August is a blowsy month. The garden is producing at full capacity, and it is hot enough that if you don’t get out there in the early morning, by the end of the day you’ve got Zucchini the size of baseball bats. It’s an old song but I’m still singing it. Every time I go down there I find a critter I missed last time that has grown out of control.
Last week we had a day when I actually lost track of time. Truly. It was a beautiful thing. A friend came over in the morning for some coffee and helped us corral and house the thirteen day-old chicks that our wayward hen had just hatched. Yes, you did read that right, thirteen wild Maine chicks were born, unbeknownst to us, to our walkabout hen this past week. I am still trying to imagine how she sat on such a large pile of eggs – and managed to hatch them. But there they were, cheeping away. They are now installed in a shipping crate left over from the renovation of the house. They lived there solo for about 24 hours and then mother hen moved in with them. Now she pecks at our hands when we reach in to refill their food and water. She takes motherhood very seriously. But I digress.
So after the chicks were situated and our friend left for the rest of his day, Don and I wandered off to projects. In the late afternoon we re-convened to put together a meal for more friends coming over for dinner. We spent the late afternoon into evening lolling about drinking, talking, foraging, grilling, eating, watching the toddler play in the water bowl. And I forgot about time. It was blissful. In this day and age I find it very hard to disconnect from the modern world and just be. You know, the way you used to during the summer when you were a kid and days seemed endless, and school seemed a light year away. But for a couple of hours last Wednesday, that’s just how I felt. Lost in summer. Better than lost in space.
In the kitchen the fruit flies have taken over. I try to be diligent about eating or refrigerating any less than perfect produce, but I am human and occasionally miss things. I have traps of cider vinegar and dish soap in jars on the counter, but somehow I cannot quell the insurrection. Our current solution is to spend most of our time out of doors. Not a difficult duty these days. Ice cream making continues apace, salted caramel being the current favorite flavor. Having eaten rustic tomato salads for a couple of weeks now, we are looking for other ways to eat our fruit. Barely warmed chopped tomatoes with cubed mozzarella and torn basil makes a great sauce for pasta. Tessa Kiros has a recipe for tomato fritters in Food From Many Greek Kitchens
that I am going to try tonight. What are you doing with your tomatoes?