This summer, I've been gifted a bounty of vegetables, fruits and herbs as I live the audacious idea of eating all the fresh food in front of me.
My friend Cat, whose actual name I do not know, alone has given me marjoram and tarragon, zucchini, green beans and fresh lettuce. Our gathering point is at a bar and I inevitably start eating immediately. Turns out fresh green beans and lettuce goes well with a gin and tonic.
I used the marjoram, along with olive oil and lemon, on a spatch-cocked chicken over the grill. I like tarragon with orange so I slathered a couple of chicken breasts with the spice along with both juice and grated orange rind and grilled that, too.
Others have given me cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, sweet corn and cucumbers. My new favorite cucumber dish is vinegar cucumbers, perfect on a hot day. The tomatoes? I make sandwiches of them like my mom used to make. Toast some bread, butter the toast, take sliced tomatoes and smash them into the bread, finish with salt, pepper and some mayo and you'll have the taste of summer in your mouth.
My neighbors, the Kozachs, leave a surprise veggie bag at my door now and then. One of the tomatoes they left was so freshly picked it was still warm. The green beans wet from the sprinkler.
All fresh. All healthy. All real food.
But the better bounty is this group of friends I've developed, who feed me not with just fresh veg but with love.
Peace unto Ukraine and peace and fresh veg unto all of you my brothers and sisters.