We chose the roads, less traveled - my partner, and I.
Winding, narrow lanes with invisible lines,
where painted numbers on metal signs passed by unnoticed,
and no red colored lights, only trees and fields of green . . . . . . up ahead.
We left on the eve. of Friday, stopping over in a small town,
at an Inn on a quaint, shop-lined street.
Shops of Christmas and coffee, gifts and ice-cream,
a charming two-story pet shop, and one just for . . . . . . ham.
Inside, the Inn was filled with friendly chatter and the warmth of laughter.
People were gathered at the tavern for a nice meal or just drinks.
We pulled up to the bar, and ordered two drinks.
"And may we please have a menu, " we asked, as we took a seat.
Around us, all locals - young and old.
Everybody knows everybody, down to the last bar stool.
We ordered our meals, and enjoyed our drinks,
sharing nice conversations with the local folks,
who unfolded their stories of life in Smithfield.
Our meals were delivered, and OH, were they . . . . . . good!
Mine started with the Inn House Salad -
mixed mesclun greens with spicy, diced Smithfield Ham
candied pecans, bourbon-soaked dried cherries,
croutons, served with buttermilk dressing.
My partner's - a sliced Smithfield Ham Roll
served on Mozell’s yeast.
I will tell you about Mozell, in a minute.
On to the main course.
Mine, a fried green tomato blt, with delicately fried green
tomatoes, thick cut Smithfield peppered bacon, lettuce,
& pimiento cheese spread, on a crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, homemade roll.
My partner's - an order of fish & chips. A large fillet of haddock, moist and flaky,
perfectly battered, with a side of pineapple coleslaw.
"Some people come from miles, just to eat our fish & chips," said the waitress.
And, I could see why. I had a taste (of course).
The meal did not stop there, as we could not resist an opportunity to try Mozell's bread pudding,
served warm with some sort of wonderfully thin and delicate, caramel colored ( possibly bourbon?) sauce.
About Mozell . . . . . .
Mozell Brown has been baking rolls and bread pudding for the Smithfield Inn EVERY morning
for the past 47 years.
I can just taste the love and the time that she puts into them. . . . . . in every bite.
At the end of the night, our stomachs were full, and our spirits were light.
We said good-bye to our friends, and took the short, walking path over to the Garden House,
where our room was waiting for us,
just off the front porch.
And, where we slept in what might possibly have been
the most comfortable mattress
that I have ever slept on.