Basking In Beauty
It’s back to school time for some, but for me, it’s finally time to live outdoors. All of a sudden, the things we were missing all summer long have burst into bloom, even though some are out of synch with the Earth’s rotational space-time demands. Sweet peas in September, that’s not usual. I bury my face in them and sigh anyway.
Also unusual is the fact that this one Swiss chard plant, as well as several lettuces, have been feeding us since early Spring, never letting up, because there’s been no sun until now to tell them it’s time for a break.
My sole tomato plant has managed to produce two, one more than I expected, ripe tomatoes that actually taste pretty decent, not as insipid as cool-weather tomatoes can be. We’re supposed to be having a heat wave next week, and maybe we’ll even get a third tomato, which would be a thrill. Yesterday we grilled cheeseburgers for lunch and ate them with our firstborn tomato. There’s something that feels deliciously decadent about grilling at lunchtime, when other people are at work, but even that illicit pleasure couldn’t outweigh the joy of having actually produced a tomato. Those of you who live where ripe, sweet tomatoes are a regular summer feature don’t know how lucky you are.
Heat wave, such a delightful phrase to those of us in the chilly north. But it won’t be enough to help these eggplants, which even though I chose the plant because it’s makes little Japanese fruits, has only now started blooming. I might as well snip those flowers and put them in a vase as hope for something actually edible to ensue, but they’re beautiful anyway, and I’ll take that.
Since I can’t grow much at home, the farmers’ market is our mainstay, and it’s happily stocked this year with almost everything I need from the vegetable kingdom.
Shel has discovered the joys of cooking over fire, which used to be exclusively my domain. and now he fusses over the coals possessively while I prepare mountains of luminous vegetables to add to our almost daily meat-grilling extravaganza.
And for the first time this year our little market offers island-grown tomatillos and poblanos, an irresistible invitation to salsa.
The only indications of impending autumn are the denuded state of the blueberry bushes and the crabapple tree. I’m leaving the last berries for the birds who need to fuel their upcoming migration
although it’s the crows who devour the crabapples, so sour, so hard, and as they don’t go away for the winter, it must be for pure enjoyment that they stuff themselves with the fruit.
We’ll be flying away like the birds ourselves, in just another month, so for now we too are stuffing ourselves with summer on the island, loving everything about it, while it lasts.
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