What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]
For each of us, there exists a summer place that's the ideal summer place. It might be a place from your childhood, a place you go to every summer, or a place you dream about. That summer place is the spot where the weather is always perfectly warm, the corn is sweet, the peaches ripe, and the days as long and unburdened as those in childhood. In that summer place, the food is simple and delicious, enhanced by the tang of salt air or the calm simplicity of a mountain retreat.
What's your summer place, and what delicious meals will you serving?
When I was a kid, it was Beach Haven Inlet on Long Beach Island, NJ, at the "Dew Drop Inn" (right next to the bird sanctuary on the island). Long days at the beach, or going down to the arcade on rainy days. When we'd go out to eat, shrimp, scallops, and whatever fresh seafood that had just come in on the boat were our favored meals. I do miss the corn from my childhood - full of corn flavor vs. overly sweet as it is now.
Now, I don't have an ideal summer place. :-(
Dinner tonight - not sure. Invited to a gathering in the city (which means "dinner" will be drinks and a bar app), but I will be seeing 90% of these folks on Saturday at a party on the Cape. Even though I got what I think was a good night's sleep, I woke up feeling godawfully tired, and still feel that way. So most likely I'll be going home after work and figure it out then.
Completely stunned at the Malaysian passenger jet flight from Amsterdam being shot down with a surface-to-air missile...from where? TBD. 295 souls lost. My heartfelt sympathies to the families of those lost.
Lamb burger sliders seasoned liberally with za'atar and ground sumac, and topped with feta. Potato chips alongside. Wine. Something mindless on the tube.
Hmmm. As for my yout' -- I'd probably have to say the Greek isles, where I spent many summers swimming and playing on the beach, with evenings at some beachside taverna over Greek salad, mezze and whole grilled lamb or octopus.
Or the softball field, playing double-headers in the August heat and replenishing my energy with crappy hot dogs and ice cream sammiches. Or spending entire days at the pool.... or spending an hour or two on top of a cherry tree picking and munching away.... ah, yout'.
In my heart, only a beach & the ocean will ever be the perfect summer setting.... but given our financial situation, I've now resigned myself to calling the outdoor pool down the street my 'summer place'.
As for WFD tonight: our first Sichuan jour fixe since our return. Very much looking forward, as I've been craving & missing the ma la. It'll be nice to hang out with some friends we haven't seen for a while, too.
Last night I wanted something different from salad (surprise!) and since the AC could be off for a bit since it wasn't so blastedly hot, I went for chicken + veggies with a green curry sauce. Easy peasy!
You know, this is slightly off topic, but even though I never would want to live there again, one summer food I miss is watermelon. Real, sweet, cold watermelon like they used to grow in Texas (I lived there most of the first 10 years of my life). My dad used to search out the best watermelons from a certain town there, and now I can't even remember the name of the town (maybe my sister will read this and remember...). I really haven't eaten watermelon in years that was that good. In fact, I've almost stopped eating it because it just doesn't taste that good to me anymore. I was beginning to think that my memories were exaggerated, but DH is currently traveling through Texas on business (poor man), and texted me to tell me that I was right: the watermelons there ARE better. So I guess my summer place is under a shade tree, eating a slice of perfect watermelon. Or maybe on Galveston Beach, doing the same...
In the meantime, I have watermelon growing in my back yard. Real ones, with seeds, Not near ripe yet, but I am hoping they help me reach that place.....