in my kitchen: 5:25 p.m.

*the kitchen looks much cleaner than it feels.
*the room is muggy hot from running the oven, but a wind storm has blown up. The outside temperature is dropping and I feel revived.
*there’s a stack of dirty cutting boards on the counter from all the supper prep: chopping carrots and cherry tomatoes for the salad, and peppers and onions for the sausage-and-rice skillet.
*in the drainer, the salad spinner is air drying.
*the pears from our tree are ripening on the window sill. We ignored the orchard (like we do every year) but, miraculously, the pears are lovely.
*beyond the drainer, freshly ground wheat is soaking in soured cream for the next day’s experiment with grape nuts.
*a big bowl of cherry tomatoes sits on the counter. I had my older daughter pick them earlier in the day. Some went into the salad, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest of them. Perhaps they’ll rot before I get to them and then the pigs will eat them.
*by the stove sits a bowl of freshly-cut nectarines in sugar, and another bowl of caramelized onions.
*on the stove, several large green peppers are slowly sauteeing in olive oil in one skillet and in the other, several sausages—skinned and then chopped up to made bulk sausage—are browning. A pot of white rice sits at the ready.
*a bag of lemons sits by the stove. I bought it at Costco the day before and have yet to pop them in the fridge. I use the lemons for the lemon water I sip all day long, and for baking.
*a French yogurt cake is cooling on the table. It didn’t rise properly, perhaps because I used Greek yogurt instead of plain? We’ll eat it for dessert with the sugared nectarines, and some of us will pour milk on top, a la strawberry shortcake.
*the lemon water that I mentioned is in the glass bottle (with blue “padding”). When the Tennessee cousins visited, I was smitten by their lovely glass water bottles. After they left, I promptly bought some, and now I’m a water bottle convert.
*the gray water bottle is from one of the kids trying to be like me.
*also on the table, my cooking notebook, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that I am rereading, to-do lists, and scissors that the kids probably used to snip off the plastic top of their rest time treat of icy pops.
*on the floor by the hutch is a white plastic bag with the shirt that my husband wore at work, but only for a brief period of time. He doesn’t wear shirts with words, and definitely not shirts with swear words (at least, not in public). I heard that one of the guys was on the phone when he saw the shirt for the first time. So unnerving was the sight of my husband in a shirt with a message that he had to put the phone away from his face for a minute to chuckle to himself.
*the table is set. My husband is late from work and the kids need to head out the door by 6:00 to get to youth group. We end up eating supper without him. I am resentful.

This same time, years previous: the cousins came, the quotidian (9.2.13), the quotidian (9.3.12), roasted tomato and garlic pizza sauce, roasted peaches, rainy day writing, picture perfect, honey whole wheat cake, a quick run-down, and blueberry coffee cake.      


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