It was, in small and large ways, the summer of love. I gave my husband, Tim, the gift of a grilling class given by Chef Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby—two hours of demo, then dinner, plus endless refills of chilled Chardonnay and White Sangria.
Tim’s later success at the Weber led to Phoebe inviting her four best girlfriends over for grilled pizzas, grilled vegetable kebabs and my yummy Watermelon Slush. When they asked about Jake, she blushed.
The summer rolled on. There were weeks when my refrigerator was so full that I could barely close it. I made so much new-potato salad that I brought that, along with leftover steak and roast peppers, to my 90-year-old neighbor, who rarely ventured out. I had so many ripe tomatoes and so much guilt that I couldn’t bring myself to go for a swim with my good friend Alexis. So she came over and together we made enough Garden Tomato Sauce for her family and mine. I taught my Phoebe and my niece how to make a basic vinaigrette for salad.
Giving and getting and sharing and savoring. Fruits, vegetables, friendships, love. It’s all mixed up like a big tossed salad. Fresh from the farmers’ market.
Stephanie Pierson’s latest book, What to Do When No One Has a Clue (co-authored with Barbara Harrison), was published by Clarkson Potter in May. She contributes to The Atlantic and other magazines.