June 26, 2010

Verdure After Sunrise: A View of Royalty, Coffee, and Nature

Jane Austen, in Mansfield Park, wrote of days like this, "I shall soon be rested," said Fanny; "to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment."
Fanny Price understood what I knew this morning. All was as a castle should be, without the horses or knights. The view was alive, delicious, and equally peacefully and sustaining.

A pond, well-kept trees, a lawn so smooth golfers could play... the breeze, still gentle, greeted all comers with a friendly hello before moving on.

Beautiful princesses could be seen on the grounds this early Saturday morning, wearing gorgeous garments acknowledging the mix of Springtime and youth.

Young noblemen weakly courted them as suitors. Bold romance, they had none, leaving them romantically invisible to the elegant delicacies they sought. I had no doubt their intentions would remain unnoticed, and platony would prevail. From a distance I smiled or grimaced (I am not sure which), seeing futility in the men's feeble efforts, thinking that they had somehow thought their androgynous strategy would be seen as kindness.

Brunch was my goal, and this I found in an oversized chicken pot pie with a puffed pastry top. Pearls onions, carrots, peas in a soft cream sauce.

I started my meal with Douwe Egberts, a decent choice for a place one did not expect connoisseur-quality coffee.I lingered, sipping, tasting the coffee and absorbing the morning a long while before ordering.

"Leave the pot," I told the waiter. He, though not a coffee drinker himself, obliged. He earned his tip.

The cream was safely, but unfortunately chilled. This is for safety, of course, because it is a dairy product and spoilage can arrive quickly. The temperature, though, also reduces the heat of the coffee.

Boxing up the remainder of my meal, careful not to indulge beyond measure, sat, watched, wondered about the tree you see, the romances being missed in the wind, and if another cup was a good idea. It was.

Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Douwe Egberts Aroma Rood Whole Beans Coffee, 8.8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 3)

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