August is my favorite month. The days feel lazier, the evenings delicious. A swim in the lake, a paddle on the river, a nap in a hammock, a barbeque in the backyard—all feel especially special.
Food abounds this month. The flavors that we crave all winter long surround us as fruits and vegetables ripen in the yard or on the farm. Raspberries, blueberries, corn, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and so much more are gathered from the garden and shared with family or friends. Fruit is added to morning yogurt. Salads become a meal. A warm cherry tomato is cherished as it is plucked from the plant and eaten immediately.
Farmers are kicking it into high gear as they harvest and then sell their goods at a farm stand, in a store, or at a farmers market. They invite customers to flock to their fields to enjoy a meal and some music. Restaurants and food trucks purchase produce and create platefuls of colorful delectables. We are immersed in the bounty all around us. Does it get any better in Vermont?
I asked some friends what their favorite summer meal is and here’s what I heard back:
-Squeaky green beans, fresh tomatoes, and grilled fish
-Caprese salad…or a great mix of veggies: grilled summer squash, zucchini, green beans, young potatoes, corn on the cob, and steamed beet greens.
-Hamburgers on the grill, potato salad, and corn
-Fresh cucumber sandwich
-Any barbequed meat
-Fried green tomatoes
-Fresh pike and salmon, caught and cooked by son-in-law Lewis, along with garden kale and wild blueberry pie (Alaska friend)
-Anything with real tomatoes
-Lobster and corn on the cob
-Mango (not sure where he’s living at the moment)
-Caprese salad, but with watermelon or strawberries because she can’t eat tomatoes
-A grilled hamburger and corn on the cob or anything with fresh pesto
-Green salad with sliced grilled chicken
-Intervale dinner: roasted veggies on the grill – zucchini, summer squash, onions, and peppers – with a salad of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and whatever Doe’s Leap cheese we get at pick up with a balsamic vinaigrette , sliced Gerard’s bread, and grilled steak seasoned with salt, pepper, a bit of garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce
-Tomato, basil pesto, and pine nuts
-Fresh shelled peas and new little potatoes, cooked in milk and butter…and my mother’s strawberry shortcake, with real whipped cream and home made biscuits
-Steamed crabs, corn on the cob, cold beer (Maryland friend)
-Tomatoes and mayo
-Room temperature home grown tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, mint, oregano, ground pepper, feta, and a splash of olive oil and lemon
-Peaches, berries, and other stone fruits
-Shish-kebab with lamb, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes
-Sun-ripe tomato on toasted bread with mayo, salt, pepper and chives, chives, chives
-A cold Mike’s Hard Lemonade
-Kale salad, salmon, quinoa….and strawberry short cake with whipped cream
-Grilled salmon, summer tomatoes with fresh basil, red onion and fresh mozzarella, grilled corn on the cob
-Cucumber tomato salad, with olive oil, balm vinegar, sea salt, and parsley
-Lobster, corn on the cob and a baked potato…and then strawberries and homemade whipped cream
-Salad that includes tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, cucumbers, olives, shrimp and plenty of lemon juice.
My favorite summertime meal is potato salad, sliced tomatoes with mayo, corn on the cob … and a glass of champagne with fresh frozen raspberries in it. Whatever your special summer craving may be, I hope you get your fill.
Please join me in filling a glass with seltzer or wine and raising it toward a summertime sunset. I encourage you to thank the farmer who grew the food that fills your plate. And then I hope you will take some time to luxuriate in these delightful days of August.