Memorial Day — check. The Fourth of July — check. Between now and Labor Day, which is on Sept. 1 this year, there are two whole months of glorious summer, just waiting to be lived.
I guess I still look at summer as vacation time, just as I did when I was in school. Sleeping late, meeting up with friends at the pool, whole days at the barn with my horse (and my horsey friends), family vacations with relatives in Winston Salem or at the beach in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. All happened in the golden days of summer.
Then I grew up, and discovered work doesn’t come with a three-month built-in vacation, no fair! I still do a lot in the summer, mostly vicariously, thanks to my children and grandkids.
Grandsons Garrison and Ethan are with their parents, Ingrid and Gary, on a two week trip to Sweden. The boys are old enough, at 11 and 13, to enjoy getting to know their grandfather’s homeland and the part of their family who still live there. Summer, when it’s light all night, is a magical time to be in Scandinavia (their dog, Dozer, is at “camp” for the interim).
Katie and Edward, Jenny and Chris’s children, are both on tournament lacrosse teams this summer. That will mean game days out of state on some weekends. Woo-hoo! Bring on the road trips! Katie’s also getting a course out of the way before moving on to the high school in the fall.
My two younger London grandchildren, Susanna and Jacqueline (along with their parents, Heather and Rodney) are readying themselves for the Madison County Fair, which has its first official day Sunday, July 6. Their lives for the next 10 days or so are a gaggle of chickens and rabbits, writing and baking contests, rides and fair food, trips to and from the fairgrounds, and who-knows-what-all. Their older sister, Kelsey, is going to college and working, as is Susanna. These kids have officially found the 25-hour day and are living it to the max.
I think summer calls for salads, in whatever shape or form. They complement just about anything from the grill, which is almost everything. This is one I’ve made for many years, with a little change here and there. It’s a great do-ahead.
1 bunch broccoli
1 head cauliflower
2/3 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
1/2 cup granulated sugar or Splenda
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 cup English walnuts, broken
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp
Wash and cut broccoli and cauliflower into pieces 1/2 inch big in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Add Craisins, walnuts and crumbled bacon to broccoli mix.
Add dressing to broccoli mix. Fold to mix thoroughly. Taste test and adjust sugar, vinegar or mayo as you like it.
Serves eight to 10.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.