Roasted Tomatoes with Focaccia


Roasted Tomatoes and Focaccia

     We are in the sunset days of child-rearing. Our daughter is now a busy senior in high school, with a part-time job and driver’s license. Often, there is one less face at the table, one last voice to talk about the day.

    Our meals are simpler now as we no longer have to prepare healthy meals to fill a growing body. As my husband and I sit alone at the table we realize our work now is to reconnect with another, make our way back to each other. Back to the days before daughter came into our lives and the hours of our days were filled with feeding and nurturing her.

    Now we turn towards nursing our aging bodies which, as it turns out, need much less food than growing bodies. We are moving away from large meals. Often, I place simple meals on the dinner table along with small glasses of wine to remind us that now we can fully sink back into the early days of our marriage.

    Only it isn’t like those early days either. Those days when we didn’t have a child but were always rushing to meet the next goal. Days filled with work, nights filled with parties and events. There was such a feeling of hustle in those days, a constant desire to do more. Be more.

    No, now we realize when our daughter moves out, we cannot go back. Parenting and the past eighteen years has changed us. We are surprised by how mellow we have become. How our marriage has smoothed out, much like driftwood that has had wave after wave flow over and around it, until it is soft and beautiful, nothing like the rough wood that fell into the sea many years ago.

    The other day, daughter at work, my husband home from his job, we walked into the garden and picked cherry tomatoes. Red and smelling of summer, I washed them in cool water, sliced them in half, and roasted them in olive oil and garlic. Once they began to bubble, I sprinkled feta cheese and garden-fresh basil over the hot fruit, releasing the strong floral scent of the basil into the kitchen. Our garden in a baking dish.

    I placed a loaf of focaccia onto the wood cutting board, briefly remembering the afternoon many years ago, when my daughter and I made focaccia and I watched her chubby, toddler fingers press indents into the dough as I followed behind, tucking rosemary and olives into her fingerprints. Now the fingerprints are only mine.

    We sit down, amazed that we could have dinner ready so quickly. Pour wine, dip bread into the rich, oily sauce and pile tomatoes and feta onto the pieces. 

    Sitting back to enjoy this new normal I turn to my husband and smile. Something tells me we will be fine, just fine.


What's your favorite quick and simple meal?


  1. Stop! I could've written something very similar and reading this makes me want to cry. Your simple meal sounds delightful.

  2. WELL. I'm all teared up! This spoke to me so much. We are in the same place, Laura, the exact same place. Youngest is a senior in high school, and I am having the same feelings exactly. I don't know how you perfectly capture my soul but you sure do. This is just gorgeous. Thank you. xo

  3. You described your tomato dish so vividly; I can nearly taste it! There's not much better than a tomato from your own garden. My favorite simple meal at the moment is anything that doesn't need to be cooked. It's too hot to cook right now. Cheese & crackers with a cup of yogurt is perfect!

  4. What a truly beautiful post. ❤️❤️❤️

  5. You are not only an amazing person and great friend, but your writing always goes straight to my heart. I remember well our conversations when you first tested positive. What a reward to both of our lives and your entire family. O has captured my heart from the beginning. You are Bruce have proven to be the best parents she could have had. I love your family and enjoy reading about your accomplishments Hope to someday make it up to visit the Bray household. Always wishing the Best life has to offer. Sincerely, Trish xxxooo

  6. You are such a gifted writer.

  7. Such a beautiful post Laura! My favorite simple meal lately has been BLT's with garden fresh tomatoes and whole grain bread.

  8. So beautiful, Laura. I've somehow missed your last few posts. Lovely to catch up.

    Simple garden meals are always my favorite, too. And food prepared and eaten together.

  9. Yes, I'm guessing you'll be "just fine" too. This is a lovely bit of writing Laura. Thank you for sharing it with us. xo

    1. (this comment was from KarenLR)


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