As a kid, I loved summer meals, and still do. I love their flavorful charm and appreciate their effortless preparation. I believe that the simple, comfortable meals of the summer and every season will always be our favorites.
Both of my parents grew up on farms, so for sentimental reasons, we always had a small garden patch to enjoy in the summer. We only grew a few vegetables, as space was limited, but green onions, green beans and various tomato plants were in abundance. As small as the garden was, it certainly was prolific, flourishing in its southern exposure and bordered by my Daddy’s sunny marigolds. Come August, the tomatoes seemed magical, as there were always several Big Boy reds ready to be picked each and every hot, summer day.
Given our own garden and Daddy’s bi-weekly visits to the farm market, there was never, ever a dinner set in the summer without a large plate of fresh summer vegetables. Usually, my Mommy always set a platter of tomatoes, radishes, and green onions, a yellow Pyrex bowl filled with cucumbers/onions and vinegar, a steaming pot of boiled fresh, sweet corn, a bowl of sweet, sliced peaches, big glasses of iced sun tea and a basket filled with homemade cornbread and honey.
Yet, as much as I loved these dinners, summer lunches were, and still are my favorite! To this day, there is nothing like a freshly picked tomato sandwich. Unlike the repetitious nature of making the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the fresh, summer tomato sandwich’s creation had some adventure. Hurrying to the garden and picking a beautiful ripe red wonder, warm from the garden sun, was clearly fun and different. White Wonder bread was a must, spread with a thin layer of Miracle Whip salad dressing, topped with a layer of delicious, fresh tomatoes sprinkled with plenty of salt and pepper. That is it… simple perfection.
“It is difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a home-grown tomato.” -- Lewis Grizzard
Every time I take a bite of fresh corn on the cob, or a fresh tomato sandwich, it takes me back to a 1970s summer day, eating this delightful summer food, waiting for it to get dark to catch fireflies.
Eat summer veggies, love life! xoxxolinda
Summertime in Michigan is delightful, always has been to me. While growing up, I remember summer days as long, hot, and enchanting. Not too many folks had pools in our neighborhood, so on scorching summer days the garden hose and sprinkler were your best friends. I remember the numbing cold water hitting our wiry kid bodies and the grass sticking to our dirty little summer feet. We ran around giggling, screaming, playing made up games to fight the back and forth repetition of the sprinkler. This was classic summer.
My twin sister and I had a little friend around the corner that had the ultimate sprinkler. It was an old cement elephant sprinkler that stood about three feet off the ground. Its paint was mostly all chipped off except for a red decorative collar around its neck. He had a sweet grin and his trunk stuck up in the air where the water squirted out in a circular fashion. Unfortunately he didn’t work very well, but the idea of getting kind of wet with a special sprinkler always seemed more pleasing than getting really wet with an ordinary one!
I feel that way about food still, as I believe most “foodies” do. I would rather eat small amounts of delicious, one of a kind food rather than large amounts of ordinary, mundane food any day of the week! Perhaps the little old sprinkler elephant around the corner had the secret to a happy food life filled in his chipped trunk; less, is indeed more!
eat pie, love life… xoxo linda
I kept thinking of these words all day today - "Daddy's Home." For many of us, and I wish It were for all of us, those words will always mean - all is right with the world!
As I remember it, the minute my sweet dad walked through the front door, a serenity seemed to fill the entire house. Suddenly and magically, no problem seemed so big, no homework seemed so impossible, and no argument with my brothers was that catastrophic. For my daddy's smile would fill the rooms with sunshine, his mind with sage guidance, and his heart with loving security. All was good, all was right, when daddy got home!
Though he will no longer walk through our front door again, I know he will always be with our family. My dad will always be at home in my heart, and I will never tire of hearing the lovely words strung together as; "Daddy's Home!" I hope you had such a dad, or you will become one!
My Daddy was a man of simple passions and pleasures. He loved dogs, farms, babies, newspapers, visiting with people, hardware stores, pigs, education, fixing cars, collecting old radios, WWII memorabilia, feeding birds and squirrels, doctor appointments, collecting boxes, garage sales, laughter, story-telling, butter pecan ice cream, marigolds, flannel shirts, Tiger baseball, history, peanuts, his family and PIE!
One of my fondest memories while growing up was listening to Detroit Tiger baseball games on the radio together on warm summer nights. I often helped him hold a flashlight to the car engine as he tinkered on one of our warn-out, old cars. We loved listening to Ernie Harwell’s tranquil voice announce the play by play into the night. He and I would talk about the line-up, the players’ averages, and why Al Kaline was in a slump.
My Daddy’s love for his family was paramount and where he got his greatest joy. He loved telling stories of his one-room schoolhouse days and of their farm growing up to all of us kids. He spoke of hard work with honor and respect and love for his neighbors and relatives with pride.
My Daddy loved people, loved talking to all people that cross his path. His bank teller, waitress, or hardware store assistant would soon become fast friends as he loved to meet and enjoy people.
He also had a huge sweet tooth, as I do. Sometimes he would stop for candy bars or ice cream cones on road trips, which thrilled me beyond compare. But he loved pie most of all, and always, always appreciated my mommy’s delicious homemade pies, and later in life, my own homemade pies!
My Daddy’s smile and laugh have always been my favorite. He absolutely loved to laugh, as his eyes squint up with an ear-to-ear grin covering his face, when he found something pleasing, which he did often.
My Daddy ws a wonderful father. Thank you, Daddy for leaving me with your spirit of unconditional love and respect of people, laughter, appreciating and honoring our past, the importance of story-telling, love for family and passion for pie!
With gratitude and deep love– eat pie, love life - xoxxolinda