This and That
Isn't it funny how we are plowing through summer, and then all of a sudden, the humidity breaks and the mornings suddenly have a refreshing quality to them, (Something that we refer to has Lancaster Fair mornings although a heavy fog is needed to make it an official Fair morning!) and the afternoons continue to hold onto summer's heat, but now the heat doesn't last as long as it did a few weeks ago, and nearly before dinner is finished the sun has sunk behind the hills and the cool comfortable temperature returns. Ahh, yes, it is August!
I must confess, that even though August signifies the end of lazy mornings and afternoons in the lake, I am rather partial to the weather that August brings. These cool mornings are dearly welcomed after weeks of stale humidity!
The heat though, has been wonderful for the blueberries this year. This is our first year taking part in Surowiec Farm's Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) program. We used a portion of our tax return to finance this back in March, and how happy we are that we did. The amount of fresh veggies that we bring home each week are wonderful! This week it took two reusable grocery bags to bring all of the goodness home!
Each week, for the last four weeks (I think), we have received a bag of blueberries. We have also picked an additional bag for freezing each week. We are hoping that the berries taste as good in the winter as they do right now in our cereal!
While blueberries are certainly a favorite, I am a huge tomato and basil fan! I love the pesto sauce at Ciao Pasta here in Franklin and Mountain Fired Pizza has an amazing tomato and pesto pizza! However, going out for these delicious treats isn't always in the cards, so here is the recipe for an old stand by that our family enjoys each summer. We call it Higgins Beach salad because that is where we were first introduced to it, when my sister clipped the recipe from Coastal Magazine and brought the dish to share at the beach! It has become a staple of our week at the beach ever since!
Tamato Basil Pasta Salad
1lb rotini pasta
2 lb tomatoes, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 table spoons basil pesto
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
fresh basil leaves, chopped to taste - between 1/3 and 1/2 a cup - to your liking!
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Mix together the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and basil. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, I prefer over night.
Cook pasta and add to sauce
Mix pasta and sauce until well combined
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
This salad only improves with time, making it a day or two before you want it makes it so much better!
I have a bowl of this in the fridge now and I think that it might be the best yet. I made my own pesto, and the tomatoes, basil, and garlic were all fresh from the farm.... the little taste test last night was delicious!
Here is one more delicious staple of summer, and since we were talking about blueberries, here is a recipe for blueberry cake!
3 tbsp shortening
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries
topping - 2 tsps sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Cream shortening, and sugar. Stir in other ingredients. Pour into 8x8x2 pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
I hope that in the last few weeks of summer you get to enjoy good food, and good friends! Speaking of good friends, parents do not forget our parent meeting Friday night at 6:30 at school! See you there!
PS - Have a delicious summer recipe? Leave it in the comments below!