Last night was a zoo at the lodge. We served about 160 people. My job was to fill in as needed. Eventually I ended up selling a fishing license. It turned out that I had sold this gentleman a license last year and he lived in the town I grew up in – Arlington Heights, Illinois. When I moved there in 1948, the town had a population of 10,000 people. It was surrounded by corn fields. Now all those fields are gone. Arlington Heights is surrounded by towns named Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, Prospect Heights. The little two-lane backtopped road (Hwy 53) we used to drive to my aunt and uncles in Glen Ellen is now limited access with who knows how many lanes. O’Hare Airport was a converted Army field with one small terminal then. Further out about 25 miles from Arlington Heights was Barrington, Illinois, where Bruce’s mother had been raised just 40 years earlier. Somehow we all got together at Gunflint Lodge. Who would have guessed when my family moved out from Chicago in 1948?
My garden is exploding. The plants are huge and fruit and vegetables are almost ready for eating. Yesterday I picked 8 red raspberries. Today I picked a cup which we will eat for breakfast tomorrow. We have had two red tomatoes. If all the green tomatoes ripen, we will have 20 lbs of them. My green peppers are about 2 inches long. Eggplant has flowers on it. Zucchini has yielded two nice ones. I will be making zucchini bread soon. My second crop of spinach is also ready to be picked. I am going to make basil pesto next week. Potatoes may even be past the new potatoes stage and into bakers. Bruce and I will never be able to eat everything so I will give it away. I wish you all lived closer so I could share it with you.
The lakes have been giving up their harvest too. I have walleyes and lake trout in the freezer. Bruce and I will be feasting on that too. There is no sense in letting the fish dry out in the freezer when we can be eating it. Walleye seems to be perfect fried but we think lake trout is best grilled. I may even make some chowder with the lake trout.
All of this food tastes best when we eat on the screened in porch. Tuesday is the third of my porch potlucks for the summer. About 25 of us will gather to share some great food and great company while a nice breeze blows in through the screens. We used to eat outside all the time at the Florida house. In Minnesota this kind of dining is reserved for a few short months. We try to make the most of it.
Not to put a damper on this nice tale of summer, but our days are already getting shorter. Full daylight does not come until 7:00 a.m. By 9:00 p.m. it is dark outside. The leaves on the side of the road are turning yellow. We all know what this means but we will enjoy every day of summer we get.