol had two helpings and Pootie, who really could take or leave squash just shoveled it in. Nice!
After lunch, we played the closest game of Spades EV-ER. On the last hand, we were within 10 points of each other, and if the hand had played out just right, we'd have tied. THAT would have been cool. But nnnooooooo... David had to go and mess it all up and sink Carol and me on sandbags so we wound up losing. Bah. Next time, he'd better put on his knee pads, 'cause he's goin' down. You hear that, Flappy? Down!