As we move into July and August it’s time to celebrate summer. Summertime translates into our desire to become lighter, happier and healthier as we slow it down a bit and take in the fresh air, sunshine, and the refreshment of a summer shower. We spend more time connecting with one another in the outdoors and traveling and visiting family and friends or simply refreshing in the warmth of the sun.
With a season of holidays and celebrations, many enjoy backyard barbeques, family reunions, weddings, baby and bridal showers, neighborhood gatherings and picnics, vacations to the shore or to the mountains. It is a time to connect with one another as this time of year allows more daylight and longer days, more time to travel, and more quality time to spend with those who are meaningful in our lives. Moods are lighter and people are happier. I wish all of us “kids” out there … (young and younger alike) good old summertime fun in the sun!
When I think of summer, I recall sitting on my grandmother’s porch watching the garden grow, harvesting, canning and preserving food, listening to stories of long-ago, and hoping for the future. I’m watching my grandfather weed and care for his vegetable and flower garden each day and teach many lessons on growth. We spent hours in the kitchen and I watched and learned how magically food went from the garden to the table of pure, fresh, delicious, and homemade! We spent the days talking while my grandmother questioned what I hoped and dreamed my future would be and what it would look like. She shared her own life experiences.
When I think of summer, I enjoy the memories of my daughters as they learned to walk, talk, run, ride their bikes, blow bubbles, splash in the pools, taste their first ice pop, share snacks with friends, and the experience and merriment of family and friend celebrations in the backyards, parks, vacations, and at home.
Growing up in my Italian family, I was taught the health benefits of home-grown and home-made foods. These generations of my ancestry lived long lives for their time. Today, with the challenges that my family faces with Celiac disease, I continually work with my daughters in teaching them what worked in generations past while translating the menus of today and tomorrow, bridging generations and providing more options.
Through the years, my family enjoyed our visits to my grandmother’s porch as we experienced the next generation of hope, and all that was and is… yet to be…
When I think of my grandmother’s porch and all that it represents, it remains a place that I can recall, travel to in my mind and heart, and find comfort there…especially in the summertime.
Insalata di Fagiolini e Patate (Potato and Green Bean Salad)
A great summertime salad with fresh-picked green beans.
6 to 8 medium-size red potatoes, cooked, cooled, skinned and cubed
2 cups fresh-cooked string beans chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh, peeled and minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and add to the cooked and chopped vegetables. Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.To learn more about Cynthia, visit her Facebook and Twitter pages.