I am totally in love with summer!

I would venture to say that having lived through one of the toughest winters in my 52 year history summer seems like a best and welcome friend. Ya, it's hot. Ya, it's sticky. Ya, there are bugs. Ya, there is that persvasive headache that comes from going in and out of freezing air conditioning and into extrme heat day in and day out. Ya, I hate mosquitos and gnats buzzing in my ear all night. And this fat armed gal does despise all of the sleeveless dresses and shirts.

But you know what makes summer all worth it? Well, I am going to tell you.

Tomatoes. The baby ones. Sugar smackers. Juliette. Grape. Sweet 100. Standing in the middle of the rows of bushy tomatoes. Picking and eating these sweet little crunchy beauties like candy.

I call them "Crack-atoes." Because they are addictive. And so fleeting. One big asp groundhog gets under our fence and ba-bye.

Is there anything better than a cucumber straight off the vine that does not taste like it has been shipped in a refrigerated truck for 6 weeks? Or sweet peas picked off the vine and hulled into one's mouth with wild abandon? Or a handful of golden raspberries? Or that first juicy red, ripe Beefsteak or Brandywine, sliced and speckled with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil OR a grilled tomato and cheese sandwich on crusty bread?

Heaven!

I am OCD produce summer junkie. Own it. Love it.

What we cannot grow on our farm we can get within 20 minutes at so many amish stands along our country roads. Fresh peaches. All kinds of colored sweet peppers and corn ... bread and butter corn. Just picked. So sweet you can eat it uncooked.

I have already made strawberry jam and I am on my way to peach jam and salsa. I am living on fresh cabbage slaw, tomato salad, salted cold cucumbers and melons the size of a basketball.

Mother Nature, you can keep your snow. I will keep summer for as long as I can. Still, as I fall asleep at night, mostly to the sounds of the neighbor's air conditioner running, but an occasional PEEP and locust and some bug that really whines ... I know my summer is already fleeting. Leaves are falling here. Locust are humming. Stores are packed with school supplies and Halloween junk.

That means fall apples and pies and pumpkins and roasted squash soup.

I have a food issue. Noted :)

Sending summer love,

Marie Louise xxxooo

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