Yesterday, Clif bought a fire pit for our backyard. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a while. On our bike rides along Memorial Drive and the lake, we often see people grouped around fire pits as dusk comes and the temperature drops. Somehow, there is something so cozy and satisfying about sitting around a fire. I suppose it takes us back to our tribal days, when the fire was a source of heat, companionship, and sustenance. Do we have ancestral memories? I don’t know, but fire in a pit or in a fireplace or in a wood stove still has an irresistible pull.
Naturally, we wanted to use the fire pit immediately. For dinner that night, I had planned a roasted tomato soup and corn bread.
“How about if we eat soup and bread by the fire?” I asked Clif.
“Sounds good to me,” Clif replied, and we did just that.
In the morning, I roasted the tomatoes, as well as some leeks. When they were cool, I whirred them in the food processor and then stored the mixture in the refrigerator. When we got back from our afternoon bike ride, I chopped some garlic, sizzled it in a bit of oil, added the tomatoes and enough water for a nice consistency, and let it all simmer for 45 minutes or so. Then, a bit of milk to smooth the soup and a cup of small pasta to give it a little bulk.
As we slurped soup around the fire, I asked Clif, “What do you think?”
“Pretty darned good,” came the response. “Smooth and fresh tasting.”
The dog, in Sheltie fashion, circled the patio until the night came, at which point he settled down beside us by the fire. Dog and people by the fire. How primal is that? The night became chilly and damp, but the crickets sang their fall song. We stayed outside until the fire burned to embers, and then we reluctantly went inside.
I expect sitting around the fire pit will be one of our favorite things to do this fall. Along with bike riding, of course.