Raspberry-Cantaloupe Salad

In this hot weather, the last thing I feel like doing is standing over the stove and cooking. (Well, actually, I’d rather cook than go for a run in the heat, but you get my point.) Usually by the time 5 o’clock rolls around, none of us has much of an appetite. On days like this, I am super thankful for my veggie garden. I love just going out to the garden and cutting some fresh lettuce, picking a couple snow peas, and grabbing a few Swiss chard leaves.

I toss it all into a salad, with whatever else I have in the house, and cook up some chicken to complete the meal. If you have teenagers, or very large appetites, this probably wouldn’t cut it, even on a hot, humid, appetite-less day, but it works for us, and we love it!

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For whatever reason, I used to despise making salads. Lettuce or spinach would regularly go to waste in the fridge. A big part of my increased interest in salad is the fact that I can get many of the ingredients right from my backyard.
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For this salad, I included:

~cantaloupe
~raspberries
~coined baby carrots
~chopped red onion
~cucumber (home grown from Dan’s parents!)
~baby romaine (from our garden!)
~a few leaves of Swiss Chard (from our garden, variety is called ‘Bright Lights’)
~the last of my snowpeas (not many)
~simple pan-fried (in a generous amount of butter!) chicken breast, cut into strips, lightly seasoned
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Top with croutons and salad dressing of your choice! The raspberry vinaigrette went extremely well with the salad, adding a nice amount of acidity to complement everything else. Next time, I would probably add a touch of feta cheese as well, but alas, I was out!
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And this is my new little frame and print beside the kitchen table, just ready to remind the kids (and us) especially at mealtimes when they are ready to say, “I don’t like that!” (We are getting nearer and nearer that stage, although our kids are generally excellent eaters.)
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The kiddies’ version of the salad 🙂 As a side note, this is a nice meal for toddlers to feed themselves: little mess, and lots of sweet flavours.

Anyway, that’s my idea of a low-prep, fresh summer meal! What do you eat on these hot, sticky days?

The Fringes of Summer

When the night smugly creeps in around 8 p.m., it sneers. The sweaters appear sooner, the dampness of the air is unmistakable, and we clutch onto what is already fading away: the last sentimental days of summer.

They’re gone, often before we realize they’ve really begun. We miss the opportunity to say that this is it, this is what we dream of in February’s doldrums.

Then it’ll be those back-to-school mornings, with the crisp, cool air, and the biggest, brightest, bluest sky of all stretching overhead.

But, here, just slipping through my desperately reaching fingers, I find the fringes of summer, these few remaining days which are not yet stored away in memory. They are, in a sense, blank journal pages waiting for the now to become then so it can be written down, recorded, and looked back on.

Sometimes the memory turns out to be more important than the actual event, doesn’t it?