Thursday, August 25, 2011

summertime, thus far.

Well hello! I hope you're having a lovely summertime, dear reader. I am making this long-overdue stop to tell the story of my summer to date.

If, by chance, you are questioning my use of "thus far" and "to date," if you are by necessity purchasing fresh notebooks for a fall semester or writing lesson plans or already sitting in a classroom, or if--God forbid!--you are one of those hurrying the season away, let me just tell you right now that I firmly believe that things last as long as we choose, and my summer is not over. I know, I know, easy for me to say in my post-collegiate, (currently) non-academic world. But as long as I still want iced coffee and am not wearing scarves and tights, it is summer. I anticipate that summer will last well into September, maybe October.

Is that okay with everyone? Good. Onward.

This summer has consisted of many a lovely thing, as it tends to be with summer. There have been picnics by rivers
and on beaches.
Overheated in my windowless little orange kitchen, I have prepared an abundance of baked goods filled with market-fresh fruit, from rhubarb

I also made a chocolate cake, to ensure that chocolate didn't get completely slighted in my kitchen this summer.
I developed a slight obsession with ricotta, atop toasts and further adorned with...anything,

or inside of crepes, similarly adorned,
and I added this incredible savory tart to my repertoire. Thank you, David Lebovitz!
I fell, hard, for white wines
and deepened my affection for the iced americano.
And I traveled! First, to Minnesota in late May (uh, also summertime on my calendar). There, I visited my lovely sister and brother-in-law and also spoke on behalf my organization. I was rather excited about seeing the church Anthony pastors.
Sara and I baked up a storm
and ate copious amounts of rhubarb. (Anthony abstained.)
The three of us enjoyed good food, walked all over the little town and nearby woodlands, talked for hours and laughed. It was wonderful.
In early July, Ben and I hopped on a train with a bunch of amazing young people from Ben's church

and spent a number of very hot days in Austin, Texas, where we talked to homeless folks and threw carnivals for kids and boxed food and painted houses and learned and laughed and worshiped and didn't sleep enough.
I love these youth-folk.

And though for the most part, the culinary dimension of the experience left something to be desired, there were a few high points.

Ben and I also took a trip to Chicago, where we spent time with two sets of good friends

and adventured
and frequented a bakery I adore. (We enjoyed our glorious pastries at a nearby park.)
My whole (immediate) family recently congregated for one very happy day.
And I camped with friends. It was not nearly as cold as my first real camping experience last September, and although it rained, it was fabulous.
I wore red patent leather shoes to the wedding of two people I love very much,
where I also saw a dear friend after too long apart.
I have passed many Saturday morning hours at the market and have prepared and thoroughly enjoyed many wonderful meals

and, on the less-fancy-but-no-less-delightful end, a lot of toast with yogurt and jam.

Ben's sweet nieces and nephews increased my joy, and we welcomed another little one into his family's fold and into the world.

I wore sundresses and sandals and installed a window box air conditioner and read food memoirs.
And this fellow kept making my world ever-so-bright.
In sum, it's been a good set of days. Hopefully, I'll return soon with a recipe, and before long, some exciting (blog-related) news!

Until then, keep enjoying summer, my friends. And remember--it is not over yet!