King's Lynn, Norfolk, England

King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England

Le Maître has been out and about today:

An ideal day out for a wistful English Catholic on a glorious summery Sunday: picnicking below the Red Mount chapel, an amazing surviving wayside stop for pilgrims heading to the shrine of the apparition of Our Lady of Walsingham (one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in medieval Europe). The shrine was almost completely destroyed in 1538 by Henry VIII, its famous statue of Our Lady ceremoniously burned in London. But this now-unique wayside shrine somehow survived in old Bishop’s Lynn (called King’s Lynn ever since that old scoundrel Henry seized the town from the Bishop of Norwich). But there’s a happy ending to this story: Today there are now two restored shrines in Walsingham—one Anglican and one Catholic—and the Catholic one has a reproduction of the original statue, blessed by Pope Leo XIII.

On my blanket, I’m eating:
-salad, with some rich, golden, creamy Blacksticks Blue cheese from Lancashire
-a Melton Mowbray pork pie from the eponymous town in Leicestershire
-a bottle of “Piddle in the Hole” ale from the village of Wyre Piddle in Worcestershire.

I’ve had some really nice VFYTs come in lately. I get so much e-mail every day that it’s very easy for VFYTs to slip through the cracks. I apologize for this. So, without delay, dig in!:

Chicago, Illinois, and Sacramento, California

Chicago, Illinois, and Sacramento, California

Great, huh? I love it. The reader writes:

For the past nine months my boyfriend and I have been relating across distance—he in Chicago, IL and I in Sacramento, CA.

We read Purgatorio with you during Lent and it proved to be an important experience for both of us. It gave us a new framework for discussing our sinful dispositions and the way they cloud our ability to see both God and one another. Though a few days late, we were able to cook and share a Tuscan meal (Fagiolini al pomodoro) over Skype, honoring where we’ve been and where we are going, remembering Dante and Beatrice and their call into God’s ever extending grace.

Here is a view from both our tables as we both begin Paradiso!

I can’t tell you how much that double-image means to me. Thanks for sharing it. Here’s another especially personal one that kind of gets to me. I love babies:

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

The reader writes:

A less than scenic view (those be cloth diapers drying in the background … we are crunchy cons, after all), but we are celebrating tonight! My husband just found out he passed his seventh and final architectural registration exam. Pictured: a wonderful dinner delivered by friends (salad, delicious crusty homemade bread, and white bean soup with pancetta) and our 3 week old daughter hanging out on the table. Toddler is asleep in her bed, thanks be to God!

Congratulations! Here’s another:

Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

The reader writes:

We’re having supper in Omaha’s Old Market at La Buvette, which is about as close to a French café as you get in the middle of America.

Just finished a plate of marinated olives and roasted garlic, as well as a cup of andouille gratinée, which is a spicy French onion soup with roasted andouille added to it. Now we’re waiting on our crawfish etouffée as a nice spring breeze comes through the open doors.

It’s like a little bit of New Orleans. . . only with spring.

The etouffée, by the way, was “the real deal,” according to my bride. And the beer is local, from Lincoln, Neb. — Zip Line Brewing’s Copper Alt., which is a copper hued hybrid between a lager and an ale. Right damn tasty.

And finally, this came in today from a friend and reader traveling with his wife:

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, Belgium

The reader writes:

Escargots en frieten from a sidewalk stand on a beautiful afternoon in Ghent.