When I notice my days have become overwhelming, off-kilter or otherwise yucky-feeling, I usually resolve to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with the basics: good sleep, and good food. When things are going well, I am less mindful of these basics. I am happy to report things have been quite enjoyable this summer, and I am soaking in the rich bounty of good weather and outdoor activities that leave my soul fulfilled. In my haste to suck the marrow from life's bones, however, I have unwittingly forgotten to attend to one of the key tenets to happiness: food.
I love beach days, finding new parks, spending whole days in the pool and having impromptu get-togethers with friends, all in the name of seizing the day (and season). Living so cavalier in the face of any scheduling or routine often means I have foregone meal-planning, or even thinking ahead to the next meal. This is a side-effect of summer enthusiasm that, I admit, requires more attention. I have returned to more solid meal-planning, and remembered how great it is to take full advantage of the local produce being harvested now.
Extremely locally, our yard is beginning to give us the first of our heirloom tomatoes. I delight in bringing handfuls in each morning to ripen on my kitchen windowsill. I have bought my mason jars and am looking forward to canning as many as I can. Our garlic bulbs are hanging to dry in the cellar (okay, basement), the raspberries are our go-to snacks when playing out front, and our basil and chives are giving me many opportunities to be culinarily creative.
The farm stand I like best is also coming out with the most diverse selection of the season. This week I spent $12 to get enough ingredients for a few days' worth of snacks and side dishes.Though it is an extra stop to my grocery shopping, I vow to return to the stand with greater frequency, because local fruits and veggies just taste so much better, and have so many more nutrients from being freshly-picked, (or so I understand).
Ebbs and flows continue, and I find myself in a peak. I am feeling a jones for colourful, bright local produce as it becomes available and as I find revitalized inspiration in new recipes. Keeping up with my adventures (and my girls) requires good fuel in my tank, or else hot days outside lead to cranky mama, not fun mama. And who wants that? Honestly, a green juice in the morning is often better than caffeine to get me going. So we carry forth in our family's foodie explorations with a renewed commitment to mindful eating, local produce, and happy days in the sun.