Summer Brings On Simple Meals
I’m laying in bed in the dark, listening to the rain falling outside the open window. It comes down in drops and rivulets and sheets and I can hear each note as I wait to go to sleep. The soothing sound of water lulls me. I get lost in its repetitive ring, and before I know it, I’m out, now asleep in dreamland. It is that time of year, when windows open and screens replace panes, when the world outside again meets the world inside. Welcome, summer!
With the windows open, I can hear the sounds in the neighborhood: birds up at the crack of dawn, steps on loose gravel, a truck rumbling through the quiet street, a sudden high pitched laugh. The world becomes a little smaller and as I walk down the street, friends and strangers are out on their porches or stoops and throw a greeting my way.
What used to be a well sealed house is now an airy kingdom, almost doubling in size with its outdoor spaces. Breakfast, lunch and supper now spread out into our second and third dining rooms: the back deck and the front porch. In the morning, the birds and squirrels join us. And at night, our roof becomes the sky above reflecting the setting sun, before the mosquitoes come out to chase us in.
But the best part are the meals. With local ingredients now available, simple salads are easy to assemble. Add bread and cheese, a glass of limeade or chilled wine and a bouquet of flowers and the meal turns into a lovely interlude in the midst of business. It’s amazing how just a few props can make the food taste even better…
At our house, we painted our wooden picnic table a soft lavender for extra pop but also throw on colorful tablecloths for more formal gatherings. Bouquets of gathered or bought flowers also bring nature right to the table. And for some reason, have you noticed? Food always tastes better outside!
The additional outdoor space makes it more possible to have friends over. And when the conversation quiets down, nature fills the silence. I love those pauses; I soak them in. People can spill out down the steps and into the yard. Candles and strings of lights and tiki torches glow as night falls. And Stella the dog is in the midst of it all.
Summer will stay a while but we know it will disappear too soon. So grab it while it’s here, enjoy it while you can, on your own or with friends. As I soak it in, I notice that time stops for just a little while, and I watch glorious summer unfold minute by minute in front of me.