Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simple Summer Dinner

Summer produce continues to roll in--from the markets, from friends, from my own small garden. It occupies the refrigerator, counters, stockpots... And as much frenzy as there is to preserve the vegetables so abundant now, I like to remember to eat well in the present moment, too. 

A couple days ago, when I was canning tomatoes, I briefly reached a point where I thought it was impossible for me to fill another jar--ever. I was suddenly (and momentarily) tired of canning. I couldn't bear another moment of the canner humidifying the whole kitchen. Luckily, the moment passed once I started thinking about the (delayed) gratification of eating the things I was canning, and I was content once again. But that little frantic moment also reminded me that it's not all about the later--the putting away into jars; it's also about the now. Even a simple dinner of whole-wheat spaghetti topped with squash, tomatoes, greens, broccoli; and a side of tender green beans should have its place of respect. I remember that when I was eating this particular dinner (a couple weeks ago), I told myself that if I ever complain about the heat of summer, or any such thing, I should remember dinners such as this: fresh and vibrant with the produce so recently obtained from market. I took a picture of it to remind myself of the pleasures of the present moments, and thought I'd remind you, too. Even if you're not canning this season, take a minute to notice the great food available now--and savor it.

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