The Sounds of Summer & Asian Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Throw open the windows and give a listen. The air is alive with distinctive, summer sounds. Some are rarely heard and fill us with nostalgia. Others play day in and day out but are still much-loved symbols of the too-short season. There are sounds unique to early morning while others wait until after dark. Here are a few favorites:Field Day Wheel Barrel 06

  • Light sleepers know that up with the birds is more than a cliché. Our feathered friends begin their chorus at first light.
  • From breakfast until dinnertime, the drone of lawnmowers fills the neighborhood.
  • As the heat builds, so does the hum of insects. So no, you’re not crazy; there is a buzz in the air.
  • Just when you think you can’t take another minute of sweltering humidity, a New England thunderstorm explodes with pelting rain, earsplitting claps and deafening booms.
  • Can’t wait for the inevitable storm? Head for the multiplex and sit back in air-conditioned comfort while the thunderous crescendo of a summer blockbuster surrounds you.
  • If you decide to stay home, you can enjoy the deafening hum of an ancient air conditioner. (Since we rarely use them, some of us New Englanders keep them forever.)
  • There is something timeless and inimitable about the bang of an old screen door when it slams shut. Just as timeless is the shout, “Don’t slam the door!” that inevitably follows.
  • Get ready for a symphony as soon as the sun goes down. Crickets come out to chirp, owls hoot, peepers peep and frogs croak.
  • Speaking of symphonies, at least half a dozen local bandstands fill the air with music every summer weekend. From John Philip Sousa to jazz, doo-wop, rock and country – it’s all good.
  • Rarely heard these days but fondly remembered, with a bit of luck, you might catch the jingling bells of an ice cream truck.
  • The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd are the telltale sounds of the nation’s pastime.
  • The buzz of a motor boat whipping through the waves and a water-skier’s shouts of glee are sounds of victory.
  • Hide and seek, Red Rover and Capture the Flag – we welcome the shouts and laughter of children playing outside.
  • At the end of every long, sunny day, neighborhoods ring with the calls of moms yelling for their kids to come home for dinner.
  • Not just wonderful smells, summer cooking is filled with delicious sounds. Consider a steak sizzling on the grill, a crackling campfire ready for marshmallows or the crunch of crispy veggies in a salad.

Enjoy the sounds of summer and bon appétit!

Asian Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce
A great addition to your next picnic or cookout, this salad has a delicious crunch. Enjoy!
Serves 8Asian_Noodle_Salad_Spicy_Peanut_Sauce_01

12-16 ounces rice noodles
Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
3-4 radishes, chopped
1 carrot, cut into curls (use a peeler)
1/2 European cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
About 1/3 cup chopped salted peanuts

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again, shaking off any excess water.

Put the well-drained noodles in a bowl, add enough Spicy Peanut Sauce to coat and toss to combine. Add the vegetables, sprinkle with the herbs and about 2/3 of the peanuts and toss to combine.

Transfer the noodles and veggies to a deep platter or individual plates, sprinkle with the remaining peanuts and serve.

Can be made in advance, covered and refrigerated.

Spicy Peanut Sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons or to taste soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon or to taste sriracha
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (if salted, quickly rinse and drain)

Put the garlic, ginger, lime zest and juice, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and sriracha in a mini food processor or blender and process until combined. Add the peanut and sesame oils and process until smooth. Add the peanuts and process until finely chopped and smooth.

Let the sauce sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for several hours to combine the flavors. Bring to room temperature before tossing with the noodles.

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One Year Ago – Blueberry Crostata
Two Years Ago – Orzo Salad with Lemony Pesto & Grilled Tomatoes
Three Years Ago – Watermelon & Cucumber Salsa
Four Years Ago – Grilled Chicken Salad Provencal
Five Years Ago – Lobster with Corn, Tomato & Arugula Salad
Six Years Ago – Greek Green Beans
Seven Years Ago – Blueberry Pie
Eight Years Ago – Grilled Lamb

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What is your favorite sound of summer? Feel free to share.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

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