"an idiomatic expression, referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person. More modern use, especially in the United States, refers to a person's heyday when somebody was at the peak of his/her abilities—not necessarily in that person's youth."
I define it as "days when it is too hot to cook and something crisp and cold tastes better than something hot and heavy."
Last week my quilt group, STASH, was scheduled to meet at my house and I decided to feed them lunch (sometimes the hostess provides lunch, sometimes we go out) and I decided to find a new, interesting salad recipe—one that would be tasty for our two vegetarian members as well as the rest of us carnivores. An internet search turned up this Mediterranean Barley salad that sounded intriguing. Forget about the "too hot to cook" part of my definition. It involved roasting vegetables in a very hot oven, as well as sauteing and simmering. It involved many pans and bowls and cutting boards and knives and spatulas and garlic presses and lemon juicers—in other words, it dirtied a lot of dishes. I whined about that part a little. But that's because I've gotten impatient with cooking in my old age. BUT—the salad was really good! Even better as leftovers lunch for Ray and me the next day. I'll probably make it again after all.
Here's what it looked like for the STASH group:
Gerrie took this picture. I stole it from her blog. I am flattered that she found it blog-worthy. Something else to note here is that this is at my new house. We are using real dishes and real cutlery and cloth napkins and placemats. Very civilized, no? You can't see them in this picture, but we were even sitting on diningroom chairs, not folding chairs.
We are moving in little by little. The dining room is moved. I had been holding out, trying to keep the old house looking furnished and normal, but enough is enough. We need to move. There is a real luxury in being able to move a room at a time, put everything away and take the empty boxes back for more. Every move I've ever made in the past has resulted in a mountain of boxes in the garage that takes months to unpack.
And that bare dining room? I don't think it's such a bad thing. You can now see the floor. The room feels much more spacious. I'm not convinced that "staging" and furnishing a house you are trying to sell is all it's cracked up to be. Have people no imaginations? Couldn't you walk into this bare room and get sort of warm and fuzzy imagining your grandmother's china hutch and antique table settling right in? At least you know that the rug wasn't hiding a big stain on the floor and that the china cupboard wasn't covering up cracking plaster.
Whadya think? Was this a mistake? Should we keep moving stuff out?
P.S. It's another salad day today. Ray had to go over to central Oregon for a meeting in the morning, but before he left he made a bowl of tabbouli salad, one of my summertime favorites, so I would have dinner in his absence tonight. Cold chicken and tabbouli—perfect.