Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Monday, June 13, 2011

C: To Everything There is a Season…

summersun Summer is most definitely here.  With the turn of the season, my tastes in food turn, too.

We tend toward the meat-heavy in this household, I’m afraid.  Through three-quarters of the year my homemade vegetable soup is chocked-full of vegetables, but there are plenty of chunks of beef in it as well.

Now that summer is here, however, we’re tending toward the vegetarian-style, without meat.  There seems to be something about oppressive heat that turns one’s fancy away from red meat—at least in this household.  When the fall crisp hits, we’ll be returning to stews and pot roasts, I can tell you; but for now summer tastes run toward foods like:iced tea

Sweet iced tea.  Lots of it.  With lemon, please.  Occasionally you will find a slice of lime or sprig of mint in mine, but usually it’s lemon.

Fewer sodas and more lemonade—even the sugar-free Crystal light kind.  Just seems to be more hydrating.  Needless to say, our consumption of water goes up considerably.

Tuna salad—”Tunafish,” as I grew up calling this, as in “I’ll have a tunafish sandwich.”  Sometimes I mound it up on a “salad plate.”   I like mine with real mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip), very finely chopped celery and DILL pickle relish.  I love sweet pickles, but not in my tuna salad.

Chicken salad.  Truthfully, I like it made with canned chicken or with leftover cooked chicken, either way, although the two do taste different.  Again, I like mayonnaise and celery, but I prefer capers in my chicken salad.  Occasionally I’ll go a little exotic and pimiento cheese add some curry powder.

And I tend to want cool pimiento cheese sandwiches instead of grilled cheese sandwiches, like in the winter.

Melons, melons, and more melons.  I love watermelon and I’m crazy for cantaloupes and honeydews, although I have trouble picking really good honey dews.  For the cantaloupes and the honeydews, I like to cut them up into a melon salad and sprinkle with lime juice, leaving lime slices scattered throughout.  So refreshing! 

Do you salt your melon?  I don’t usually, but I can see the attraction…

watermelon melonsalad

In fact, I love fruit in the summer—berries, crisp chopped apples, peaches…ummmm.

Cottage cheese.  I love this always, but in summertime I crave it.  Icottagecheese like the “regular” large curd, if given the choice, but I will eat the lowfat, and usually buy that unless I’m feeling like I deserve a treat. 

I like cottage cheese alone or with fruit. It seems so right to mound this creamy stuff up on a “salad plate” (see above) with, say, a little scoop of tuna salad and a little dish of melon mix. This can all look pretty fancy with some lettuce scattered on the plate and maybe an olive or two—on a toothpick if you want to get really fancy!

wedge salad Wedges of iceberg with bleu cheese crumbles, bleu cheese dressing and maybe a few bacon bits sprinkled across.  (No tomatoes, please—see below)  Mmmmm.  In fact, all green, leafy salads sound good to me in the summer, especially topped with a piece of poached salmon.

I could go on and on with summertime favorites.  I’d like to hear yours…

And before any of you say anything about the fact that I’ve omitted garden-fresh sliced tomatoes or cucumbers in vinegar with onions (some of my mother’s favorites), let me say that I’m picky.  Those things are not to my liking.  Weird, I know.  I grew up watching my parents and my siblings enjoy these, but never learned to like them.

tomatoes cucumbers

I’m actually looking forward to the summer, heat or no.  It seems a bit less frenetic, although I don’t really know that it’s true.  But I like the longer days and the evenings on my porches and, of course, all that wonderful summertime food!  C


Vivianne said...

Oh I love a tomato salad :-)I don't understand the Miracle Whip thing ? I just looked up what it is - *why* would anyone eat that ?? LOL You Americans and your junk food :-)

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I agree, Vivianne, about the Miracle Whip! Of course it is somewhat "sweet" in taste and I suppose that is what appeals to many. I also LOVE tomatoes in salad, cucumbers, peppers, onions--all the good stuff! I love to marinate cucumbers and red or vidalia onion slices in vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar. The garden isn't looking too good from all the rain we had after planting, but I'm hoping for a crop.
Cowgirl V

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Forgot to say--Yes, I can vouch for "C" when she says she is picky! She can spot an onion in the potato salad and will refuse to eat it! Her non-onion potato salad is pretty good though! As for the tomatoes, she and my sister both share that disdain. I just say "More for me"!

Cowgirl V

Vee said...

We always had cucumbers and onions in vinegar sitting in a bowl on the counter during summer. We were encouraged to dip in anytime...that was unusual for our house.

I love Hellman's mayo in most things, but, oddly enough, I can't stand it in egg salad sandwiches or tunafish sandwiches. I must have Miracle Whip. Must be what I grew up with. My hubby is the same way, thankfully, or I'd have to be doing both.

Connie said...

not a Miracle Whip fan! Duke's mayo for me :) We have been grilling a little something every weekend and the side dishes are a variety of salads, both fruit and veggie!

Jayne said...

Ah, the joys of summer... grilling tuna, and slapping together tomato, avocado and mayo sandwiches. One more week and the little is out of school. Boy, am I hungry now. ;)

Immigrant Daughter said...

I like food and fresh veggies are great because they taste better, On my salad I want olive oil and viniger. My mom use to grate the cucumbers and onions and put vinigar on them. Yum.

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

I love tomato and onion salad, I have Lugis orignal recipe if anyone wants it, when the one in lR closed he gave it ot me:) I can live on it!!

Anonymous said...

Love all things listed! Miracle Whip with cold meat sandwiches; otherwise, real mayowith everything else. Love cold tomatoes smothered in cottage cheese! Yum!

Sandra said...

I agree about all these summertime foods. Re. the melons, I love sweet ones, but sometimes they just aren't that way. In those cases, a little salt will sweeten them up, and I always enjoy a little pepper on them (not watermelon).

One of my favorite light salads that tastes so good during the hot weather is made from broccoli slaw, some shredded carrots, a thinly sliced red pepper, some chopped chicken, a very small can of drained pineapple tidbits and a half cup of poppyseed dressing. It stays crunchy so that you can eat it until it's gone! If you try it, I hope you like it. :)

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