I love summer evenings, when the light lingers like a welcome guest on the porch. The air is on the back side of warm, thick with the smell of lake water and hamburgers and sunscreen. The sounds of children laughing and yelling slowly give way to the buzzing of tree frogs and insects and street lamps starting to shine.
It’s why I have a hard time coming inside, why dinner gets later and later as the summer goes on. I don’t want to interrupt the warm romance of a summer evening with an hour spent in the kitchen.
Lest I give the wrong impression, let me say up front: I love to cook, especially in the summer, when the produce is fresh and appetites are whetted by an afternoon of swimming. Plus, summer is grilling season, which means my husband is suddenly my sous chef. It’s fun to have a partner when it comes to getting food on the table.
But it’s hard for me for me to think about meat marinade when it’s 6:00 PM, much less 4:00. The day still feels young. The sun is still overhead, beckoning me to play water games on the deck. To acknowledge the need for chopped onion is to acknowledge the day almost done.
When our oldest two children were toddlers, it wasn’t uncommon for dinner to be at 8:30 or even 9:00 PM. “We’re so European,” we laughed to ourselves, when the truth is, we just got carried away weeding the garden and discovering baby turtles in the yard and pushing tiny bodies on the swing.
Summer is fleeting, and the magic of a warm evening is a jewel.
We will enjoy eating together as a family in a bit. But right now, I need to be outside more than I need food.
Dinner will wait.
Kelly ate spring-vegetable couscous with chicken for dinner last night at 7:30 PM. You can find her blogging at Love Well.