Last night we had a heavenly dinner. We took Metro North along the leafy bank of the Hudson River in the late afternoon to Irvington to visit our friends SB and EA. S picked us up in his adorable Mini Cooper (shouldn't this be spelled Couper, from coupe?) and took us to his little house built into the hillside below the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. (Being transported by train makes for predictable arrival, as E pointed out, so the hosts needn't worry whether their guests got the time wrong, forgot the plan or are just running late.)
The garden was just slightly past its prime, with hydrangeas in a full range of purples, from pale to royal, voluptuously blowsy. The house was filled with the tarty fragrance of lilies, each dripping a semen-like goo from its stigma and dusting the table with a spicy red powder from its stamens. We proceeded to the backyard, or the "green room," as they call it, where their sun-drunk cat basked in the last light of the afternoon. As the crickets began their chant and the fireflies flashed their love lights, we dined on crusty bread, goat cheese, and grilled vegetables—zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, red peppers and radicchio—served with plain and cilantro pestos. As dusk descended into dark and the mosquitoes began to whine, a thunderstorm rolled in and we rushed into the house, where we finished off the meal with a sour-cherry tart in a buttery crust and chocolate-dipped fruits and nuts (the latter we had brought with us from Russ & Daughters).
Before the conversation could enter its first lull, E looked at her watch and announced we had nine minutes to make the train. Time for only a pee and a kiss goodbye before we were Mini-Cooped back to the station and made our way home.