Simple Seasonal Pleasures for July

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The farm stand down the street has set up shop, the cicadas serenade us from the trees with their meditative hum in the evenings, and early revelers set off fireworks as the Fourth of July approaches (much to my dog’s dismay).  The sultry days of summer are officially here.

How will you immerse yourself in the month of July?  What sensory pleasures do you plan to enjoy? What experiences would really help you settle into and be present with this cycle of the year?  Here is what I’m focusing on this month:

  1. Those cicadas! They are not much to look at, but they are the sound of summer in Nebraska as far as I’m concerned.
  2. Porch time. We are fortunate to have a screened in porch off the back of our house.  Perfect for morning coffee and journaling, a glass of wine in the evening or dinner at dusk.  No bugs allowed!
  3. Independence Day. Find a way to celebrate the Fourth of July that is meaningful to me.  Sometimes it just seems like a day dedicated to blowing things up….not really this quiet introvert’s jam.
  4. Explore new ways with summer produce, particularly ways to pair it with my sourdough bread. I’m looking at you, tomato gratin!
  5. Frequent visits to the aforementioned farm stand and the farmer’s market. Bonus style points if I remember to bring my cute French market tote.
  6. Bake a peach galette, the sexiest and simplest of desserts.
  7. Plan and enjoy an honest-to-goodness picnic.
  8. Read some seriously light fiction just for fun, preferably on the porch or outside under a shady tree. You can keep your Oprah book club picks.  I’ll be tucking into a good thriller or romance this month, hopefully something unputdownable.  Suggestions are welcome!
  9. Perfect the mezze dinner for summer nights when grazing on small bites sounds better than a full meal.
  10. Eat as many cherries as is humanly possible.
  11. Vacation!  At this time in our lives, most of our vacations are working vacations.  This is what happens when you buy a cabin that is a serious fixer-upper.  Sometimes this means that our vacations don’t exactly feel like vacations.  This trip I am hoping to find a nice balance between work and play.
  12. Make pesto in my new mortar and pestle. After watching Alice Water’s new masterclass on home cooking, I splurged on a traditional suribachi, which is basically a Japanese mortar and pestle.  It is my new favorite tool and just the thing if you want to try doing more by hand in your own kitchen.

All the best to you this July as you find your own simple pleasures to enjoy.  Please share with me what they are!  I would love to hear how you plan to make the most of your month.

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