The other day while sitting in the park after school, I spoke with a friend about how I don’t really enjoy cooking unless it’s for enjoyment. (Is that strange to say?) I went on a tangent of sorts, counting how many times I actually cooked…one. No, two days. Okay, if you count Sunday’s, three. In that moment, I realized two things: I wasn’t giving myself credit for how often I cook. And two, there are a good chunk of days in the week when I find cooking worth it and joyful. Soon after the conversation, I I thought about the other days of the week when the kiddos are fed by other caregivers. Home cooked meals, albeit simple, remain on rotation. And my exceptional (if I may add) grocery shopping is partly to thank.
When we arrived home from the park, we noticed that it wasn’t even six and the sun was already setting. I lit candles and a box of groceries from Eataly arrived. Dinner, made easy. It was a special treat in general, but given my recent conversation, it became even more of a sign of what I love about food. Soon after, when I moved the lit candle to the center of the table, poured a glass of wine, and got all of those fall dinner feelings that I often get this time of year.
However, the next morning, I woke up craving all the summer foods I just didn’t get enough of! Watermelon is one of the main fruits that come to mind. We spent days hauling it to the pool and eating it with a silver spoon under the heavy sun. It was fresh and juicy, and we did not fret over the way it dripped on our chins. It made feeding us incredibly easy. Inarguably, summer only feels like summer with an oversized watermelon.
It’s the one “Summer Food” I’m not quite ready to let go of. And if you happen to still have one in your fridge still, maybe these two recipes will make your still quite warm evenings much more enjoyable.
We made watermelon two ways for our first rendition of our favorite summer foods. First, it was quite simply a delicious watermelon with fried tostones with a heavy hand of salt. I ate the tostones while walking with a plate like a ravenous monster, and was truly compelled to eat the entire batch. Until, of course, offered more to Grace! Then, we both continued to chew and walk.
“It isn’t always effortless, eating outside in the summer, and that’s why I want the portability, durability and versatility of a crispy-crunchy-soft tostone.” wrote Yewande Komolafe on this easy summer to-go dish.
We paired it with a mocktail, from that same article. We decided to make it a mocktail for day drinking, but I think the coctail version of it would’ve been wonderful too. As a mocktail, it was incredibly smooth and exceptionally kid friendly. Of course, the basil we popped in it also led to this salad…
Lastly, we made this quick Greek inspired watermelon salad with some of the same basil from the mocktail. It took approximately two point two seconds. And woah, I almost forgot what that summer foods also means, incredibly quick meals! But more than the easy route of creating dishes and drinks with watermelon, I’ll miss the way it it all came about so easy under the bright bight sun. Of course, the early evenings by candlelight are good too. But I’ll be over here looking for ways to weave the food in.
Okay, what summer food are you not ready to quit? And are you able to incorporate it in your fall meals?