First day of summer


It’s not official. No calender or national holiday marked it. But the sun was out, the sky was blue, the whole family played hooky with a road trip to the Russian River to visit friends that ended with a pair of wet underwear drying on the backseat because we forgot Ernie’s bathing suit, and we came home to the box from our CSA full of sweet corn and tomatoes. If that’s not summer, I don’t know what is.

So dinner was simple. Boiled corn with butter and salt. Sliced tomatoes with basil and salt. Red onion sandwiches with cream cheese on extra-seedy Russian rye bread. Cherries from the farm box for dessert. It was a bit spare, perhaps, but we had dined on brilliant homemade tortilla soup with more toppings than one bowl could hold (Mexican pasillas, Oaxacan pasillas, jalapenos, green onion, crema, cracklings, cotija, avocado, and cilantro) under a canopy of redwoods before retiring to a wooded glen for a crazy flan-on-chocolate cake concoction (I know! Genius, right?) and perfectly bitter espresso.

If I ever get jaded about living in California, a day like today knocks it right out of me. The Russian River, its redwoods, the shining California light, a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, ripe tomatoes in June, cherries so good I want to eat them (unless pretty much perfect, they don’t interest me at all)… I love it all with abandon. A day like today pushes Prop 13, collapsed salmon fisheries, and fog-socked 4ths of July right out of my mind.