Backyard baseball in the summer is an important part of my life, and I can always be talked into a little bit of badminton too. Croquet? Yes, please. But my favorite summer sport without a doubt is summertime dinner making. A sport, you say? Why yes, yes it is. When the summertime days are full and long, and not a moment's thought is given to the evening meal until there are not just two but five hungry children asking what they can eat....that's when the game begins (and not a moment sooner). And the thrill of the hunt is on as I head to the garden to pull a little of this and a little of that until something starts to come together to look like, well, a meal. Most often, the game becomes a team effort, as a child - or a butterfly - joins me in the game. It's a favorite of theirs too, ("I found a cucumber! We could make....cucumber ice cream!"). Then comes the kitchen work, where I find what I can from the mostly-empty-in-the-summertime refrigerator, and add it all together. If I'm lucky, there will be butter or milk or cheese or at least one of the above (I need a cow). A little bit of music, maybe some wine, perhaps a child on my back to keep things interesting, and the clock begins to tick as the hunger rises, the light fades, and far off in the pasture I can hear some pigs losing patience waiting for their turn to come. Yes, yes...this is a serious sport, my friends.
Winter time meals take more planning and forethought, I find - knowing ahead of time to pull something from the freezer, or the pantry, or from the market. Which is all fine and well come wintertime when that pace feels good. But I do so love this daily summertime shuffle of hunting and making. Of course, victory (for all) comes at the end as we all settle down together and celebrate - another day of health, another day of togetherness, and the bounty of the garden we grow in the summertime.