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Food for the Soul

Feel-good recipes for Summer

By Hailey NarvaezPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2022
Food for the Soul
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

There is no single food that entirely encapsulates summer. Such constriction in this season of freedom is unnatural.

Summertime is for Mom and Pop’s places; for make-shift melon stands; for pomegranate-stained fingers and popsicle-painted faces. It’s for that blackberry cobbler recipe your great aunt tucked in the back of her bible, all the while, claiming dessert this good has got to be a sin. It’s the closest we get to the good ole days and the furthest we get from the troubles of now.

Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. To pluck the still-green tomatoes from the vine and take some time off work simply to sit outside and breathe. The people begged for more hours in the day and the sun happily complied, as it too wished to stay up for summer suppers, flirtishly flitting in through the window, warming the succotash waiting eagerly to be enjoyed. During these months, she hangs back as long as possible, lighting the path to the fire pit, pointing out perfect smores’ sticks, before cozying down into a plush horizon, leaving you to your own devices with a full heart and stomach. There, a fire flickers for the sole purpose of illuminating the smiling faces of friends, who, sipping spirits and spilling secrets, reminisce on honeysuckle syrup and snow cone stands. They speak of their date last week with a special someone who served up seared cauliflower steak — feeding them the idea of forever on a silver platter. They share how their mothers would dress their wounds with kisses and their plates with asparagus they then refused to eat but now would do anything for. Swallowing each other's bittersweet memories in between pulls of elderberry wine, they’re always hungry for more, though they’ve certainly had their fill of both.

Summer brings the food to be enjoyed on lawns. It’s for community. Block parties and potato salad. Warmed peaches on warmer beaches. Concerts and corn on the cob and fair rides and french fries and festivals. Sprawled out on an old sheet, you see strangers toss popcorn into each others’ mouths, and smile with them when they catch it. Though you are far, you seem closer than ever, celebrating each small victory and the obvious good in everyone.

You know it’s summer when common annoyances are overlooked. You begin to admire the resilience of the ants at the picnic, rather than the nuisance. Ice cream dripping down elbows is remembered fondly. Fifteen dollars spent on funnel cake seems only pocket change. The bees’ buzz turns bickering into murmurings of ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie pie’. It becomes so evidently true that when life gives you lemons, the only thing to do is make lemonade.

During these fleeting months, the world comes alive and lies to rest all at once. Simplicity and peace mark this time. Even a plain PB&J becomes a delicacy when eaten with pruned fingers, sun-kissed skin, and the people you love. It’s ageless. An eighty-year-old jumps from a rope swing while his grandson whoops from shore before following in his footsteps. They didn’t wait 30 minutes, but everything was still fine. It’s that feeling of invincibility that seasons summer’s food. That, and sand.

Though so short, summer still seems limitless, and its dishes stay true to that. Embrace this season. Whisper a wish to a dandelion, then boil the roots into tea. Enjoy the Earth’s providings with poppyseed pancakes. Feel the still air and ponder how this peace holds such pulsating, palpable energy. Perhaps place a pie on the windowsill. Pick apples from a local orchard. Clip recipes from old Home and Garden magazines. Eat watermelon down to the smiling rind. Fear for a second a rouge seed took root in the bottom of your belly before making peace with that offchance. Relish in the simple goodness of summer and the nutritious deliciousness of its offspring.


About the Creator

Hailey Narvaez

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (4)

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  • harimelyabout a year ago


  • Elena 2 years ago

    This article is very informative. Keep it up.

  • Caroline Jane2 years ago

    The prose in this article is beautiful. Well done!

  • Amy Lovett2 years ago

    What a great tribute to the flavors of summer :)

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