To the summer storm that blew in last week and left my office without power on Friday: Thank you.
So I made breakfast. I did laundry. I had lunch with Murdo. I drove to my in-laws' house with the windows down, enjoying the short break from the sweltering heat that has been pounding us all summer, to pick up the rest of the corn freshly-picked from the family farm. As I passed by other drivers, I wondered where they were headed, if this was a normal Friday for them, or if they had been gifted with a free day, as well. I got to wondering how people spend their days when they realize how much of a gift they really are.
It's tough to remember that every day is a gift when you're just going through the motions of the weekly routine. I hadn't really thought about it until just now, writing about this free day as the best thing ever. But shouldn't every day be like this? Even if you're stuck in the office or in traffic or if you don't have the time to do what you want, there is no reason to set the everyday aside as one that doesn't matter, to push it to the back of the shelf while the free days and snow days and vacations and weekends get the spotlight. We get so caught up in the everyday that those little moments -- the ones that a free day is often filled with and so make it easy to embrace as the best -- can get lost.
I spent most of the rest of that day in my backyard, sitting under the shade of our tree, shucking about 70 ears of corn. Then, in my kitchen, blanching and cooling and stripping the corn kernels off the cobs. Measuring, bagging, labeling, freezing. For a day sometime in winter, when the snow is eight inches high and I can come home to fresh corn chowder and think about that free day over the summer, and remember that it's the moments like these that make every day just as good.
Watermelon, Corn and Avocado Salad
There is no way around it: This salad tastes like summer. The photo above actually doesn't even have corn in it; that was a bowl from my first try, when I added tomatoes, instead. I like it with corn, better -- it adds a different texture and sweetness. And I know this post is mostly about corn, but the juicy watermelon and the creamy avocado are the real stars. I don't really have a recipe because I didn't follow one, and I didn't measure. Just feel it out according to what you have and what you like. Here is what I did:
fresh corn, stripped from the cob
a handful of fresh basil, chopped (cilantro or mint works, too)
Combine everything in a bowl. Adjust balsamic and herbs to taste.