The moments and days of this year’s summer are once again disappearing as quickly as they appear. Spitting out watermelon seeds as juices drip down your wrist. Children playing Marco Polo and screaming in delight as they dive and jump to avoid being “it.” Ice cream melting on peach cobbler still warm from the oven. A lonely bachelor mockingbird singing through the night for a mate. Picking blackberries in the hot sun. Waving to everyone in the Fourth of July parade.
Sitting in the shade sipping cold wine on a warm evening. Grandchildren and their cousins playing baseball and squabbling over each call. Slicing strawberries for homemade ice cream. Laughing like a child during the County fair’s bumper car ride, and paging through my old favorite cookbooks for my tried and true recipes to make for visiting loved ones.
The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins is a source of many old reliable recipes. It is somewhat out of fashion these days, but it was a big favorite in the mid-80’s. I love how the book is divided by seasonal special occasions, complete with much-appreciated menus (I wish every cookbook offered them), quotes about the joy of eating and food along with delightful tips on entertaining, and historical notes on foods like this beauty:
“Next to the apple, the peach is the most widely cultivated fruit tree in the world. When Madame Recamier, a great French beauty of the nineteenth century, was ill and refused all food, a dish of peaches in syrup and cream restored both her appetite and will to live.”
I found the following recipe in a menu the perfectly titled, “Summer Memories” and it included:
Creamy Chicken and Jalapeño Nachos
Swordfish Marinated with Lime and Coriander
Stir-Fry of Three Cabbages
Avocado with Rasberry Vinaigrette
Strawberry Hazelnut Torte
Potatoes aren’t often the stars of a meal, and they are difficult to ruin, but when you add fresh mint from the garden and more garlic you thought possible to consume, they are unforgettable.