My brother-in-law Tim arrived Friday evening with his four children, a case of beer, and a bag of vegetables—the fruits of his, as he described, “backyard CSA”: a half dozen plump, weighty Cherokee Purple tomatoes, two dirt-shrouded onions with straggly greens intact, and four one-pound-plus summer squash clubs. Um, thanks? At the moment, it was hard to say who should be thanking who.
It turns out, I would be thanking Tim. His children, moments after their arrival, disappeared, swallowing mine in their wake. The beer, shortly thereafter, went down easy, dissolving (briefly) all the worries in the world. The tomatoes, the next day, floated atop cream cheese-smeared bagels. The squash, two days later, baked into this gratin, one of my favorite summer meals.