Summer fruit bliss

I am sitting on my bed. Next to me, a plastic plate full of watermelon (yes, of course I hate plastic plates dear reader but you’ll understand). The TV is on but I am looking outside my window. The house is full of cardboard boxes; some still open, others closed with clear marked labels: Out (things to be given to Charity), Kifissia (things to be stored at my parents house), London (to be taken to my soon-to-be new home).

My bookcases are empty and so are my drawers. The only thing that still shows signs of life is my kitchen, but barely so. It feels like a deserted town with just the occasional passerby. My pots and pans are on their way to London. My spices are stuffed in a box, as I am going through the UK Customs website trying to figure out if I can take them all with me. My plates and most of my cutlery are neatly packed (thanks to my amazing dad who can fit everything into the tiniest space).

These past few weeks I was forced to take a break from cooking and I feel like something important is missing. I feel like an artist without its brushes, like a builder without its tools, like a climber without its gear. I am thinking of chef Redzepi
at Noma, who says that when we have limitations we rediscover an inspiration that we never knew existed. I have come to agree. Not that I am doing any serious cooking at the moment but I did rediscover something: the true magic simplicity of summer fruits.

In Athens at this time of year the weather is summery-to say the least- and one really looks forward to something light as opposed to anything “pipping hot”. They say that fruit and vegetables taste better at room temperature and maybe that is true. But I am telling you dear reader, discover cold fruit!

Like that evening, a few days ago...In my fridge I find a pot of yogurt which I would usually pass, but as I am in need of something sweet and cold I’m thinking why not? Let me try and make something of it. I take a ripe peach and cut it in small pieces (I never understood why one would prefer large chunks of fruit), placing them on top of the yogurty snow. I take some Greek thyme honey, runny from the hot temperature outside and drizzle a few teaspoons on top of the fruit. I taste it reluctantly thinking of all those times that, in a desperate attempt to diet I was eating bland yogurt and all of a sudden I get it. I get why everyone goes on and on about the Greek yogurt-fruit-honey combination. The yogurt’s velvety taste is pleasantly disrupted by small, sweet, and cold pieces of fruit, only to be sweetened more by the liquid honey that is slowly combining with the yogurt while I dip my spoon in my bowl. A symphony of flavors that makes one truly appreciate the beauty of local products and the magic of summer. This season may not have chocolate soufflés and sticky toffee puddings but it does have something extraordinary: all natural, simple, healthy desserts.

The watermelon slices by my side are making a mess on my yellow sheets but I don’t care. I look around me again, wondering if I’ve made the right choice, giving up my tiny apartment and my stable career in pursue of a dream. But summer is here and the sweet splash of cold watermelon in my mouth takes all doubts away.

Besides, “man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” I say to myself, as I am getting up to get some more watermelon.