There almost wasn't a column this week. There is so much to do outside in the yard and the warm sun feels so good. The longer days make it easy to stay out late, coming in to turn on the Red Sox and rest up for the next day.
It's also been a hard week for Mike and me. We had to put down our golden retriever, Murphy, and the house feels sadder and emptier without him. Mike printed "Into Everything" on his grave marker. He definitely was. With a flourish of his tail and a streak of golden fur, bright eyes, and great gusto, he awoke us early and played late, enthusiasm incarnate. Not a squirrel passed through the yard nor a leaf fell unnoticed by the ever-vigilant Murphy. He was into everything, especially our hearts.
We missed the 60th birthday bash at the Ag Hall because of Murphy. By all accounts, it was quite a night. Shirley Mayhew, dear friend and excellent reporter, sent me emails describing the event, the music, the gathered guests. I am so sorry we missed it.
This past weekend, we attended a party celebrating the recent marriage of Ezra and Kelley Agnew. Ezra was our nephew, Josh's, best friend from forever. Mike and I claim him as another nephew, much beloved. It was easy to love Kelley, as well, and we welcomed her into the family as though she had always been there.
Everett Whiting's Local Smoke provided the most delicious pork I've ever tasted. The rest of the food was potluck, always the broadest and best collection of edibles anywhere. Kelley asked for recipes to accompany each dish. She will put them together into a cookbook.
What did I make? Corn pudding, of course. I mistakenly bought three cans of creamed corn and one can of corn kernels, instead of the called-for two each. It was the best corn pudding I have ever made, so I'm changing the recipe. Here it is:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 pint sour cream
2 packages Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 can sweet corn, drained
3 cans cream-style corn
Mix it all together. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake at 375 for about an hour, till a knife comes out clean.
Suzanne Hammond gave me this recipe after she made it for a library trustees' party years ago. I have made it for potlucks and Thanksgiving/Christmas Eve dinners for years.
One of the things I noticed at Ezra and Kelley's party was the young families. Thirty years ago, these young mothers and fathers were the children of our friends. Now they are parents themselves. Yikes!
Karen and Hal Child welcome grandson Aiden McKinnon Child, who was born April 25 at Newton-Wellesley Hospital to Brandon and Stephanie Child of Walpole. Great-grandparents include Edward and Barbara Child of Lambert's Cove Road. Karen describes herself as "over the moon."
Friday afternoon, from 4 to 6, there will be a reception for Wendy Weldon at the West Tisbury Library. Wendy is showing paintings of her dog, Mollie, her cat, Mr. Squeak, and several bird paintings. The exhibition continues through May 29.
The weekly lecture series at Vineyard Gardens continues Saturday morning, May 7, 11 am, with "Pruning Trees and Shrubs." Heather Gardens has onion sets, seed potatoes, and asparagus ready to plant. Seedlings are for sale at Mermaid Farm, including their famous heirloom tomatoes, kale, onions, and Johnny jump-ups. The COMSOG plant sale opens this Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm, and continues every day through May 29.
Featherstone's Garden Tea Party & Fashion Show is on Saturday, from 2 to 4 pm. The opening of "The Art of Flowers" show, also at Featherstone, is on Sunday afternoon, from 4 to 6 pm. The Polly Hill Arboretum is open daily for walks.
On Saturday, May 7, from 10 am to 2 pm, the West Tisbury Church will host a program, "Planning for a Graceful Exit." Open to the public, the $10 fee includes lunch. Please pre-register at 508-693-2842.
Saturday at 4 pm, Rebecca Gilbert will be at the West Tisbury Library, discussing and signing her new "Book of Duck Cookery."
A reminder from the Conservation Committee: There is a town bylaw prohibiting riding dirt bikes and ATVs in the Margaret K. Littlefield Greenlands and along Checamo/Checama Path. Only walking, bicycling, and horseback riding are allowed.
And it's Mother's Day on Sunday. Don't forget.