Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Part II, Harvest Moon Over Montana and Friends

Harvest Moon Over Montana, Part I is here.

Sept 11, early morning our friends continued east
as we headed back west and destination Butte.

Sept 12, leaving Butte and on our way to Drummond for a lunch date. We arrived at the restaurant a little early and anxiously kept looking out the window at each vehicle pulling up, until suddenly, there she was. She walked into the dining room and right toward us, wearing her warm and beautiful smile. We hugged! just like old friends do. The difference is that Susan and I had never met, but over the last several years have gotten to know one another through our blogs and shared common interests. If you haven't been to her site, please do so. Susan, of Schnitzel and the Trout, would love to see you and share some of her travels and recipes.

Susan and the Trout (as she calls her husband) live in Florida in the winter and in Montana during the summer; once our trip was finalized, she and I planned how we could meet. Disappointing was that the Trout couldn't join us due to a recent surgery, but now that he is on the mend, I have confirmation that we will all be together sometime soon. As we departed, my husband asked if it was what I expected. Absolutely... but above expectation. One of the highlights of our trip! meeting-up and sharing special moments together. Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to be with us.

After several hours we were on our way to Missoula to meet-up with longtime friends.

So here we were with our friends and with an added bonus of meeting their extended family, Ken's aunt and uncle. As we overlooked the beautiful mountain range, he voiced his disappointment that the view was not crystal clear. Wildfires had been burning for several weeks prior to our arrival, and the haze continued in the area and surrounding mountains. But tell me that is not beautiful.

We brought some wine to share, and dinner this evening consisted of Kyong's Bruschetta, Ken's smoked salmon, a Korean cucumber salad, steamed rice, with corn and cilantro, and Phyllis made a pasta with lemon. Everything... so delicious!!!

Full Harvest Moon Over Montana

Sept 13, a drive with our friends to Flathead Lake, a picnic lunch they had prepared and that we enjoyed alongside the water...

... and back home.

The evening was outstanding! Three women cooking, Kyong, Phyllis and me... such fun! We served my Grilled Eggplant Bruschetta (and Kyong's bruschetta was so good, she made it a second evening); I sauteed green beans we brought from our Oregon garden and made a Caprese salad with the still perfect heirloom tomatoes. Ken, Pete and Jim, the latter two supervising of course, grilled steaks. And we were all around the center island, chatting, sipping wine, enjoying appetizers, engaging one another, sharing stories, laughing, feeling the love...

Kyong's Bruschetta

Simple, delicious... simply delicious! Mix the following together and serve on a crostini.

Roma tomatoes, chopped
spring onions, chopped
garlic clove, minced
basil, chopped
avocado, diced
touch salt
touch EVOO

An extraordinary reunion! We hadn't seen our friends for years, but it was clear that no time had passed... we picked up where we left off. It wasn't about going out to dinner and being entertained, but rather what real friendship is about. People come and go in your life, and you don't have it with everyone, but those with whom you do connect are like-minded, value the same things, enjoy life, accept and love one another for who and what you are.

Kyong, Ken and Edward, these few days were clearly our grand event!

Early morning of our departure, and with a promise that we would be together again within months, a cool breeze ushered in a wonderful clarity. We drove beneath the beautiful big blue sky country with wispy clouds, and the moon watching over us on our now waning trip homeward.

Soaring hawks and cattle graze,
buttes and granite walls, amazed.
Antelope race the ridge above,
rivers, streams, what's not to love.
Hillsides dotted hooker green,
silence speaks, it is as seen.
Sweeping, stretching green and gold,
replete with stories yet untold.
Mountains, valleys juxtaposed
humbling moments, disclosed.
Southern mountains rising blue,

Montana moon, this country's true.

~ Diana