Happy Canada Day! I am not Canadian, but I have had an affinity for the fine country to our north ever since discovering Kids in the Hall at the tender age of 12. (I really shouldn’t have been watching Kids in the Hall at the tender age of 12.) And also, Happy 4th of July a few days early because I’m taking Thursday off. I’m going to spend the day celebrating America by throwing bang snaps on the driveway while chanting “USA! USA!” This is the freedom that our founding fathers envisioned when they sailed over on the Santa Maria so many years ago.
Last year, I was eagerly anticipating July 4th because I’d have time off from the job I hated. And then a month later, when I was laid off, I felt completely crushed, despite the fact that I had daydreamed about quitting for a good year or so. Since it’s almost a year since I started blogging full-time, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately–where I was a year ago vs. where I am today. And even where I am today vs. where I was a few years ago. I went from being a librarian and planning on getting a second master’s or PhD to running a food blog for a living. I’m sure to most rational people, that sounds like a terrible, terrible decision, on par with, “I think I’m going to quit my job as an accountant and start a reggae band,” but I feel like I’m finally able to express a creativity that was always just under the surface, but I never quite had an outlet for.
So now I have the freedom to spend an hour photographing beans and tomatoes and corn. I have the freedom to write stupid things about bang snaps and post pictures of my cats and make cheesy recipes for Vanilla Ice. That’s an awesome thing when you’re coming off of a job where every decision you make is based on arbitrary rules dictated from above. Being a small business owner has been a difficult transition to make and I work harder (and longer) than I ever have before, but even on the most hectic days, I’m grateful for the freedom I have to create and to be myself.
Back on topic: 4th of July! I don’t have cake topped with Cool-Whip and berries arranged to form the American flag for you today, but I do have a light Summer Orzo Salad recipe. It can easily be doubled or tripled, so it’s perfect for bringing to your next summer get-together. Every summer get-together needs a pasta salad, right? It also makes a great main dish when you need something easy for dinner. With the hot weather we’ve been having here, I’ve been craving light, fresh meals like this.
A simple summer pasta salad made with orzo, grape tomatoes, fresh corn, and green beans.
- 8 oz. orzo
- 1 c. green beans, trimmed
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. torn basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook orzo according to package. Two minutes before cooking time is done, add green beans to pot. Drain in a fine mesh colander and rinse with cold water.
- Transfer orzo and green beans to a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.