A lot has happened since the last time I hit ‘publish’ on a blog post, not the least of which being a long-distance move from San Antonio to Wilmington, NC.
I’ve never liked moving — the sorting and packing and cleaning, and then doing it all over again at the new place. One thing I can tell you, however, is that moving was a hell of a lot easier before I had three cats and a baby. Back when I could fit everything I owned into the back of my compact car.
We left San Antonio for Wilmington just after Memorial Day and this was, by far, my most complicated move ever. My husband, Paul, and I both upended our careers to come here, to a new rental house we had never even seen before, except in pictures. We arrived more than a week before the movers and when they finally got here some of our stuff was damaged. Then one of the cats disappeared, returning after five long, worry-filled days, hungry but otherwise unharmed. There were some other things too, that I won’t go into in detail — a hospital visit, an unexpected surgery, some soul searching, some changes in plans.
Needless to say, June was exhausting.
We chose to move to Wilmington to be closer to family, so our son would grow up knowing his grandparents, and to be closer to the beach too.
Although I grew up near the beach, I have spent all of my adult years in one inland city or another and I never quite got over my longing to be back near the coast.
For various reasons, we haven’t spent as much time at the beach as we would have liked since moving here, but yesterday we packed a picnic dinner, borrowed a beach umbrella and headed out in the late afternoon.
The weather was perfect, breezy and warm, and Paul and I took turns swimming while the other sat on a blanket with the baby, intercepting seashells on the way to his mouth. At one point, the baby pulled himself to standing and then climbed on top of me to get a better view of the ocean, pointing with his tiny index finger and smiling.
I don’t have any pictures from that afternoon on the beach. I thought about taking a few of the baby in his hilarious little swim trunks, slurping away on a watermelon slice, but decided against it. I wanted, for once, to forget about documenting everything and just soak it all up instead.
I did manage to snap a picture of this sweet corn and heirloom tomato salad before packing it into the cooler and schlepping it over the dunes. It’s inspired by a salad Molly Wizenberg describes in her new book, “Delancey.” I threw my version together with what I had on hand and we ate it with hunks of french bread and good cheese.
I neglected to write down quantities when I made this, so the amounts below are a little imprecise. You'll want to do it all to taste anyway, so use this as a starting point but adjust as you go.
I made this using small, stripey heirlooms I found at the farmer's market. Each one was about the size of a plum, maybe a little bigger. You could just as easily use a couple of larger tomatoes instead.
Sub in a different sweetener for a vegan version.
- 5 small tomatoes
- 1 ear of corn
- 2 T chopped fresh herbs (I used basil and cilantro)
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash the tomatoes and slice them thinly, then arrange them on a serving platter.
Cut the kernels off the ear of corn and scatter them over the tomatoes. (I cut the ear in half first and then shear the kernels, which I find helps to keep bits of corn from flying all over the kitchen.)
Top with the herbs.
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and honey in jar and shake to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain and pour over the salad.
Serve with lots of crusty bread to sop up any extra juices.