For weeks the sounds of summer have been declaring their triumphant return. Birds chirping from morning till night, children laughing and playing outside, lawn mowers whirling across lush lawns, shades thumping against window frames as warm breezes stream through open windows, sprinklers spraying mists of water on freshly planted gardens, bees buzzing while they fly from flower to flower pollinating our plum tree, and morning doves cooing from their perch on top of our house. Loud and clear the sounds of summer scream — We’re back!
For the past couple weeks the scents of summer have been slowly making themselves known after a long, hard winter. The intoxicating blossoms on the plum tree, the sweet lilacs, just-cut grass, freshly tilled soil, Bell after rolling in that awful smell in the grass, barbecues sizzling in my neighbors yards, the rain as it hits the warm pavement, and bonfires blazing in our backyard. So many wonderful smells that scream — It’s nearly summer!
For nearly a week the sights of summer have overtaken our neighborhood after many false starts and stops. Thick droplets of morning dew covering the grass, plum blossoms falling away to make room for lush green leaves, patio furniture uncovered, weeds popping up in flower beds, dawn breaking early and dusk coming late, convertibles cruising down the road with their tops down, and backyard pools being opened. Everywhere I look the scenery screams — Time to get out and enjoy!
For all the sights, sounds, and scents of summer that have revealed themselves proclaiming their return, the one aspect of summer, my favorite aspect of summer, had yet to return — the tastes of summer. There are some very distinct foods and drinks that for me are the epitome of summer and what I miss most when fall slowly reclaims its reign. Fresh squeezed lemonade, beef jerky in the smoker, frozen treats from the ice cream truck, barbecue ribs on the grill, home-grown vegetables from the garden, fresh picked strawberries, roasted corn on the cob, and home-brewed sun tea. These are undeniable tastes that scream — Summer is here!
The one taste of summer that I most look forward to is fresh fruit salad. This weekend the first fresh summer fruits of the season became available — watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and strawberries — everything needed for the most refreshing dessert ever created.
Today I made the first of many fruit salads for the Summer of 2014. The watermelon was juicy, the cantaloupe tender, the grapes crisp, and the strawberries sweet, a perfect combination to begin our summer, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.