The Fourth, Unplugged

Last week, the Hearne family waged yet another hard-fought battle against ear infections. All three of us were in need of some serious R&R, so we enjoyed our Fourth weekend at a slower pace of life.

On Saturday, we visited the Eveland Family Farm in Andover, MN. Mike’s aunt Pat grew up on this farm with her two siblings Connie and Don. We enjoyed a lovely family BBQ at their picnic shelter. We brought easy, soft and sweet Raspberry Jam and Shortbread bars to the shindig. Pat’s brother Don gave us the full farm tour, which is home to the most charming menagerie of miniature donkeys and horses, goats, llamas, cows, chickens, peacocks and more. There is so much history, care and love at this farm, which now hosts school groups and events. You better believe we’ll be back in the fall to pick out our pumpkin.

   
    
    
 On the Fourth, we made our annual pilgrimage to Shoreview for the Gourmet Group 4th of July bash. There are typically at least as many dishes as there are people in attendance, and this year was no exception. Mike smoked a whole lotta Fancy Shmancy Salmon which we both served and used in Ina Garten’s Smoked Salmon Spread recipe. Ina never fails – it is a winner. We served them with some crackers and my Grandma Nancy’s refrigerator pickle recipe. Sam enjoyed playing in (and eating) the sand, and splashing around with Dad in the lake.

   
    
   
Strangely, one of my favorite experiences of the weekend was tonight when our power went off. It surprised me how quiet our house felt without the constant hum of our fridge, air conditioner and other gadgets. As the thunderstorm rumbled outside, we put on our headlamps, cooked dinner on the gas stove and ate by candlelight. Like the weekend as a whole, it was a good reminder that sometimes, it’s necessary to enjoy a long weekend unplugged.

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks

   
    
   

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