Sunday, July 12, 2015

Simple Summer Living

Summertime and the living is easy.  I find it to be true that the simple things are the best things--the dew on the early morning grass, the Orange, pinks and reds of a sunrise or sunset, a light breeze with the windows open, the smell of the rain, the bright blue sky on a summer day, the laughter and squeals of children playing.  I could go on. For a while. But I'll stop.

I'm not quite sure what it is about summer that makes life seem so simple. Is it the extra hours of daylight? The fact that you don't have to spend 10 minutes layering outerwear so you can avoid frost bite? Have you noticed that no one seems to be in that big of a hurry during these warmer months?  I wish I could bottle this feeling into some sort of elixir to enjoy in February when I'm nearing my breaking point of snow and winter. 

Not only does life seem to slow down and become simpler in summer, but so does the food I eat. The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables are stunningly beautiful with their bright, bold colors. Again, the simple things are sometimes the most beautiful.  It's so easy to light the grill and throw on some chicken, beef or pork. To roast corn on the cob over an open flame and chop up a quick salad.  Easy peasy.  Can't get much simpler than that!

During the course of this year, I have been making an effort to eat in season, organic and to grow some of my own food. At times it can be a challenge but just when you think you can't eat another Brussels sprout, the citrus pops up in season.  I have fallen madly in love with kale and it's many health benefits. I rekindled an old affair with broccoli and even managed to choke down some beet juice which actually isn't too bad as long as you include some apples and can get past the "earthiness" which in reality I assume means "tastes like literal dirt", which I haven't found appealing since the age of five.   I have no qualms about in season eating during the summer months though.  Fresh, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and don't even get me started on the zucchini and green beans

I think it's time for a challenge. Try living off the "land" for a week. Visit local farmers, roadside stands and farmers markets. If these places don't inspire you to make creative, healthy dishes, well, then I don't know what will. Just try it. Please? And report back. I'm pretty sure you'll be on the road to feeling like a million bucks!

My absolute favorite summer meal consists of fresh green beans, corn on the cob and a sliced tomato. It screams summer to me. They are the quintessential foods for the month of July.  Simple, colorful, delicious.  Saute onions and garlic in butter, or even better, bacon grease, until soft.  Throw in green beans and simmer in a little chicken broth until beans are done to your liking.  If you're like my mom, you'll left them go for hours.  If you're me, 30 minutes will do ya.

I can't get enough of summer and I wish it would stick around forever.  How do you live simply?  Are there summer traditions that you keep? What are those must have summer foods for you?  Do you grow your own garden and if so, what are your favorite crops?  Leave a comment or drop me an email to share!  Enjoy the remainder of your summer and remember to take time to smell the roses, to sip iced tea on the patio and enjoy your friends and family during these lazy, hazy days of summer when the living truly is easy. 

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