Banjo Peanut & Raspberries

Seattle is burning this summer. Normally, we move through June in a cloud of grey, grumbling about the rain and our late start to bare feet and popsicles. This year, I have thrown my jeans deep into my closet, and sleep with the sheet crumpled into a tangled mess at the end of the bed.

My lawn is a wasteland, and every morning the temperature sneaks above 75 before I have a chance to walk the hound. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the rain. You know you’re from the Pacific Northwest when, after a week of sunshine, you find yourself doing a rain dance in your backyard so you can stop worrying about your dying blueberry bushes.

The only thing to do is make the most of it with BBQs, lake swims and having an excuse to eat one more scoop of ice cream. This summer, my baby nephew was born. Coming into the world stubborn and furrowed, he’s perfect. While waiting for his arrival I spent time daydreaming about where I’ll take the little Peanut, and what trouble we will get in.

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His first few weeks of life have been sweaty and probably a bit uncomfortable. I think it’s good for him. Coming into a sun filled world will make for an adventurous boy who knows his place is outside, playing with bugs and getting dirty. While I don’t plan on having children of my own, I envision spending summers with my nephew, showing him how magical this time of year is.

We will spend hours picking raspberries and blueberries, and I will take him to the spot where the rivers meet so we can wash off the dirt and sunscreen. We will go to Alta Lake and run away from bees, climb to the top of the mountain, and spend hours upon hours swimming in the warm lake. My family will show him the joy of hiking and camping, where you walk away from the weekend with the smell of campfire on your skin. He will love dogs, as my slobbery hound will be ever present for adventures in the first few years of his life.

He will grow up with evergreen air and saltwater wind, and he will be better because of it. My city is on fire this summer, and my baby nephew is dancing in sunlight from 5 am to 10 pm. Hey kid, welcome to the world.

Hello babies. Welcome to earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—god damn it, you’ve got to be kind. – Kurt Vonnegut

Raspberry, Watermelon and Mint Salad

Summer means not wanting to get anywhere near your stove. I have been juice cleansing, drinking lots of smoothies and living off of giant salads. This is a perfect salad to bring to a BBQ because I’m fairly certain there isn’t anything quite as summery as watermelon and fresh berries.

  • 5 cups watermelon, cut into small cubes
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 12-14 mint leaves, chopped.
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Toss everything into a large bowl and combine. Let the salad mingle and soak up flavors for 15 minutes and serve…. Yeah, summer equals SUPER simple recipes.

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