The Sweet Taste of Summer
Thursday, July 14, 2016
I love winter! And I love summer, just as much. I will say the same about autumn and spring. I thrive on the changing seasons and everything that comes with them...the good and the bad. Not knowing exactly what each season will throw at you is exciting and sometimes exacerbating (take this past winter.) Without summer I could not be ready mentally or physically for winter. For me, summer is recharging my batteries. And like many of the wildlife around here I seem to take great enjoyment in eating the summer bounty and fattening up for winter.
Sarah and I spotted this beauty on our hike. Nope, not on Deer Run. Ridge.
Our entire family likes to make frequent stops at our favorite maple soft serve at the Cremee Stand. This is a guaranteed strategy for building up the waistline. It seems like a really good idea at the time. When I wake up the next morning I say, "Today, I will eat healthy." But then one of my summer favorites pops up and I eat it up like it is nearing extinction. My top summer treats to binge on:
- All fruit - right now it is Bing cherries. Last week it was strawberries. Very soon it will be blueberries. Like potato chips, once you start popping these in your mouth it is hard to stop.
- Beer - let's just say that on a hot day, nothing beats a nice cold beer. And there are so many to choose from. This past week it was Long Trail and Goose Island. I especially like making a shandy (topping off my beer with a little lemonade). And I don't know about you, but once I have had a beer my guard is down and anything salty becomes my obsession.
- FRESH tomato and cucumber sandwich on Wonder bread with mayo - mmmmm, classic.
- BBQ ribs - I get tired of the BBQ quickly and have to pace myself but I never get tired of good ribs. Throw in fresh picked corn on the cob and watermelon for dessert and you have the ultimate dinner to get you sticky head to toe.
- Seafood - My husband and I don't eat any fish. If it swims, we do not eat it. We are not allergic, we just never liked the taste. In the summer I feel jipped as I watch you seeking out the best steamers, lobsters, soft shell crabs & lemon grilled trout. Every once in a while I feel so left out I try a highly recommended aquatic morsel only to find my taste buds have not changed. Darn!
- Pot luck. How many BBQ's have you attended so far this summer and what is your "go to" dish? I have been to about 5 so far. My typical dish is the 7 layer dip, with homemade guac. This summer I have been switching it up a bit with quinoa salads or tomato, mozzarella and basil platters. I have already made up a batch of pesto and stored some in the freezer. When it comes to potluck, I am a big fan of all those side dishes. I am perfectly content to fill up my plate with the sides and skip the hamburger.
- Roasted veggies - I am not picky. I grab whatever is in season. I love to cut it up, slather it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and roast it.
Now that it is the official state vegetable, I planted some Gilfeather Turnip. It seems to be growing quickly and I can't wait to try it. I am also looking forward to zucchini casserole with lots of those onion ring crunchies on top. Gazpacho is a must. My husband loves homemade baked beans. My daughter loves Bok Chop salad. My son has been on a smoothie kick lately and generally likes any type of meat from the grill.
In just a few minutes I am heading up to the Bullwheel, at the summit, for lunch. They've added a grill on the deck, making their delicious menu even better. I am working today so I will have to pass on the impressive and extensive beer list. I would highly recommend the bruschetta as an appetizer or entree. The fajitas are really good and they serve a healthy portion - good value.
As for those ribs, the best are served right here at Mount Snow at Reuben's Smokehouse, open on weekends (Sat 11 am - 8 pm and Sun 11 am - 6 pm.) I'd like to think that when September rolls around I will start trimming up for ski season, hiking the mountain and practice lengthy wall squats. But in reality, when I see that first leaf drop to the ground, I start Google-ing crock pot meals!