Summertime… and the eatin’ is scrumptious!

Jun 30, 2014 | 0 comments

Fruit Salad Extraordinaire!

Fruit Salad Extraordinaire!

It’s been a bit wet and chilly the last few days – not really what you’d call summery weather. Nevertheless, in our household we are focused on summertime foods. Over the last month or so, Chef Nyel has made gazpacho, pasta salad, potato salad (two of them) and I’ve contributed barbecued spare ribs once and am hankerin’ after more.

I don’t know why there are certain foods that seem more summery than others. I’m sure that idea harkens back to a time when foods were only available locally and seasonally. I remember visiting friends in Visalia, California when I was a child and every night there would be a different sort of fruit salad. The other memories of those visits are all intertwined with screened doors and windows and heat – it was eons before air conditioning and the temperatures in the summer were hot, hot, hot!

Another Fruity Offering

Another Fruity Offering

Visalia, in the middle of California’s San Joaquin Valley, was and is an agricultural paradise and our friends took full advantage of the offerings of the season. We lived in Alameda, only 200 miles north, but I don’t remember a fruit salad ever gracing my mother’s table (except for those awful canned pears in lime Jell-O that were so popular in the forties.)

But maybe that was more a matter of what my mom had grown up with here in Oysterville when local and seasonal meant apples and pears and blackberries during the summer. I do remember having cantaloupe for breakfast – a big change from the usual half grapefruit – and the occasional Waldorf salad. But salads like those delicious multi-fruited extravaganzas in Visalia… not so much.

Not now either. Fruit just isn’t part of our summertime repertoire. It must come down to one of those nature vs nurture kinds of questions. Maybe we tend to perpetuate the menu choices we grew up with. (But not those molded Jell-O things or the tuna glue casseroles!)

So what will we perpetuate over the Fourth of July weekend? We will be participating in several potlucks. What to take? What to take? So many scrumptious possibilities!


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