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:
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 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…
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. I 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!
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.
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