Friday, August 21, 2009
Summertime, and the eatin' is easy
I'm not a big summer person. O.k.--I actually don't even like summer. As a season, it's dead last in my very selective top four list. In order of preference, I vote autumn, spring, winter, summer. I realize that this makes me an odd duck. But hey, if that's the confession that clues you into my ultimate quirkiness, so be it.
You know what I do like about summer? Fresh food. I'm extremely biased in favor of vegetables, and not shy about the fact that cooking them is purely optional in my book. To get an idea of how rare it is for me to do more than briefly steam (or very lightly grill) a veggie, enjoy this quote from Logan after he'd eaten at a friend's house:
"I like eating there. But their green beans are soft. They don't snap. Why don't their green beans snap?"
My poor sons will grow up and drive their future wives insane trying to get them to leave their veggies naked and uncooked. Either that, or they'll marry a woman who thinks the only good vegetable is a boiled one, and finally be converted.
Tonight we sat down to our all-time favorite summer meal. I realized as we gathered around the table that it's probably the last time we'll have this particular spread this year. Summer's hour glass is quickly running out of sand in the NW, and the hot weather vegetables are creeping past their peak. Personally, this excites me. Going back to my list of favorite seasons, this means that autumn is just around the corner; and I, for one, am ready for it.
But tonight, watching my family tear into one of the easiest meals ever with such appreciation, I felt the total blessing of summer. An amazing bounty of crisp, yummy treats--ours for the taking just outside our back door. A few added ingredients from the store and ...viola! Happiness in food form.
For those curious as to what kind of a dinner brings such joy to the troops at Casa Blandings, here's a list of the goodies tonight:
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced, sprinkled with seasoning and broiled--then refrigerated until cold.
an immense bowl of our last summer lettuces
3 of the most beautiful cucumbers I've ever plucked from a vine, peeled and sliced
3 tomatoes--2 heirloom Summer Feast, one heirloom Rainbow's End
1 huge yellow squash, raw, cubed
1 bowl croutons, made from toasting and seasoning stale rice bread
1 decanter Raspberry Vinagarette
a variety of cheeses, artfully arranged and very eagerly nibbled
THIS is what summer is good for. And maybe, just maybe, I might miss it. Just a little, of course.