Monday, September 26, 2011


As summer continues to wind down, the garden continues to yield its luscious gifts. Each day, when I look at the tomato, pepper, squash, and other plants, I'm astounded by their rapid growth, the changing colors of their ripening fruits. I imagine that if everyone could only see this mysteriously unfolding act of nature as the selfless nurturing of all things that it truly is, all arrogance would dissipate, replaced by a profound reverence and gratitude.

We'll move whatever plants we can indoors and continue growing throughout the winter, but the bright, kinetic profusion of summer will be gone until next year.

This may seem sad, but the last days of our summer crop are more celebratory than anything else. Just the other day, I made a salad from almost-all homegrown produce. It began as a tabouli, because we had a planter full of parsley that desperately needed harvesting. Then, as I went about the usual tasks, something happened; the kitchen gods derailed my plan. I began cutting cucumbers and tomatoes, and then I decided to add a few bright green peppers. By this point, I just didn't have the heart to muddy the vibrant colors and crisp, juicy textures with any grain whatsoever. So, after folding in a bunch of finely cut scallions, I stopped.

For the dressing, I pounded a little garlic with salt in a mortar until it formed a mushy paste. Then I worked in a little fresh lemon juice, followed by a fair amount of Bija "Old Grove" Greek extra virgin olive oil (from 600 year-old trees!), and a little Udo's DHA Oil. Simple, like nearly all great dishes. Not a true tabouli, but surely taboulesque in character.

Persephone's thoughts may be wandering now, deciding what to pack for her underworld sojourn, but the glory of summer is still on our plates, and I'm in no mood to mourn. I'm gathering the last glowing bits and feasting, joyfully, enthralled with every sapid mouthful.

1 comment:

  1. Its so bright and lovely!! I don't know anything about gardening, but I have a tomato plant and a habenero plant that have started producing all of a sudden now that the weather's cooled off. They didn't make anything all summer. And now it's crazy! I can't wait to harvest my own produce.