Memorial Day picnic brunch

This Memorial Day weekend I am finally writing last winter’s Christmas letter. Perhaps arriving at the beginning of summer it will be seem less bloating than roast turkey with stuffing and sauerkraut--still newsy, but more like fresh fruit ambrosia or a melon boat.

Ah, yes, the nectar of the gods!

Ambrosia, favored food or drink of the Olympians, from the Latin ambrosia, from the Greek ambrosios, literally “of the immortals,” from a- “not” + mbrotos, related to mortos “mortal”.

In the early Sixties a neighbor over on “L” Street had a holiday brunch open house in her backyard. My memory is a Technicolor scene of green grass, swing set, card tables, and kids in bright sunsuits and sundresses. The centerpiece was a splendid watermelon boat cut with dramatic zigzag edges, filled with fresh watermelon wedges, cantaloupe balls, green grapes, and canned pineapple “tidbits” and mandarin orange sections.

Sometimes Aphrodite demands cut strawberries, and Hermes hollers for honeydew in Olympus. In Nebraska in the Sixties nobody knew about kiwi, although it does add nice color in the melon boat.

I have no idea what else was on the menu at that backyard brunch--maybe muffins, donut holes, and Little Smokies. The family’s obese long-eared dog waddled around the lawn looking for dropped goodies under the card tables. It was quite the most elegant event I had ever attended!

This holiday weekend my condo is the cut and hollowed watermelon boat for the ambrosia. The boat is very full of immortals from the Latin and Greek, or at least a junior home from a year in Italy.

My year with the Montessori preschoolers has been filled with daily delights and insights. I love photographing school happenings and the insect visitors to our playground garden. We help introduce the children to nature at its most basic level, including worm composting, and I get to teach art with an emphasis on nature. Next weekend I will attend the Ft. Worth Opera Festival’s “Turandot” with friends in the very elegant Bass Hall. There probably won’t be a melon boat or a long-eared waddling dog, but it will be lots of fun.

Have a great summer!

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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