I want to give a little high five of congratulations to two of my good friends who recently bought their first home. Way to go guys! A few weeks ago they bought a modest little rancher on the outskirts of Greater Vancouver, and just this past weekend I enjoyed visiting them for their first official housewarming party.
Their home is 1300-sf of pure quaintness (if that’s even a word) and it suits them perfectly. It’s not too big, not too small, with a decent green space to lay around in / grow copious amounts of veggies.
Hanging out in their backyard, barbecuing and playing croquet in the sunshine, really got me thinking about what I want in Matt and I’s future home, whenever we decide to pack up and upgrade from our 700-sf apartment.
I don’t need a lot of space. Anything over 1,500 square feet becomes too much of a hassle to clean. Really, all I want is a tiny space to call my own, preferably detached (because sharing isn’t always caring) with a private little yard. I dream of growing my own veggies and herbs and being able to lay around on blankets in the backyard while sipping on homemade sweet tea and tossing the ball around for Parker. Maybe there’ll be a hammock in there somewhere, and some badminton and bocce.
Sure, I could do all that in my local park, but it’s different when it’s your own private space.
The problem is, there aren’t a lot of small, detached homes in my hometown of North Vancouver that fit that description. Well, there are, but they’re close to a million dollars, which is absolutely absurd.
I love North Van, I really do – I grew up here and love living amongst the trees and mountains – but with houses so pricey, it begs the question: what am I willing to sacrifice? What’s more important? We could buy a small townhouse in North Van for the same price as a fully detached home in another city 45 minutes away.
A few years ago, there was no way I’d even consider leaving. Move to another city!? What?! That’s so scary! So unfamiliar! But today, the more I think about it, the more I’m willing to relocate. Perhaps to Port Coquitlam, where there are still trails and mountains and houses are somewhat affordable. It’d be a bit of a commute, but maybe that’s not such a terrible thing. Scary and unfamiliar could actually be exciting and adventurous.
So who knows where we’ll be a year or five from now. Life is hard to predict, which is difficult (I love my routine, stability, and predictability), but exciting.
So enough with my blabbering, let’s get on with todays recipe.
(Side note: have any of you out there actually grown your own watermelon? How has it turned out for you?)
Fresh, juicy watermelon gets sliced up and gilled on the BBQ for a bit of smokiness. Then, simply toss the watermelon in a bowl with some salty feta, tangy arugula, crunchy slivered almonds and a drizzle of sweet-but-sour balsamic vinegar. It’s a fresh and tasty salad that balances the sweet and savoury, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy on those impending hot, summer days.
|Grilled Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad|| |
- 6 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 250g feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 cups baby arugula, loosely packed
- Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
- Slivered almonds, for garnish
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill watermelon, about 3-5 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear.
- Combine watermelon, feta, and arugula in a large bowl. Divide into 4 servings, and drizzle with balsamic and slivered almonds.