Speaking of the field, it has has grown thick and lush since the horses are gone. The mowed path looks like the parting of the Red Sea, the way the tall grass bends away from the path along the expanse of field. I take mom out on the porch for a little while each day for a break from the air conditioning. While we sat there today, I described this very same field to her and what it was like back in February. The snow was thigh deep and we could barely walk across it. The entire landscape was white and cold and barren, but also very beautiful. It was such a stark contrast to what we see and feel today that it's unbelievable how drastically it will change with the seasons. The depth of winter will too soon be upon us and I will remember these blackberries and garden tomatoes when the snow flies.
We made these outstanding Marinated Grilled Vegetables over the weekend. I can't wait to make them again. Use a grilling basket or at least skewer the vegetables because they will fall through the grate when you grill them, particularly the mushrooms and pepper slices. We've also enjoyed our annual summertime Panzanella (Tomato and Bread Salad) and another recipe for roasted chicken and new potatoes with fresh rosemary and oregano. I love the earthy chore of plucking herbs from the garden and using them in our meals. It's satisfying at the most basic level, taking something from the earth and eating it.
I enlisted Mom's help to make peach jam today. I peeled the peaches and she chopped them and put them into a bowl. There's no neat way to peel and chop peaches with all the juice they produce and what a sticky mess we made. I've discovered that Mom is happiest when she can work in the kitchen. Tasks like washing produce, chopping and stirring things, setting the table, or drying dishes lighten her spirit. The place settings may be askew, someone might have two forks and another person none, and there might be lumps in the muffins, but we're all much happier for it.