Simple Summer Pleasures…
I don’t know if you like food as much as I do, but there are certain kinds of food that have etched indelible memories in my mind.

I have always loved summer and the promise of fresh fruits and vegetables! Growing up in Ohio and having a grandmother that sold produce at her roadside stand for a living, made me appreciate it even more. We often had fresh picked melons, tomatoes, beans, and more straight from the garden. Have you ever bit into a Beefsteak tomato that’s bigger and deeper red than an apple and let the juice just drip down your chin? There’s really nothing that compares to it.

And to this day, some of my favorite meals were the summer corn roasts that we used to have at our neighborhood HOA clubhouse overlooking Lake Erie.

My dad would build a grill about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide from cinder blocks and metal grates and he and the other neighborhood dads would roast corn (in the husks) until everyone had their fill. That aroma was so amazing and the taste of sweet corn picked that morning, swimming in butter was to die for! Did you know that the longer the corn is off the stalk, the less sweet it is? So the sooner you can cook it after you pick it, the better it will be.

At those corn roasts, the women would all bring their best picnic dishes, potato salad, watermelon, hot dogs, baked beans, apple pies, chocolate cakes and the works. The kids just enjoyed the feast on extra long picnic tables topped with red checked cloths. We’d skip down to the beach every few hours to take a dip, cool off and work up an appetite, then come back up the hill for more scrumptious food! What a day it was! Summer and corn season always reminds me of those special days.

Anyway, I digress…down memory lane.

Today I’m talking about a few other simple treats. I’ve been trying to take more healthy food to work for lunch lately and have been buying more celery. I really like celery. It’s nearly the perfect snack, after all. My problem is that if I don’t cut it up all at once I’m too lazy to do it in the morning when I’m putting together my lunch. So, I cut up these stalks yesterday and just LOVED the way they looked in the container. You know that if you store them in water they stay crisp and fresh and you can just grab a few whenever the urge strikes.

I also bought this little pot full of fresh Basil from our local Sprouts store. I love having these around to pinch off a few leaves for salads, sandwiches or other recipes. I’m hoping to be able to start my own little herb garden soon, so I have access to other herbs all the time. Once you’ve had fresh herbs, you never want to go back to the dry kind.

The Desert Botanical Garden here in town has a class on Herb Gardening that I’d love to take the next time it’s offered. Would anyone like to take it with me?

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