An opportunity arose to cat sit in a quiet rural area near here. Since we live in a group house with 7 people, we welcomed the idea of a weekend in the woods, alone (well, plus 2 cats). The first thing I wanted to do with my extra elbow room was cook. We had a local dinner of bread, cheese, apples, and sausage (wine from elsewhere), and another of local lamb stew with veggies from our CSA (in their pre-stew state in the picture). I have been so busy with my new job that I haven't been spending much time in the kitchen, and oh how I've missed it.
We encountered these fellows on our morning walk. Western MA is pretty amazing in the fall. On the drive home, I was struck by the simplicity of our mini "vacation". We did a favor for some friends, who in turn let us stay in their beautiful home (and even treated us to pizza!). Even though we were less than an hour from home, the weekend provided frugal fun and some much needed fresh air.