This is not the fantastic California weather that I am accustomed to. Here it is, the last day of May; it is raining and the skies refuse to show even a wisp of blue. Now, I know I’ve professed my love of the rain in the past, but (at the risk of sounding spoiled) this is just too much. We’ve been almost entirely cheated out of spring and summer is just around the corner. I am ready for sunshine, icy blended beverages and flip flop tan lines on my feet, damn it!
I can’t help but think that this gloomy weather is taking its toll on me. Today seems to have brought with it quite a down-in-the-dumps feeling. Something that I’ve always loved doing is watching the rainfall, but sitting here on the couch in front of the biggest rain-viewing window in the house, with both cats and the dog snuggled against me, I wonder if doing this doesn’t perpetuate my melancholy mood just a little. Getting up and doing something, anything, would probably boost my spirits, but I’m transfixed. Through the slightly open window I can hear the rain falling and I get lost in thought, watching the trees blow in the breeze and the garden getting soaked. Is it productive thought? Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking about. Perhaps “lost in thought” doesn’t describe it accurately…it’s more like “in a trance”.
I snap out of it and take a sip of my coffee. Having just opened a new bag the flavor cannot be beat. Fresh, robust and rich…it’s the perfect cup. I sit here and notice just how ridiculously cute this pile of animals is, huddled together for extra warmth, completely nonplussed by my mood or the weather, breathing the even and slow breaths that come with deep sleep. I see our tiny herb and vegetable garden that is thriving, promising a bounty of juicy tomatoes and spicy peppers. I think about how lucky we are that my complaints are of these late-season showers and not of the tornadoes that have wreaked havoc across the country. Then I get a call from Andy who has me laughing by the time I get off the phone, and smiling long after I’ve hung up.
So because of these reasons, and countless others, this mood cannot be here to stay. All I need to do is remember that.
In a nod to the (hopefully) warm and sunshiny days ahead, this salad salutes summer and the fresh produce that goes with it.
These radishes come from my dad’s garden…they popped up quickly, showing off their bright green tops and deep red bulbs in spite of all this dreary gray weather, insisting on flourishing anyway. While I can’t take credit for the peas or corn, I am proud to say that the herbs come from our very own backyard. After several years of talking about it, we finally planted a small edible garden. I really couldn’t be happier with it (and I may even say hi to each plant in an annoying baby voice when I go outside to fawn over them). Plug your ears if you’re a neighbor.
Corn, Radish and Pea Salad with Basil-Mint Vinaigrette
2 cups fresh raw corn (from 3 ears)
1 cup fresh shelled peas
8 radishes, sliced
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped mint
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Combine corn, peas, radishes and scallions in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together herbs, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss.
Simple, fresh and flavorful, this salad is a perfect complement to barbecue dishes and would be most welcome at any picnic. It’s a snap to throw together, especially if you can step outside and pick your ingredients from your own garden. And speaking of, I have to sing the praises of these radishes. I have never tasted a radish as tender as these that we pulled from the dirt, rinsed off and ate immediately. There is definitely something to be said for homegrown vegetables.
Well, I guess all I had to do was remind myself of a few good things and talk about my garden to get myself out of my gloomy mood. I’m feeling much better, and it looks like the rain may have stopped for now. But it’s still looking like a chicken soup kind of night…
As always, thanks for listening.