Celebrating Summer

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve posted. I’ve just been working a lot and had a bunch of stuff to take care of at home and just other general life stuff. But the school year is coming to an end and so my workload is diminishing. Plus, I LOVE celebrations, and this week has been full of them!

It started with my good friend’s 65th birthday last week, which we marked by going to Koka Booth Amphitheater to hear an outdoor concert by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. We weren’t allowed to bring in food and drink for that, except for water because the heat index that day was supposed to be 110 degrees or something ridiculous like that. Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as that…but it was pretty hot and humid. English-born Robert Plant kept commenting that he couldn’t believe people lived in weather like that night…and that day was not the worst of the week. Still, it was a fabulous concert and a wonderful way to recognize a milestone.

It was better, at least weather and food-wise, when we returned to Koka Booth Friday night for the NC Symphony’s program Havana Nights, the highlight of which for me was their performances with the Mambo Kings. For that I did make a thematic dinner and added a birthday cake for my friend.

Saturday was an abundant Farmers Market (including the very first local organic peaches!), and Sunday was Fathers Day, for which we ate out. Monday we celebrated Juneteenth, and today we will celebrate the Summer Solstice. So what a great week for someone who enjoys celebrating as much as I do!

Long-time readers of this blog know of my commitment to trying to get as much as possible of our food from our local Farmers Markets. It is the most ecological place to obtain our food, as well as the freshest, the healthiest (at least if you stick to the organic-ish vendors…most small farmers can’t meet all the regulatory requirements to be certified organic, but you soon find out which ones are following organic practices even if they aren’t certified), and most of all, the tastiest. I’ve been promoting more vegetarian meals in my blog for a long time because reducing meat consumption is the way most American households can reduce their contribution to the climiate crisis most significantly most easily. However, this summer we are really trying to move to a mostly plant-based diet.

So I’m going to do some individual posts about the meals for these different celebrations. I’m mostly been doing my past vegetarian meals until the title of Meatless Monday, so I’m going to continue that even though we are going meatless a lot more than just Mondays now. I understand most people don’t want to be completely vegetarian; we don’t either. But a great step would be if we all would go meat free at least once a week. So I’m sharing my meals in an attempt to encourage others to take that step. I know for me, some of my most meat-based meal traditions are around holidays, so maybe this will give others some ideas about how vegetarian meals can be celebratory as well as better for us and for the planet.

Mother Teresa famously said:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

I hope sharing my attempts to eat a lower carbon footprint diet may assist you in taking some similar steps. We can only solve the global warming problem by working together, each of us making changes in our individual lives. One final quote that always inspires me:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

― Margaret Mead


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