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.


Melody said...

I was just thinking this same thing today about summer. I think the only thing I like is the garden. I'm a wimp in the heat (and its only been in the mid-80s here). I love winter, then autumn, and spring, and I guess I could include summer as long as it's on the end. :)

Benny said...

Crazy lady. ;o)


p.s. I'm looking forward to fall, too. But I do love summer...

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Wow- that sounds delicious. What a gift you are giving your kids- teaching them to enjoy real (not doctored and disguised) vegetables:-).

Kate said...

I'm good with all of it except for the raw squash.

Mama JJ said...

We all love salad, too (though the lettuce days are long-gone), and it tickles me to see my kids chow down with such gusto. Right now we're savoring tomato sandwiches; my oldest son can eat three or four in one sitting.

As for the seasons, I like all of them, but what I love about summer is the freedom that comes from barefeet and sundresses and the ability to order my kids to GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY. I really miss that in the winter.

Renee said...

I never thought I would disagree with you..I adore summer.

I am in awe of your veggie growing skills. I have killed so many veggie plants I am sure there is a wonted for me in the produce aisle.

A wonderful gift you have. A true Southern Girl.

Love you!

Lisa H. said...

I knew there was another reason I loved your blog! :)

That's my favorite order of seasons as well. Here in Texas, though, our "winter" is pretty much everyone elses fall and our "fall" is just summer-extended. I grew up up north and know better.

I am very much enjoying your blog. Thanks for sharing with us!

The Hayes Zoo said...

Your order is the SAME as mine. Yet another reason we can be friends in real life too. :)

YUM on the meal.....


Luke said...

"As a season, it's dead last in my very selective top four list."

[laughing] Now that is really clever.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry, nothing on that list to miss HERE, except the artfully arranged plate of cheese... -Joy

Michelle said...

I think your family will all be very healthy eating so many raw, homegrown, and heirloom vegetables to boot! Good for you! I still struggle to get one of my five children to eat vegetables. He eats raw carrots willingly and cooked potatoes with zest. Not much else. Perhaps it isn't entirely my fault, though, as my husband's father was reputed to have never, ever as an adult eaten anything green!