After several horrifically hot and humid days in Central Ohio, we were gifted with a rainstorm and, consequentially, an evening with temperatures in the lower 80s. Quick to make the best of what might be a small window of good weather, my neighbors and I had an impromptu garden party.
The proper nomenclature, of course, is “grilling out,” but I’ve been looking at home design blogs recently, and in my imagination the people whose patios, decks and verandas that I covetously admire would refrain from using such low-brow terms to describe their picture-perfect gatherings.
Because I don’t have the gazillions of dollars necessary to have the gorgeous backyards of my dreams, I take joy in the imperfections of my yard. Did you notice the grill marks in the plastic planter? Yes, I’m the girl who leans pieces of her hand-me-down Weber on plastic. It’s that attention to detail that makes my parties a success and my living space so… interesting.
And not anyone can kill not one, but three lavender plants at the same time. (But wouldn’t that stand be cute if it were filled with lush, pungent, purple foliage? I must learn to water.)
Some things aren’t completely dead. I raised these tomatoes from seed, and somehow they’d managed to survive until Friday’s soiree.
By Sunday, though, five cherry tomatoes became two-half cherry tomatoes. Its appears that my yard hosted yet another garden party this past weekend. And I was, um, fortunate enough to see it in action.
And then there’s the broccoli. Sigh. Two Saturdays ago, I was working in my yard all day long, happily buzzing around my garden and its gorgeous ready-to-be-harvested broccoli floret. I left for an hour to dine at Sage (currently my favorite place to get pork belly in Columbus) and when I came back, the plant looked like this, but with more leaves. The groundhog that lives in my alley had a nice vegetarian meal while I was devouring pork products. Apparently the broccoli was not enough, because he came back to relieve my poor plant of its leaves. I guess everyone needs to eat.
Some eat better than others, though. I’d had a craving for the food of my youth: Kraft Dinner and hot dogs, to be exact. While hot dogs were unavailable (we had bacon burgers, instead), I manage to track down a $1 box of the bright orange noodles laden with all sorts of things I cannot pronounce. Every once in awhile, I find this stuff delicious. (This would come as a surprise to people who may not spend much time with me. I once attended a function catered by a pretty great local barbecue joint; when she saw me, the hostess apologetically informed me that there would be barbecue at her event, along with the words, “We’re not fancy people.” Do I put out the vibe that all I eat is foie gras and brie? The words lingered with me for quite some time. I don’t think that there’s anything fancy about most of what I eat. Kraft Dinner, included.)
Other not fancy things: grilled asparagus, a simple salad with a cucumber – the first (and, possibly, only) piece of produce I’ve been able to harvest from my garden – and tomatoes, vodka and Limeade “martinis” and, for dessert, a box of Entenmann’s doughnut-shaped pastries. I got a lot of slack for the Entenmann’s impulse buy, by the way. From pretty much everyone. Fun fact: for a reason that I’m not willing to research, the company’s website has the word “bimbo” in its url. Also, the little girl on the front page kind of looks possessed.
So my yard, my house, my life, my eating habits… They’re filled with imperfections. I’ll work on the things that I can change. But meanwhile, I’ll enjoy what I have: a backyard with a bevy of visitors (wanted and unwanted) and a beautiful view.