Monday, August 2, 2010

The first harvest

I mentioned that I was going to need to decorate with produce, and yesterday that happened ! I do not garden right now, but when the flood of seasonal produce happens, I get kind of giddy! Call me weird, but I absolutely love the smell and look of the produce department when it is filled with so many fresh, vibrant things. Then if you add the nuddgings of a spiritual tradition that celebrates the rhythms of the earth through it's plantings and harvests, it becomes a lost cause. Yesterday I figured if it was good enough for Van Gough, it was good enough for my table. May I present my centerpiece, called Still Life with Eggplant

It actually serves a couple of purposed- it looks pretty, it holds the overflow that will not fit in the fridge at the moment and it will save me a few steps. I have no kitchen table, so all food prep( and school work, craft work, eating and what not) happens on our dining room table.

Yesterday was a holiday, and the activity focus was to connect with the earth, celebrate accomplishments and spend time as a family. Your family is your primary community, your children are your harvest, and to get out into nature is the best way to connect with it. We went for a walk in the woods- I finally got to use my trekking poles there and both Bob and I got to wear our Trim Fit shoes. ( I am not buying a pair for Nick- he has some foot issues and I am afraid he will roll off of these and break an ankle). Lots of heavy growth this time of year- right between berries and fall leaves.


Giant Ragweed - the Hay Fever sufferer's friend

We walked till the mosquitos noticed our presence and decided we were their holiday meal. Both Bob and Nick have an allergy to these beasts and every bite swells up to the size of a lemon, and makes for several days of unpleasantness. We have tried all kinds of insect repelents, chemical and herbal, but they still get bit, so in the mosquito months we have to limit our outdoor activities to not so buggy times. Happily , Nick's reactions to the beasts are getting much better.

We shifted our walking to indoors for a while and then came home to play rounds of Wii Sports.More games of skill, and lots of laughter ! Eventually the day rolled around to dinner- which was one of the simplest and most seasonal kinds of meals you could think of

Tomato salad with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan Garlic Bread. The salad was so simple , it did not even need a recipe ! Take a mess of tomatoes , assorted kinds if possible, cut into wedges, sprinkle with salt to make em sweat. Then add fresh chopped basil, fresh chopped oregano, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze. Toss and eat. With the fresh mozzarella and bread, it becomes like a de- constructed pizza. We served it with a glass of Sangria - I rarely ever drink because both beer and wine give me instant heartburn. The meal was extremely simple , but so good we all just relished it. It does not get better than this ! If you have an abundance of tomatoes, give this one a try! The combination of tomato, basil and balsamic is better than candy !


Leslie said...

Just looking at the ragweed and goldenrod makes my nose twitch! I'm with you on the summer produce's wonderful and absolutely suitable for still lifes. I bought a bunch of baby eggplant yesterday and cut them up in a ratatouille that we'll eat from for a few days.

Marisa (Loser for Life) said...

I'll join the weird club - I get giddy over produce, too!

Yum to your salad. I could live on mozzarella, tomato and bread and be perfectly happy forever :)