Metatalktail Hour: Warm Weather Food May 25, 2019 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, it's finally warming up in Chicago, so I want to know what you like to cook and eat when it's warm outside! (Because by a month into summer I am bored of all my warm-weather recipes so clearly I need more of them!)

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter! We want to hear everything that's up with you! And send me ideas for future topics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:28 PM (90 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

Yesterday we had a salad with broiled salmon (broiled with olive oil, S&P and cooled a bit so it wouldn’t wilt the lettuce), green leaf lettuce, supremed grapefruit and orange, avocado, cucumber and a buttermilk dressing and godDAMN it was so good.
posted by Liesl at 5:36 PM on May 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

I pretty much just grill every damned thing. Chicken, pork, fish, veg of all kinds (including romaine lettuce! It's a thing and it's DELICIOUS!), burgers, veggie burgers, turkey burgers. If I'm not making the whole meal on the grill (sometimes I'll use a cast iron skillet out there, sometimes a wok for a stir-fry, sometimes just the grill grates themselves), I'll make a wild rice mix and toss a salad to round it out. I just don't like eating when it's hot, so we keep it simple. My family's favorite is grilled chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, pounded to about an inch-and-a-half thick) basted with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and Old Bay, the wild rice mix or maybe a quick-cook risotto, and either grilled asparagus (tossed before grilling with olive oil, salt, and pepper), grilled romaine, or a salad (sometimes both asparagus and salad). I don't really use recipes for summer cooking, since I do most of it on the grill with simple, seasonal herbs and spices.

We also do sub-store-subs at home a lot in the summer. So I'll get sub buns, deli meat, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. from the grocery store and everyone makes what they like.

And cheese/charcuterie plates! Yummy cheeses, some lovely salami/prosciutto/other cured meats, fruit (generally grapes, pear slices, peaches), fig jam, toasted baguette, maybe some almonds, a tossed salad. So easy, so quick, no cooking.

OH! Grilled peaches and homemade vanilla ice cream is something my kids BEG for EVERY summer.
posted by cooker girl at 5:42 PM on May 25, 2019 [6 favorites]

Here in the southern hemisphere we're headed in the opposite direction, which I love. But summer favorites at our house include fritters of all description, especially zucchini and feta, and also sweet potato fritters. Soba noodles are very popular I make a cold soba salad with cucumbers, tomato, carrot and a kind of ponzu-style dressing. Lastly, tacos are also grand, my favourite is one with braised pork shoulder and a salsa made from mint, cucumber, and kiwi fruit.

I had my last day at work on Friday, they flogged me until the last minute so it hasn't really sunk in yet. Now I have a week off before the new job - I'm already nervous! Nothing a nice long run won't fix, I hope.
posted by smoke at 5:47 PM on May 25, 2019 [12 favorites]

We eat a ton of a super-simple "bruschetta" which is actually more of a caprese salad on bread -- french or Italian bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top, then a slice of tomato, sprinkle of salt, slice of buffalo mozzarella, crank of pepper, and a basil leaf. We put all the ingredients out and let the kids have at it. My kids are always impatient for the tomatoes to "get good" so we can start having bruschetta for dinner at least once a week!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:49 PM on May 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

"Here in the southern hemisphere we're headed in the opposite direction,"

I knoooooooowwwwwww, I'm jealous! All my favorite food is cold-weather food!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:50 PM on May 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Aaahhaahaahhaa. Today the Seattle Weather Gods reminded us “Fuck you. It can automatically be winter in any month of the year.” My kids are soaked and warming by the fire and my favorite recipe is that Chinese delivery place that will bring wine if you tip well.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:55 PM on May 25, 2019 [22 favorites]

Chickpea salad - chickpeas, chopped onions, a crunchy veggie chopped (celery, cucumber, green beans, carrot, whatever you have on hand) olive oil, lots of vinegar. Salt, pepper. Lemon juice or a bit of zest can be fun too.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:55 PM on May 25, 2019 [6 favorites]

It's Memorial Day weekend, so I made potato salad yesterday (and now it's all gone). I make it the way my Mom did, vinegar, mayo, red onions, lots of green olives. I bought corn tortillas, so I make a hamburger, cut it in half, and have it in a toasted tortilla with lettuce and salsa, or do the same with scrambled eggs.

It's been cold and overcast in Maine, but this week was better. It took ages to feel like it was warm enough to clean up the garden, but raised bed #1 has been planted - peas (late, but maybe they'll produce), green beans, kale, spinach, and marigolds from seeds, and a variety of tomato seedlings. I had extra seedlings, so I potted them in slightly larger containers and merrily gifted them. I would like to add 1 more tomato - Early Girl, as my seedlings are all 72 - 82 days, and I am impatient. 4 cherry tomatoes in pots, also planted with parsley, cilantro and/or lettuce. I need to plant some arugula; I was hoping last year's would seed itself, but have not seen signs. 6 pots of flowers - moon flower, morning glory, nasturtiums, marigolds. As of yesterday, there are sprouts of things, which is happiness-inducing.

I was given some sprouting potatoes; threw them in last years compost to do their best.

A pair of orioles are hanging out in the blooming cherry tree, and the robins are back, nesting under the deck and yelling at me if I am too lively overhead. Quite a bit more yard work to do, but it got overcast and cold this aftenoon, so I didn't. It's been thunder-rumbly for a while. i'm mildly chilly, but having a fire in the wood stove on Memorial Day weekend would feel like defeat. We'll see.
posted by theora55 at 6:00 PM on May 25, 2019 [9 favorites]

That makes my life sound pretty swish. Much of it isn't, but parts of it are kind of nice.
posted by theora55 at 6:02 PM on May 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

Watermelon, peach, and tomato salad with feta or gorgonzola. (I swap in peaches for the onions.)
posted by sockermom at 6:06 PM on May 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

As we're moving into Spring in Maine, it was 42 degrees this morning, and it got into the 70's this afternoon, but the breeze was cool, I'm thinking Spring Rolls tomorrow.

Mr. Mon Dieu came home ill on Tuesday, he was not right, so I called 911, and he went into the hospital with a severe infection, and then they said sepsis. Thank goodness for antibiotics.

He's back home now, and eating regular food, and has a doctor's note to take off work next week. My friend and lover, I was so worried about him. Poor guy. I'm babying him now with special treats and hovering over him.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:07 PM on May 25, 2019 [21 favorites]

I had a really bad week. I lost a friend over the weekend to a sudden heart attack, and another friend went into the hospital because the device in his heart zapped him 17 times trying to get his back into rhythm. So I missed the funeral to tend to the living. It's nice to momentarily not be in a hospital.

Friday is family going out night, but I couldn't really do it. My zappy friend had finally been sent home and I headed home myself. My warm weather comfort food this week wasn't what you'd think of as summer fare. I kept forgetting to eat all week and by Friday I was starving. I took my son to this pierogi place at the back of a neighborhood bar and we got a shit-ton of takeout. Eight different kinds of pierogi, sausage balls, kraut balls, chicken paprikash poutine, kielbasa, latkes, and funnel cake bites with blueberry sauce. We have air conditioning so no one passed out. There were lots of leftovers, most of which I had for breakfast. I still miss my friend and I'm worried sick over the other, but there's something about Eastern European food that heals and restores when one is in the shit. It was exactly what I needed.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:11 PM on May 25, 2019 [29 favorites]

Food isn't something I can think about right now, because it has been a full few days of planting before the rain comes again...but once the tomatoes and cukes come in, it will be gazpacho,, wonderful gazpacho!

The baby birds are fledging, and falling out of nests all over the place. Wednesday afternoon, I spotted a new nest in my little apple tree (the ONLY one of the three to get blossoms this year), but when I got closer, I realized that it was a swarm of honeybees! The next-door neighbor and I suited up and we brushed them very gently into a bee box she had on hand (cardboard, but with a few empty frames hanging inside), and re-homed them in a new hive later that evening. Best part is that they have decided to hang out, and are adapting to the new place pretty well! I was proud of myself. I was not afraid to get up close, even without a suit. Neither of us had ever caught a swarm before, and she's a relatively new beekeeper, but we did it! And I have added to my list of resume-inapt but cool to have skills.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:12 PM on May 25, 2019 [18 favorites]

Summer is tabouli time for me. My tabouli is pretty basic -- dried herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, whatever grain and salad vegetables I have to hand. But it's important to me emotionally. I eat it in a pita whenever possible, and mixed with hummus for a lie-down type of lunch.

A lazy lunch for hot weather is pita spread with Laughing Cow cheese and the mildest of pico de gallo.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:17 PM on May 25, 2019 [6 favorites]

Ice cream! Last summer there was a long period where I was making ice cream every day. One of my favorite recipes is the NY Times Master Ice Cream recipe. I experimented with different numbers of egg yolks to figure out which was best. The recipe calls for 6 and it's good with 6, but I think 5 may be the ideal number, though it's also very good with 4. Three isn't quite enough for me, but my daughter's favorite recipe is a 3-yolk one. I like to try different flavors, but my standard flavor is chocolate chip - well, stracciatella is probably a better name for it. I like little flecks of chocolate, not big chunks or chips. I make plain ice cream and then melt semisweet chocolate and mix in a little oil and drizzle it into the ice cream maker when it's nearly done.

One of our family's other summer favorites is simple homemade salsa. I chop up tomatoes, jalapeno or serrano pepper, onion, and cilantro, then add lime juice and a little sugar, salt, and pepper.
posted by Redstart at 6:20 PM on May 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

It's already hot as balls down here in Florida so tonight we had friends over and ate cold sesame noodles, garlic broccoli, and some Kung Pao chicken (and Kung Pao tofu for the vegans) over rice. We also had a cocktail of Old Overholt, a simple syrup with anise and ginger, lemon juice, and seltzer. Finished with ice cream sandwiches for the grownups and Otter Pops for the kids. It was a good night.
posted by saladin at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

Today I made my first batch of half-sour pickles for the season. This weird weather has allowed my garden to be completely out of control and I have cucumbers galore and also dill, which is usually long dead by Memorial day weekend. You cannot find half-sours in Los Angeles markets anywhere, so I have to make them because my Long Island born husband misses them like nothing else. I have green (and dark black - Alice's Dream) tomatoes, none of which are ripe and it feels like they're teasing me because they are HUGE.

We are having another rainy day tomorrow (in LOS ANGELES!!!). So I'm all about stretching grilled cheese and tomato soup season as long as I can get it. I have some scheduled intentional cocoa time tomorrow as beekeeping classes have been cancelled.

I have accomplished a goal I have been working for for a good 12 years. Currently, I am sitting in my home office typing on the computer that I have been not getting myself (but shitty lesser versions) for 10 years. I am surrounded by no clutter. I can access my sewing machine, my printer and my vinyl cutter. It is fucking incredible. I made a commitment that if it didn't have a place to go, it was going out and it has been achieved!!!!
posted by Sophie1 at 6:24 PM on May 25, 2019 [10 favorites]

I'm actually baking a Lemon-Thyme Bread tomorrow but we're taking it out to a pot-luck garden brunch tomorrow and expect that the kitchen will have cooled down by the time we're home. The brunch is being held by a friend who rents an apartment in a building that was originally the mansion of the older and more responsible brother of Harry K. Thaw. Harry Thaw was the notorious killer of Stanford White and subject of the book and movie Ragtime.
posted by octothorpe at 6:30 PM on May 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

Gazpacho is my go-to hot weather dish. I make a huge batch and have a cup whenever I get hungry. It’s all veggies so I have no guilt about pigging out on it like it’s my job.

Also—cold pasta salads. My favorite is rainbow rotini with celery, green & red peppers, onion, black olives, jack cheese, and pepperoni—with Italian dressing. So good!

In other news—today is my 10 year MeFi anniversary!
posted by bookmammal at 6:40 PM on May 25, 2019 [13 favorites]

Burrata, quality olive oil (I like arbequina for this), quality balsamic, sliced Persian cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, pickled Peruvian peppers, fresh basil, a sourdough baguette and some cultured butter. Consume in various combinations, ideally with some wine. Add other vegetables as desired.
posted by aramaic at 6:49 PM on May 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

Another thing: today I was so happy I wondered if I was having a manic episode. I haven't fallen in love, spent huge amounts of money, planned to start a restaurant, or made any other big red-flag decisions. I've just been, you know, pretty amped about some stuff -- nothing major, nothing important to anyone else -- and I had a good day. In this day and age, that's enough to make me wonder. This happened about two or three years ago. I got excited and it scared me.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:50 PM on May 25, 2019 [14 favorites]

Popcorn. But it's always the right weather for popcorn.

I was making it on the stove for years and years, and then I decided to be healthy and start air popping it in an air popper. There was an old one in the cabinet that I'd gotten my mom for Xmas one year and then rescued when she went to throw it out. The thing is that the angle of that air popper's hood wasn't right, so it would shooting popcorn all over the kitchen every time I used it. So then I made this enormous tinfoil shield, and that worked great for getting the popcorn into the bowl. But one day I was out of the kitchen when it was popping and didn't get back to it in time, and the whole popper hood just melted. I ordered a new air popper and kept using the melted one in the meantime -- but the new one finally came yesterday and it is fantastic! All the popcorn shot right into the middle of the bowl, and it seems like it pops well, too. I had an extra big bowl for lunch.

My favorite food, I would live off popcorn if I could. Olive oil and salt on top and mmmmmm. A friend also sprinkles Old Bay on hers, and it's good, and I keep thinking I should put more spices on so that I can cut down on the salt. But I keep making it the same plain way anyway.
posted by rue72 at 6:52 PM on May 25, 2019 [11 favorites]

Hello from South Florida, land of year-round warm-weather food! Mostly what I like is Turkish-style food - kebabs, dolma, hummus, room-temperature vegetables simmered in olive oil, cheeses, olives, fresh fruit, raw cucumbers and tomatoes, bread, lots of olive oil. And raki diluted slightly with ice water. I grew up in New Hampshire and I'm jealous of everyone who gets to make cold-weather food, because that's my childhood comfort food, but you work with what you got.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:56 PM on May 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Happy anniversary, bookmammal!

My younger kid turns 15 tomorrow and he has 5 friends over tonight for a sleepover to celebrate. My God, teenage boys are LOUD. Also they just played three rounds of hide and seek, like they did at his birthday parties when he was a little kid. I love that they can be playing hide and seek minutes after busting on each other nonstop for the duration of a rousing game of “Ticket to Ride: Pennsylvania,” which is, no joke, honestly my favorite board game of the moment, and I was a little sad not to be able to play, but not THAT sad because they are just loud loud LOUD.

Oh, food wise, we made mediocre homemade pizza for the umpteenth birthday party in a row. At least they didn't make pizzas with Cheetos on them like they did when they were 10. He wants “grilled plain white fish” (?) for his family party on Monday, so we'll figure that out. His big sister announced last week that she’s giving up red meat. Good for her! Lotsa veggie burgers in our future this summer, I think. And actual veggies from our CSA.

My 20th wedding anniversary was this past week and I’m just so grateful to be married to someone I love. Also, it’s been almost a month since my last alcoholic drink, which is kind of neat. I’m going to stick with sobriety for the foreseeable future and I’m happy about that.
posted by cheapskatebay at 7:07 PM on May 25, 2019 [11 favorites]

I am so bad at warm-weather food. Basically, all I want to eat in the summer is peaches, jello, and jello with peaches in it. Also some strawberries and raspberries. Basically, there is no protein that sounds good to me in the summer. I'm seriously considering subsisting on peaches and meal replacement shakes.

This has been a weird week, with shitty and terrible things happening to people who are not me but whom I care about. And I'm feeling really sad, but I also don't want to make other people's tragedies all about me, which unfortunately some mutual acquaintances are doing. So yeah. Being a person is hard, and I'm trying really hard not to fuck it up. Also, if anyone knows any good casseroles that would be good to give to someone who is probably already receiving too many casseroles, please let me know what they are.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:11 PM on May 25, 2019 [8 favorites]

We like grilling. My partner is Romanian, so we love to cook mititei, also known as mici. They're skinless sausages made from beef and pork and seasoned with savory and garlic.

I tried to find a nice recipe to share, but all of the ones I could find were either wrong or prefaced with ten scrolls worth of rambling bullshit. (Seriously, WTF is wrong with recipe bloggers?)

Anyway, they are good. You should eat some.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 PM on May 25, 2019 [9 favorites]

Mealwise I'm actually pretty consistent all year round, Hell if a meal needs the oven on for a couple of hours I'll shift mealtime back rather than swap what I'm serving. Other than that for any given meal, sideline the baked beans, foreground the coleslaw, cucumber and toms - problem solved. This generally works, not least because I serve up a lot of chilli (so fight me!... plz dnt actually fght me!)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:18 PM on May 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Kale salad with grilled cheese, maybe? Whatever i have to do to avoid turning on the oven. I see someone upthread said popcorn, which I heartily endorse.

Tomorrow is my last day at my current job. My new job starts Monday. Having no break in between was rather poor planning, I admit, but I am trying to focus on tomorrow afternoon when I will (hopefully) forever be finished with making hotel beds.

In cat news, last week I bought this grooming glove from the dollar tree and it is no exaggeration to say it has changed our relationship. Overall he is quite friendly by nature but has never really liked laps. NO MORE. Two minutes with the glove and he is a snuggle machine. Five minutes and he’s down for a nap on my chest. I had no idea that he needed this kind of bonding, but here we are.
posted by janepanic at 7:22 PM on May 25, 2019 [13 favorites]

Number one go-to: hiyashi chuka, cold ramen. We are low-carb so we sub cucumber and zucchini spirals for the ramen, and use this as a sort of fridge-clearing recipe. I'm growing super extra many cucumbers this year to try to accommodate.

I do a lot of grilling, mostly chicken, with tzatziki and two minute toum.

Aside from cooking early in the morning, the two biggest heavy-hitters are the Instant Pot and an air fryer. Quick, contained, do not heat the house up like baking or stovetop cooking. I had been pooh-poohing air fryers until I gave up and got one and dang, what a boon.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:49 PM on May 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

I'm in Baltimore this weekend. I had the best crab cake of my life today, and it came with cucumber dill salad. So, that!

Earlier I was in the hotel watching a SUPER fucking gripping--and quite bad--Lifetime movie with my wife. And I have come to the conclusion that if you can play "creepy" well, you really don't need to be a good actor otherwise. Any bad line reading will be chalked up to your character's creepy weirdness.
posted by duffell at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

I wouldn’t say it’s entirely warm here in Minnesota, but once it gets to be real summer it is basically caprese salad all the time. The best is when I can make it with garlic scape pesto and some crushed Trader Joe’s breadsticks for crunch/carbs. My husband could live on grilled sweet corn, which I love, too, but I can’t eat two of ears of corn and call it a meal.

Last summer I had 8 tomato plants in my garden and a lovely amount and variety of ripe tomatoes for salads and BLTs. This year I started with 32 seedlings in my basement and ended up with 17 plants in my garden and a new patch in my front yard because I wanted to give them all a chance... I gave away a half-dozen to neighbors and the last 4 survivors were the sad Charlie Brown Christmas trees of tomatoes, but I lost my plant labels and am trying a bunch of new varieties AND WHAT IF I SACRIFICED THE MOST DELICIOUS ONE OF ALL?

I’m sure I will be saner about it next year. Last year I grew 18 varieties of squash but this year I know what I like, so I narrowed it down to 6.

In the meantime, this morning my husband had a meltdown about the quantity of dandelions in our grass and how he has no time to do anything about it, and I was like, “OK, clearly the dandelions have not yet made it to the top of my to do list, but it is at the top of yours, so let’s have a conversation about this instead of blowing up.” Because my fucking yard work to do list has been on the kitchen counter for weeks, it’s not like it’s been mystery. Add shit to the list, make your own, whatever, just don’t blame it on me because my life goal is to get rid of our lawn. I wasn’t going to accomplish that goal via massive dandelion invasion, anyway.
posted by Maarika at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2019 [9 favorites]

posted by Fizz at 8:22 PM on May 25, 2019 [12 favorites]

For my bento at work I make a Japanese style fried chicken bits in bulk and parcel it out for a few days with pickles, tomato salad, potato salad, fruit and a good squeeze of siracha mayo on top of the karaage. Or a sandwich. This is fairly physical work I'm doing so I have to eat pretty heavy lunches or I'll get faint. Weirdly- I've lost weight not gained it.

We're beginning to have big harvests here- radishes and green onions along with squash and bok choy and big carrots. I really need to rip out the carrot bed- the cores are all woody. I did get to put together a captain's log because on my days off I did even more planting. I bought and planted some comfrey- I'll throw up the pictures eventually, I'm too tired tonight for anything. I'm interested in comfrey as a green compost and as a potential bruise salve- but kids! Don't eat comfrey! It'll fry your liver if taken internally. Between the pennyroyal and the comfrey my yard has become a witches outpost and I love it.

Today I work I rung up a woman I went to high school with. In the past I would have been a hot ball of shame considering how shitty my teenage years were to me. But... It was cool. I'm proud of this job, proud of my life, and it was really nice to see her. She apparently shops there all the time so... maybe we can be friends again. Maybe it's ok to be me.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:25 PM on May 25, 2019 [11 favorites]

I'm in food-transition mode. I love wintertime braised red-meat things, but I just decided in the past month to eat pescatarian, and I'm trying to be gentle with myself as I figure out what that means, so right now it means lots of pasta. Tonight, though, I had shrimp cocktail (precooked by the local market) and then seared scallops with rice and and a red onion-fennel-orange compote that was WAY too sweet but still enjoyable. I can see that I'm going to need switch my enthusiasm to fish (which I do like) and away from braised beef, but I think summer is a good time for that. Bruschetta sounds amazing.
posted by lazuli at 8:37 PM on May 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

  • Vichyssoise, served very cold and garnished with chives from the garden. It's better the second day.
  • a tapenade made with black and green olives, basil, olive oil, capers, parmesean, tuna, and anchovies and served with pita bread. It's amazing.
  • Pesto pasta, served at room temperature or cold, made with basil from the garden along with with chicken, mushrooms and sauteed onions.
  • Roasted peppers, again from the garden. So good!
  • A cucumber vinegar salad
  • Frozen grapes

  • posted by carmicha at 9:01 PM on May 25, 2019 [8 favorites]

    Oh and fresh tomatoes with basil, avocado, corn, and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette
    posted by carmicha at 9:03 PM on May 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Yes to frozen blackberries, frozen blueberries, half-thawed strawberries. Cold sliced bananas with chocolate sauce and a little half-melted vanilla ice cream or whipped topping. Watermelon on the back porch.
    posted by TrishaU at 10:03 PM on May 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Grilled chicken breasts and thighs. Grilled turkey burgers. Cucumbers in vinegar/oil, Italian dressing, or a balsamic vinaigrette. Plain salad of lettuce, cucumbers, radish, cheese, croutons, and dressing of choice. I'm the kind of person who will eat the same meal for four or five nights in a row.

    Also. Ice cream. And maybe some dark chocolate almonds.
    posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:52 PM on May 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

    Over the last few years of Very Hot Summers, I've developed a wide repertoire of hot weather cuisine - panzanella, zarusoba, vinaigrette-based potato salads, and all the ways to add protein to the above. As well as a firm conviction that air conditioning is becoming a worthy investment when the weather consistently hits 30C (85 in American money) for weeks on end, to the point I had quotes and permit applications ready to go.

    Except this year there's been maybe 2 days over 25C so far, where last year it was nothing but heat from mid-April, and the long-term forecast says maybe 2 weeks between 25 and 30 C total this summer, and I'm... cold? And annoyed about not wearing my summer dresses? I mean, I'm wearing one right now, but I have leggings underneath and I'll need to layer a jacket on before leaving the house. I may have actually gotten used to 30C summers.

    I'm still getting a new car with Actual Climate Control. I test-drove a Kia Venga yesterday and the new version is surprisingly sporty-handling for a microvan with ridiculous amounts of space inside. I doubt I'll get 20 years of use out of it like my Toyota, but then it's one of a kind (and a three-door nightmare that turns to a hotbox even in 21C).
    posted by I claim sanctuary at 2:07 AM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Pita and tzatziki, tomato salad (olive oil, garlic, s&p, little basil). Smoked rainbow trout fillets. Sushi, seaweed salad. smoked ham and haloumi sandwiches with tomato and cucumber. Cucumber salad with Feta. Bruschetta.
    posted by some loser at 4:40 AM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

    I would be remiss if I didn't address the initial question by recommending, yet again, the Moosewood Daily Special, because easily half of the book is salad recipes and many of those salads are main-dish-possible. Some of the soups are even chilled soups.

    This weekend, with me, I've suddenly gone Middle Eastern and Provencal. A couple weeks ago I spontaneously picked up a can of Trader Joes' giant white beans in tomato sauce, because I had a vague idea of using it as the base for an improvised pasta sauce. But I then started reading some other people's reviews that they almost tasted sweet - think like the sauce in a can of Beef-a-roni - and that'd probably mess with the sauce. So I had this can of beans that I wasn't sure how to use. I tried Googling it, but kept getting hits that this kind of dish is something that's regularly part of a mezze platter.

    ....Mezze, huh? Hmm.

    So this weekend so far I've made a batch of little lamb meatballs seasoned with homemade za'atar and started a batch of rosemary-spiked olive oil (good, since I also got to trim my rosemary back) and this morning the black beans are soaking for a ful, and I'll be picking up more parsley for a tabouli tonight and maybe more mint to go with some cucumber and tomato in an improvised salad and all of that plus some little baby pitas I picked up will probably serve me well for several lunches over the next few days. And the fines-herbes roasted chicken I made last night will make plenty of leftovers for salads and sandwiches, maybe alongside some socca crepes.

    Heard a great tip for tabouli from Andrew Rea of "Binging With Babish" - before you do anything, chop the tomatoes you're going to use first, salt them down a little and put them in a colander set over a bowl for a half hour or so. That will make the tomatoes weep out some excess water - and you then use that tomato water as the water to cook your bulgur (adding extra water if you need it of course). He discusses the particulars in his recipe for the shawarma from the Avengers movie. (He includes recipes for tzatziki and tabouli alongside.)
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:57 AM on May 26, 2019 [8 favorites]

    Following up on my earlier comment: this is the first time in 3 years that my wife and I have had 2 consecutive nights away from our child (i.e., we had a full day from start to close without the kiddo). It was glorious. Baltimore is one of my favorite cities and is rapidly becoming my very favorite. We did a ton of cool art-scene shit, found what is now my favorite record store of all time (and spent an irresponsible amount of money there), and had a lot of great random conversations with strangers. We also saw Booksmart on opening night and it was fucking great. Go see it.

    Now we're about to go pick up the kiddo, who--in spite of our blissful weekend--we miss oodles and bunches--and then we're going to put on those highlife and bossa nova records we bought & dance in the living room.
    posted by duffell at 6:38 AM on May 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


    About the summer food. Space Kitty introduced me to the joys of eating a slice of watermelon with spices sprinkled on (black pepper was one we tried; chaat masala was another, I think). It was incredibly refreshing.

    I also make a watermelon-cilantro sorbet that's quite tasty in the summer months.
    posted by duffell at 6:40 AM on May 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

    Panzanella. Or, you know, tomatoes and bread and whatever else is around drenched in olive oil and balsamic and allowed to meld. Mmmm.

    Toronto patio culture is strong, we celebrate any breath of warm air. Friday night I was on a rooftop patio a block from my apartment with my new dude drinking an awful glass of wine and it was utter bliss.
    posted by wellred at 6:47 AM on May 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

    This Marian Morash Victory Garden recipe is a summer favorite:

    Marinated Shrimp with Onions and Cilantro

    2 lb peeled and deveined raw shrimp (original calls for extra jumbo shrimp, but any size will do, we often don't bother to devein them)
    3/4-1 cup fresh lime juice (4 limes or so)
    1/4 cup light olive oil
    1 halved and very thinly sliced large red onion
    1 thinly sliced lime (slice very thin)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (if you hate cilantro use fresh parsley)
    1 Tbl fresh minced oregano or 1 tsp dried (I usually use dried)
    salt and freshly ground pepper

    To poach the shrimp:
    Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, using enough water to cover the shrimp by at least 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon salt for each 2 quarts water. Prepare a large bowl of ice water to one side. Drop the shrimp into the boiling water. The cold shrimp will cool the water slightly, allowing the shrimp to poach. Let the water return to a simmer, but reduce the heat, if necessary, to keep the water from boiling again. Poach the shrimp until they turn pink on the outside and the tails just curl, about 1-2 minutes (To test, cut into 1 shrimp. The flesh of raw shrimp is gray and translucent; that of cooked shrimp is white and opaque.) Lift the shrimp from the pot and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking action, then drain.

    Put the shrimp in a bowl, pour the lime juice over them, toss, cover, and let them marinate for at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally. then drain the shrimp, drizzle the olive oil over them, and add the onion, sliced lime, cilantro, and oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss to combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours.

    Note, you can substitute lemon juice and sliced lemon for the lime, if you prefer.
    posted by gudrun at 6:49 AM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

    Our CSA starts in a couple weeks, so when that begins what we eat will mostly be a mix of what's in that week's box and whatever meat I dig out of the freezer.

    In fact, just recently we were discussing how the chest freezer was looking a little empty. Luckily enough, my butcher posted on Instagram that one of the farms they work with dropped off an extra roasting pig; the butcher didn't have any plans for it so he offered the whole thing for sale to the first person who called and claimed it. So now I have a pig in my fridge.

    I smoked the head and the ribs yesterday, which was very tasty. I served it with some baked beans made from local soldier beans and the maple syrup that a friend collected over the winter. (Now my weekend to-do list includes "clean brains out of BBQ" but that's my problem.)
    posted by backseatpilot at 7:02 AM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

    I eat salads all year round so just more of them in the summer.

    A friend passed away in his sleep yesterday, only 38 years old, waiting for more information but I am so so sad. His younger brother passed away 6 years ago in an accident, and the middle sister was one of my closest friends when I was in England (some people are better at long distance than others but I still love her dearly). Times like this it’s really hard to be abroad.

    Sorry for your loss Stanczyk.
    posted by ellieBOA at 7:24 AM on May 26, 2019 [8 favorites]

    Our CSA also starts in a few weeks and I have been working to make the little fridge freezer empty so we can store our pesto and sautéed onions or whatever as they’re ready to go in. We’re also eating through the venison and blue gill and perch and crappy so it doesn’t get lost until next spring. What I cook in the summer is mostly preserves to time shift the eating. Pickled carrots and pickled beets from last summer will keep our salads interesting for the first few weeks when it feels like it’s just lettuce and onions coming in. When the pickles are eaten I pop hard boiled eggs into the brine and add those to salads. We’ll finish up the zucchini relish over sausages. The last of the jalapeño jelly will get eaten with cheese and crackers, also alongside giant salads. I’ve already made the first bottle of salad dressing so I won’t be surprised the first Tuesday we have an onslaught. I’ll pick up a fresh tub of gojuchang paste because I finished out last one before I had my tonsils out and the new Hmart isn’t open yet.

    My partner has some neighbors in the building who come over for salads. They bring their containers and we spread prepped salad ingredients on the coffee table and exhort them, “take more, more!”

    Some time in July we’ll look at each other and say “fuck it, let’s get lazy steaks.” If carrying the produce has left us too tired to move, we’ll order quesadillas.

    Also, please share the things you do with tahini? I’ve got a bottle and I should probably take it to ask.
    posted by bilabial at 7:30 AM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

    I'm so sorry, ellieBOA. *hugs*
    posted by lazuli at 7:31 AM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

    Oh, I forgot! I have a dumb little triumph that I cannot report to anyone I know IRL, because it reveals me to be gross. I have never had decent dental hygiene. I never flossed, and I usually forgot to brush my teeth at night, which meant that I only brushed my teeth once a day. Gross, I know. So anyway, last time I went to the dentist, it took the hygienist a really long time to clean my teeth, and it was unpleasant, and I swore to myself that I would fix this. So I told myself that I would brush my teeth and floss every night when I took my contacts off, because that's something that I do every single night, and I can sometimes use rituals to overcome my executive dysfunction issues. And it worked! I went to the dentist this week, and it was the quickest cleaning ever, and the hygienist and dentist totally noticed and commented that my teeth were way better than usual. Woohoo! I have totally mastered a thing that everyone else figured out when they were six years old, and now I am substantially less repulsive!
    Also, please share the things you do with tahini? I’ve got a bottle and I should probably take it to ask.
    This vegan enchilada recipe uses tahini for creaminess. I usually substitute the filling for these guys.

    Hugs to everyone who needs them.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:22 AM on May 26, 2019 [12 favorites]

    I'm not a big cold legume salad person but I like this cold black lentil salad.
    posted by needs more cowbell at 8:35 AM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Stanczyk, I am so sorry to hear your news. Restorative comfort food is definitely called for.
    posted by MonkeyToes at 8:38 AM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Woohoo! I have totally mastered a thing that everyone else figured out when they were six years old, and now I am substantially less repulsive!

    Just to be real, I didn't even know that people brushed their teeth or washed their face at night until I was like 17 and staying in a dorm for the first time and saw all the other girls doing it. It took until middle school before I was brushing my teeth reliably even in the morning, and I've never really made the jump to doing it at night, too. Dental care wasn't a bone of contention at home growing up or anything, it just didn't come up? Sometimes I look back and it's like my family was in some kind of 19th century timewarp. Anyway, I'm in my 30s now but basically just crawl into bed at night without doing so much as changing my clothes necessarily, unless someone else is staying over and I'm trying to front. BUT. Somehow my teeth stopped being the horrible mess they were in childhood and now dentists are extremely complimentary? The last time I went to one, a month or so ago, I took the whole day off and budgeted a ton of money in case of cavities/etc and was generally freaking out, but then the dentist was like, "perfect! I wish everyone's teeth looked like this! You must floss, you must not drink coffee, you must do XYZ wonderful dental hygiene thing." Reader, I do not. What I do is drink a ton of tap water, and thank god for fluoride. So anyhow, don't be too hard on yourself!
    posted by rue72 at 9:09 AM on May 26, 2019 [8 favorites]

    This should probably have gone in the "go-to recommendations" thread, because I have linked to this book several times before, but the Cool Kitchen book is so good. Easy, tasty, fresh recipes that you can make without turning on the stove--lots of my go-to summer meals come from this book. This Mark Bittman article is also a classic.
    posted by merriment at 10:16 AM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

    My food fare doesn't substantially change by the season, other than really seasonal stuff like produce (at the moment I'm waiting for the price of avocados to drop to their typical summer price, for instance). But lately I've gotten a hankering to fire up the smoker and make brisket; it's been ages since I last did it. I wonder where/if I can find somewhere to buy one on a Sunday without going too far afield...

    Apart from that, though, all the food being mentioned in this thread has my mouth watering and I want to try it all right now!
    posted by Greg_Ace at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

    I apparently have some sort of plague that causes nonstop fever, body aches, and sweating, with no other symptoms. I went to the doctor and it may be Lyme disease? But I seriously doubt it is, only because I seem to be improving pretty quickly. The fever seems to have ended and my head hurts less today, so I was really only very sick for about 36 hours or so. I like to imagine that all this constant sweating is somehow doing wonderful things: clearing my skin, eliminating “toxins,” shedding unwanted pounds to help sculpt my beach bod. When in reality I think it’s just making it hard to avoid dehydration.

    Anyway, my warm weather food is a good Greek salad, as taught to me by a Greek roommate years ago. I’m sure the extended description of illness above is in no way unappetizing, so I will share the salad recipe.

    Here’s what you do: you cut red onion, green pepper, tomato, and cucumber into decent-sized chunks and salt heavily, but obviously not to the point of being inedible. Add olive oil (Greek olive oil, she would say) and kalamata olives. Maybe a splash of red wine vinegar. Then the beautiful part — a big slab of feta, maybe a block of feta sliced lengthwise into three pieces. Sprinkle on oregano (Greek oregano, she would say). You serve it in a big bowl, and every person takes as much or as little feta as they like. It is superb, my favorite salad.
    posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


    I've been watching the blueberry, bilberry and salal flowers rapidly turn into fat green fruits and they're just starting to go pastel shades of purple and blue and I can't wait. I'm also seeing what appears to be a whole lot of wild strawberries. We also have so much of the invasive Himalayan blackberry I don't even want to talk about it because it's a war zone out there in the bramble, but those won't really be up for a month or three more.

    When the blackberries finally ripen it'll likely be in waves that last well into late November. I was casually picking quarts and gallons even at that late stage and it was actually just way too many berries.

    I'm going to try to freeze up to 20 gallons this year because my housemates have the freezer space for it, and then we can have berry smoothies and stuff all year round.

    And I think I have thimbleberries right around my shed!

    So, one of the things I like to do is pick a bunch of berries to randomly share with people around town. I'll carry some empty berry baskets or boxes and ziplock bags and clean paper towels and stuff in my bike's handlebar bag, and you can find good blackberries all around town while having a pleasant bike ride.

    And then I'll take them to one of the parks or plazas, or a beer garden or coffee house and share berries with people. It's just a really lovely way to share a free, healthy snack with people and enjoy the nice weather. If I run out of berries sometimes it even results in impromptu berry picking parties because they're basically frickin' everywhere.

    They're a great addition to, say, a cup of ice cream or sorbet, or a salad. Every once in a while I'll get a scoop from the local ice cream shop and pile a bunch of berries on it, or one of my friends at a cafe or something will throw some salad in a go box for me and I'll augment it with my own hand picked berries and apples and stuff.

    The thimbleberries are all mine, though.

    They're really fragile and they just don't transport well, and they're usually so scarce and fleeting that you just have to eat them directly after picking them because they basically turn into jam in your fingertips. They don't really survive even being gently placed in a basket or carried around. This is why you don't really ever see thimbleberries in stores or even frozen. They're usually tiny, delicate little things and they're only ripe for a couple of days because they'll fall right off the vines.

    But wait, there's more! Yes, more berries!

    A friend of mine lives on a co-op farm kind of place and they have a bunch of new golden raspberry cuttings in the ground this year. These are my new favorite berries because they taste almost as good as a thimbleberry but they're HUUUUGE like as big as your thumb sometimes. Except they have all the delicate traits of the raspberry, so they're not all furry and woody like a big blackberry. They pick real easy like raspberries but have some heft and durability to them. You can peel apart the pips real easy and they don't burst and turn to mush, but still have a delicate tooth and bite like a raspberry.

    I am going to try to get some cuttings and starts and see if I can introduce them to our yard and brambly-bits.

    Hrm, what else? Life is fairly mellow, no one has died recently, I'm still working on music plans, I have at least one show next month, and volunteering at the foodbank is rewarding.

    I may expand to as many as three days a week, as they have stocking/loading days and other support work that needs doing. My vague plans - I mean, beyond actually liking to help people and being there - is that I'm hoping a local non-profit might see me in action and offer me a job of some kind.
    posted by loquacious at 1:40 PM on May 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

    cooker girl: I pretty much just grill every damned thing.

    Yes, please! Grilling season started early for us, by which I mean "it's not raining or snowing outside, why not plug in the electric grill?" We still do cook inside, but there's something about the taste of grilled food, and I'm happy to realize it's not limited to something from charcoal, or wood fires.


    Om nom nom. I love living in New Mexico, but I miss being in the land of So Much Fresh Produce Everywhere, aka Central Coast California. Semi-rural strawberry stands, with $10 for a tray of vine-ripe strawberries. Berry brambles growing in wild and open places (but you have to beat the birds to those berries). I know, I can make use of my warm weather and plant my own goodness (my parents-in-law have a small 4x4 foot "greenhouse" that they built to keep out pests, but the other bonus is that EVERYTHING IS BOUNTIFUL in it). Someday. Soon? Maybe.

    I'm on vacation now, a full week out of the office (and out of the state). It's good to see family, but I'm worried about what I might miss at work (it's heading towards the end of the state fiscal year, which means we're in crunch-time for some elements of projects). But I'm checking work messages via phone, so it's never far away.
    posted by filthy light thief at 6:23 PM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

    I'm listening to one of the albums I bought yesterday, by a prolific Brazilian percussionist/producer. It sounds a little bit like what smooth jazz would sound like if it were actually totally funky as fuck. It's wild. The artist's name is Paulinho da Costa. His career is fucking wild, too.
    posted by duffell at 6:50 PM on May 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

    I just got home from a backyard party, and the highest and best answer to summer cooking is a crawfish boil (on a gas burner in the backyard, natch). The party was a shrimp boil, which was delightful, but shrimp are harder to peel. Lots of seasoning, lots of potatoes and sausage.
    posted by momus_window at 7:03 PM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

    How do you people all not know about the Eastern European cold soups thing? Cherry soup, cold (blendered) borsch, and any number of other cold light soups from places like Poland and Russia.
    posted by twoplussix at 10:38 AM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

    for instance:
    (you can also cook a regular borsch and put it through a blender if you want a savory creamy soup rather than one with grated veggies. Things like parsley and hard-boiled egg are condiments and go in after the blender stage).
    Polish version:
    posted by twoplussix at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

    Ooooh, yes! Chilled sorrel soup is my favorite -- the tartness is so refreshing -- but sorrel's hard to find/expensive if you're in the US without garden space to grow it yourself. So instead I enjoy okroshka, which is basically a salad with enough kefir or kvass to turn it into a soup. No cooking at all (but better if you have some cold hardboiled eggs and potatoes handy) -- the prep is basically like breakfast cereal.
    posted by Westringia F. at 1:11 PM on May 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

    Did you know a group of skunks is called a surfeit? I do now. I think I have one or more striped skunks living underneath my woodshed. I spotted one in the morning the other day near that area, and today I have a hole dug under the foundation and some grass damage that resembles what skunks do when they're looking for worms and grubs.

    I guess I don't need to do anything about it, though. It sounds like they're harmless, since I don't have a dog or cat. I did want to dismantle and remove that woodshed this summer; hopefully it's/they're gone by then.

    So yeah, a surfeit of skunks. Even if it's just one, I'd call it that.
    posted by ctmf at 1:51 PM on May 27, 2019 [6 favorites]

    Glad to see cucumber salad with dill making a regular appearance - it's one of my go-to summer salads, and can range in complexity from cukes/dill/lemon juice/salt to more intricate preparations involving tahini, balsamic, tomatoes, shallots, feta, chick peas, etc. etc.
    posted by aspersioncast at 2:41 PM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

    And perfect timing, I just found my first berries! Salmonberries! Yum!

    I'm spending the day with the weed whacker and machete so that's a nice reward.
    posted by loquacious at 3:17 PM on May 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Last night I made the first potato salad of the summer. It’s a quasi-German potato salad with no mayo or bacon (and in fact is vegan if you care about such things) but is tangy and delicious.

    Slice a bunch of red potatoes. Maybe 3 lbs? And boil until just done (not mushy but not crunchy)

    Meanwhile, chop 2 generous handfuls of parsley and snip a bunch of green onions into a bowl.

    When the potatoes are done, put them in the bowl with the green things and dress with a red wine mustard vinaigrette (3/5 olive oil to 2/5 red wine vinegar, a tablespoon or more of coarse Dijon mustard, ample salt and pepper). Toss and chill until cold. It’s fine if you don’t wait for it to chill all the way but it’s better stone cold.

    I’m pretty sure my wife married me for this potato salad recipe.
    posted by coppermoss at 3:55 PM on May 27, 2019 [8 favorites]

    I like cold pasta salads, and salads in general in warm weather. I also lean more towards spicy foods when the weather warms up.

    So, #FigsWeeklyLoveLifeUpdate took a weird turn today - a kitten decided to move in.

    I heard a cat yowling all night long, then again this morning when I was walking my dogs. When I got home, this little guy popped out of my neighbor's bushes. I gave him food and water, he ate/drank a lot. I sat down, he crawled on top of my shoulders and was super snuggly. And suckly too, which is pretty gross tbh. Anyway, as I was mowing the lawn he walked into my basement. I was going to keep him in there, but as soon as I went upstairs he ran up and introduced himself to all of the dogs. Then took a massive stinky poop in the litterbox, and started playing with my other cat's toys.

    Other than eating and drinking, he found all of the good napping spots and pretty much just made himself right at home. The dogs are pretty chill about the uninvited little guy; my other cat saw him, growled, hissed and retreated , which is par for the course for her. So, I'll take him to the vet this week to get checked over, make sure there's no chip, etc. If not (and I'm guessing no, there's lots of strays around here, and he's pretty young and skinny) I'll probably keep him.
    posted by Fig at 4:35 PM on May 27, 2019 [16 favorites]

    Yep, that cat has moved in. Adorable!
    Will there be an upcoming “Name My Cat” AskMe???
    posted by bookmammal at 4:40 PM on May 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

    * Holding off naming him Yosef until the vet visit and the AskMe -- hey Yosef! *
    posted by TrishaU at 5:42 PM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

    We moved on Friday, only 5 miles but it takes just as long to box up our stuff for a 5 mile move as a 500 mile move.

    Grilled steaks Sunday night and burgers tonight.

    I'll be happy if I don't see any cardboard boxes for the next few weeks. Or months.
    posted by COD at 6:04 PM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

    I have a few names kicking around my mind. I dont think an AskMe will be needed, but one never knows. The one that's the frontrunner right now is Agamemnon, Augie for short. It's one of the names I had picked for a kid, but that isn't going to happen, and it sort of fits him. Many of my animals have had food names, so Roux is also a contender. He loves to jump on my shoulders and try to suckle my ears/neck, so Lestat? Or Nico is also a vampire from somewhere, and I like Nico Segal (formerly Donny Trumpet), so maybe Nico.
    posted by Fig at 6:11 PM on May 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

    posted by duffell at 6:23 PM on May 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

    the "warm" weather is over - the word you are looking for is "hot"
    posted by thelonius at 8:56 PM on May 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

    the word you are looking for is "hot"

    TBH that's never a word I look for when it comes to weather - which is the main reason why I no longer live in the southeastern US....
    posted by Greg_Ace at 9:01 PM on May 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

    Yes, too warm here, but having a fire and grillin some stuffs anyway. It's lovely out.

    Found more salmonberries!

    And discovered that the back 40, well, 0.40 is like neck deep in weeds and tall grass now. I'm sure the birds and the bees love us but it'll have to come down. At this point I can basically put in like 4 hours a day and I might finally have a decent buffer for fire season. Really thankful for that kickass little Echo string trimmer, it's like some kind of grass cutting ninja that'll run for nearly an hour on a tiny little tank. Fascinating.
    posted by loquacious at 9:49 PM on May 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

    It is VERY HOT. Every day heat indexes of 100+ and it's only begun. I became overheated sunday because they had me working the full day in the sun and I wasn't paying attention to it until I was aware suddenly of being HOT. The residual headache lasted through the next day but it's abated by now.

    So hot weather foods have been ice cold watermelon, milkshakes, fruit, electrolyte drink and a potato.

    I usually salad everything. Anything can become a salad in the summer. And I'm drawn to crisp crunchy worthless iceberg as a base if potatoes or rice aren't the base. Vinaigrettes are a good dressing usually for whatever I've concocted.
    posted by mightshould at 3:33 AM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

    I'm in your area, mightshould and you're so right it is already hot here. Watch that heat exposure. I had heat exhaustion once and my tolerance has been reduced ever since. I don't care what my big hat looks like, that thing is on my head if I'm in direct sun longer than a 5 minute walk.

    I've been gorging on blueberries. Last year we got shorted because of late freezes but his year there a gobzillions of them. While I was picking yesterday a mockingbird landed on one of the bushes & plucked a ripe one. I watched him swallow it whole, a blueberry shaped orb went down his throat. The bushes are netted but there's so many of them it feels wrong not to share with them. They can sneak in under the nets at the ground and dine and get out ok.

    Yesterday we had a late lunch/early dinner of turkey burgers with havarti slices and a glob of fresh made guacamole. I only had 1 avocado but it was the perfect amount & combo. We had that along with grilled veggies on our countertop grill and it was fabulous.

    Big hugs to those who've lost friends. Always so hard.
    posted by yoga at 6:26 AM on May 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

    It is hot as blazes around here, 100 F on the thermometer, with heat indexes over 100. I am wilting whenever I go outside for more than 5 minutes, and I want to take showers constantly because I am a sweaty mess. It is only May. July and August are going to suuuuuuck.

    We went to the beach for a bit yesterday, and stopped at one of those giant milkshake places. It's like a mason jar, with a milkshake, but dipped in frosting, topped with something else, and then they add a second dessert, some kind of pastry, usually, to finish. It's ridiculous. I enjoyed it, but as the beau commented, it felt odd to be eating a a place where the food was explicitly designed to be visual, without much thought as to the logistics of how to eat it.
    posted by PearlRose at 6:44 AM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

    PearlRose—I just looked at that milkshake website. How DO you eat those?????
    posted by bookmammal at 7:17 AM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

    We had tri-tip, asparagus, bean salad, roasted tomatoes, and rhubarb crisp with whipped cream for memorial day. Once I start making bean salad for the summer it's all I want to eat.

    Big thunderstorm last night, a light and sound show that kept me up for an hour or so. The child was so tired she didn't twitch, though, so that's good. I feel like I'm doing something right when she conks out.
    posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:49 AM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

    We christened our new grill last night with my all time favorite summertime food: very well done barbecued chicken thighs with Dinosaur Barbecue Slathering Sauce. Had some yellow rice on the side, and roasted some very stale marshmellows for dessert. Turns out very stale marshmellows do just fine for roasting.
    posted by lyssabee at 7:50 AM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

    We can’t grill anymore because of onerous rules at our abode. So in Summer, we make burgers and chicken hotdogs. It will be a few more days until Id Kurbani. If I can find some lamb, I will do my really good lamb and rice. We like going to a hot dog place nearby and I try to fix salmon when we can get it or steaks. Of course ice - cream, non-dairy for me but Mr. Roquette likes the real thing. Rose Italian soda is what I like! Schluuuuuurp! Iced coffee, and I make fizzy coffee for myself. I put it in a big glass and it looks like Guinness. Vaguely tastes like it too!
    posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:16 PM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

    It's almost Rainier cherry season. As far as I can tell, that's the only good thing one can say about summer in the Midwest, aside from, "it will be over soon."
    posted by eotvos at 12:25 PM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

    bookmammal: The milkshakes come on a little plate, so you can disassemble at will. I got the cookie butter one, and the blondie part was wedged in with a tiny skewer, so I pulled that off and ate it first, then used a spoon to scrape off some of the sides and topping, and a straw to drink the shake. I couldn't finish it and my hands were sticky afterward. But it was tasty, I will admit.
    posted by PearlRose at 1:55 PM on May 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

    So it's a long boring story but basically I haven't been able to eat a lot of different foods lately. However, one thing that I can eat is AMBROSIA SALAD. One of our local mom and pop joints runs a Friday night buffet with homemade comfort food everything--mashed potatoes, gravy, casseroles, you name it, they've got it, and it's all so good! Their ambrosia, though, is to die for--and probably controversial, since there's no coconut, no mandarins, no cherries, no grapes or nuts, I don't think any marshmallow--it's just huge chunks of what tastes like fresh (not canned) fruit in a lighter-than-air sweet cream whip. This Friday I'm gonna see if they'll give me the recipe so I can make huge bowls of it to last us all summer long!
    posted by stellaluna at 4:36 PM on May 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

    So this week is the start of Hell Month at my job, and we had our Hell Month kickoff meeting today. Some people have pointed out that Hell Month is kind of bad for everyone's emotional and physical health, so they gave us a helpful lecture on how to stay healthy during Hell Month. Recommendations included things like "wake up extra early so you can exercise before work!" and "make sure to eat healthy food, because you might be tempted to eat really unhealthy food during this stressful month of misery and doom, and it's more healthy to eat healthy food!" (It's probably worth noting that we used to get free lunch during Hell Month, but they stopped because of budget cuts. They're not going to help us eat healthy food: they're just going to inform us that we should be doing it.) They also suggested that we get together with co-workers and have a little friendly competition to see who can exercise the most and eat the most healthily during Hell Month. Needless to say, this did not go over well. The powers that be are very lucky that we were all too bored to riot.

    So anyway, it's Hell Month, and it's already a bit of a shit-show for reasons totally unrelated to the condescending lecture about How to Be Healthy During Hell Month, and I am going to try very hard not to be cranky.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:21 PM on May 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

    Tonight's dinner plan. Grilled turkey dogs and like half a gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream. No vegetables.

    My bedroom ac (window unit) died last night. A new one arrives in the morning. I recognize this is a first world problem but it's at least 40,000°F in my bedroom right now so vegetables can kiss my ass.
    posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:37 PM on May 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

    ArbitraryAndCapricious, we got a "Our healthcare costs are going up because you're not meditating enough" lecture at our last managers' meeting, in a department with an extraordinary number of unfilled positions (and ever-increasing workload) that's trying to shift healthcare costs back onto employees. I was... not amused.
    posted by lazuli at 6:41 AM on May 29, 2019 [5 favorites]

    Update: it was nice the other day, but then it got cold and cloudy again. Everyone I talked to today was complaining about the weather.

    I took the mister to his follow-up appointment today, and then we had to go get lab work done. The computers were acting up, so while we were waiting, I grabbed a Food and Wine magazine, and copied down this recipe for pork chops with cherry-miso mostarda sauce.

    They had cherries on sale, and also peaches, so in my research on mostarda, I discovered that authentic mostarda takes a few days, but can include other fruits, both fresh and dried. I added the peaches, used fresh cherries, and also a handful of dried cranberries and a pinch of ginger to the original recipe. It turned out well, and the mister was pleased with the results.

    He's doing well, as well as can be expected, and the doctor we saw today had studied under the mister's hospital doc, a woman, who he said was as near can be a genius as he's ever met, and I liked her a lot, and I liked this guy that we saw today (our doc was full up so we saw this other dude instead). I felt they really cared, and the whole staff, the nurse, etc. were really supportive.

    My husband applied for short-term disability today, and then he sent a note to his supervisor, who wrote back and told him how happy she was that he is on the road to recovery and to take as much time as he needs.

    We are going to a couple of follow-up appointments next week, and then they will tell him when he can safely drive and go back to work. I am SO grateful for the level of care he has gotten, the friends and family support, and that he's back on the mend. It was a common thing, bladder infection in an older man, which often goes unnoticed until it gets bad, and he was fine one minute, then down and out the next with sepsis and lactic acidosis. PSA to guys, the more you know, the doctor explained that this is super common, and how lucky he was to have gotten to the hospital in time for this to be treated. The scans also caught some other potential problems which can be nipped in the bud, so that's also good.

    Anyway. Mostarda, try it! Next I am looking at Filipino cuisine and sawsawen, an onion and garlic condiment to go with roast pork or roast chicken.
    posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:39 PM on May 29, 2019 [5 favorites]

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