This summer I am going to live a little. I’ve been feeling like a shell lately. Like a turtle living with my head and legs all tucked up inside. Sometimes it’s just easier that way; living a life turtled (all you volleyball players know what I mean. Thankfully, I’m not normally one to turtle on the court.). It saves me from realizing all the things I’m missing out. I don’t have to think about anything or feel anything when I’m turtled. I can just live in my own little house, making things in my own little kitchen. It’s a small life and sometimes it’s all I can handle.
But if the sun is bright enough, I just might poke my head out. It’s a little disorienting at first and I have to squint because the sun can be blinding. The noise and busy-ness is an assault on my senses. I often feel totally overwhelmed by the happiness going on around me. But once I’ve adjusted I also see everything good I’m missing out on: riding the merry-go-round with my beautiful little niece, eating cotton candy with the girls at the fair, celebrating birthdays all in pink (a very important color, apparently, when you are turning five).
This summer I am going to live a little more. I’m going to walk barefoot all day. I’m going to take a nap outside. I’m going to run in the pouring rain. I’m going to bake something with my niece and not care about the mess. I’m going to find a favorite poem. I’m going to make a new recipe once a week with fresh goods from the local farmer’s market (see below). I’m going to hoe my mom’s garden along side her. I’m going hold my breath underwater for longer than 19 seconds. I’m going to take only a film camera on a photo expedition. I’m going to climb a tree.
I’m going to try and take it all in: the scary, the hurtful, the good, and the happy. I’m going to live.
Summer Lemon Risotto (serves 2 as a main, double recipe to serve 4)
- 2 to 2 1/2 C broth
- 1 tsp butter
- 1/2 small white onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 C arborio rice
- 1/4 C dry white wine
- zest of one lemon
- 1 small bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1 small zucchini, chopped into 1/4″ slices
- 3/4 C fresh corn (or one cob)
- small handful of fresh basil
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 C freshly grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the broth to a boil then lower to a simmer.
- In a medium pan, heat the butter then add in the garlic and onions. Saute on medium until they are nice and fragrant, and opaque. Then stir in the rice and saute another two to three minutes.
- Pour in the wine (thank goodness you only need 1/4 C. The rest of the bottle you can drink yourself.) and throw in the lemon zest. Stir until the wine is absorbed.
- Turn the heat to medium low and add in 1 C broth. Stir occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring frequently until the liquid is mostly absorbed before adding the next half cup. Once the rice is tender firm, this should take approximately 20 minutes, remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, saute the asparagus and zucchini 4 to 5 minutes until tender crisp.
- Once the rice has reached the desired tenderness, stir in the corn, basil, lemon juice and parmesan. Then stir in the asparagus and zucchini.
- Garnish with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.
- This goes really well with a few shrimp and scallops. Saute the seafood in a little of the white wine, a bit of lemon zest and a minced clove of garlic.
- Feel free to use what ever fresh veggies you have on hand.
- I used vegetable broth, but depending on what you’re serving the risotto with, adjust your broth to suit (ie. chicken broth, beef broth, shrimp broth if your really ambitious).