Four handmade invitations for an end-of-the-school-year sleepover are on my desk. Each has a Sharpied drawing of a girl in a sleeping bag with a phrase near her mouth, like “ZZZZ” and “YAWWWWN.”
The adults haven’t weighed in on the idea yet, or even looked at the calendar. But whether a sleepover happens or not, I love looking at these. They pull at something. Our oldest may be a tween, but she’s still cute in ways that make me smile when she isn’t looking.
The school year is just about over and the kids are ending up out in the yard a lot, making the shapes of letters with their bodies in the grass or appropriating the corner of the front yard with the benches and the huge maples.
“Nostalgia for the present” is the inadequate phrase that comes to mind. Inadequate because it’s too achey to describe it. It’s more acute than that to watch your kids grow up. There’s more elation. More pain. It’s not nearly so gauzy. (Gary Kamiya drills pretty close to the center in this article.)
She won’t drop invitations on my desk again. Next summer, outdoor play will look a little different. What’s happening now, more than an inflated memory of what it was like to parent toddlers, is what I miss already. I’ll yearn for it every day, as it’s happening, through the end of this long, rich season.
Other than pantry staples, the salad I made today had only one ingredient.
My friend Amy, always one to serve a beautiful meal, told me during a recent visit that she roasts radishes. This was good news. I love radish greens but the bulbs have too much sting for me. Roasting them takes out the bite and transforms the flavor. Now that I know this, I’ll actually eat radishes instead of stockpiling our CSA bunches in the fridge. Next I’ll try this flatbread.
I cut the radishes into sixths (the larger ones into eighths) and roasted them the way I do all vegetables, tossed in oil and salt and spread on parchment in a 400° oven. It took about 15 minutes for them to soften and bubble. I tossed them twice.
Cutting greens is much faster than tearing them and the edges are only in danger of browning if you don’t eat them right away. Of course a radish salad can’t wait so I cut the radish leaves into large pieces and tossed them with oil, salt and balsamic vinegar before arranging the roasted radishes on top.