The Sabine Farm: an update

Life at the Sabine Farm continues to be very good. A dear friend came for a couple days on the weekend. Monday another friend, a priest of Australia who lived in my residence in Rome for last year, came for an inspection, after having heard much of the Sabine Farm. It meets his approval. (He may never leave!)

The menu has been varied and ecclectic. Yesterday evening I made some elicoidali with fresh pesto, the basil for which came in abundance from the garden. It might have been the best pesto I have ever made. I have started using an olive oil press in California for my better oil and I got a HUGE bag of pignoli at, of all places, Sam’s Club. I was tempted to make trenette, but I resisted. This pesto dish was nicely accompanied by a sound white Bordeaux (Graves – which style I very much favor – I like the malolactic fermentation for chardonay without being subjected to too much oak – LORD! Will the California "Butter Bombs" NEVER end?). This pesto business was followed by cheeseburgers on the grill (buns buttered and grilled, of course) and sweet corn. I won’t tell you what we drank with these, because you simply wouldn’t believe it. Not having much around for dessert, we helped ourselves to raspberries on the bushes in the garden with some heavy cream.

For breakfast this morning after Mass I made scones. Lunch involved club sandwiches and cold beer.

You know… God gave us good things for our lives. Two people can take the same ingredients and make great food or lousy food. I don’t think it gives honor to God or shows him gratitude to make lousy food with the wonderful things he provides.

Supper… well… fettucine were involved and some very sturdy oregano from the garden and fresh tomatoes, garlic, and hot peppers. Suffice to say that we fended off death by starvation for yet another day. A merlot from S. Australia barely held its own. Much of the evening was spent swapping clerical war stories and debating the various strengths and weaknesses of different ways of singing Gregorian Chant. Just men? Just women? Mixed? (NO!!) Solesmes style? Gueranger? Cardine? I have lots of CD’s so we had examples. We determined that Silos and Barroux were pretty good. During the meal itself, however, we spent in 50’s Rome with old recordings of Italian popular music from those halcyon years.

Cigars issued forth from the humidor and all was right with the world. There were no mosquitos and the sun sank beyond the tree lined West with the breezes soughing among the leaves.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Romulus says:

    Dear Father Z, one hates to quibble after having read such an enchanting post, but do I misread you, or is Graves misidentified as a Burgundy? Even Homer nods, of course, especially after a lovely meal.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. I won’t tell you what we drank with these, because you simply wouldn’t believe it.

    Sure, we would. What’s wrong with plain ole Coca Cola with burgers? Now if it had been Dr. Pepper, that would be best not mentioned.

  3. RomulusL: YOUCH!! Thanks! Graves is a BORDEAUX. Brrr… that sort of error sends shivers down my spine. I corrected my text and promise to do penance.

  4. Henry: While there is nothing wrong with Coke along with burgers, I just can’t see having that after a good white Bordeaux.

  5. Walt says:

    Fr Z:

    Enjoyed the description immensely. Where is the Sabine Farm?

  6. Argent says:

    Clerical war stories…I love a good war story. So will we get hear any of them? ;)

  7. Catholic Lady says:

    Really Henry – a good Catholic would at least drink Mountain DEW – or would that be Mountain Pouring Forth.

    Walt – do you think he will really tell us – he would have a plethora of uninvited visitors for good wine and good food and a private Mass to boot waiting at his doorstep every day.

  8. Jon says:


    Cigars, beef, and wine? By Gilbert, you’re turning into Belloc!

    Location? Hmm…since I grew up along I-90, if I follow it west a bit…Letsee, from here…thirteen hours? If I leave now, I can be there in time for rasberry scones. I’ll bring the coffee.

    Now, as my present to you for your vesperal meditation as the sun lowers beyond the Father of Waters, my favorite passage from our friend Hillaire’s “The Path to Rome:”

    “As I was watching that stream against those old stones, my cigar being now half smoked, a bell began tolling, and it seemed as if the whole village were pouring into the church. At this I was very much surprised, not having been used at any time of my life to the unanimous devotion of an entire population, but having always thought of the Faith as something fighting odds, and having seen unanimity only in places where some sham religion or other glozed over our tragedies and excused our sins. Certainly to see all the men, women, and children of a place taking Catholicism for granted was a new sight, and so I put my cigar carefully down under a stone on the top of the wall and went in with them. I then saw what they were at was compline.

    All the village sang, knowing the psalms very well, and I noticed that their Latin was nearer German than French; but what was most pleasing of all was to hear from all the men and women together that very noble good-night and salutation to God which begins –

    ‘Te, lucis ante terminum.’

    My whole mind was taken up and transfigured by this collective act, and I saw for a moment the Catholic Church quite plain, and I remembered Europe, and the centuries. Then there left me altogether that attitude of difficulty and combat which, for us others, is always associated with the Faith. The cities dwindled in my imagination, and I took less heed of the modern noise. I went out with them into the clear evening and the cool. I found my cigar and lit it again, and musing much more deeply than before, not without tears, I considered the nature of Belief.”

    Enjoy your vacation, Father.

  9. Catholic Lady: “Mountain DEW – or would that be Mountain Pouring Forth”

    har har

  10. Jon: What a great quote. Thanks!

  11. A says:

    Father, did the debate about chant settle into any amicable conclusions?

  12. A: Everything at the Sabine Farm is amicable.

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