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favourite summer foods from childhood

hello everyone, its summer down here in Australia and i'm indulging in lots of ice-cream and fresh mangos and watermelon. and since its so cold in the u.s at the moment i thought everyone might need some reminding of warmer times- so i am wondering what are suome of your favourite summer foods from childhood-

i have lots of memories of going to the beach with my school where i grew up (the school was lucky enough to be directly opposite the beach) we would have a big sausage sizzle everyone would line up for there sausege in sliced white bread with tomato sauce.

lots of ice-cream memories, wendys in the mall i would always get a cone with rainbow sprinkles or a cone with a lollie face and a flake. when we where at a normal ice-cream parlour my choice was simple rainbow in a waffle cone. and lastly my family would go in to the city (Melbourne) to a suburb called Carlton it has a really strong italian culture for the best gelato in the world my favoorite was cofee and lemon and my brothers would always let me have a lick of there baci yum!

i'm still only seventeen so childhood wasn't that long ago i'm having a delicious summer breakfast right now of fresh banna smoothie and a banna slpit (a little decadent but i'm still growing and evryone complains i look under-nourished) the split is complete with ice-cream cream nuts and choclate sauce and rainbow sprinkles! - i'm very interested to hear about evryone elses memories and childhood summer delights!

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  1. Corn on the cob defined late summer to me. I grew up in corn country, so the idea of eating corn on the cob out of season was blasphemy.

    1. I grew up in Pennsylvania and completely agree about the fresh from the garden corn on the cob.

      Twin Kiss -- frozen (one stripe chocolate, one stripe vanilla) custard in a waffle cone

      1. actually, you're kind of just rubbing it in, umbushi! ;) it's soooo cold here that even thinking about cold watermelon makes me colder!

        i do think it is impossible to beat cold watermelon on a hot day. it's the most perfect food found in nature, possibly. i also love juicy tomatoes eaten like fruit; tomato, cucumber and turnip slices with salt; caprese salad made with perfect tomatoes and basil; those good humor ice cream bars with cakey crumbs on the outside (neither of us can have those anymore, sadly); something called "green bean soup" made by boiling green mung beans in water until soft, and adding sugar. it's served chilled, sometimes with shaved ice. i'd have a bowl of it as a meal, sometimes. love that stuff.

        since you're on the malnourished end of the scale, though: strawberries and real cream with sugar is a good one. ;)

        5 Replies
        1. re: cimui

          My favorite summer food was a sandwich, white bread, mayo, thick slabs of super ripe tomato sprinkled with salt....still eat them in the summer when the tomatoes are in season.

          1. re: bubbles4me

            oh yes.. those are truly beautiful. probably my favorite sandwich of all time.

            1. re: cimui

              Lemon ice/Italian ice! Vecchitto's in my hometown (Middletown, CT) makes the best ice in the world and used to have trucks drive it right into my neighborhood at night--just like Good Humor.

              Another yummy taste of summer: my grandmother's rhubarb crisp and her potato salad!

              1. re: kattyeyes

                ah, what a nice memory! there's nothing like the sauce of summer and a warm night and a full day of playing tag, in my case, to make everything frozen and sugary taste 100x better than usual. :)

            2. re: bubbles4me

              I loved tomato sandwiches as a kid! Gotta be a good tomato, though, and soft white bread.

              Mom would usually put sliced boiled egg on her sandwich. Not my favorite.

          2. I grew up right near Revere beach (Boston), and still love the smell (yes REVERE BEACH), of the hot summer days and nights there. ;)

            Anna's pizza had the best slices and we would sit on the wall across the street and eat supper.

            Digging for clams was legal then, and we did tons at low tide. On the ride home, we always stopped at Richie's Slush......lemon, yum!

            At home, it was fresh corn on the cob, sliced beefsteak tomatoes, potato salad and hot dogs.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mcel215

              OMGoodness.... are you a long lost relative?
              Digging for clams - Point of Pines... Rice Ave.
              Kelly's lobster roll...
              The porch at the Paul Roger House right next door....
              Richie's slush... Mountain Ave., right?
              Tomatoes from the garden...
              Corn on the cob,
              Steamed lobster, steamed clams and a cold beer...
              Dinner outside on the terrace after a day at The Beach.
              Those really were the days. NIce memories.

              1. re: Gio

                I grew up in Chelsea.... close, but no cigar, lol!
                Katz's bagels, Friday nights..
                Kelly's roast beef, it was years before I tried lobster
                Richie's Slush, don't remember the name of the street, but the lemon slush was devine.
                Yes, Gio very nice memories.... too. The folks didn't let me have the cold beer tho!

            2. fresh picked corn on the cob that we got from the local farm stand and that my mom then sent us kids out to the back porch with a old grocery bags to shuck for her

              grilled swordfish

              anything fresh picked from our garden

              pretty much my favorite summer foods now, plus a cold gin & tonic with lime, all eaten outside of course

              1. Picnics in Roeding or Kearney Park in Fresno or in the foothills of the Sierras in the late aftenoons - teriyaki chicken and beef or fish, musubi with umeboshi, inarizushi, quick cucumber and daikon + carrot tsukemono, and more. Dad charcoal grilling T-bone steaks in the backyard served with hot gohan and young fresh picked and quickly blanched asparagus - also from the backyard; the Watermelon Festival in Kingsburg; sashimi and hot gohan; family car camping and all the wonderful food in Big Bend National Park near the coast; anything after a day swimming at North Maple Plunge; days and days being blackened by the blazing sun running barefoot all day long; but mostly eating as always simple o-kazu (lots of vegetables and little meat) at 530 long before the sun went down. Early to bed and early to rise. Working all day saturday gardening rewarded by a cafe burger and rootbeer float. Making a hobo stew in a pot hanging from a tripod over a fire in the backyard. And the cars went from 48 Plymouth, to 52 Chevy to 71 Buick Skylark.

                1. I grew up near Ottawa Ontario Canada...my summer faves as a kid were:

                  Ice Cream Sandwiches
                  Creamsicles (orange popsicle with vanilla ice cream inside)
                  Fries from the "chip wagon" (take an ice cream truck and remove the freezer and put in a deep fryer)
                  Strawberries, carrots, beans and peas from Mum's garden
                  Corn on the cob in late summer from Gran's farm

                  1. I remember when fresh fruit was truly seasonal. Green grapes, which are now available year around, were only available in the summer. Ditto Bartlett pears. So when they became available in the summer, they were a real treat.

                    Also flavored shaved ice.

                    1. Ahh.. another Melbournite!!

                      But this year has been unseasonably cold, yes??

                      My memories.

                      Eating strawberries off the vines from the Sunny Ridge Strawberry farm in Main Hill. Eating nectarines, warm, straight off the tree in the back yard.. blood plums as well.

                      Mangoes and watermelon from the 'fridge.

                      I have awesome gelato memories, but from Copenhagen Ice Cream in Dromana. (I didn't discover Carlton until my teens!)

                      Eating Pine Lime Spices on the beach, Razz's and Sunny Boys and other slurpies on GLen Iris station (while looking hopefully at the Scotch boys!)

                      Nice post, darl!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: purple goddess

                        it has been unusually cold latley! thanks your so lucky to have plums and nectarines off the tree! i have a lemon tree and a strawberry patch but i'd kill for a ripe juicy plum or nectarine! p.s i like to look at the Scotch boys to! ;-)

                      2. Watermelon, strawberries, peaches, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes--these all meant summer when I was growing up, since we couldn't only get them for a short time of the year.

                        1. As pre-school and very young kids we "clumped" like bees and were super active in heat and humidity. Whoevers' mother at the home we were playing at would open a packet of "Freshie", pour it into a clear pitcher, add ice cubes and then run cold water over the lot. Sometimes the water came from a tap, sometimes from a hand-pump, sometimes from a pail on the counter because the pump was at a well away from the house, even in town.
                          Rosebud moments.

                          1. Number one would have to be root homemade beer and ginger beer.I still have the by hand bottle capper.Next ; homemade icecream with local over ripe fruit,peaches and sloe plums were my favorites.Almost anything eaten ripe in the garden during and after a rain,cucumbers,sweet peppers,tomatoes,melons and BABY carrots and radishes.

                            1. Centennial School's annual summer picnic at Kennywood Park: mom's incredible fried chicken and the fabulous, searing hot and greasy french fries straight out of the fryer (salt, no ketchup) from the concession stand. I haven't had better fried chicken or french fries since.

                              1. When I was a kid, big neighborhood cookouts were a blast and two things that stood out in my memory bank: salad in a big pita pocket with italian dressing (still love it) and potatoes wrapped in foil, stuck under the fire/coals - we ate them last, hard skin, smokey flavor, lots of butter - yum!!!!

                                1. My mom would pile us into the car and go to Plum Street Snowball stand and we would get the chocalte snowball with condensed milk on top.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: roro1831

                                    How did I forget to mention s'mores, the ultimate food of summer campfires! Just thinking about them makes me wish I had all the fixin's on hand so I could start a fire in the fireplace and have them for dessert tonight!

                                    1. re: roro1831

                                      oh how i remember snowballs in the summer...but it also meant many crawfish boils.

                                      1. re: vttp926

                                        Crawfish to me reminds me of Fridays during lent when my mother would come home with a big bag or a couple of bags of crawfish from the seafood store. Since the season only ran until June at the time, I don't really associate crawfish with summer.

                                    2. Soft serve ice cream and Snow cones at summer fairs
                                      NJ strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, corn, tomatoes, peppers, basil and eggplants till our bellies hurt
                                      Tons of ice cold watermelon and peaches at family picnics
                                      and for some reason our Mom would make coffee ice cream from scratch ONLY in the summer and I clearly remember making a whole ritual out of sitting on the patio lounge chairs with a big bowl of coffee ice cream each summer. The bowls and spoons were tan plastic specifically brought out for the enjoyment of the ice cream...and disappeared "somewhere" the rest of the year....gotta ask Mom about this next week!

                                      1. Juicy peaches
                                        Blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream and fresh-picked blackberries
                                        Grilled portobella mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash
                                        Cherry tomatoes of all colors, right off the vine, oooooh man I can almost taste them
                                        Otter pops
                                        Ice cold, real, tart lemonade

                                        1. Every summer, at the gas station down the street, a semi would pull up with its produce from Washington State and locally grown Flathead Cherries. The driver would sell everything right out of the back of the truck. He made two trips every summer and it was heaven. In Helena, MT that was a real treat.

                                          My mom would give my brother and I some money to pick up boysenberries, raspberries, Flathead cherries, Raineer cherries, fresh peaches, and corn on the cob. We'd eat cherries until we were nearly sick. Spitting pits into a bowl, seeing who could spit the farthest, and occasionally, spitting them at each other.

                                          Our hands were stained for several days with the juice of the assorted berries, and sticky from the peaches.

                                          We'd take some to my grandparents and my grandfather would make a boysenberry pie that I've never been able to duplicate. He and I would eat those pies all by ourselves.

                                          My mom would make her own separate trips to pick up green beans, and more peaches and Flathead cherries just for canning. Those were very good days.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: FoodChic

                                            wow, how did I forget cherries!

                                            1. re: FoodChic

                                              my grandpa had a small orchid of cherry trees and it was always a joy to get cherry bellied! i have a fond memory of eating lemons in the backyard of a friends house in her empty pool on a hot day, they were the sweetest and best lemons ever.
                                              and i was remembering the other day when my part-time (because we travelled) primary school class would get a big lot of fresh fish and chips with vinegar and eat it on the jetty followed by them handing out fresh oranges to everyone, which were again the best oranges i can remeber eating super super sweet!

                                            2. Stone fruits - especially my favorite black plums.
                                              Watermelon with the requisite seed spiting contests and sprinkler runs to rinse off the juicefresh roasted corn on the cob.
                                              Rita's Water Ice in lemon, chocolate, root beer and cherry. Melted from the heat peanut butter and banana sandwiches packed to eat at the playground or by the pool with frozen Juicy Juice boxes.
                                              Slurpees - Coke and Cherry mixed. Lemonade.
                                              Pizza Bagels and Rolls for when friends came over and I wanted to impress them or when I wanted a cooked snack to eat while reading a book - no joking, summers were an event because homework couldn't interrupt my weekly library raids. I earned my corrective eye wear.
                                              Chocolate covered soft serve chocolate ice cream in a cone from Dairy Queen. Pineapple soft serve ice cream from the Dole Whip stand near the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom. Birthday cake - my birthday is in July.

                                              1. Until at least age 10, summer was not complete without my grandmother setting me at the dining table with an ice grater to turn out fluffy shavings for halo-halo (no adzuki beans, please). Warm weather also brought avocados in pools of sweet and cool sugared milk, rose-flavored lassi and trips up to a quaint ice cream parlor in Wilmette that turned out their own homemade peach ice cream and decadent praline.

                                                It would be many more years before I would appreciate the bounty of tomatoes and beans that went from garden to table in minutes as we sat in the shade of the lilac trees, overpowering their scent with the rising smoke from tikka on the grill.

                                                1. A Rita's Water Ice (cherry) and a soft pretzel with mustard. A great summer treat.

                                                  1. Well, let's see; a frozen Polar Bear candy bar at the Overland Park theater in the early '50's, the bbq sandwiches at the original Hickory Pit in Gravois Mills, MO, fresh picked blackberries as big as your thumb covered with fresh cream from the farm in Marshall, and the watermelon at the neighborhood picnic on the 4th of July that had been iced down for two days in Mom's tub from her ringer washer. Oh, also Orange Slush. The Slush guy would give us a big chunk of ice from his truck!
                                                    Also, my Mom and Dad were friends with the guy that delivered Manor bakery products. Every couple of weeks, he would pull his semi up to our house on Robinson and drop off several boxes of stuff. The truck took up the whole street! Yum!

                                                    1. All the fresh fruit, cherries -Royal Annes, Bings, then the berries-strawberries, and blackberries, and my favorite, all the delicious raspberries I could get!
                                                      But nothing was as good as those 2 weeks summer vacation trips to the Oregon Coast, and my Dad's famous bbq chicken cooked at Honeyman Park (oh those dunes!) and the best was the a stop on the way home for clam chowder at a restaurant in Florence. (sigh)
                                                      Oh and the crab louie salad!!! or the shrimp cocktails!!!
                                                      Wow, I guess I learned to love food at a very early age...

                                                      1. Bedford Kentucky peaches.

                                                        1. I'm from St, Louis and we spent a large part of our summers down in the Ozarks as well (when Branson only had Shad Heller and SIlver Dollar City). August tomatoes (sliced and eaten in a sandwich with salt, pepper and a great mustard) and buttered sweet corn (swoon), salted watermelons, blackberry cobblers and hand-turned ice cream, frozen custard from Ted Drewes...(OMG!). Rainbow Bomb Pops from the "ICE CREAM MAN!!!!"
                                                          BBQ pork steak dinners from the Lion's Club roadside tents (Rotarians, Shriners et al), ballpark hot dogs and cold beer, cold beer from a fishing cooler, cold beer haha.......late-night Steak and Shake (Steakbuger and fries w a Lemon Freeze).......Thanks Plum...now I am impossibly hungry!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: EmoryJ

                                                            sorry bout the hunger, but you reminded me of another summer time memory- a lot of people have metioned the sliced tomatos, my mum and i would eat them on either toasted rye bread just with salt and pepper or with an avo from our yard and sometimes cottage cheese, or on essene rye bread which in my opinion is the best bread in the world!
                                                            and another summer time lunch by the pool was cottage cheese and butter on essene bread with salt and pepper yum! add an avo, tomato and olives and you have yourslef a bonefied summer dinner ;-)

                                                            1. re: umbushi plum

                                                              I forgot about avocados.......summer is avo time too (halved and eaten out w a spoon w Hellman's and tabasco) mmmmm. We are so wrong for eaten avo's and mangos (et al) out of season (pallet weakening, not-economic)...but I'm sure that's been worked to death here. And peaches and cherries!! (thanks lulubelle!)...and DQ (slushies? what are they again?) with soft serve mixed in....and Velvet Freeze.....and ...and ..and

                                                              1. re: EmoryJ

                                                                i know i LOVE avos cut and eaten with a spoon sprinkled with lemon juice, and heres a tip my favourite breakfast from the years of seven through till fifteen was avacado (a whole one) on two pieces of good rye bread add salt and pepper mmmmmmm! it is soo tasty i refused to eat anything else for breakfast,

                                                                the only reason i stopped was because i developed dam celiac disease but now i make a potato chickpea loaf (mashed potato and chickpeas formed into a meat loaf tin and baked) slice that and eat it top heavy with avo and a spritz of lemon yay for the avacados!

                                                          2. My grandfather making ice cream in the big hand-cranked ice cream maker. Usually with cherries from the tree in their back yard. (I also remember hours of cherry picking, climbing--being the littlest and lithest of the kids, I could climb the highest in the tree)

                                                            Corn on the cob, raspberries off the bush in the backyard, tomatoes from the garden.

                                                            Dipped cones from Dairy Queen and the magical sound of the ice cream man!

                                                            1. And King Salmon in Santa Cruz!!!!

                                                              1. Thanks to EmoryJ for bumping this up and reminding me what's in store at the farmers' market after this long awful winter!

                                                                My honest to goodness favorite in summer requires a perfect timing. The Finnish kesakeitto we made growing up was all about perfect confluence. Think: Just at the point when there were still fresh peas in the garden, and the carrots were *big enough*and there were immature potatoes and young (skinny) green and wax beans and maybe there was a young onion or two. Simmered and made into a milky thickened soup, it's heaven. Summer suspended in silky milk stock.

                                                                But you have to hit the timing right - these veggies have different maturity times, so it is a very special dish.

                                                                Can't WAIT for summer veggies!


                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                                  at least a couple of times every time summer, Dad would bring home a bushel basket of live blue crabs and Mom would steam them up with some old Bay and beer. Poured out on a newspaper covered picnic table with sweet barely cooked corn on the cob. some sliced tomatoes and cucumber and red onion salad. Best ever.

                                                                2. When I was growing up, my folks had a cabin in Northern Idaho, near where Dad had lived as a child. We'd walk to the gift shop at the marina on Priest Lake and get fudgesickles every day when we were staying at the cabin. I'll always remember the dirt road with fresh tar, lined with blackberries.

                                                                  I was in 4-H for many years and stayed at the state fairgrounds during County and Oregon State Fairs (same location). On my meager food allowance for the week of the fair, I managed to get a corn dog nearly every day. That was the only time I'd eat them, and I still don't enjoy them like I did them.

                                                                  1. When I was a kid you couldn't buy fresh basil all year round. In fact, you couldn't always get it in supermarkets. You had to go to farmers markets or grow it yourself and only in season.

                                                                    Summer meant you could get that fresh basil *somewhere*. It also meant PESTO. My mother was always sure to make pesto at least once in the summer when basil was available. Even though I get get basil in supermarkets year-round now, I will always associate linguini with pesto sauce with summer.