here in England summer has finally arrived
There are lots of jokes about the English summer, but let me tell you, when we do get some good weather this Sceptered Isle really is a jewel set in a silver sea. This Beatles song perfectly captures my mood today.
Some say that the Rolling Stones were a better band than the Beatles ~ you had to be rather too fond of illicit sex and drugs to believe that.
dawn over the North Sea
create healthy habits, not restrictions and rules
It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s time for a cool drink and a fabulous salad. After all this self-isolation, comfort eating, and processed food it’s time to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. And we all know that salads are brilliant at this time of year. Preferably eaten in the sunshine and fresh air.
This quick, healthy arugula salad with lemon balsamic dressing is from Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin. It’s listed as a side dish, but I think many of us would be happy to have this for an al-fresco lunch, maybe with some salmon or chicken added.
This is fabulous from The Bojon Gourmet; vegan caprese salad with peaches and arugula. Here a vegan mozzarella is used, but if you don’t want to be so strict you could choose an alternative. BTW, I love heirloom tomatoes.
Vegan Caprese Salad with Peaches & Arugula
And now for something completely different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; panzanella with marinated chickpeas and chimchurri. Bread in a salad, now that is different!
Panzanella with Marinated Chickpeas and Chimchurri
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for heirloom tomato soba noodle salad, and as I already said I like heirloom tomatoes.
Heirloom Tomato Soba Noodle Salad
Trust Amanda at Chez le Reve Francais to come up with something decadent; an asparagus, broccoli, and endamame salad. Looks deliciously different.
Asparagus Broccoli and Endamame Salad
Finally this week is from Chunghah at Damn Delicious, how about this grilled Greek chicken salad, served with tzatziki dressing?
Grilled Greek Chicken Salad
from Heather Christo
roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer
So, what is it? Spend the days isolated in lockdown? Or do we get out into the yard, have family over, have friends round, or just enjoy ourselves in the warm summer sunshine?
I guess you all know which end of the spectrum I’d prefer. But then, at my age I’m not so risk-averse.
Should you wish to try some alfresco dining then I heartily commend these recipes to you.
Since we can’t go travelling the world, there’s a cosmopolitan flavour to the dishes this week.
First up, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, we have this Tuscan roast pork with apples. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Tuscany; Florence, Sienna, Pisa….. but the food there is fabulous. Amanda captures the atmosphere perfectly with this dish that would be great on any alfresco dining table.
Tuscan Roast Pork with Apples
Since you probably don’t want to go trogging off to stand in line at IKEA, I offer you this Swedish meatball pasta, from Chungah at Damn Delicious.
Swedish Meatball Pasta
From semi-professional taco eater Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb here’s a dish of Cajun shrimp and rice, cooked in a skillet, so easy and so delicious. Great with a salad. I’ve had a very similar dish in the West Indies, on a beach of silver sand.
Cajun Shrimp and Rice
To go along with any of the dishes this week, or as a fabulous, healthy meal in its own right we have this beautiful Mediterranean Salad from Heather Christo. She does make good looking dishes.
Our collection this week comes from Good Housekeeping Magazine their 75 quick summer dinner ideas for easier weeknights ~ weeknights? Hell! These dishes are great at any time. From this collection I’ve chosen to feature this grilled Moroccan steak and carrots. It’s worth getting the spices and doing this properly, you’ll love it!
Grilled Moroccan Steak and Carrots
And for desert, or as an alfresco brunch, we have this blueberry Dutch baby panckake from Andrea at Cooking with a Walflower. Fantastic with vanilla ice cream.
Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake
an odd fact,
women like kale much better than guys do
the longest day of the year has special meanings for all spiritual people
This far north, the sun rises today at 04:27, and does not set until 21:45, some 17hrs 17min and 55sec later. That’s the true day length, but this close to the sea, this far north, it’s fully light here from about 03:30 until 22:42, as a matter of fact it never really gets dark today. Full Nautical Twilight is a very strange phenomenon. Of course our clocks are slightly wrong because noon at the Greenwich Meridian today is at 13:01. That’s politicians and orbital drift for you.
The spiritual significance of the summer solstice lies in embracing the sun and its life-giving power, and if you live as far north as I, then you will know how much better you feel in summer, as opposed to the dank, cold, dark days of winter. The summer solstice is also a time of new beginnings, and I am fully aware that I need to make and stick to some solstice resolutions. How much better to make new resolutions in summer as opposed to almost the shortest days of the New Year.
My first resolution, aim, goal is to be physically, emotionally, and mentally stronger, fitter, healthier ~ loss prone to illnesses.
And my second is to be kinder, more supportive, more charitable, more accepting and understanding, friendlier and more loving.
The third and last resolution for this solstice is that indefinable and immeasurable thing; to be a better man.
Some say that the only goal worthy of a man is to be superior. And that, it doesn’t matter how we treat others, what really matters is how they treat us. All I know is that I would rather be a very nice guy, living a really great life, than a jerk.
I hope and trust you can enjoy the warm, live-giving sun at this solstice.
LOVE IN SUMMER
Summer to Fall
I said November
and you saw the gold of the Fall
I smelled the mould
and you heard the grey geese call
I touched your hand
and you brushed your lips on my cheek
you heard the band play
and I heard discordant screech
I saw brown leaves drop
but you saw the umber and gold
I saw a poor apple crop
and you tasted hot cider mulled
Autumn, and you said that it’s time
I stood there in silence
you just walked away
the end of a romance
Like Summer it had its day
by Jack Collier