Hello, Internet! Happy summer! Yes, I realize that it's been summer for a while now for most of you, but my summer break has only just begun. I finished school on Friday, June 17 and started work for Close Up just two days later. But now I've finished my first two weeks of work and am FREE! FREE! FREE! (For a week and a half before going back for more.)
So I decided that a celebration of summer ought to include a Friday Love List on the topic. Please do add your own summer loves in the comments, even if you are not on your own personal summer break.
Item one: Blackberries! We got the first ones from our CSA on Tuesday. Fortunately, I didn't even see them until I went to make a pie out of them yesterday. The pie required almost the full two pints, leaving me with just a few to eat. Though, given that these blackberries are each roughly the size of my thumb, a few constitutes several normal blackberries. These are perfectly little bit of sweet, lot a bit of sour blackberries, just the way I like them. I am, at this very moment, fighting a powerful urge to go and eat the rest of this pie.
Item two: Sunflowers! DC is so chock full of flowers in the springtime that it could lose its luster in the summer if not for a few varieties that persist, including these and the hydrangeas that bloom in so many yards this time of year.
Item three: Tan lines! Implying that I have a tan! My flip flop lines have come in pretty well and I now have several different upper body tan lines from my swim suit, various tops and dresses worn during the many outdoor portions of program (monuments, memorials, Arlington Cemetery, standing outside a bus waiting for students...) and lifejackets worn for kayaking and last week's whitewater rafting.
I'd won two spots on a whitewater rafting trip in my school's auction a couple of months back. So Raj and I went to Harpers Ferry last Friday morning and climbed into a raft with our guide, Coral, and a woman bringing her 15 year-old nephew on his first ever rafting trip. The weather was summer-ideal (80s and sunny) and afterward we had a short hike to a pretty waterfall.
Item four: Sundresses! I've exercised some restraint this year, only buying two sundresses. But as I walk around town, my inner monologue includes a lot of "Ooh, I like her dress!" My current dresses have gotten a little kick from some new accessories I've acquired. These include blue and green earrings and necklace from New York & Co. that are larger and brighter than I'd normally go for. (Sort of pictured in the second-to-last photo in my It's Important to Have Goals post) and my new sea horse (per my nieces, e-horse) necklace.
I saw it in a gallery when we were on Tilghman Island and pointed it out to Raj. Sea horses are kind of a thing with us, thanks to the lots of time we've spent on beaches and in aquariums. The conversation went something like this:
Raj: Do you want it?
Me: You don't have to buy me jewelry.
Raj: I'm going to write that down for later. Do you want it?
So he bought it for me and I love it very much and also can't quite believe that I've put here in writing that I told him he didn't have to buy me jewelry. Particularly with our anniversary fast approaching. I mean, it's the cotton anniversary and all (yes, we do the traditional anniversary gifts, mostly to make the gift buying more challenging and give focus to the gift-related smack talk) but I'm sure there's cotton involved in the velvet on those little jewelry boxes.
Item five: Flip flops, sandals, and generally not wearing socks for a few months, except for running.
Item six: Tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwiches. Tastes like summer.
Item seven: All of the other summer produce we've been getting from our CSA. Including a cantaloupe that, as soon as I publish this, will be on its way to becoming chilled cantaloupe and champagne soup. If it turns out to taste half as good as it sounds, it will be well worth the chopping and blending time. And if not, then hey, there's most of an open bottle of champagne that didn't go into it! I do love a recipe that encourages me to become tipsy. (Ok, fine that's most of them. But at least for this one, it's because an open bottle of champagne would be a terrible thing to waste and not because I need a drink due to cooking-related angst. Not yet, anyway.)
Item eight: Sunshine and blue sky, encouraging me to hit publish, puree some cantaloupe and get outside already!
And you, Internet? What are your summer loves?