When we were kids, we started each summer with a bucket list. One year, the raft test was the top goal. Once we’d perfected our strokes, there was the swim to the island. Climbing Kearsarge was on the list most years. After I started running, a run around the lake was de rigueur. On top of whatever athletic endeavors, there were books to read, a first beer to drink and maybe a blueberry pie to bake.
What’s on your summer bucket list this year? If you don’t have one, well, then it’s time to get one together! Not sure of what to put on it? Well then, may I suggest:
- Ride a zip line. You know you want to. Any number of New England ski resorts are adding summer fun to their playlist. A ride down the mountain on a zip line sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon.
- Make pickles. I rarely make jams or jellies and I’m not a canner. However, I do like to make refrigerator pickles. They are quick, easy and delicious.
- Rent a flashy sports car and drive to the coast for fried clams and beer. One of my longtime traditions is to have fried clams once a year. Summer is by far the best time to indulge. What could be better than a trip to the coast, a walk on the beach and dinner with a view.
- Pick some berries. Maybe you’ll spend a morning at the pick-your-own strawberry field, stop by the blueberry farm or visit the raspberry lady. If you’re lucky, you’ll time to pick all three. Be sure to make at least one pie, tart or cobbler this summer.
- Take a three-day tech vacation. No computer. No Facebook. No Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. No television. No gadgets. Just you, family and friends face to face real time.
- Start a new hobby, try a new craft or learn a new game. At least for three days, you’ll have plenty of time. Take a dance lesson and keep going. Try watercolors or calligraphy. Maybe this is the summer to discover, or re-discover, darts, billiards or mah jongg.
- Try paddle boarding. It turns out that kayaks are sooo yesterday. Who knew? Then again, paddle boarding has already been around for a few years. Maybe it too is passé. It’s hard to stay up to date.
- Run through the sprinkler and throw water balloons. Even in New England, we have soaring temperatures and plenty of humidity. If you can’t get to the beach, a sprinkler is the next best thing. A water balloon fight with your kids or grandkids is even better.
- Invent an exotic cocktail. Think of it as your reward for hiking to the top of whatever mountain or running however many miles every morning.
- Watch a movie in the backyard. No, you don’t need a giant television screen. Plug your laptop into a projector and pin a sheet onto the back of the garage. As for titles, think Top Gun, Jaws, Grease or that one with the dancing and Patrick Swayze. Don’t forget the popcorn and maybe one of those exotic cocktails.
Happy summer and bon appétit!
3 cups plain yogurt
Graham Cracker Crust (recipe follows)
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 – 1/2 cup (to taste) honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
Brown sugar to taste
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
Put the yogurt in a colander or sieve lined with a clean dishtowel or coffee filter and drain for several hours or overnight. You should end up with about 1 1/2 cups of yogurt cheese.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust.
Make the Yogurt-Cream Cheese Filling: Put the cream cheese in a bowl, add the honey, vanilla, orange zest and salt and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. With the mixer on medium-low, add the yogurt a few spoonfuls at a time beat until smooth. Spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Put the strawberries in a bowl and gently toss with brown sugar and Grand Marnier.
To serve: if you like, you can artfully arrange the berries in concentric circles on top of the tart, slice and serve. Alternatively, you can slice the tart and then top each piece with a spoonful of berries.
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Set a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a 9-inch glass pie plate and whisk with a fork to combine. Add the melted butter, mix until well combined and firmly press the crumbs into the pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 7 minutes and cool on a rack.
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One Year Ago – Berry Flag Cake
Two Years Ago – A Hint of Asia Barbecue Chicken or Pork
Three Years Ago – Potato Salad Niçoise
Four Years Ago – Grilled Scallop & Asparagus Salad
Five Years Ago – Watermelon & Feta Salad
Six Years Ago – Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Basil Aioli
Seven Years Ago – Mediterranean Shrimp
Eight Years Ago – Grilled Hoisin Pork
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
What about you? Do you have a summer bucket list? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2017