To friends, food and the warm sun

Holy cow! It’s been a while since I wrote a blog and have had serious withdrawals but to open up your page and have it tell you, the last time you posted was June 19th (5 days ago!) is definitely a shocker. I have been keeping up with the blog world in general but as far as writing my own was concerned, I’ve been sadly MIA. It’s summertime here in the US and between working, and swimming the dogs until they can swim no more, to just being out and about, writing fell a little to the wayside. Everyday I would pull up my NOTES app on my phone and pen a topic I needed to write about. Today I pull it up and hmm, none of the topics on there are calling to me.

Today I’m feeling summer-y and it is my day off so I’m sitting at a Starbucks, typing away on my laptop as I sip my iced coffee and engaging in my most favorite activity – people watching. I saw this post on Facebook once that said “Stalking is such a strong word. We should call it Social Research.” I laughed long and hard on that one. Now while what I do doesn’t even come close to “social research” thank God, I do enjoy seeing what makes the various human minds tick. 🙂 No, my topic today isn’t about people and their personalities. In fact, my topic came to me as I began writing.

For some, summer equates sun, sand and beaches. My brown (actually I’m supposed to call it olive) skin gets a tan from just walking to the mailbox so while I enjoy the warmth, the beaches don’t fascinate me. For me, summer means fresh produce! Shiny green vegetables and fruits your body craves. Summer means people mingling around farmers’ markets in tees and shorts with reusable bags dangling from their shoulders. Families , couples, friends akin, all mingling around the market tasting, buying, laughing and soaking up the beautiful weather. I want to be one of them!

With the weekend upon us, the farmers’ markets will set up shop. 8 am – 1 pm every Saturday, some of them also show up on Sundays. Local farmers drive up in their trucks laden with produce from their farms – some still carrying clods of the soil they were in, right before they were picked. Crisp greens, deep red beets, radishes, watermelons, cantaloupes, berries. Some even sell homogenized milk or organic eggs. If you want a piece of that action, it’s best to get up there right as they open up.

I’m planning on having friends over for dinner tomorrow and while most of my meals have an Indian theme to them with the curries and the rice dishes and the breads, tomorrow I’m thinking I might make it a grilling event. Marinate and grill some meat and put out a few sides to dig into. Nothing too heavy – eating is such a chore in summer when it is hot and all you want is to sip a cold cold drink!

Here’s the plan –

  • Mint, garlic and yogurt marinated whole chicken legs. Amazing what an overnight marinate will do to the flavor on these.
  • Arugula, blood orange, beet and carrot salad with an orange zest and olive oil dressing.
  • Watermelon and feta cheese salad.
  • Israeli couscous with sun dried tomatoes and artichokes.

Dessert will have to be homemade ice-pops with fresh orange juice and chopped fruits or fruit skewers, or if I run out of time and steam, maybe store bought fruit sorbet. I’m hoping I can pull off the pops since a lot of the above can be prepped beforehand.

 

I almost made a cold cucumber soup but since I’m not too fond of cold soups myself, I am not too confident of serving one either. I still need to figure out the appetizers but like I mentioned, too heavy a meal will just make everyone lethargic so the apps will have to be something light and breezy as well. Maybe crackers with a dab of cream cheese and some jalapeño jelly? Or mini spinach puffs? Oh the possibilities. I do so love having people over and feeding them. Food brings people together and serves as an ice breaker. People love to eat and I love to cook. Right after I’m done writing this blog, I’m going to make a shoppinglist so I can go pick up the ingredients tomorrow. The mint shall come from my herb pot in the backyard. OMG I am so excited, I can barely contain myself.

Let the culinary games begin!

 

 

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