Best of Summer Awards (aka The Dollys!)

If you asked our family what summer means, you’d get a few different answers. The girls would say tomato sandwiches, no school, and ice cream. (Seriously, it’s a physical impossibility not to eat a Flav-R-Ice or a scoop of mint cookie every day.) If you asked Andy, it would be tomato sandwiches and road-trips where you’re driving down some county road in upstate New York and you come upon a Rolling Stones-tattooed barn like the one you see above. (We had to pull over to take a picture.) If you asked me, though, it would be tomato sandwiches, a honeysuckle-infused warm breeze off the Hudson, and, of course, the DALS Best of Summer Awards. With no further ado…the Third Annual Dollys!

Best Thing We’d Always Been Too Afraid to Make, Then Made And Discovered Wasn’t Hard: Fried Zucchini Blossoms
A few summers ago, we were lucky enough to eat at The River Café in London where we dined on many many delicious things – all of which have been completely subsumed in our collective memory by one dish: Fritto Misto, featuring Zucchini Blossoms. While it’s probably true that deep-fried battered anything is almost cheating when it comes to culinary trickery, these vegetables were different.  Instead of rendering them greasy, heavy, and filling, the deep-frying seemed to have the opposite effect: The blossoms on our plates were light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth-y, and gone in 30 seconds. We attempted replication last week in our own kitchen with a box from our favorite farmer’s market vendor. Success! – Jenny

Best Seasonal Sundae Topping: Fresh Strawberry Smash
Hurry up and get on this one fast, while those tiny, ruby-red, slightly soft strawberries are dominating the farmer’s market. Ever since we made the pilgrimage to Doug’s Fish Fry in Skaneateles, New York a few years ago and had fresh smashed strawberries drizzled on top of homemade vanilla ice cream, I’ve been wanting to bust this out at home. This will be our year. To execute: Remove stems from berries and halve. (Don’t shy away from the berries that look overripe; those are the best ones.) Put them in a small mixing bowl, sprinkle with sugar, and smash with a fork, until the juice is running and the consistency looks saucy but not smooth. Spoon over vanilla ice cream — or, even better, sandwiched between a slab or pound cake and some fresh whipped cream. – Andy

Best Vegan Breakfast: Strawberries and Vanilla Almond Milk
If you’re not going to smash up those overripe berries for dessert, save them for breakfast. Add a bunch into a drinking glass, pour vanilla almond milk into the glass, then dump the whole thing into a blender and give it a whirl. Every time I start the day with one of these, I think “Now that’s how you start a day.” Then I chug a gallon of coffee. — JR

Best Summer Jam: Wakin’ on a Pretty Day, by Kurt Vile
You know when you’re in one of those phases when you can’t bear to listen to any of the music you have? When you’re sick of your entire iTunes library? When you’re out running and you spend more time scrolling — click, click, click, click — than you do actually listening to music? That was me a few weeks ago. So I emailed my buddy Will, who as far as I can tell, knows as much about music as any man alive and asked him: What should I be listening to right now? He wrote back instantly: “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day” by Kurt Vile, a song he described as “breezy good times.” Three weeks later, I’ve probably listened to it 200 times. Which is more impressive/troubling given that the song is nine minutes long. The kids love the zen-like video and it’s perfect for summer night when the patio door is open and the grill is going. — AW

Best Summer Time-Saver: Grab-and-Go Bag
We do a lot of road-tripping over the summer, which means we do a lot of packing and unpacking and…forgetting toothbrushes and braces gear and lip balm and hairbrushes. To save ourselves from the first-world anxiety that ensues, we bought the girls little cosmetic kits last year and filled them with supplies collected in hotel rooms and Target’s travel-size bins. The products live in the cosmetic kit year round, so all the girls have to do when packing for a quick trip is throw the kit in the duffel. This is one of those things that brings me (and I think them, too) inexplicable happiness every time it works. Especially when I forget my own lip balm. — JR

Easiest Summer Dinner: Grilled Sausages
Thursday is my new favorite day — it’s the day I pick up my farm-share box at Stone Barns. That means I don’t have to do much by way of dinner. I throw together a few fresh salads, then fire up the grill or the skillet, and cook a few sausages that I picked up at the farmer’s market the previous weekend. (Last week, I added some hot dogs to the platter for a friend of Abby’s, but she ended up saying “I don’t usually like sausages, but I’m going to tell my mom to get these!” then ignored the Hebrew Nationals altogether.) Because of the bountiful produce, you don’t need a lot of meat — maybe a single link each — and the whole thing comes together faster than you can drink a glass of chilled rose.  – JR

Most Indispensable Summer Cookbook: Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables 
You need to own this book. Full disclaimer here: I do not own this book. But I’ve given it to pretty much all of my food-loving friends, including Todd, who lives down the street from me, and who I email right about this time every year asking if I can borrow it for a little while. He is nice enough to say yes, but it’s really not so fair of me to take it from him right as the summer produce is peaking. The book is not so much a cookbook as it is an A-to-Z encyclopedia of vegetable inspiration – and it is always the first thing I think to turn to when the CSA box includes a head of kohlrabi or a bunch of garlic scapes or rutabaga or something else I feel utterly ill-equipped to whip into dinner. Waters assumes you’re starting with the freshest stuff possible, so the recipes are always simple (as in, again, yesterday’s slaw) and always inspired. OK, Todd, I’m going to one-click it right now. — JR

Best Accompaniment to Anything That’s Been Grilled: No-Mayo Slaw
We like a classic creamy picnic slaw as much as the next guy (see page 242 of my book), but lately we’ve been super into brighter, healthier, more experimental takes on the genre. Whether it’s our MVP kale-avocado-pickled onion, fennel-apple-sunflower seed (page 243 of my book), the Lee Bros cabbage, peanut, and lime slaw, anything from the slaw section of The Grilling Book (photo above left: Peden + Munk), nothing offers the same kind of fresh, cool counterpoint to the char of a whatever is coming off the Weber. — JR & AW

Best Reminder of Why it’s Fun to Be a Kid: Pink Soccer Socks
It’s crazy how much neon is flying around our house these days. It’s 1987 all over again. (Minus, thank god, the Forenza sweaters.) Neon shirts, neon sneakers, neon hairbands, neon lacrosse sticks. And now, maybe my favorite of all, ridiculously pink neon Adidas soccer socks. There may be a lot wrong with the world today and any number of reasons to despair, but these are definitely not one of them. – AW

Best Way to Use Up Straggling CSA Veggies: Scrambled Eggs
Of course, anything that involves an egg deserves a Dolly (maybe an Oscar? A Nobel?) in my book, but this has been my favorite lunch lately. I chop up whatever leafy green is on its last legs, sauté with a little onion or shallot, red pepper flakes, then scramble in an egg or two that’s been whisked with a little Parm. No one’s gonna complain if there’s a fresh chive or two snipped on top, either. It’s fast, light and, when washed down with an apricot or two, my idea of heaven. — JR


 

Best All-Purpose Summer Shoe for Kids: Salt-Water Sandals
It’s been well established that I don’t have girly-girls. For the most part, I’m OK with this. OK, fine, I freaking love it. Unless we’re talking fifteen minutes before the graduation party or my parents’ 45th  anniversary celebration or the fill-in-the-blank special occasion when they come downstairs wearing something fancy (i.e. anything that isn’t a soccer jersey) with their Nike Free-Runs. When I ever-so-diplomatically suggest trying on a pair of ballet flats at Marshall’s (“just for special occasions”) they make that sucking-a-lemon face. But I’m lucky in one regard — the only fancy shoe (i.e. anything that isn’t a sneaker) they’ll tolerate is a classic: Salt-Water Sandals, or “Salties” as they’re known. I love them because a) they come in every color of the rainbow b) they are not Nikes and c) they work for pretty much every occasion that doesn’t call for Nikes: parties, sightseeing, traveling, beach-going. As long as it’s summer, that is. Come fall, I’m back to square one. — JR

Best Healthy Alternative to Soda: Agua Fresca
For her end-of-the-year 4th grade Spanish class party, Abby announced recently, she decided she/we would bring empanadas (more on this later, ’cause they were tasty) and agua fresca, in the flavor of her choosing. How easy was the agua fresca? This easy: I put two cups of cantaloupe chunks in a blender and added two cups of water, a good squeeze of honey, and the juice from one lemon. I blended until it was totally smooth, and poured it through cheesecloth into a large pitcher. (You can skip the cheesecloth if you don’t mind a little pulp.) I squeezed the last juice out of the cheesecloth, and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Dare I say, as good as Gatorade after a run. And maybe best of all with a bunch of ice and a little vodka? — AW

 

Best Alternative to Soda, Grown-up Edition: Mount Gay and Tonic
Late in her life, my Scotch-loving grandmother – for reasons unknown – began drinking rum on the rocks. Suddenly, this was her go-to drink, summer or winter, rain or shine. As much as I loved her and respected her cocktailing skills, I am much more particular about my rum intake. But, if it’s warm out, and I’m outside, and it’s a weekend, and it is not raining, and it is not yet dark, and there is no shortage of ice, and there is a lime in the refrigerator, then I will happily drink a Mt. Gay and Tonic. Three things I like about it: 1. It’s a welcome change from our usual gin and tonics; 2. It has a really beautiful, summery coppery color; and 3. It gets the job done. — AW

Best Summer House Host Gift: Tomato Tea Towels
I have a new photo album on my iPhone called “Gifts.” Every time I see something I might want to buy for someone someday I snap a photo of the item, and file it away in the folder. I was really proud of this system, until I checked it the other day and realized that there were only four photos in there – and two of them were these tea towels I spied at MOMA design store. Guess I really liked them. — JR

Best Trunk-of -Car Accessory That is Not a Jack: Fiddle Sticks
You should see our trunk. Actually, you shouldn’t. It’s a mess. It contains, at all times: Two waterproof “tailgating” blankets; a red, folding chair; a pink backpack with leotards and ballet slippers; a too-big shirt I bought at Dick’s Sporting Goods about nine months ago and keep forgetting to return; about seventeen Trader Joe’s bags; a soccer ball; some Poland Spring bottles; two tennis rackets and a bunch of free-range tennis balls; and a set of Fiddle Sticks, which are tiny, plastic lacrosse sticks, and which are so much fun to play with.  Not expensive, easy to use (and trust me: I never picked up a lacrosse stick as a kid), and perfect to have on hand for those afternoons when the kids (or the dog) need to get out, find a patch of grass, and burn off some energy. A worthy alternative to the ball-and-glove. — AW

Technique Most Likely to Convince Kids to Try Vegetables: Mint Pesto
We went out for dinner recently – no kids – to Lafayette, Andrew Carmellini’s new French place in downtown Manhattan. Among the things we ate there: grilled asparagus with morels, absurdly sweet scallops, beef cheek ravioli, and a dessert that featured pickled blueberries. But maybe the most flavorful, and memorable, thing we ordered was a simple plate of blanched snap peas, tossed with mint pesto and served with avocado and ricotta salata. The mint pesto was a genius addition — heightening the flavor, but not overwhelming anything. We immediately began dreaming up ways to incorporate it at home — with blanched asparagus, snap and snow peas, carrots, radishes, basically anything that arrives in our CSA box. It has the added benefit of being easy: In a mini food processor or blender, combine a cup of fresh mint with 1/3 cup olive oil, some parm, salt, pepper, and squeeze of lemon. — AW

Best Summer Read (So Far): Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
I’m not proud of the fact that as I’ve gotten older, it has become a lot easier for me to put a book down, half-way through, and never pick it up again. Maybe it’s because reading is part of my job, but I’ve become pretty ruthless about it. I did not, however, have this problem with Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson. When I wasn’t actively reading this book, I was thinking about the moment — on the train home, or in bed — when I would be again. It’s about the way fate can turn on the smallest of moments. What would’ve happened if I’d gone to this school instead of that one? If I’d married this guy instead of that one? If I’d turned left on the way home instead of right? If I’d grown up here instead of there? Atkinson explores these ideas, through narrative, in a way that is relentlessly inventive, suspenseful, and never hackneyed. Another one I loved: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but this book is so, so good. So, so, so, so good! And you don’t have to take my word for it: it just won the Pulitzer Prize! — AW (PS: The winners of the book giveaway have been alerted! Thanks so much for playing.)

Best Best: The Tomato Sandwich
Because it’s tradition, because it’s fleeting, and because it will always be our number one signifier that summer is here.

PS: First Annual Dollys (2011)
PPS: Second Annual Dollys (2012)

PPSS: We are on vacation next week — have a great holiday!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

What is 6 + 15 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

346 Comments

Jackie Rice

I love your recipes. But it’s posts like this that remind me why this is one of my favorite blogs. So much goodness chocked in here, I never want summer to end.

Reply
Allie

Great list. I’m heading to the beach with some friends next week and planning on crossing some of these winners off the list. Also, the only cookbook coming with me is yours.

Reply
Aliso

Love this post and would love a copy of either book! I hear that OMS is a great companion read to a nonfiction book that blew me away last year, “Nothing to Envy”.

Reply
Lisa de.

The tomato sandwich made my mouth water. The books look really good to read on my porch swing.
Have a fantastic vacation!

Reply
nepoconnell

The mint pesto is a genius idea–especially now that the mint is coming up gangbusters in my garden. I bet it would even be good on burgers…

Reply
Omar

I live for tomato sandwiches – it’s definitely the highlight of the summer. And thanks for the song suggestion – love it. Pick me for the book!

Reply
Leslie

I started salivating uncontrollably at the sight of that tomato sandwich! Hope I win, need some summer reading…

Reply
Bodi

Ah, summer! I’d love a copy of either book – summer is a great excuse to read.

Reply
Pressley

growing up, my family (ironically, a two-daughter family with one P-name girl and one A-name girl) also equated tomato sandwiches with summer. mouth-watering.

would love to win!

Reply
Jen P

I love Kate Atkinson! Her new book, paired with a tomato sandwich, sounds perfect.

Reply
Nicole

Can’t wait for the heirlooms to come in! Would love to win the books! Happy summer :-)

Reply
Jessica

Love your list! I am completely in love with ‘Salties’. I saw them in a catalogue for kids. My boys are too old to think they are options for them but I have a pair and can’t wait to wear them every day. Thank you for the coleslaw suggestions and summer book titles.

Reply
Kristina Morris

I hope i win! I am in need of some good reads! I am currently reading the Harry Potter series for the 3rd time! And I’m a 31 year old mother of 2!!

Reply
Emily

I always look forward to your posts, and THIS one makes me want to go make myself a tomato sandwich PRONTO!

Reply
janine

OK, I want to read that book now.

Also, I have a confession to make: I can’t stand raw tomatoes. I’ve tried. Oh, how I’ve tried. Even heirloom ones. I can tolerate them in TINY, tiny amounts if chopped finely or sandwiched into something else. And cooked tomatoes are fine. I know, it’s weird.

Reply
Linnea

My favorite things about summer: gardening, fireflies, your blog, pesto, ice cream for dinner…yay summer!

Reply
Robin Strom

Wonderful list. I finished Life After Life on my kindle a few weeks ago and I am still amazed how much it affected me. Looking forward to reading The Orphan Master’s son next! I LOVE your site!!

Reply
Britt

I’m a DAL newcomer, but it has *quickly* become my favorite new thing (as in, I’ve been reading it almost obsessively over the last 2 days.) My husband made us the salmon salad recipe last night, and it was amazing!!
I just finished a great book & have been wondering what to pick up next, so thank you for the recommendations. :)

Reply
J.J.

I just got my own (navy) Saltwaters yesterday, and my 8 year old is rockin hot pink! I hope I win; I’ve been in a book slump!

Reply
Elizabeth K.

I love this site, I love this post, and I’d love to win a new book!

Reply
Elizabeth

Funny how trusting you with recipes inclines me to trust you with kid’s sandals! Checking out the Salties right now. (It goes without saying that I trust you with books, and I haven’t read either one yet!)

Reply
mek

The only thing my grandma likes better than a bacon sandwich is a tomato sandwich – I still make them the way she taught me. Unfortunately, loving as far north as we do now there will be no perfect tomato sandwiches until late July. This post reminded me how anxiously I await that first bite!

Reply
Leah

A great list — and, as always, I must particularly admire Andy’s take on the cocktail! My husband’s family drinks nothing but Mount Gay and tonic all through the summer — unless my father-in-law has purloined the Mount Gay to make his famous rum punch (which also gets the job done, but much faster). A real sign of summer to all of us!

Reply
Jennifer P

I think the real reason I grow tomatoes is so that I can pick one off the vine and slice it on to a piece of grilled bread!! My new favorite addition is spreading some burata cheese on the bread before adding the tomatoes!

Reply
Tina Martinez

This list is IT! Just one look at that tomato sandwich and I KNOW its summer! Thanks for putting this together! <3

Reply
Bea

Love all of these suggestions, especially the book selections. Summertime is time for reading in my house!

Reply
Kristina W.

I’ve never had a tomato sandwich. It looks and sounds awesome! I will be adding this to my summer sandwich lineup which includes radish sandwiches and onion sandwiches. Thanks!

Reply
Kelly

Love your list, Jenny! Now my oldest has a new song to listen to, my middle one could use some fiddlesticks, and my youngest definitely needs shoes that can go from preschool to beach. Thank you! And I would love a new read :)

Reply
Emily

I’ve had Chez Panisee Vegetables on my amazon wish list for quite some time. This post convinced me to pull the trigger. Maybe it will help me persuade my picky-eater husband to try some new veggies…

Reply
Tracy

Summer! Tomato sandwiches remind me of visiting my grandparents in Iowa. (And the commenter who posted Bacon sandwich – totally.) My son and I are having a summer reading contest – and he’s currently ‘winning’ but not for long. We also just discovered an amazing gelato place not too far from us. I’d round out that list with some iced coffee, museum visits and pool time :-) .

Reply
Mary H.

Gosh, those tomato sandwiches always remind me of home. Good bread, a shmear of butter, and my mom’s garden tomatoes. Perfection.

Reply
Jenn

love saltwaters–I’ve heard they have them for grown-ups, too, and wouldn’t mind a red pair for the summer!

Reply
Elizabeth

Thanks for the summer list! Definitely hoping to win a copy of the book. Cheers!

Reply
Megan

I’d love to eat the lettuce, tomato, mayo sandwiches my dad would make when we were growing up. Now I can’t have one without thinking about him.

Reply
Jennifer

Love the list and reminds me again of why I love your blog. Reading the Kate Atkinson book now and would love the other! Always enjoy your book recommendations!

Reply
Sneha Raghavan

I love your blog. I love that you write like a normal person- does that make sense? Like I imagine a person talking to me when I read it, and it’s so hard to write like that. It makes me appreciate and love my food so much more than I do when I don’t think about it. So basically, it makes me think about it. Ha.

Anyway, both those books look amazing! I will have to pick them up (if I don’t win one, that is ;) )

Reply
Rachel

I love the list! My list would probably feature more ice cream. I eat more than my fair share year-round but it’s even better in the summer. Love great books to read on the beach, too.

Reply
Olivia

Well thanks to this post (and Amazon Prime), I now own a new cookbook — my CSA problems solved — and two new summer reads. Happy summer to you and cheers!

Reply
Shannon

I’d love to win one of those books! And my summer signifier is a huge bowl of watermelon (sprinkled with salt, bien sur).

Reply
Dana

I can’t wait until the tomatoes get good here in Chicago (I have a feeling it’s going to be another few weeks.) I’d love to win either book.

Reply
Stephanie

Great post, great blog. Nothing makes me wish I were married with kids more than reading DALS. Seriously.

Reply
Anne

Great post full of great ideas. I especially like the tea towels and the idea for mint pesto.

Reply
Jessica

This was a great post that really captured summer. A great idea to have awards like this, even for every season. Each can be so vastly different!

I would also love a copy of either book!

Reply
LaurenR

Thanks so much for this list. I made Deb Perelmen’s Vinegar Slaw and it was awesome, simple and stays crunchy a week (so DALsian).

Saltwater sandals are the best – and love your book and music reccomendations.

Reply
C.C.

As an alternative to the tomato sandwich, try a cucumber sandwich — a staple in Sweden. There’s nothing like a garden-fresh cuke. Love the tip on the Fiddlestx — thanks!

Reply
Julie

I love your blog so much. I’m going to TRY to read that book (don’t remember the last non-cookbook book that I have actually finished!!)

Reply
Rosie

Reading this makes me eagerly awaiting tomato season to kick into full force here in Northern California. Its expected to be above 100 degrees the next few days so its only a matter of time before they appear at the farmers markets.

Reply
jaime @ laviejaime

love the tomato teatowel and recipe. agreed- listening to that ong and it’s a perefct summer tune.
great giveaway- that first book sounds fascinating.

Reply
Noellen

Must try the mint pesto – it breaks my heart each time my son ignores the lovely summer vegetables on his plate!

Reply
Mrs. Z

What a list…can’t wait to try “The Tomato Sandwich” never even considered making such a sandwich! :) I have all I need at home and will make it tonight…can’t wait.

Reply
Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the socks. Love the Fiddle Sticks. I’ve pinned everything! And I have been hankering after Life After Life for MONTHS now…..I would love love and love some more to win this, thank you thank you for the giveaway! xoxo

Reply
Laura

I have your cookbook and love it! I must check out these sandals for my toddler, they are so cute. And I would love free books, those both sound really good.

Reply
Anna

On my summer list is a grilled zucchini salad with balsamic vinegar, mint, soft goat cheese, and walnuts. With “Tony’s steak.”
I’m know, Andy, rule of dinner #62. My apologies to you and Julia…

Reply
Caprice Teske

Although it is currently rainy and 55 degrees here in the PNW, this list instantly made me feel sunny inside. Already pulled some mint from the garden and I’m gonna whip up some pesto for picnic lunch (on the living room floor)!

Reply
Beth Nesbit

Tomato sandwiches are one of the best things about summer! I am in my second trimester and have been having one for breakfast almost everyday (sometimes I had a fried egg on top). I am also a huge fan of strawberries in and on everything at this point of the year! Love your blog and love your cookbook!

Reply
Sarah

Great list! Now I’ve got my books, my drinks and my lunches all set. So miss the lacrosse sticks and cleats in the trunk of the car…

Reply
Kim

Ah, Summer! Can’t wait to try the Fresh Strawberry Smash. Have a great vacation.

Reply
Kendra

Wow, those sandals totally brought back summer as a kid! And now I must have a tomato sandwich. Thanks for all the suggestions here!

Reply
Dana

With a new baby nursing for hours a day, I’ve been reading like I haven’t for years, I’d love either book. Terrific list!

Reply
Amber

I would love, love, love to win either of those books!

and the tomato sandwich, although I guess it probably wouldn’t ship too well.

Reply
Beth Berlin

Must. Try. Agua. Fresca (particularly with the vodka!). Those smushed strawberries are a staple at home. Great on ice cream, in greek yogurt, or simply on a spoon as themselves.

Reply
Meghan

love your website, your book, your recipes (just made swiss chard & ricotta omelettes last night!). thank you!!

Reply
Anne Weber-Falk

A great post. I will look into some of those books. A tomato sandwich, open-face, toasted bread, with a smear of good mayo and some salt, just a smidge, and pepper. Yum.

Reply
Heather

Hooray for book recommendations (seriously, my fave non-food post on DALS are the book recommendations), especially when they come with a chance to win them!

Reply
Zoe

Tomato sandwiches are the best! Thank you for the agua fresca idea – I will absolutely make this!

Reply
Susan B.

Oh, I can’t wait for tomato sandwich season! This is a great list. Enjoy the vacation!

Reply
Elizabeth Rossetti

LOVE this site…I always check it when I don’t know what to make for dinner, and so far I have not found a recipe I didn’t like! And I was just thinking I need some good summer reads. Thanks and enjoy your vacation!

Reply
joanna brunelle

Love this list! The tomato sandwiches and smashed berries are ALWAYS part of summer in our house too! I have to check into those Saltwater Sandals, they look well made.

Reply
Sara

This is a great list – thanks for suggestions! Can’t wait to try the cabbage slaw (mmm, with a jalapeno!) and the salties are so stinkin’ cute!

Reply
Amy

You went to my beloved and charming home town! I grew up eating at Doug’s Fish Fry. :)
And while you got very close with the spelling, it’s Skaneateles, not an easy one to remember. :)

Reply
Maria Tadic

I love all those ideas for mayo-less slaws! Can’t wait to try them out. And thanks for the book suggestions – Ive been searching for a good summer read!

Reply
gayle p

I love all these summer recipes – now that it’s hot, the cool salads are calling me. Thanks for sharing – i’ve been looking for some summer reading suggestions!

Reply
Mary Anne

Goodness, I love your blog! I’ve been hearing about it for a long time, but only in the past month or so have I been checking in every morning, and afterwards, my brain/soul feels nourished. Thank you for your wonderful writing!

Reply
Ashley

I’ve heard great things about both these books and would love to add them to my summer reading stack (which, since I teach nineteenth-century British lit, is overwhelmingly dominated by Victorian novels–I definitely need some contemporary stuff). And thanks for encouraging us to try our hand at zucchini blossoms!

Reply
Jenifer

I love your site and the cookbook! Where is the barn with teh Rolling Stones- tattooed barn? My boyfriend has the same tattoo on his arm and I would love to get a picture of this for him as well?

Reply
Angela

Best of lists are well…the best! Thanks so much and hoping to get my summer read on well into September. :)

Reply
Rebecca

Love any lists related to summer and this is a great one! Already Wishlisted the books on Amazon

Reply
Laura

I love using pesto as a way to use up CSA herbs and to get kids to eat it. Try it with sorrel if you end up with some – so amazing!

Reply
Camille

And now I’ve suddenly developed a near undeniable need for a tomato sandwich.

Reply
Lauren

Love this list! And I am in total agreement with the tomato sandwiches. We love those in our house =)

And I also had to chuckle with the strawberry and vanilla almond milk smoothie being chased by a gallon of coffee.

Reply
Vicki

Great list! And getting ready for a vacation and would love some new beach reads.

Reply
ASuburbanLife

I think we could be couple friends (other than the fact that we’re a good decade or more older and live on the opposite coast). Why? Because you unabashedly love cocktails. My husband and I enjoy a cocktail with (before, during, even after) dinner but our friends just make faces and drink only wine. And margaritas, which don’t count.

Reply
Jennifer Wilson

I can’t wait for tomato sandwiches! Thanks for this great list.

Reply
Holly J.

I must concur. There is nothing like summer tomato sandwiches especially when the tomatoes are picked from your own garden and sliced while still sun-warmed. Yum

Reply
Brooke

Love the list, can’t wait to add some of them to our summer. Would love to read the books! Happy Summer!

Reply
Beth

Love all of these things! I ordered the Alice Water book before I even finished reading the post!

Reply
Chris C.

Yay, summer! After years in California, I’ve finally moved back to the East Coast, and am SO EXCITED for real summer again! Thanks for the chance to win these awesome books :-)

Reply
SophieH

Oooh — going to make a slaw tonight and will order the books if, by some strange twist of fate, I don’t win a free copy of one as my first “I won!” moment ever.

Reply
jen

love the suggestions here!!! already put a couple on my list for next week – let’s get summer started!!!

Reply
Kat Wachter

I wanna win! Also, I love your blog, and your book, and your recipes. Oh, and your love of Trader Joe’s. Doi.

Reply
Stephanie

Pickled blueberries?! I must have this dessert… Also, a “go bag” is a must in our house – gotta keep it organized. Great list!

Reply
Kathryn

I have been hearing about Life After Life EVERYWHERE. Now that it has a Dolly, I guess I really will have to put it on my summer reading list. Thanks for the recommendation.

P.S. I also find it easier to quit books as I’ve gotten older, which I loathed doing as a kid. But I have so much less time to read I no longer feel compelled to finish a book just to prove a point (What point!? to whom!?)

Reply
Heather

Okay, this list is what I need. Agree on the Salties, my daughter is wearing the fushia. I want to read both of those books! Enjoy your week!

Reply
Jen

Thank you for a great list. I am one of those people who forces herself to finish books, even though they are not that great. Why do I do this at age 42 I have no idea. I would love to read either of those books – and of course I will read them all the way through!

Reply
Stef

Love the smoothie idea! My still-breastfeeding baby has a dairy allergy and I’ve been on the lookout for some delicious non-dairy recipes. Mostly, “delicious non-dairy” has been oxymoronic. . .but this sounds very promising!

Reply
Kate @ Savour Fare

I am with you on tomato sandwiches, zucchini blossoms, grilled sausages, and saltwater sandals. (Why haven’t I bought myself a pair, yet? ) And slaws. And Life after Life, which is waiting for me on my Kindle.

But you need to add a little of that rum to a little of that strawberry smash and Pour THAT over ice cream.

Reply
Tenely

I wish we were neighbors! I want to serve you one of my Rhubarb Gin & Tonics.
I’ve got mint and asparagus growing like mad right now. I’m trying the mint pesto tonight. Thanks!

Reply
Ashley

I might have to pick up the Alice Waters book–even with the best of summer produce out there for the taking I can get stuck in a veggie rut. Time to break out!

Mmmm, tomato sandwiches :)

I’ve been dying to read The Orphan Master’s Son!

Reply
Carol

would love to win either book – already have the Alice Waters book and your book too!

Reply
Suzell

Great Post.

That’s the 2nd time I’ve heard the recommendation for Life after Life this week so I will be sure to order it with my next Amazon order. I also pinned The Orphan Master’s son.

The food in the post looks great as well.

Thank you for sharing.

Reply
Mary

Awesome post and great tune choice! Kurt Vile has been on a lot here lately too. Can. not. wait! For tomato sandwiches.

Reply
Amanda

Love this post! It sounds like summer is pretty wonderful around your house. And thanks for the note about Chez Panisse Vegetables – I can’t wait to pick up a copy!

Reply
joan

Best sentence…It gets the job done. Ha
Went to Amazon and read about The Orphan Master’s Son. It does sound really good!
Life After Life… sometimes I have thought about those things. I’d love to read it.

Reply
Jill

Fantastic list of bests! Although it’s a little unfair posting so close to dinner time when I’m sitting at my desk and want to jump through the computer and eat those grilled sausages….mmmm.

Reply
Helene

it makes me happy to know your family loves summer tomato sandwiches as much as I! i hunt for the perfect tomato all year and love this time when we switch over from awful, to bearable to hmm a mite tasty to SUMMER TOMATO SANDWICH TIME!
enjoy your vacation!

Reply
Kath the Cook

your posts are just consistently wonderful. have a fabulous va-cay. would love to have books.

Reply
Kim

Tomato sandwiches are the best thing ever! Glad to know I’m not the only one to worship at their altar. Enjoy your vacation and thanks for the book suggestions!

Reply
Amanda

Tomato juice dripping down into the white bread,a little kosher salt on top… What could be more perfect!

Reply
candice

i LOVE this post! summer feels like it hasn’t started yet here in portland, OR- but i’m feeling more than ready to embrace it after reading this!! thanks! i’m going to put those books on hold, in case i’m not lucky enough to win them here…

Reply
Carrie

Thanks for the book recs! Is it wrong that I tried o eat the fried zucchini blossoms off of my iPad? Those look awesome!

Reply
Bonnie

Love the list, but my favorite is the last on the list. Ever since I read Harriet The Spy, I’ve LOVED a good tomato sandwich!

Reply
Jaclyn

I’m in dire need of a great summer read! Thanks for the recommendations!

Reply
Kelsey

Trying the zucchini blossoms. Grab-and-go bag = awesome. Can’t wait to request these book from the library. Hurrah for summer!

Reply
Julie

Tomato sandwiches are the best! And I’m about to go smash the raspberries we picked today (and which are halfway smashed already)

Reply
Grace

Love your blog! I particularly enjoy posts like this. Thank you for sharing!

Reply
Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks

I love The Dollys! I agree that nothing says summer like a tomato. I have Life After Life on my to-read list and am crossing my fingers that I win a copy. Have a fabulous vacation; don’t forget your lip balm : )

Reply
Erin A

I completely agree about the tomato sandwiches. We are a still a few weeks away in Wisconsin. Thanks for the book recommendations and the rest of the post! Have a great vacation!

Reply
Jen

You know, agua fresca might be the key to quitting my soda habit this summer.

Reply
Katie

I definitely need a tomato sandwich for lunch now! Thank you! I would love to read either book, they look wonderful!

Reply
Jennifer

Oh my! Perfect summer inspiration! I’m rushing to the nearest farmer’s market in search of greenhouse tomatoes and I just put those books on hold at the library (532 holds for Life After Life!) Thank you!

Reply
Stephanie W.

Love the suggestions! I’d add one more to the list…less time in the car. Nothing makes me happier than putting on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt in the morning, no makeup and a ponytail(sunscreen of course since I live in Texas, the great state of skin cancer paranoia) and that at 8pm that night I am still wearing that same thing.
We have LOTS of post it flags in your cookbook and are excited by the extra time in the summer to try things out.

Reply
Robyn

Love all these ideas! Especially the mint pesto. And I always covet those glasses you guys have (the one holding the gin & tonic up there) everytime I see them on the blog :)

Reply
Jenny

Love this post! I love my red saltwater sandals! Thanks for a chance to win a summer read!

Reply
Meredith

Ooh, I’ve heard great things about Life After Life! Adding to my Amazon basket now… So do you ever wear the adult Saltwaters?

Reply
Sally

Both of the books sound good.

There is nothing like a tomato sandwich. Well, maybe a BLT. I’m now hungry.

I totally agree about scrambled eggs being a great way to use up vegetables. I have to be careful not to use too many vegetables, though.

Reply
Hannah C.

summer is absolutely by a long shot my favorite season of the year… even without summer vacations, it feels like a totally different time of fun than the rest of the year. sun sun sun! :D

Reply
Kat

I love agua frescas, but have never tried making them myself. Who knew it was simpler than I thought.

Reply
Lisa

I love the scrambled egg idea! So satisfying to be able to clean out the fridge.

Reply
Callie

Love this list! Also, couldn’t agree with you more about tomato sandwiches and cocktails.

And someone just told me to read life after life!

Reply
Celia

What a great list! I just created an iheartradio station for “Wakin on a Pretty Day” – love it.

Reply
clare

I would love to read either book! Plus I want a tomato sandwich and a pair of those sandals for big girls :)

Reply
Caitlyn

The books sound awesome! (and I think I will be gifting a set of fiddlesticks to my 6-year old nephew just because – Thanks for the idea!)

Reply
Mollie

What a wonderful post about the most wonderful season. I’m a tomato sandwich girl all year long, but they’re the best with the fresh summer fruit.
I’m looking for some good summer reads, so a copy of either book would be awesome. Thanks for the chance to win!

Reply
Monica

I love your best of summer list and hope to win a book or two to enjoy in Phoenix heat while drinking a Mount Gay and tonic =)

Reply
Caitlin

What a great summer roundup! I would love to dive into the two books mentioned on my upcoming plane ride to my best friend’s wedding in Alabama. Thank you for having such nice giveaways!

Reply
Stef

The mint pesto sounds great! Our backyard is overgrown and all I could think to make with it was ice cream. Delicious but not as versatile.

Reply
Laura

Love your Grab-and- Go Bag suggestion! Putting one of those together this afternoon.

And I need a new book. I just finished Jeannette Walls’ new book. It was good, but not as good as The Glass Castle.

Great post!

Reply
Margaret

The “salties’ remind me of summer….my sister and I would get a new pair at the beginning of each summer. Takes me back to the carefree life of a kid….which I am trying to recreate for my 3 kids.

Reply
Shannah

Dreaming of a tomato sandwich while listening to “Walkin’ on a Pretty Day”. And I wonder if I could make dill pesto…just got a TON of that in my CSA.

Reply
Paula

I love this list and it’s going to help me take advantage of summer, which always seems to slip by. I’d love to read the books as well!

Reply
Vivian

this post got me so excited for summer!
i love the agua fresca idea, it reminds me of going to my abuela’s house during the summer, she always had a pitcher of watermelon flavored agua fresca in the fridge.
it would go great with the two books you recommended.

Reply
Mona

I’d love to win a copy of Life After Life…I’m like 125 on the hold list at the library!

Reply
Holly

I would love a copy of either book! I’ve been considering Life after Life for awhile now

Reply
Madeleine

This is just the best! And I’d love a copy of the cookbook to enjoy with friends.

Reply
ChaCha

Thank you for the great information. I am inspired to create my own “special drink.” Can’t wait to read the next post!!

Reply
B

i’ve just discovered your blog through A Cup of Jo and i love it! i also love book recommendations! It’s been 11 months since i read anything besides breastfeeding and birthing books (since i got pregnant and had a baby) and i’d LOVE to win a good read! thanks!

Reply
Alexis

I just saw Life After Life on another blog, it must be a good one. I would love a copy.

Reply
Sabrina

Beach, Cabin, Pool, Boat, Sprinkler… pretty much anything water related is a summer staple!!
I started to read Kate Atkinson’s book, but it was a short loan from the library… must finish it!

Reply
Evie

Great suggestions! I LOVE tomato sandwiches and eat them year round, but of course they taste best this time of year. I used to religiously finish books too. I thought I was becoming more fair weather, but I’m going to say maybe I’m simply more discerning as I age. I’d love to read either of these titles!

Reply
Shelley

I’m stuck in the hospital with my newborn all summer – could really use a good read!

Reply
joy

I would love those red sandals for myself! Enter me in the book lottery, please, and thanks for all the lovely photos, stories, and recipes.

Reply
Peg Pisani

Love the list! Here’s to a long summer filled with the best – especially the tomato sandwiches!

Reply
Rebeka

This list is great. I’m playing the song you recommended right now and I love how it just sounds like summer. Also, both of those books sound fantastic. I’m always looking for something to read that I can’t put down, gosh, books like that are one of the best things, aren’t they?

Reply
Claire

I want to do/eat/experience all of things right now! Thank you for reminding me why summer is so wonderful.

Reply
Kimmy

Would love a copy of the book….Life after Life…working on a State of Wonder at the moment…tempted to go and buy it…patience

Reply
Kori

Tomato sandwiches, a good book, fresh fruit, and homemade iced tea is a perfect summer!

Reply
Erin W

I’ve been looking for a new book to read- those look great! Also, the agua fresca looks delicious!

Reply
Karen

I need a new summer book! I’ve had several books checked out from the library that just didn’t catch my interest. They all went back this week . Now Im waiting for my other books on hold to become available and trying not to go on Amazon. And, July 3 is my birthday…..just sayin!

Reply
Chris

This list actually made me excited about summer…even though it is a swampy NYC one.

Reply
Jaimi

My favorite part of summer is having the kind of time to enjoy these simple pleasures that I often don’t have during the year. Teaching is a demanding, if rewarding, job, and I am so grateful for these months to reflect and rejuvenate.

Reply
Kim K.

Love to have a stack of books to read on summer vacation – this looks like a good one!!

Reply
Kathy W

I loved Life After Life, too. In fact, I’ve loved all of her books. (Since I’ve already read it, you can take me out of the running for the free copies.)

Reply
Anna

What a great list! There are at least two immediate action items on here for this weekend.

Reply
Marty

A great list, looking forward to trying some things and sharing your suggestions with my daughters

Reply
Georgia

Strawberry smash is a tradition in our family and guess what? My friend brought me freshly picked strawberries today!
Excited about the good read recommendations and a chance to win.fingers crossed.

Reply
R Drumm

Love the cocktail ideas, we’ll definitely try the aqua fresca w vodka. Current fave is the Pala you wrote about

Reply
Kalli

I do the same with eggs – use them as a sort of blank palette to be zazzed up with any number of leftovers. Definitely putting one or two of those books on my reading list!

Reply
Mary

Tomato sandwiches are the best, with just a tad of mayo and S&P. Reminds me of lunch at my great-grandmother’s every time!

Reply
Kara

I have been wanting to read Life after Life this summer! A friend of mine is reading it and it sounds like a perfect beach read. Lovely reminders of summer here

Reply
Patricia

Ah fried zucchini blossoms! When I was a little girl, I would help my grandmother pick them in her garden and she’d make them for dinner. So, so good!

Reply
Alissa

Great picks! I don’t think anything is better than strawberries in the summer so strawberry smash over ice cream is right up my alley.

Reply
Lori

Summer tomatoes make life worth living! (And also June/July break- I’m a teacher :) )

Reply
Lorrie

I have been dying to read Life After Life. It’s on my summer reading list, along with Reconstructing Amelia and YA book, The Fault in Our Stars.

Reply
elizabeth

Just started The Orphan Master’s Son and can’t wait to make some ague fresco!

Reply
Nichole

Love this post! Heading to the farmer’s market later today. Zucchini blossoms, strawberries, and fresh eggs are on the list!

Reply
Karen

Love your colorful photos and bright outlook (and really commenting because I want a chance to win one of those books!)

Reply
CG

Brilliant idea about keeping a “gifts” photo album. Loved many of your summer idea and yesintboesto is outta this world. The two books sound interesting please consider this as a request to add me to the rand drawing.

Reply
Carolyn

What a great post! So glad one favorite blogger (Cup of Jo) lead me to a new favorite!

Reply
Shelby

What a fun and lovely blog you have here.. This post caught my eye with all of it’s delightful tidbits on sweet summer.. Those books look fantastic! Definite must reads for this season :)

Reply
Lisa

Thanks for this inspirational list – the strawberry mash is making my mouth water. Such a simple concept and so perfect for summer! I can’t wait to make that dessert for my next summer dinner party. Also, you’ve got me dreaming of ways to use mint pesto – do you think it would be good on pasta? Maybe with some cherry tomatoes and feta? The books sound great too.

Reply
Ivy

While, agriculturally speaking, summer has been here for a month (the benchmark is when the strawberries hit the farmers market), this is the first week that we’re really going to have slow, hot summer weather. Tonight my daughter will have six friends over to sleep in our tent in the backyard and it feels like perfect timing.

Reply
Rebecca

What an awesome summer list! I’ve just discovered agua frescas this summer and am loving them. Watermelon mint and strawberry thyme are yummy yummy. Thanks for the chance to win some new reads, too!

Reply
Ashley

Love Kate Atkinson! I’ve been on the (very long) waiting list at my library for Life After Life since it was released.

Reply
Calli

The book sounds like the perfect accompaniment to all of these other summertime things!

Reply
Jennifer

Three cheers for all things summer! Just yesterday, I declared this The Summer of the Sausage. I am obsessed! (I know how that sounds. I don’t care.) I am also glad to see that tomato sandwiches made the cut. Always a classic. On toast, with lots of mayo, of course.

Reply
Amy G

What a great list! Can’t wait to try out the Mt. Gay and tonic next summer (when I’m not pregnant :) For now, I’ll satisfy myself with one of the delicious strawberry recipes!
I would love love LOVE to win a copy of either book for those rainy summer afternoons.
Thanks!

Reply
Laura Christine

I am really looking forward to good tomato sandwiches. I haven’t seen good tomatoes yet, and our plants are still weeks away from solid production. Soon!

Reply
Jenna

Salt water sandals – I think I need to get me a pair!

And those two books sound like great reading selections!

Reply
Stephanie

A friend sent me the link to this wonderful post that made me feel summer just by reading it! And, another friend just suggested both of theses books to me- would love to have a copy!

Reply
Teri

Would love a great new book to read. Have also been loving your pretzel chicken on cool salad greens. Thank you, as always, for all of the wonderful inspiration.

Reply
Allie

I love the idea of mint pesto but all of the mint that comes in my CSA box goes to mojitos. But I completely agree with you about the tomato sandwiches.

Reply
Yvonne

Thank you for the mint pesto idea! Definitely a nice change-up from my usual lemon vinaigrette or sesame seed oil. And so happy to hear you’re a fan of Kate Atkinson. :)

Reply
Cynthia

Your comments about tomatoes made my mouth water, but with GERD, they were one of the first things off my menu. And now with a newly fractured foot, not eating and reading will be my world for the next several weeks!

Reply
Bridgit

Such a great list. We are still looking for a good sausage vendor in our neck of the woods. May I suggest a 1/4 tsp (or more)of balsa,ic in the beautiful strawberry smash? I can usually cut the sugar in half with it.

Reply
Susan

Love the list, can’t wait for my tomatoes to be ready, and would love to win the books but will probably order them myself either way!

Reply
Hayley

I grew up wearing salt water sandals. I can’t decide if they look funny in larger sizes though. Thanks for the reminder that I should try some out! Thanks for the book suggestions. Been in desperate need of a good summer read.

Reply
Kate

Made the mint pesto and checked out the Atkinson book from the library. Eager to try both!

Reply
Cait

I’d love to check out “Life After Life”. Summer is my most productive reading period of the year!

Reply
Wendy O

I was reading your summer blog and I can’t wait till the tomatoes come in to have one of those tomato sandwiches. I am from Syracuse, New York and live about 20 minutes from Skaneateles. I was delighted to see Doug’s Fish Fry on the list. It is one of our family favorite places to eat in the summer and occasionally in the winter when you miss summer.

Think back to when you were there. Do you remember that they hang all newspaper articles etc. about Doug’s Fish Fry to their walls. They love all and any kind of press. I am going to have to print your blog post and give it to them to hang on the wall. I will make sure I have your blog masthead on the printout.

What is also funny is that we had strawberries over ice cream for dessert tonight. Just like how you said to make it. Yum.

Love your blog.

Reply
Queso

Love this list. I can’t believe Stone Barns has a CSA! Must do next year.

Reply
Jodi

The tomato sandwiches remind me of “Harriet the Spy” and look delicious. Fingers crossed for new summer books!

Reply
Kristin

I read all of your blog posts, but I am commenting on this one because I am a major book lover and both of those have been on my to-read list. I just finished Elizabeth Strout’s newest called the Burgess Boys which I would highly recommend. Also, thanks for reminding me about saltwater sandals. Loved those!

Reply
Katie Thamer

I am a teacher and I need some good summer reading! Love everything about this post! Especially the recipe for squash blossoms. I made them once, but the butter was way too heavy. These seam light and delicious!

Reply
Kate

Really enjoyed this list! I love reading so I’m glad to have these recommendations whether I win or not! Thanks :)

Reply
Kristen Larson

You have great summer traditions! I am just starting my own and love the longer days to spend having new adventures.

I am always looking for a good book, and I will have to pick one of those up for our long roadtrip to Canada this August.

Reply
Tonpia Glazer

Just SEEING your tomato sandwich each year reminds me that it’s summer and that I need to make one ASAP.

Reply
Mary Ann

Great post! And great contest. Hope I’m the lucky winner of some books for summer reading. :)

Reply
Caitlin

Yes to summer and yes to this wonderful list! I want to be an honorary member of your family – you all have so much fun. Both of those books look fantastic, I will be sure to add them to my ever-growing summer (into fall) reading list :) . Happy July!

Reply
Laura

This post made me so giddy! It was a good reminder to savor summer. I’ve been wanting to read Life after Life, too!

Reply
Mykcal

This was such a fun post to read. And, I totally agree about the salties. It’s the best summer shoe for girls.

Reply
Candace

I’m new to your blog, but I’m hooked! Some fantastic ideas in here. Thanks for the lovely start to my week :-)

Reply
Annie

What a great summer list! I will have to try out a few of these. Love a good book too!

Reply
Hilary L

Love your idea of taking pictures of gifts and keeping them in a separate folder! Going to start doing this! Don’t get me started on Alice Waters amazing cookbook!

Reply
Melanie

Been devouring books this summer, and my Amazon bill is getting out of hand! Time to break out the library card and cross my fingers to win this giveaway…right after I make a strawberry and almond milk smoothie -yum!

Reply
kim h

love the Dollys! i’m always on the look out for new sides, new cocktails and new reads. thanks for sharing and inspiring!

Reply
Meredith

I read like a crazy person in the summer. Especially on vacation. Thanks so much for the list!

Reply
mamacita

I really love your posts about what your non-girly girls are wearing. I have one of those, too. [And she loves her Salties, though her toes are already sticking out of the pair I bought her in MAY.]

PS–No books for me; I’m already behind in my summer reading, and I don’t want the added pressure.

Reply
Sherry

Happy summer! Thanks for the great read (hint…hint…would love a new book, especially one you recommend).
What I love about your blog is that every post reflects on the wonderful relationship you seem to have as a family. Makes it that much more satisfying to read everyday. Thanks!

Reply
Alison

I read four entire books while on vacation in California last week, mostly while gazing out at the Pacific. It made me giddy with delight and hungry for more good books. And tomato sandwiches. Preferably at the same time.

Reply
Elena

Hi Jenny,
I’m psyched to read your Best of but the grey font on the butcher block background is (very cute) yet hard for my middle aged eyes to read. And I really want to read what you write.
Thanks!

Reply
Maggie H

Thanks to you I have a great cookbook (yours) I have shared it with a few of my friends.
Now I will look forward to a few good books to read !
Thanks

Reply
Deb

Thanks for the book recommendations; you are the second person this week to suggest Life After Life. Great post!

Reply
Mary Beth

Awesome! Thanks for the book giveaway! Heading to the beach soon and looking for a great read to take with me! Yay summer :)

Reply
monika

I just had to come and tell this- your book rocks! I borrowed it from my local library and it is gorgeous! Inside and out. Beautiful covers, comfortable format and awesome writing . I was sad when it ended and that’s when you know, that the book is more just good. It’s great! Thank you for all the inspiration! I will thrive on it for awhile now.

Reply
Anna

Thank you for the summer reading ideas! I’m really looking forward to making tomato sandwich lunches, too.

Reply
Monica

Chez Panisse Vegetables and the companion Fruit volume are always in heavy rotation around here. Perfect books.

Reply
Molly

I loved this list! I am buying 2 pairs of saltwater sandals right now. Aqua and white, I think. Kate Atkinson is a terrific author – I haven’t read it yet, but I buy every book she writes. It’s a summer treat for a teacher with Barnes and Noble money.

Reply
Sarah

Love the agua fresca and mint pesto idea. As a child of the eighties, I often wore salties for dressing up. They even make adult sizes but I don’t think I could pull them off now.

Reply
elie

Excellent post. Been meaning to make up some fried zucchinni blossoms for years now. Looking forward to reading those books, I put ‘em on my list!

Reply
Sherry

Cheating with my second post in this thread…but had to tell you that I made strawberry smash last light. So fabulous. Can’t wait to try zuchinni blossoms. Your book and blog have given me permission and inspiration to eat really good food again with two picky little eaters in the house!

Reply
Molly

I love your blog! Thank you for inspiring me to cook – my least favorite mom task.

Reply
Amy

good call on the mt. gay and tonic with lime. my sailor husband brought over the ingredients one night around the time we got engaged and informed me that I should learn to like this drink. thankfully, I did.
my friends think its gross.
you should try barbancourt rum. even better than mt gay.

Reply
Teresa

Great summer list! Can’t believe we are half way through. Strawberry smash and new books to read. Can’t wait!

Reply
Shelly

We just returned from 10 years of living overseas. As we unpacked the last of the storage bins we came across 2 pairs of Salties…..oh my heart ached. All the memories those little sandals held. The PERFECT shoe of childhood summers.

Reply