I can already hear you asking: 'So what constitutes the 'summerness' of a particular summer?'. Well let's start with the bit where I complain - it involves stretches of continuously warm temperatures and a lack of rain. We're definitely not doing well on that front this year. If I get caught in torrential rain one more time this week I'll bite the bullet and get my wax jacket re-waxed.
But now that I have, once again, complained about the weather, let's talk about the bits that make me feel like I'm experiencing an actual summer.
Another part of my summer-universal involves family barbecues. Not the ones where you sit down with your parents and that's it, but I mean the big family gatherings where you see people you haven't seen well...since last year's barbecue.
The funny thing is I have one memory of my extended family doing that at some point and I can't have been older than 12 or so. I'm sure there were more occasions but the fact that I don't really have any distinct memories of big family gatherings also suggests that we didn't really have that many.
Moving abroad right after finishing high school probably didn't really help either.
So, why am I actually telling you all of this?
My parents moved back to their hometown. A town in (sorry...) the middle of nowhere and I must admit most of my memories from when I was younger mostly involve either fog and rain in the fall or a distinct drop in temperature while driving there in the summer.
I also have memories of eating what felt like kilos upon kilos of blackberries on my grandma's back porch, drinking fresh carrot juice at my other grandma's house, my aunts amazing Black Forest Gateau and walking across the heath to go to this super cute restaurant. But in case you haven't noticed all the positive memories involve food and all the negative things involve things I have on my personal list of 'things I like to complain about'. So I obviously kept remembering all the negative things and forgetting about the good things.
Anyhow, I'm finally getting to the end of this story - the house that was a building-site for pretty much the entirety of the last 6 month is finally more or less habitable (though my mum would probably beg to differ) so my parents decided to throw a housewarming party. And the entire family came. And my parents friends from high school, and my mum's friends from Stuttgart.
Look at the lovely watermelons and cucumber salad that is hiding on my dad's plate!!!
And amidst all the buzz about the food (you gotta love a good potluck), the gorgeous hardwood floors, the kitchen that is simply amazing, and the views of the town castle and whatnot I kept thinking that it had been too long and that I really hope my parents throw another big party like this some time really soon.
I'll be back in the next few days with a recipe for pickled watermelon rinds. Because you can never have enough watermelon recipes and also because my aunt has instructed me to finally post the recipe :)