Early July is, to me, the second-best time of year. It takes a back seat only to the Christmas-New Year fests. July is a time of such promise. The possibility of trips to the lake or beach, great outdoor festivals, fresh tomatoes and muggy evening baseball games.
Yesterday, prepping for a dinner with neighbors, my wife thrashed through our family recipe folder. It’s a jumble of torn magazine pages, 3×5 cards, stick’em notes and random slips of food-stained paper. The most cherished family recipes. The ones unearthed once a year to celebrate the orderly passing of the seasons.
Marilyn’s quest was for Priscilla Olton’s killer blueberry cream pie recipe. A fave of my wife’s family. No milk. Lots of sweeteners. Guaranteed to give a whole picnic gathering a sugar high without the downside of food poisoning.
Up popped the paper scraps with other timeless summer foods. Margaret Stine’s whole-wheat biscuits (since banned from the table due to Crisco content); Rachel Gunderson’s Taco Dip (the one with a can of Hormel Chile and a block of Velveeta; irresistible). Better Homes and Gardens’ soy-curry salad dressing with brown sugar. Liquid perfection atop mandarin oranges and avocado.
Of course we were not just hunting recipes. We were reliving Fourths of July over the past generation. Gatherings with relatives now gone. Funky parades with farm tractor floats in midwestern villages. Thundering fireworks displays in New South metroplexes.
Whether sights, sounds or foods capture your imagination, I hope you savor a rich Fourth of July holiday.
PS: Dear Blog Consumer, what summer recipes do you most warmly identify with your family traditions? I’d love to hear from you.