It’s also a big weekend for getting together with family and friends, and the “official” launch of summer.
So what does summer mean for cooking?
We tend to stay away from baking–it’s too hot here on the Gulf Coast to be too inclined to turn on the oven. That means that casseroles are also not on the menu, and even the biscuits we love so much tend to be served less often.
We eat lighter, which might not be such a bad thing! It’s a good season for fresh vegetables and fruits too.
Blackberries are now in season, and even with the rising temperatures, we’re apt to forget the ban on baking, just to have that fresh blackberry pie or cobbler. Or do we have to? Why not take a fresher approach to the delicious berries? Chilled berries, with a light drizzle of delicious heavy cream, is a taste treat that you won’t forget anytime soon. Even simple angel food cake, which most of us purchase at the store, becomes a delicious (and low fat) dessert when topped with lightly sugared fresh berries, soaking up their juices with all of the purple glory possible. Add a dollop of fat free whipped topping, and you can have a totally guilt-free dessert that didn’t heat your kitchen up one bit!
If you want something that really jumps out and grabs you, maybe you’ll opt for a no-bake cheesecake, topped with those same fresh berries, sprinkled with sugar and chilled for a few hours before serving.
And of course, there are a lot of options as to what to have for the main course, including that Gulf Coast specialty–a shrimp/crab/crawfish boil! Easy and usually cooked outdoors, they are perfect for a leisurely gathering of family and friends around the picnic table under that big pecan/live oak/magnolia tree. There are things to grill too. Whether you opt to do fish, poultry, beef, pork, or something a bit more exotic, we all have our favorite recipes.
So, what are YOU serving this weekend?
I must confess, I haven’t decided yet. We aren’t planning on entertaining or traveling, so it would be just the two of us. That means we’re not going to go whole hog on anything, as we generally keep it pretty simple.
I’ve been thinking about picking up a turkey and smoking it. Turkey is low in cholesterol, so it’s heart-friendly for meat. The long slow cooking for smoking means moist and flavorful meat too, and it’s ideal for sandwiches as leftovers. That’s probably a good thing too–we’re hardly going to make a dent in even a small turkey the day it’s cooked.
As an easier alternative though, we may opt to keep it simple with something else. I’ll see what the store has to offer before I make the Big Decision.
If anyone has any suggestions, I probably could use a bit of inspiration!