Just like the garden I’ve been in for the last week, it’s been quiet up here on the blog front. I had thought that upon visiting my dad in Eastern Washington last week, I’d be able to take advantage of the beautiful rural settings – carving out some time to read, write, and think. I assumed that my time there would be quiet – the perfect environment for inspiring creativity.
Quiet, yes. But quiet it made me in exchange. The laptop stayed unusually closed, and my mind remained comfortably still as I soaked up the simple complexity of nature around me. I basked in the broad, lazy pastures with resting hay barrels and excited crickets; the frontier-like houses with dirt driveways that crackle deeply from passing cars; the families of cows resting under the shade of lanky pine trees; and then, of course, the gardens. Every house in that pristine setting had a food garden. And as ’tis the season, each garden was absolutely brimming with vegetables, berries, tubers, flowers and all the best bounty that good soil, plentiful sunshine, and a summertime season can offer.
To me, there is something so innately joyous about being able to harvest and gather one’s own food. It’s one of those instinctual “this feels right” type of tasks – you know, like the opposite of walking into a Walmart. And with my dad’s all-organic garden absolutely flourishing this year, frequent harvesting was exactly what I did. Carrots, artichokes, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, greens . . . who knew I was a borderline locust.
Upon nightfall, we’d make grand simple meals of the freshest of fresh vegetables. Here’s what went into our summertime garden salad bowl, which we consumed just about every night. Delicious. When I wasn’t eating it, I was thinking about eating it. Brought to you by nature and what’s perfectly in season . . .
Life Is Good Salad
2 heads of red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups shredded carrots
1 bunch chives, coarsely chopped
5-6 sweet Persian (miniature) cucumbers, sliced
3 large hierloom tomatoes, chopped
1 large Hass avocado, chopped
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. I dressed mine simply with oil, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.