Many of my favorite meals have been prepared by or with Hillary. After college we lived together for a year and I have fond memories of big burrito meals, and even of meals made entirely of cheese and crackers (good cheese. Good crackers). I have eaten very well at buffets at her mom’s loft. I remember the summer after my father died, going to visit her at her dad’s country house. We sat together in the evening light outside, eating one of her trademark delicious salads, a hunk of Vermont cheddar and a big beautiful bread. Since then there have been many happy times in Millbrook, with corn, sausage, lasagnas, apple crisps, and butternut squash soups. Up in Cuyler, at Cerry’s parents’ house, she made the best peach and corn salsa (ok, maybe the only peach and corn salsa) I have ever eaten in my life. For my 30th birthday, she made platters of heirloom tomato salad that made everyone’s jaws drop.
Like many things she is good at, Hillary does not present herself as a cook. Her style is simple, fresh, and abundant; it is impossible to go hungry at her table. So it was only fitting that this past weekend, her wedding to Kofi, I had some superlative meals. Hillary and Kofi, it seems, not only make good food themselves, they attract similarly gifted cooks to their sphere, including Andrew and Jennifer. My first night in Chatham, I was greeted by Andrew’s grilled ribs, collard greens, fried green tomatoes (from the garden) with buttermilk dipping sauce and fresh mac and cheese. For dessert? Jennifer’s blueberry tart made from freshly picked blueberries. Eaten with white wine at an outdoor table as the sun set. Absolutely one of the best meals of my life.
The wedding was a feast in every way. A feast for the eyes—Hillary and Kofi, beautiful and radiant, weeping and smiling, the most beautiful brew. A feast for the ears—their voices as they read their vows, the sound of the rawest, truest emotion, voices that knew the depth of what they were saying. A feast for the heart—love, love, love, all around me love.
And of course, a feast for the stomach. The buffet looked like it could have been in Hillary and Kofi’s home: grilled asparagus, tomato/mozzarella/basil salad, and corn. The highlight was our take-away; each of us got a jar of jam, made by Hillary and Kofi with fresh-picked berries from the Hudson Valley.
As I danced my heart out all night long, I was filled with the most electric sense of sheer joy, for them, of course, mostly for them, but also for me—to know these two beautiful people, and to eat with them, for the rest of my life.