It’s mid-July. That’s high time in the garden, exploding with all kinds of goodies. So much squash. So much tomato. So muchpeppermint. And when you have a garden & a full portion of a CSA (which should feed 2-4 people)… and when you’re husband is gone most of the week… That means you have a. lot. of. food.
And that means Saturday is Weekly Food Preservation & Preparation Day. Cabbage potato leek soup that turns a gorgeous purple. Tomato sauces–sweet & tangy Sungold sauce, spice, smoky mixed-tomato sauce. Quiche with baby onions, shallot & spinach. Kale chips.
So. many. dishes. And laundry, with dish towels dyed purple & red & orange. By the end of the day, my hands were a wrinkled, soggy mess. And I missed home.
When I was young, much of my summers were spent at my grandma’s house, following my youngest uncle through the neighborhood to play cowboys and Indians or propping up our bicycles to play motorcycle mechanics. Then, we’d run inside for lunch. Often, the meal had great sides straight from grandma’s garden. Always, the meals were recipes rich family history–recipes from a farming lifestyle that utilized all components of food, be it animal or plant.
When I miss my small-town summers with my cousins & uncle, I miss flavors like these: fried squash blossoms, but simpler than this fancified mozzarella-stuff version; a constant flow of cucumber salad, like this one; (if we were really lucky, or if it was a family event) lemon meringue pie like this simple one from Paula Deen; the go-to snack of banana chips that you can make at home!
Gardening has been a wonderful way for me to feel at home & deeply connected to my family. (Could I someday spend time in the genealogy portion of a library? Who am I these days?) It’s an awesome comfort & a great way to clear my mind–getting dirt under my nails that ultimately leads to a healthy meal on the table.
My mission for today is to tear out an unfortunate squash plant that succumbed to those [expletive] squash bugs. I saw loads of babies on Friday & am determined to kill every last bug today. I’ll be filling that big chunk of space with basil (finally!) & Pretty in Purple, a stunning hot pepper with slightly egg-shaped peppers that move from deep purple to red when ripe.
Hope you have an equally exciting Sunday. What meals remind you of summer days spent with family?