Friday, July 10, 2009

How to have a perfect Summer evening...

Visit your local farm stand and buy a quarter of a sweet Jersey watermelon, a pound of fresh broccoli, six yellow Jersey peaches, and six ears of Silver Queen Jersey corn--the best corn on earth. Spend $9.19. Hum in the car with the windows open. Stop at your local Genuardis Market and grab a "value" pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.99/lb, a loaf of on sale bread and a pack of English muffins (Breakfast Sandwiches in the mornin'). While in the checkout, notice a Buy 2/Get 2 special on $.99 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Realize it's an impulse buy but grab 4 for the family for dessert. Spend only $11.23 anyway. Sing loudly with the windows open all the way home.

Upon arriving home, thrill the children by telling them there's corn for dinner and then plunge them into the depths of despair by making them shuck it on the kitchen porch. Ignore their protests and don't let them throw the silk at each other. Bring to a boil enough water to cover the corn, then boil for 3 minutes. That's it.

Chunk the watermelon being sure to test for quality assurance frequently. This is a very important job. Also try to keep grubby, little, corn-silk-stubbled hands out of the melon bowl. This is another important, but much harder, job.

Rinse that bargain chicken (if desired) and trim of all fat (if desired), then pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then plunk it in any old pan and dump some of your favorite Good Seasons Italian dressing on it. Let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a bit, turning periodically.

Take note of your 14-year-old daughter's amazement as she discovers for the first time that broccoli actually has leaves. Resolve to buy from the produce stand more often. Trim and wash broccoli (being extra careful to check for worms ever since that time, years ago, when 5-year-old Dharma bit into a poorly washed head of raw broccoli and bit a worm in half) and place on a relatively square piece of aluminum foil alongside carrots you found in the fridge and peeled and cut on an angle.

Drizzle with olive oil...ooops, that was supposed to be a drizzle! That's what I get for trying to take photos while I cook...

Sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper...

And fold the foil into a pouch.

Fire up the grill, slap those chicken breasts on it and cook for 10 minutes before flipping them over and adding the foil veggie pouches. Cook for 10 minutes more.

Have the kids set the table. Let them argue about who gets to do cutlery and who has to do glasses. As long as it gets done properly.

Bring everything to the table and enjoy everything so much there's hardly time to take photos of the finished product before it's all gone! Pass out the peanut butter cups and glasses of cold milk for dessert.

After the table is cleared, dishwasher loaded and counters wiped down, while away the rest of the evening playing cards in front of the open dining room windows while sipping a Mojito or cup of Earl Grey Lavender tea.

And, voila! There you have a perfect Summer evening.


Amy said...

So I guess you've discovered Mojitos? I knew you would like them. I can't WAIT to get out there and eat some Jersey corn. You can keep the watermelon.

We did some fabulous grilling last night too. Chunks of beef, onions, tri-color peppers, and mushrooms marinated for 5+ hours in olive oil, red wine, garlic, fresh thyme, fresh dill and lemon. Then grilled on skewers. DELICIOUS. Fresh homemade hummus and pita. Cold beer. Paradise.

Pippajo said...

My, that does sound heavenly! I almost bought stuff for kebabs last night! And I NEEEEEEED your hummus recipe! Man-Cub loves it!

Yes, Mojitos are my new favorite! Even MOM loves them.

We are going to have corn up the wazzoo when you get here!

Amy said...

Wait. MOM likes mojitos? And now that I think about it, I thought you couldn't handle rum?

I don't know if man-cub has had MY hummus, but if he just loves hummus in general, mine is a can of chick peas with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste, plus a little olive oil. It is SO healthy and doesn't taste it at all! I dip baby carrots in it and I can stuff myself without feeling bad.

Pippajo said...

I can handle rum in moderation, small amounts only. I can't figure out Mom's tastes (especially in alcohol) anymore.

Your hummus sounds perfect, though I forget what tahini is...

Amy said...

Sesame seed paste. It comes in a jar. At our store it's in the middle eastern foods section.

I want a Mojito. With you. Now.