Jun 11, 2020

Tasty Summer Garden Treats

I’m quite hungry as I write this, so tasty treats are on my mind. I’ll use this inspiration as the motivation to write about one of my favorite topics – food. Especially Summer food.

There’s just something magical about creating food that cools, refreshes, and hydrates you when you need it the most…like when it’s hot outside! (and boy is it – my car registered 101 degrees F yesterday!)

One of my fondest memories of Summer as a kid was going out to Daddy’s garden, picking tomatoes (and whatever else was ripe and ready!), doing some weeding, feeding any worms we found to the neighbor’s chickens, and then coming back in to cool off. Cooling off usually entailed lunch (a kid’s favorite time of day, to be sure)!

Tasty Treats #1: Tomato & Mayo Sandwich

OK – I have to ask – Are you #TeamDukesMayo or #TeamHellmansMayo? Inquiring minds want to know (OK, really just me). Photo by Austin Steele, originally shown in the Gainesville Times.

Often my lunch of these Summer-time moments was a Tomato and Mayo sandwich. Nothing says Summer like this sandwich (and the Gainesville Times agrees with me!). If the South had a song, this sandwich would be a key lyrical point.

Simple. Delicious. Affordable.

Fresh tomatoes, sliced into thick circles, placed on bread smeared with a healthy portion of mayonnaise. Salt, pepper. Done. You’ll find other variations, additions, people “gourmet-ing it up”, but honestly, nothing is better than just simple.

What else can one say about this sandwich? Well, it transports me back to a simpler time, and for a moment the stresses of the modern world retreat. I smile. And when the sandwich is gone I dream of the next one.

Tasty Treats #2: Blueberry, Watermelon, Mint & Feta Salad

from the blog of @SheWearsManyHats.com, this is the original recipe page: https://shewearsmanyhats.com/blueberry-watermelon-feta-mint-salad/

Now, I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of eating melons. BUT, in this salad, they’re actually quite good. It doesn’t hurt that I REALLY love blueberries, feta, mint, and balsamic vinaigrette. If you love all these things, this is a great cool-down refreshing salad to make.

Watermelon has hydrating qualities that can’t be overlooked on hot summer days. Made mostly of water and fiber with a little sugar, served cold it can literally bring down your body temperature in a matter of minutes. Watermelon is also one of the best hydration delivery systems ever – no salt-laden sugary chemical drinks needed!

It’s as easy as it looks folks, cube up some watermelon, add blueberries, crumbled feta, torn mint leaves, and toss lightly, then chill in the fridge for about an hour or so, take it out, drizzle balsamic vinaigrette, and serve. Yum!

Tasty Treats #3: Agua Fresca with Cucumber, Lime, and Mint

Cucumber, Lime, & Mint Agua Fresca, from simplyrecipes.com https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cucumber_lime_mint_agua_fresca/

Are you sensing a Mint theme here? Yeah, me too. I just can’t help myself.

Mint is used in both Eastern and Western medicines to cool the body, so it’s no wonder it’s in a lot of foods for hot climates.

Cucumber is another food that is excellent at hydrating a parched body. It’s mostly water and fiber, so your body can quickly get the water to your tissues. When you see them over people’s eyes in a spa treatment, it’s because contact with cucumber juice instantly cools and hydrates puffy and/or dry eyes.

Lime (and any citrus, really) has some extra sugars and vitamins to add to your refreshing Summer drink to help you hydrate (and they’re tasty too).

This image is from another recipe for the same thing, Sense & Edibility, a virtual cooking school!: https://senseandedibility.com/cucumber-lime-drink-juice/

The recipe is in the link under the picture. You won’t regret making it! For an additional bit if zing, use water from a Soda Stream machine to give it a little fizz.

Thanks for letting me ramble on about food. I’m going to go make a Tomato & Mayo sandwich and remember my childhood for a few minutes before I move on to my next task for the day!

Take care, and Keep Growing!

Marissa

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