What a spectacular day it was today. The only thing that could have made it better is if I was up at the Lake spending time with my Dad, but work often interferes with celebrating Father's day on the correct weekend and as I have the world's most understanding father, next weekend it is.
I was driving along today, windows down, tunes up and heading home to make my first caprese salad of the season. I'd been unable to stop thinking about it since noticing my basil growing like a weed, and a big red beefsteak tomato at Fresh Market put me over the edge. The simple salad is one of my favorites and I got thinking today about how it represents achievements and goals for me. Silly, I know, but hear me out. I've admitted here more than once that I struggle against a black thumb. I've come a long way though - having decent success with (some) herbs for a couple of years now and managed to pull off tomatoes last year. (Two years ago with the tomatoes was totally not my fault...everyone had trouble!) I'm not a master gardener, nor do I aspire to be, but I get a lot of joy out of creating some fresh ingredients in my own yard. Recently, I've been thinking about cheesemaking. I think about it in the same way I think about canning, a good idea in theory but I'm convinced I'll somehow kill myself or others. But still, in all my spare time, I think it would be cool to try making cheese. Someday.
So in the flash of inspiration that always comes with a windows down drive on a beautiful day, I thought how cool it would be to someday make my favorite simple little dish with ingredients that I grew or made myself. To do so, I'll have to keep plugging away at the progress I've made with an eye toward a more lofty goal in the future. I like the idea, both with respect to dinner and in general.
As I pondered caprese salad as a metaphor, my iPod, sensing my mood as always, flipped to this fantastic tune by the Decemberists, pointing out very clearly that summer is here and after a long, hard winter, that can't be bad.