Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Nights

I have been a slacker about my evening walks lately.   I can always come up with an excuse.   One day it's Too Hot, the next day I'm Too Busy, and on the third day I might just forget.    But every once in awhile I remember to get off my butt and walk around the neighborhood, and then I wonder why I don't do it more often.
 Besides the fireflies, which delight me, the cicadas are deafening this time of year.   I love them, love the idea that these small, ordinary looking little creatures can demand so much attention.    Between the twinkle of the fireflies, and the cacophony of the cicadas, it is hard to hold any stressful thoughts, so the evening walks help me clear my mind.
 Several of my neighbors have a large variety of plantings, and I enjoy seeing what is in bloom.    There are large trees in my area that are still unknown to me, but I am intrigued by the seed pods that cover them this time of year.
The summer is passing so quickly, and I feel like I've missed most of it.    My job takes more than the 20 hours I am paid for, and the few projects I set for myself took more time than I anticipated.  But the kitchen painting project is nearly completed, and I have finally tested several of the recipes sent to me by America's Test Kitchen.   I made Creme Fraiche for the first time, 2 varieties of pasta cooked in wine, and a yummy bean and artichoke dip.  I will be making a potato and shallot galette this week.   If the still-confidential recipes are ever released through Cooks' Illustrated, I will share them here!  

My garden is not yet in full gear, but I have enjoyed some cherry tomatoes and, so far, 3 zucchinis.   I am still expecting a lot more tomatoes, hopefully enough to can.  I planted several heirloom varieties.   And  I am still waiting for more zucchini and the jack-o-lanterns I planted for the kids.   My herbs, as always, are going crazy, so I need to get busy and make and freeze pesto every few days.   The batch I made today was delicious, I froze the bulk of it but cleaned the bowl by wiping it with scraps of bread!

Such a strange life I've formed for myself these days.   Work-days filled with death and grief work, time off full of food and beauty.   I am never far from thoughts of both.   Truly, life is good.


sue in mexico mo said...

The tree is a golden rain tree, I think. My friend has some and I used to dry big bunches of the seed pods. They sound like rain when dry if you shake them.

Same with me - I haven't been walking much. But I think I will tonight! Thanks for reminding me.

gpc said...

Thanks, Sue, that's definitely it! According to Wikpedia, the tree also sheds the pod petals in what looks like a 'golden rain.' I will try to gather some pods on my walk tonight to dry them -- one source says that the dried pods are called 'chinese lanterns.'