I had family over recently and we celebrated the beginning of summertime with a really nice bar-b-que. Chicken and ribs and mac salad, watermelon and all the goodies. We might have been a little early on the watermelon. It wasn’t watermelon ruby red it was like a washed out dark pink. But that didn’t slow us down much. Oh and since it was an early season opener we ate inside. The next get-together will be outside with all the fixings and the bugs and probably a sweatshirt. Even though summer is coming the summer evenings here are always just on the edge of warm/cool. Just the way we like it.
In the morning of the day of the gathering as I was going full steam ahead in the kitchen I did something that gave me a giggle moment. Does this happen to you? I was making my macaroni salad and I add olives to it to give it a little salty flavor. As I poured the can of olives in the colander to drain I popped an olive in my mouth. Does everyone do that? I thought about this simple action as I popped a second one in my pie hole. It is such an easy thing that I didn’t even give it a thought. It was automatic. So much so that the third one in was just as easy going in as the first one.
Why can’t I and maybe you too open a can of olives, or a jar of olives, or a jar of pickles and just put them out on a plate or in a bowl without scarfing up one or two or more? I can’t help myself. I stopped at three but I easily could have gone on to gobble more. I bought the large olives and there wouldn’t have been enough for the salad if I hadn’t pulled hand my greedy little out of the colander and thrown the left over little black jewels in the bowl of salad and covered them with the rest of the mixings. Which brings me to this next thing. How do you decide which size of olives you will buy? I can tell you this, next time I buy I will buy the small olives when I buy olives for this salad. That way I will happily be able to wolf down more than three and still have enough to show up in a salad. I mean if I got the jumbos, which I really like, there are only like twelve in a can.
But! Yes a jumbo “but.” But the jumbos fit so easily on the tips of fingers. When we are kids the small ones are great for this fun summer event. As we grow so do our fingers and as adults you’ll find you’ll need the jumbo olives to do the “olives on your fingers” trick. HAHA See it’s these things that keep us waiting and wanting summer to come around each year. Sure it’s the vacations. Sure it’s the camping, swimming in cold mountain lakes, trips to Disneyland or Six Flags. Sure it’s the clear nights to look up at the stars and wonder, always wonder just how far the universe goes and get a shiver thinking it is unending. Sure it’s the visits to or from family, sure it’s the garden that you get to dig in plant tend and fret over. Sure summer is sunburns after a hike or 4-wheeler ride, sure it’s weeds and wild flowers and finally giving in to cracking open that summer book you have been waiting to read on a summer afternoon.
Summer is all those things and more, more, more. But start your summer by opening up that can of olives stuffed clear in the back of the pantry and stick a few—or ten on your fingers and let yourself remember the summers of years past and plan a summer event that will leave everyone you know wanting to share your olive branch with you.
Trina lives in Eureka. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!