Monday, May 30, 2011

Welcome, Summer!

It's only fitting that I write my first post of the "summer" on Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff of the season.  It's a lovely 93 degrees F and humid outside... that part of summer I'm not so excited about, but I am excited about the food.  Summer food is the best.  Fresh delicious produce, simple salads, classic American cookout dishes (who doesn't love burgers/hotdogs fresh off the grill, potato salad, and a refreshing glass of iced tea ?).  It's even better when some -- or most, if you're lucky! -- of the ingredients come from your own garden.

A couple months ago I wrote about my burgeoning container garden.  Well, it was mostly an epic failure.  All that survived out of those many tomato seedlings is this one bad boy, who is still hanging on for dear life:

He's still growing little by little every day. I'll be quite impressed if he actually ends up producing any tomatoes!
In light of my tomato seedling failure, I gave up and purchased a cherry tomato seedling, which I'm excited about:

And as for basil...
The bunch you see to the left is all that's left of the basil I planted months ago.  The bigger plant on the right was a store purchase (there's another one too, not pictured).  All are growing like wildfire! :)
Sigh, cilantro.  This was grown from seeds, and was going pretty strong, but has started to wilt quite a bit the last couple days, despite plenty of sunlight, allowing the water to drain, and not over- or under-watering.  Cilantro seems to be a pretty fickle herb to grow.  Any pointers??
I purchased this lavender plant for the wonderful aroma and beautiful purple flowers that will bloom (and have already started to bud).
As for what's been cookin' lately...

In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, I felt compelled to make some sort of BBQ stable, so I went with this basic pasta salad recipe, with the omission of chickpeas and eggs, and the addition of fresh basil from my garden.

In the words of Paul, "Can you make this again??? I could eat this all week..."
And, nothing says summer like a simple caprese salad (again, basil from the garden).  I hope someday soon the tomatoes will be from my patio, as well. :)

Simple Memorial Day lunch.

What summer foods are you most excited about?


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