The emphasis this week has certainly been on fast food prep. With guests coming and going every day, J. working long hours at work, and suffocating heat on top of everything, the kitchen is the last place I want to be. By contrast, the actual mealtimes are prolonged, relaxed, drawn out.
My parents and little brothers were visiting all weekend, so most of our meals were had outside on the patio. It’s a wonderful place to be. As the sun sets, the setting transforms from a dining room to a living room. The bottle of wine is drained, a fire is lit, the stars come out, and dessert plates pile up on top of the main course leftovers. I love how time seems to slow during summer evenings.
1. J’s Croatian grandma brought up a box of cevapi (sausages), which we grilled and served with unauthentic basmati rice and sautéed chard for a quick meal.
2. Quiche made with an easy whole wheat and cornmeal crust, bacon, cheddar, and onions, served with a garden salad. Our weekly CSA share is brimming with lettuce, so that’s what we eat with nearly every meal.
3. Grilled salmon rubbed with parsley, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil, accompanied by a quinoa-onion pilaf and salad.
4. Melting corn and cheese quesadillas, cooked on the grill, served with yogurt and hot sauce. (I never have salsa when I need it. When I have it, there are never any tortillas in the house. It’s so frustrating.) Garden salad, too – of course!
5. J. busted out an old standby from his bachelor days – his awesome spicy chili. Brown some ground meat, add a can of tomatoes, can of beans, can of olives, seasonings. He used to make a giant batch and eat it for several days in a row. Oh, how distant those days now seem…
6. Take-out pizza! This was a real treat. We had to go to Kitchener to pick up our car at the last minute. With no time to pack a picnic, we ordered a large pizza. The agonizingly long wait in the burning heat was worth it. We devoured every slice of that sausage- and hot-pepper-laden pizza in the shade of Victoria Park, while our son frolicked in the fabulous water park, running back for bites every now and then.
7. Sunday family dinner for 9 people: a roasted chicken that I bought from a farmer friend a few months back. It was the size of a turkey, so I hadn’t gotten around to cooking it yet. Along with roasted new potatoes and carrots, sautéed green beans, corn on the cob, fresh twelve-grain bread, and garden salad, it was the perfect dinner for a large group. We finished off with raspberry pie and ice cream.