Oh it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…

How wonderful is it to lazily walk barefoot into the garden and harvest most of tonight’s dinner?

What is on the menu, you ask?  How about Greek Salad?

First, let’s pick some lettuce.

Sunlight on freshly-picked lettuce in salad spinner

Sunlight on freshly-picked lettuce in salad spinner

The lettuce is getting just a tiny tad bitter at this time of year.  You can’t eat any of the bottom leaves.  Toss them under the oak tree to share with the deer!  (And it really doesn’t matter in your salad, especially if you add other tasty vegetables and salad dressing.)

Now, pull up those beets! 

Boil the beets for 20-30 minutes until their skins slip off easily under cold water

Boil the beets for 20-30 minutes until their skins slip off easily under cold water

While you’re out in the garden, don’t forget to pick the cucumbers.  No whining that they don’t look like slender sophisticated cucumbers from former years!  Snap them off the vine and give thanks.  Remember how much it costs to buy vegetables at the grocery story.  Marvel that you can make dinner from fresh ingredients outside the front door.

One fat seedy cucumber

One fat seedy cucumber

If you don’t particularly love the cucumbers this year, salt them for about a half hour before dinner.  They moisten up and shrink up and add pizzazz to the salad.  Throw them in with the torn lettuce, sliced beets, tomatoes, and purple onions.  Now you’ll have to add some store-bought ingredients like feta cheese (unless you’ve made some yourself), olives and salad dressing. 

In the meantime, get a large pot of water boiling.  Add the fresh corn and simmer for maybe five minutes. 

Corn on the cob (ok, it didn't really come from our garden.  Instead from a local farmer.)

Corn on the cob (ok, it didn't really come from our garden. Instead from a local farmer.)

Oh, and there’s green beans picked fresh off the vines yesterday, and perhaps we should also eat the beet greens for nutritional punch.  Are we all set?  Let’s look at the garden one more time to see if there’s anything else we might like for dinner.

A sideways view of our squash and beans and lots of other veggies

A sideways view of our squash and beans and lots of other veggies

Nothing else?  Then it’s time to gather all the food and settle down on the deck for dinner and conversation.  Isn’t the corn so sweet and succulent and magnificent?  The beans so crisp and tasty?  The Greek salad divine?  The beet greens…well, aren’t they…green?

Dinner on the deck!

Dinner on the deck!

Who wants seconds?

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