Top Five Ideas for Summer Break
Summer might not officially start for another week, but schools across the US and elsewhere are ending, students are returning home from college, pools are opening, and families are planning summer trips. We could easily come up with a top 5 list of things to do this summer and have them be 5 different cooking vacations! What a fabulous way to spend the summer! But there are a lot of other great food-related things you can do this summer as well.
1. Take a trip
Of course, we'd love for you to take one of ours, and we have over one hundred cooking vacation itineraries to choose from, so we're pretty sure we have something for everyone! But even if it's a short weekend getaway near home, try to schedule a formal vacation this summer.
2. Go to a farmers' market
Chances are you live within driving distance of a farmers' market or country food stand where you can find fresh, farm-to-table produce. It's not just about finding the best, freshest, most seasonal items, it's about the experience as well, meeting the growers, figuring out what to make with your purchases, trying a new vegetable or fruit you've never seen before! My newest vegetable discovery: celtuce!
3. Learn a new summer cocktail
Summer is a great time to try something different from a drink standpoint. A cold brew or glass of white wine are always nice summer staples, but why not try an interesting summer cocktail or a different summer wine? Check back during Wednesday's blog for some ideas!
4. Make a summer dish
We have an extensive recipe archive, and a lot more recipes if you look through our blog archive (sorry, no search function for that yet!). But whether you use one of our recipes or not, honor summer by making a summer dish. It might utilize your farmers' market purchases, food grown in your own garden, or simply the use of the backyard grill instead of the oven, but it won't be the same fare as what you would cook in the winter.
5. Grow your own... something!
Nothing means summer like green, growing things. You might not have a garden and terrace like our friend Chef Silvia in Tuscany (pictured), but even if you're a city dweller, you probably have a porch, balcony, or at least windowsill where you can grow fresh herbs, or, if you're lucky, a patio tomato plant. The satisfaction you'll feel when you pinch off a bit of parsley or basil when you're making dinner, when you pick your first pepper to pickle, or your first tomato, is indescribable.
What are your plans for this summer? Can you think of other summer "must-dos"? Take a swim, go camping, visit a national park? Let us know in the comments or on social media, we'd love to hear your ideas.
By Peg Kern