It has to be sunny, not too hot or humid and pesky flies and mosquitoes must abstain. There should be an old pretty tablecloth and the food should not be too complicated. That pasta salad comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook. I have never made anything from that book that was not seriously delish. They are a bit precious about their ingredients but I know how to hack recipies. Where would I find 7 cups of basil to make the dressing? Next scene me squirting basil mash up out of tube. Everything else was authentic though and not one spoonful was left ( except for the little bit I hid for myself) I scrupulously obey their cooking times too. It killed me to cook shrimps for exactly one minute and calamari rings for three but the result was good. Nothing chewy! Tender and different flavours. Tomato salad and Ontario peache’s with a bit of feta for contrast. The wine was pure plonk. Some wise souls stuck to beer or…horrors! water , but that pink stuff went down quite well and when I felt a little dizzy, inspection of the label revealed . . . 10%.
I love to sit out and talk in the shady arbor. So lovely to be with old friends. I love to make people say, “mmm this is good!” If only the weather and the critters would cooperate I could do this every day.