Patience, Persistence, and a really good Panini

When I think of summer, I think of juicy tomatoes, red peppers, and an overflowing garden. Then the first day of summer finally rolls around, and my garden does not overflow; and I am reminded again to be patient.

patience : quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.  

persistence : lasting or enduring tenaciously (holding fast) 

Patient yet persistent. Persistent yet patient. This is the beautiful tension in which we sometimes must reside. Good things take time and work; patience and persistence. Changing your diet, your lifestyle, your habits, your work, your relationship, your mindset. Any change, pursuit, goal, dream - these things take time and commitment.

You can't change your life overnight. You can't lose the weight in one week. And you usually can't grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in June (at least not in my little Chicago garden). It takes time, water, sunlight, care, resolve, teamwork; patience and persistence.

But you can change one thing about your day, every day. Then another, and another. You can add in that green smoothie, then an extra walk, then an extra hour of sleep. One thing at a time, one day at a time, patiently, persistently, until that beautiful morning when you wake up, and realize the tomatoes turned red. Your life turned a different shade of beautiful; slowly, steadily, and naturally.  

When those tomatoes finally come, and you take a bite of that juicy heirloom, you realize just how special this is. You appreciate the flavor and the nourishment, and you vow never to eat another gassed, grocery store tomato that tastes like dirty water ever again. You get hooked on feeling awesome, and there is no going back. 

And then, you make this grilled vegetable panini sandwich.

Ingredients 

2 - summer squash
1 - eggplant
2 - peppers
1/2 - purple onion
2 T. - olive oil
1 T. - rosemary
1 T. - oregano
1 T. - thyme
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 - loaf artisan bread (8 slices)
1 - 8 ounce ball mozzarella
2 - large heirloom tomatoes
basil leaves  

Method

  1. Slice vegetables lengthwise into strips no thicker than 1/2 inch. Combine olive oil and herbs in a shallow dish with the vegetables. Let them marinate for at least 15 minutes. Then cook on grill until vegetables are partially blackened; you may want to use grill basket for onions and peppers. 
  2. Cut loaf of bread lengthwise. Arrange bread on baking sheet and layer with a fresh slice of mozzarella; place in the oven under the broiler, in a toaster oven, or on the grill, until cheese is melted. Layer the grilled vegetables on the bread, then fresh tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with leaves of fresh basil. Cut in half to serve.


"That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only, which gives everything it's value."
- Thomas Paine