Summer Daze & Blueberry Clafouti

beach_towelYes, it’s been a hot summer. Yes, it’s been a humid summer. And yes, it’s been a rainy summer. It’s just about now that the kids, and maybe you, utter those dreaded words … “I’m bored.” Of course it doesn’t make any sense. There are still miles to swim, kayak, sail and hike before summer calls it quits. There are still at least a half dozen best sellers to read. And interesting places to visit, shops to shop and funky restaurants to try. August may be bearing down on us but summer is far from over.

So what do you do when the day is gray or even rainy or when the temperature and humidity climb into the stratosphere. When you don’t know what to do with yourself?

Hit the road. Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or are new to the area, there is always something new to see. Maybe it’s the latest blockbuster at the movies … or maybe not. Perhaps the Currier Museum of Art
or the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium is calling you. Don’t want to be cooped up inside, even if it is gray, hot or humid or all three? Take that long postponed trip to the farmers’ market in Lebanon or Newport. Or travel back in time to Muster Field Farm or Canterbury Shaker Village.

Learn something new. Maybe it’s time to get that home repair guide out and finally fix that leaky faucet or squeaky hinge. There’s nothing like learning by doing. If you don’t want to go at it alone, implore your neighbor to show you how to make her world-famous flakey pastry or incredible chocolate mousse. Dive into history with a visit to the library and ask for a recommendation for a great read. If there are kids underfoot, have some fun together with a few kitchen science experiments. Or take a deep breath and finally learn to double Dutch. Too hard, how about chess?

Hey kids! Let’s put on a show! Staging a talent show will keep all the kids in the neighborhood busy and happy for a day, maybe two. There are tasks for everyone, from planning the program and making the tickets to finding costumes and props. Each child can show off his or her special talent with a song, a dance or a tumbling routine.

If a talent show sounds daunting, how about a sand castle contest? While it might be tough in a deluge, a cloudy, even drizzly day is fine for castle building. What could be better? Elaborate castles with moats and ramparts take hours to build and they are as much fun to knock down as they are to build.

Get crafty. Take a lesson from scout camp and build a birdhouse or make lanyards. Take a walk on the beach, collect shells and then turn them into a necklace or refrigerator magnets. Throw caution to the wind and tie-dye some t-shirts.

Get cooking. Some study somewhere by someone who is probably important recently discovered that 53% of all children like to cook. Why not give it a try with your kids or grandkids. If they aren’t available, borrow the children next door. I’m sure their parents would love a little break. Start your adventure at a pick-your-own farm, blueberries are in season, and end it in the kitchen. If it’s cool and rainy do some baking. Hot and humid, try your hand at homemade ice cream or gelato.

Have fun and bon appétit!

Blueberry Clafouti
Blueberry_Clafouti_01A delicious dessert on a cool-ish August night. Enjoy!
Serves 8

2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Grated zest of 1 lemon, lime or orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 1/2-2 cups blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter a 10-inch glass pie or tart pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Put the eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in a blender, process at high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low speed, add the flour, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, zest, salt and Grand Marnier and process until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Arrange the fruit evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the batter over the fruit and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35-40 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes, cut into wedges, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

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One Year Ago – Blackberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt
Two Years Ago – Brown Sugar Yogurt Gelato
Three Years Ago – Red Pepper Dip
Four Years Ago – Grilled Chicken, Shallots & New Potatoes
Five Years Ago – Barbecue Chicken
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How do you beat the summertime boredom blues? Feel free to share. Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2013

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