Jul 19, 2011

Slow down: new recipes ahead

No mosquitoes, I'm sure.
Summer is supposed to be synonymous with lazy days stretching into long evenings.   Some of my best childhood memories are of sitting on my grandma's glider with my cousins, shelling peas and snapping beans.  It was hot, we inevitably got sweaty and sticky during those days that seemed to go on forever.  An early evening bath and cool, clean PJs, and we were set to do something exciting, like have a rootbeer float and watch the fireflies for a few minutes before bedtime.

I guess we didn't get the lazy-days-of-summer edict this year.  (Come to think of it, I don't think we've gotten one for several years.)  This summer - even more than most - has been lived and measured with the fast-moving second hand on the clock, not the hour hand. Every day since we moved in early May has felt like a race against time, from the moment our feet swing out of bed until we collapse exhausted sometime after the late news has ended without us watching.  Our days are packed full of activity; and as the saying goes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

However, this week we're going to savor the flavor of summer with some new recipes, including a BLT pasta salad (what can possibly go wrong when you combine bacon, tomatoes and pasta?), a new version of Chicken Divan and a sweet-and-sour bean salad (TYVM Paula Deen), and my own tomato-ey take on a traditional yogurt/cucumber salad. And someone recently mentioned that Papa Murphy's pizza are really good when grilled, so that seems like a good choice for our usual Friday night fare.

New recipes force me to slow down: I have to actually measure ingredients and follow directions instead of zipping my way through a tried-and-true favorite, with only a few prompts and hints along the way. And we tend to slow down when we come face to face with a new food on our plates. Instead of scarfing it down like we're in an eating contest, we take time to contemplate the  presentation, the aroma, the flavors and texture and decide: is the recipe a keeper or does it need some tweaking to suit our tastes?

We can't slow down the clock.  But most of the time, we can choose to slow down our pace and enjoy the season we're in.  It's definitely worth a try before summer completely slips away (the UT football reminders and bulb catalogs arriving in the mail herald the approaching fall.  It's just around the corner.)

Happy slower eating,