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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Technically, it’s not summer yet. But after a sweltering Memorial Day weekend spent by the lake and water that’s already warm enough to swim in, I’ve officially shifted into summer mode. Summers in Northern Michigan are fleeting. One month you’re wiggling your toes in the sand as you bask in bright sunlight and the next you find yourself regretting that you didn’t fill your summer with enough of that sort of thing. So I’ve been working on a plan that maximizes beach time and minimizes kitchen time, without sacrificing anything in yumminess.
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We promised you Heirloom Tomato Preserves.  In early Spring, tucked away on one of the very last pages of our catalog, we featured a photo of ten unlabeled jars in shades of orange and red and yellow and green, with a brief caption identifying those jars as Heirloom Tomato Preserves and indicating that they’d be available come Fall. It was a subtle promise, but a promise nonetheless, so we mailed our catalogs and set about keeping it.
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Last week, a berry-stained gentleman wandered into the American Spoon store in Petoskey.  He’d picked some wild blackberries in response to our ad and wasn’t quite sure where to take them.  This happens fairly often during the month or so that it takes summer to fade into fall, when blackberries grow like crazy in dense thorn-studded thickets along roadsides and abandoned railroad tracks, at the edges of fields and trails, in state parks and vacant lots, and in all sorts of wild and woodsy places.
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I don’t remember when I first tried the farm egg sandwich at the American Spoon Café but I do know that I’ve been ordering it religiously ever since.  I’m not its only fan — my friend Katie likes it so much that the Café was one of the last places she stopped in Petoskey before beginning the long drive to her new home in Montana, and she’s spent every Sunday afternoon since working in her kitchen to duplicate her favorite sandwich.  When I invited another friend to meet me for drinks, she suggested an egg sandwich at the Café instead.  “I am officially addicted to them,” she explained helplessly, then added a few mmmm sounds for emphasis.

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Summer officially began at 1:45 EDT Sunday morning, ushering in a season of blissfully long days filled with backyard barbecues, lakeside picnics, and impromptu beach parties.  It’s the time of year we’re most likely to surround ourselves with family and friends yet least likely to feel like hanging out in the kitchen all day preparing food for them.  Fortunately, most modern-day beaches and lakesides are equipped with grills, so if you toss a couple racks of ribs and a jar of Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce into your cooler, you’ll be able to host a summer get-together just about anywhere.
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