Rainy Days and Mondays, II: Favorite Summer Foods

When I was a little girl I decided to write a book.  It couldn't be that difficult, I thought; after all, I had learned how to write!

I laid the story out in my mind.  It was going to be a detective story, like the Bobbsey Twins, who I had just discovered in my new third grade library. It was going to be sooo exciting!  I was going to be famous before I turned 8 1/4!

I found a clean notebook and a pencil with an eraser (I hadn't graduated to ink pens yet), shut my older sister out of our bedroom and sat down to write the first chapter.

An hour or so later I had a whole page full of writing.  I was so proud! 

The problem was I had also told the whole story.  In one page. 

Apparently I needed more words.

I struggled for another hour or so (I was 8, remember?), working on fleshing it out a bit; adding some more words (some talking would be good); maybe an adjective or two (except I didn't know about adjectives yet).  I ended up with a page and a half.

Apparently writing a book wasn't quite as easy as I'd thought. 

Then it quit raining, the sun came out, the neighborhood kids came by (all two of them, I lived in a very small town) and my thoughts of being a famous author were put on the shelf, along with my notebook.

What brought that memory back today?  It's raining (again).  After I visited Boris and made pickles I sat down to write this post.  There were no words. 

Some days it's just like that: there aren't any  words.

Without further ado let me share photos and recipe (links where useful) to some of my favorite summerGazpachoaug_2 foods.  Summer's almost over, cook'em while you can!

Gazpacho with traditional garnish.

Something to do with all of those tomatoes that everyone in the world but me has. 

I have cucumbers, though, lots and lots of cucumbers!

Trade ya!

Potatochevreaug

Potato Salad with Basil and Chevre.

Loosely based on a recipe from an old Williams Sonoma book (either 'Salads' or 'Potatoes'), it has my favorite summer things:
Grilled potatoes, lots and lots of basil, and creamy chevre (soft goat cheese).
Toss in some sautéed mushrooms and a bunch of chives…. potato salad heaven. 

Couscouscapreseaug
Who doesn't love Caprese Salad?

When I found these cute little fresh mozzarella balls, exactly the size of cherry tomatoes, I couldn't resist!

Rather than serve them as a starter I got bought some cherry tomatoes, picked a couple of big bunches of basil and tossed the lot with some couscous.  A drizzle of good olive oil (I will not say EVOO, or even Extra Virgin; why would you use anything else?) and:

Voilà! 

Couscous Caprese Salad was born!

TomatosaladaugAs long as we have all of those cute little cherry tomatoes why not a simple Tomato Salad?

Start with 2 or 4 or 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.  Let them sit in a tablespoon or two of olive oil (see previous disclaimer) while you slice the tomatoes in half and snip the basil.  Toss it all together, sprinkle on some sea salt and Bob's your uncle. 

It's good right away, better if it sits a bit (kind of like me).  When I have a garden I just keep eating and adding tomatoes all week.
Potatoespeppersaug_2

Might as well finish up with more of the nightshade family: Grilled Peppers, Onions and Potatoes.

More difficult summer food from the grill.

Let's see, where to start…

Okay, cut the peppers, onions and potatoes, toss with some olive oil (again), put into an old grill pan and cook on the barbecue grill until browned, lovely and done.  Eat.

I used green and orange pepper, red onion and small potatoes.  Use whatever you have.

I'm out of words. 

Boris says "Hey".

11 thoughts on “Rainy Days and Mondays, II: Favorite Summer Foods”

  1. It is true – some days it is hard to find the words! But I love your post! Nice summer dishes! And I think I figured out a way to try a non-spicy version of harissa…

  2. I say: Hey babe take a walk on the wilde side do dodo do dododo do dodo do dododo doo. I just remember these words on a rainy day….

  3. Well, you just did a great job of putting together some words about not having any words! I too have been eating many cherry tomatoes; they’re in a bowl on my counter, and just about every time I walk by them, I pop a couple in my mouth. Sweet little jewels they are.

  4. For every day the words don’t come, there’s another day when they spill out easily — which is how the writer’s universe stays in balance. In the meantime, you’ve been having fun with vegetables in the kitchen, and that’s fun for us, too! (And I’m with Susan — I keep the cherry tomatoes in a bowl on my table, and pop a few in my mouth whenever I walk by.)

  5. JennDZ, Thanks, hmmm non-spicy harissa, I’m intrigued.
    Susan, they’ve always been my favorite garden snack…while working in the garden, just walk by the plant and pause for a nibble!
    Okay, Ulrike, now I have an ear worm….
    Lydia, I keep forgetting the ‘whole balance of the Universe thing’, thanks for the reminder!
    Thanks, Kevin…it’s my favorite!

  6. I agree with Kevin about the potato salad. I have some chevre and potatoes in my fridge, but I need some mushrooms: thanks for the recipe! I thinks words are like clouds: they come, they go, sometimes they stay a bit, but there is always more forming somewhere.

  7. Photos like you’ve got here Katie don’t need so many words. Your story is really beautiful, as beautiful as the photos. It is special to have that memory and then be able to write about it with the same feeling as that 8 year old!

  8. That is a terrific line up of salads! I want to try each one and I so envy all the freshness that comes out of your garden! Oh! Just to have basil not from the store would be enough for me 🙂
    Hi to Boris!

  9. The photographs here make me hungry. They are so well taken and look scrumptious! I love to grill and the pictures of the grilled peppers and onions are so nice.

  10. Simona, hope you enjoy the salad, let me know what you think. Words have been elusive lately, except for at 3:00am….
    Tanna, thanks, it’s all about the food! And I’m still 8 at times LOL
    Joey, Boris says hey back… he’s in the same spot every day, blinking at me.
    Mat, thanks, grilled veggies are the best, and thanks about the pics!

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