In Circle the Child, Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by: Melanie Groves; Circle the Child

Ahh, summer. The sun is back. The sprinklers are going. The garden is starting to sprout. The birds are singing and the days are luxuriously long.

I love that the light lasts well beyond dinner time. So even if I’ve missed the high noon sunshine, there is still plenty of time to sit out and enjoy it. Soak in the last rays of the sun and up my Vitamin D stores.

I love being outdoors. I love the feel of my feet on the lush grass. I love the feel of the sun on my face and the sound of the wind rustling through the trees. The birds’ songs are mesmerizing. I feel alive when I am outside. So I take full advantage and try and spend as much time as is possible outside.

I have a great fondness for having meals outdoors. I’d eat them all outside if I could. My morning coffee is definitely an outside thing. There is something about it that feels perfect. It conjures up memories of picnicking as a kid. Then as I grew up I remember the marker for outdoor eating was Mother’s Day. Regardless of the weather in early May, which here in Canada can be, well, anything, outdoor dining would be a must for Mom to celebrate Mother’s Day. Bundle up and get out there! So thanks, Mom. Thank you for my love of al fresco dining.

Now that I am dreaming of outdoor meals, here’s what I am dreaming about for my dinner tonight. A cucumber tomato salad. Light and bursting with flavour, a perfect summer meal. I do love salads because you don’t have to fuss too much about making the quantity perfect. I go by taste. It’s more of a creation or work of art so forgive me if I am a bit lax on the specific measures:

Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • Cucumbers – At least 2, peeled because that’s how my family rolls, and cubed. Although I have it on good authority that it’s just as good unpeeled so feel free to experiment.
  • Tomatoes – At least 2. (1 big one for every cucumber). Cubed.
  • Green onion – (also known as scallions) 1 stalk chopped finely. I have been known to go one for one based on the number of cucumbers.
  • Lime – At least 1. Squeeze it all on there.
  • Cilantro – A handful. I use my husband’s hand since it’s bigger than mine! I can’t say enough about cilantro. This herb to me is light and fresh and screams summer.

Mix all in a bowl to serve and voila! It is so delicious, light and refreshing. It pairs nicely with a Reisling or Pinot Grigio if you like that, or a nice sparkling water with a hint of lime splashed in.

Now if you want to spice it up, here are a couple of optional items I throw in if I want a richer experience:

  • Crumbled goat cheese (you can also use Feta if you prefer) As much or as little as you want
  • Olives – Just not the ones with the pits. I don’t want to work too hard for my meal.

And there you have it. A simple delicious salad to enjoy the delicious richness of the summer season. Let me know what you think! Bon Appétit!

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