Sunday, May 10, 2015

May Day at Merry Mount

Piper and I headed to Merry Mount for our first May Day celebration at the little farm, a tradition that Pat and Rett hope grows and becomes a yearly event. You see, May Day holds special meaning at Merry Mount. Before they moved in, we had been brain-storming possible names for the estate, and Pat woke up the next morning with "Merry Mount" in mind. He knew it was a Nathanial Hawthorne short story. . . and sure enough, when he looked it up, the words seemed a perfect fit for their new adventure. Here's the first paragraph of the piece from 1836:
BRIGHT WERE days at Merry Mount, when the Maypole was the banner staff of that gay colony! They who reared it, should their banner be triumphant, were to pour sunshine over New England's rugged hills, and scatter flower seeds throughout the soil. Jollity and gloom were contending for an empire. Midsummer eve had come, bringing deep verdure to the forest, and roses in her lap, of a more vivid hue than the tender buds of Spring. But May, or her mirthful spirit, dwelt all the year round at Merry Mount, sporting with the Summer months, and revelling with Autumn, and basking in the glow of Winter's fireside. Through a world of toil and care she flitted with a dreamlike smile, and came hither to find a home among the lightsome hearts of Merry Mount.

And Pat and Rett are enjoying every moment at beautiful Merry Mount! Speaking of flowers, Rett now has more than 20 rose bushes planted in her rose garden! I'll post mid-summer photos showing the pretty blossoms in a few months!
It was a gorgeous day at the farm!

And a breath-taking sunset.

Piper seems to really like it here.

And Minnie is her cute and zippy self!

We said Hi to the chickens and sweet goats.

Did some farm chores.
Had a late afternoon toast in the yard.
And Piper and I had fun with our shadows!

We had a nice dinner together -- I brought the ingredients to experiment with something new -- Thai Chicken and Coconut Noodles.

And later I even talked Rett into playing Gin Rummy. You've heard of large-print books; well the only cards she could find were large-print cards! The three of us had fun and lo-and-behold, Rett won!

Another nice visit to Merry Mount -- hopefully the start of a May Day tradition!

Here's the recipe for the Thai Chicken and Coconut Noodles:

16 ounces rice vermicelli, uncooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup light coconut milk
14 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 garlic cloves minced
12 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
12 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 scallions,, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 lime
12 cup toasted coconut
12 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 hot Thai chiles, minced (optional)

Heat water for noodles and cook pasta 6-8 minutes or according to package directions.
Drain noodles, rinse under cool water and allow to drain; cut into smaller pieces if desired.
Meanwhile, toast coconut.
Using a whisk, mix together ingredients for sauce: coconut milk, sunflower butter, soy sauce, garlic, curry powder, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper.
Heat oil in large pan until almost smoking.
Add chicken and stir-fry until almost done and nicely browned.
Add bell pepper and cook 1-2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook until they are tender.
Add chopped scallions, basil, and the juice of the lime and cook briefly.
Stir in sauce mixture and allow to heat.
Add cooked noodles and chopped cilantro and toss until thoroughly coated.
Allow to heat through then remove from heat.
Serve garnished with toasted coconut and minced chiles.

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