I've been tending to my vegetable garden diligently these days, encouraged by the site of almost-ready-to harvest vegetables.
The cucumbers have been lagging behind somewhat, or so I thought until I saw a dark green, perfectly shaped specimen hiding behind foliage!
My heart leapt with excitement.
Garden fresh cucumber salad
"Mmm, I'm going to add this to my salad for lunch today" I thought as I reached for it.
Then I remembered something and stopped in mid pluck.
My son, Michael loves cucumbers too and one of the reasons I planted them was because I was longing to serve my family fresh vegetables from the garden.
Here I was, ready to enjoy the lone cuke when my "motherly nature" surfaces.
I really wanted to eat that cucumber!
A light went off in my head. "Michael's birthday is in two days, I should just leave the poor cucumber on the vine and make his favorite cucumber salad for him on his birthday!
I knew it would mean something special to him because whenever I surprised him with a random cucumber salad, he would always smile and make me feel like I was a sweet, loving mommy.
This was even better, because the cucumber was from our garden, and I grew it especially for him!
This is no ordinary cucumber!
Picking the cucumber off the vine and preparing the salad took on a ceremonial feel that day.
I carefully peeled the skin off, sliced fine rounds and added the tangy Ponzu soy sauce, sesame seeds and secret spices.
I took a taste.
It was crisp and sooo fresh!
I draped the salad bowl with a towel and presented it to him as he sat watching television, unwinding from his day.
"I have a surprise for you." I proudly announced.
"Did you get me the new X-Box system for my birthday," his eyes opened with anticipation.
"No," I started, suddenly feeling guilty that I actually forgot to buy him a real birthday gift.
"This is something more special, I made it especially for you, as a matter of fact," I continued, "I grew it just for you!"
"What is it?" he asked looking a little disappointed.
"A cucumber salad from our garden!
"I waited until today to pick this cucumber just for you so I can make your favorite salad!" I declared.
Michael got up from the sofa with out uttering a word and gave me a great big hug.
"Thanks mom, this is going to be delicious!"
Michael enjoys his special birthday salad
I sat down with him at the table and I watched him eat, smiling as he savored every bite.
He said it was the best cucumber salad he has ever had and I believe him.
I knew then that I had done the right thing in saving this cucumber for him.
Not only was the salad made with a lot of love, the cucumber was grown with loving intentions, something he will always remember long after the harvest is gone.