My mother always said it was better than the 4th of July and second only to Christmas. What could it be? Certainly not Presidents’ Day, although it did offer up a long, ski weekend. In spite of the lovely foliage, it wasn’t Columbus Day. And no, it wasn’t Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween or even Thanksgiving. It was Hospital Day!
By some odd coincidence or maybe it was fate, Hospital Day fell in the first week of our first summer vacation on Pleasant Lake. Between the lake, the view of Mount Kearsarge and Hospital Day, my mother thought she’d died and gone to heaven.
While the lake is still crystal clear, the mountain is as majestic as ever, Hospital Day has seen many changes. For instance, Hospital Day was just that one day and it was always on a Tuesday. Now it starts on Thursday and goes clear through Sunday with a triathlon. For our first Hospital Day, there was no midway or triathlon or battle of the bands. However, there was a bride doll raffle, a white elephant table and an auction.
So, while my mom may sorely miss the white elephant table, there is a lot to like about these always new, always changing and improving Hospital Days.
First and foremost, most mothers (and mine would agree) like Hospital Days because that they don’t have to cook. After all, it is summer and vacation time. You can start your day at the Pancake Breakfast, enjoy hot dogs and burgers with the Rotary Club at lunch and supper with the Lions Club at their barbeque. Besides not cooking, moms can shop ‘til they drop at the craft show and jewelry sale. Even better, they can dance ‘til they drop at Band Night and swim, bike and run the triathlon.
On top of pancakes, fair food and barbeque, Dads will like the great cars at the Car Nutz Cruise-In. There will be raffles, giveaways, live music and great company at the Meet the Chamber event. The few that like to dance will go for Band Night; the rest will be dragged along by their wives. Athletic types will participate in the triathlon. Less athletic types will rue the day they signed up for the triathlon.
Kids pretty much like everything about Hospital Days. And what’s not to like? There are rides on the midway and carnival games as well as cotton candy and way too many wonderfully awful treats to mention. Or is that awfully wonderful? I’ll let their mothers decide.
Little littles can bring their Teddies to a clinic. All kids can dance and bigger ones can be embarrassed by their parents at Band Night. There will be alpacas to pet and Humane Society animals to meet and greet. Speaking of meet and greet, kids can tour the firehouse, climb on the engines and visit with the firefighters.
Everyone loves the parade. I may be prejudice but the Hospital Days parade is definitely better than most. It is everything a small town parade should be. With a marching band, a team of unicyclists, homemade floats galore and lots of antique cars, fire engines and a motorcycle or two, it is the definition of old fashioned fun and schmaltz. It’s my favorite part of Hospital Days.
Enjoy all the great fun summer has to offer. Bon appétit!
Roasted Beet & White Bean Hummus
Delicious with fresh veggies or pita chips, this hummus might just become your new favorite hors d’oeuvre. Enjoy!
Makes about 3 cups
2 medium, about 8 ounces, beets, peeled and roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon each finely chopped thyme and rosemary
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 drops or to taste sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
1 can (about 2 cups) white beans
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Put the beets on a sheet pan in a single layer, drizzle with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar to lightly coat, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Roast the beets for about 10 minutes.
Add the onion and garlic and more olive oil and balsamic vinegar if necessary. Toss to coat and, stirring once or twice, continue to roast for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly caramelized and tender.
Transfer the vegetables to a mini food processor, add the herbs and let the veggies cool for about 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar and the lemon juice and pulse to chop and combine.
Add the beans and pulse to combine. 1-2 tablespoons at a time, add extra virgin olive oil and process until more or less smooth and well combined. Check for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper to taste.
Let the hummus sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to combine the flavors. Can be made ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
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Three Years Ago – Blueberry Clafouti
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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