Friday, July 21, 2017

In the Heat of Summer

We're melting right into summer over here, just as I intended to, minus canned margaritas in the beach cooler and surfing Trestles until dark. We've walked on hot asphalt to the beach and peered through gates at neighborhood Memorial Day parties. We've grown and picked tomatoes. We've killed strawberry and cilantro plants and sat in traffic on Highway 1. The plumerias are blooming. We're doing the summer reading program at the library (The Clifford series and a non-fiction book about going to the doctor's office being highlights for some). We're carrying on with everything we usually do along with the wild anticipation of a baby growing all around us like vines (or in my case, growing inside of me like an alien dramatically threatening to displace my skeletal structure forever). 

I think sometimes the tortures of a certain season are what make it seem more magical in retrospect, though. Wondering if you've given a sibling frostbite while forcing her to become a snow-woman? What a great way to look back on The Winter of '96 once it's gone! 

I always picture this one scene in Father of the Bride where Mr. Banks narrates something about it being the hottest summer on record all while a shot of the neighborhood kids frying an egg on the concrete pans past. I've longed to experience that quintessential summer day with the sun so hot it was actually cooking raw dairy products in front of my eyes, but in actuality I think the only thing desirable about that occurrence is the story that comes from it.

One summer I remember walking barefoot, in an attempt to "summerize" my feet, from my friend's house with 5, 280 feet of steaming black asphalt between it and the beach. Truly a phenomenal location if the right footwear is chosen. I had blisters so bad I had to crawl to the front door to answer it when the same friend came to visit me. 

Avalon and I have been heating our oven to 350º or 400º everyday even when making popsicles. The struggle of being eight months pregnant while whisking away at chili cornbread has its perks. For one, it gives you almost a whole hour of quality time with a soon-to-be oldest child and, for another, the regaling of how we turned the house into a sauna and made our energy efficiency rating plummet all for the sake of satisfying a craving make it more than worth it. 

Summer can be spun into many stories once it's all said and done, and maybe that's why I like it best. This summer will be punctuated with the birth of our second daughter. As it approaches, like a very stressful college exam that is also indescribably painful, I try to focus on the incredible story it will be  and all the stories we will make once she's here. I do not intend to stencil any quotes on the walls of my soon-to-be daughters' bedroom, but if I did I would write passionately "Long live the magic we made!" in really illegible cursive.

I hope all of your summers are churning up stories too. 

{p.s. I've included the recipe for the tomato sauce after the cut in case you too would like to turn your kitchen into a steam room} 

+Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce from Love and Lemons+


3 lbs. tomatoes on the vine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon raw cane sugar
red pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat tomatoes over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet for 12-15 minutes, until softened. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool (I had to refrigerate mine since they still seemed too hot), then (do your best to) remove the core of the tomatoes.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Add the minced shallot, garlic, and pinches of sea salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes into the pot, then use a masher (or spoon or fork) to break them up more. Stir, then add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes (I omitted this until it was on my plate for Avalon's sake).

Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Season it with more salt and black pepper to taste.



  1. Oh your poor feet. I guess once you're partway along there's no going back. Gorgeous summer photos. It's a bit chilly here today so a pot bubbling on the stove would be a welcome addition. Not quite enough home grown tomatoes for sauce yet though - they are still precious salad things at the moment. Hope you're feeling well, you look amazing. Have a lovely weekend Devon. CJ xx

  2. I'm sitting bundled in a jersey under a duvet drinking tea and nursing a cold dreaming about summer hahaha- we are smack bang in the middle of winter :) For some reason this second baby round more than the first I get SOOO excited for moms expecting their second (I have a cousin and best friend both expecting in a couple months) and I get choked up about it because its like your love muscles know how to mother now and the second time around you throw yourself into it with a confidence you didn't have the first time. Its overwhelming and even this morning I lost it a little but I also have given myself a little more grace this time and try to do less and just cuddle and play more and man I'm loving it. xx

  3. Oh my goodness, I so know that scene from Father of the Bride! Made me smile when I read it :)


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