DSW COOKS Cantaloupe and Bacon Pasta

The sky sported an intense vivid blue and the cool dampness of early morn slowly fades from the warmth of the morning sun as Jeff and I drove to the home of our good friends, Doug and Judi.  What awaits at the Watkins homestead, is a handful of firsts for Jeff and I.

For starters, it is the first time we have been to their home in The Mainlands of Pinellas Park.  Almost 2000 condo homes fill The Mainlands, with six or is it seven separate associations each including a clubhouse, a pool and apparently all sorts of amenities. There is a par 64 golf course to boot.  The place is immaculate and massive.  There nestled nicely in the tidy neighborhood is the cozy comforts of The Watkins homestead filled with colorful art and decor each with a story reflecting their appreciation and beauty of life and of those they meet along the way.

Photography by Debra S. Walling

Photography by Debra S. Walling

Another first is meeting Doug’s brother, Curt and his wife, Gayle.  They too, joined us for breakfast. The stories of life and the adventure to include those of brotherly love — from past to present — provided jolly good breakfast conversation as Jeff and I, for the very first time, sampled Doug’s famous Egg and Sausage Soufflé and if it is not famous it should be because it is delicious!  Now you might be wondering why the image in this post does not resemble a soufflé and instead that of a pasta dish.

Well, let me tell you that too is a first.  Sincerely touched by Curt’s mindfulness for no one has ever, upon first meeting me presented me with the gift of their favorite recipe. One, according to Curt is so delicious that it could very well be his last requested meal should he be given the option to be asked what he would like for his last meal.  “It’s that good!” he said with a smile and mannerisms similar to that of his brother Doug.

Gesturing the recipe in my direction Curt gave forewarning that I not be thrown by the ingredients.  I have to admit I did have a raised eyebrow of uncertainty; asking who thought to mix cantaloupe with bacon and pasta. My curiosity was surely aroused and have to report the combination was quite flavorful and produced a bit of lip-smacking.  So good that I, like Curt, share the recipe.  In all of its goodness I can’t say it would be my last requested meal should I ever be asked what I would like as my last meal - my list of favorites is way too long though that does not dismiss this Cantaloupe and Bacon Pasta recipe getting high marks for being flavorful, most pleasing to the tastebuds and makes a quick meal.

As breakfast comes to an end, finishing my second helping of Doug’s Egg and Sausage Soufflé the table is cleared of the now soiled dishes.   We ambled the short distance from the dining room to the living room where Curt is unwrapping his collection of art assemblages for viewing and the last of our firsts — a private viewing of his artwork which deserves a blog post all its own.  The stories behind the journey to and the art pieces in itself — extremely impressive.

The morning of firsts eventually ends and we depart with a full belly thanks to Doug and Judi’s kindness, the blessing of new friendship, appreciation for the work of Curt’s art form and his favorite recipe - a delightful morning reminding us that when we make the time to change up the daily routine, stepping away for the norm there is new joy and new opportunities to be had — life is full of simple goodness and speaking of goodness.  Please excuse me, I have another recipe to try. Doug’s Egg and Sausage Soufflé.

What will you do differently today?
 What firsts have filled your day?