Monday, July 9, 2012

My Summertime

Since Lydia's post a few weeks back, I've been thinking a lot about what memories I have about summer, and what memories I want to create about that magical season for my kids.

image via
Grilling - Now, I am married to a chef and I have seen him grill in his long wool coat and boots, snowflakes sizzling on the hood, but there is still something special about the first time he fires it up when summer rolls around. He refuses to use a gas grill, but the time and effort he puts into charcoal grilling is worth it. My favorite way to cap off a summer Saturday is a yummy dinner on our brick patio - maybe bacon wrapped filets from Kingley's and grilled tomatoes from the St. Matthews Farmers Market - followed by watching the kids, sticky with popsicle juice, trying to catch fireflies.

You're gonna need a bigger boat.

Jaws - Few movies scream summer to me like Jaws. I was only a baby when it came out, so I've never seen it in a movie theater, but it is the terrific combination of perfect casting, believable writing, and the awful truth that what you can't see is more terrifying that what you can. The burning talent of a very young Steven Spielberg may have helped it a little bit. Don't just take this horror movie fan's word for it: Jaws is routinely considered one of the best films ever made and there is no argument that it was the first summer blockbuster. Robert can't wait to see it but he'll have to double his age first.

The Prince of Tides - I have a few books I re-read almost every year, and Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides is my summer go-to book. Conroy's writing, lyrical as always, is a love letter to the South and all its beauty and terror. The main character, Tom Wingo, spins a tale of growing up poor and dysfunctional in the low country of South Carolina and a summer spent in New York City as an adult, trying to save his twin sister and himself from the terrible secrets of their childhood. I've seen worse adaptations, but take my advice and skip the movie in favor of the novel.

image via pinterest (where else?)

Blackberry Cobbler - Despite my husband's culinary training, I am the baker in our house. To me, there is no food more quintessentially summer or Southern than cobbler. I prefer blackberry over peach; the tartness of the blackberry contrasted with Breyer's vanilla ice cream is what summer tastes like to me. My personal favorite recipe is from White Trash Cooking. I'd be offended by the title of the cookbook if the cobbler recipe weren't so damn perfect.

The Pool - I was a country kid, and not the kind who got to swim at the country club. My summers were spent in the woods, creek, and ponds behind our house, catching tadpoles and turtles. My kids get to be country kids when we go home to visit our families, but here in Louisville, they get to be pool kids as well. We go to the Jewish Community Center pool every weekend, and they go a few times a week with our nanny as well. They are making buddies, becoming proficient swimmers, and turning as brown as biscuits (thank goodness they have Bobby's skin tone and not mine). I hope the smell of chlorine and sunblock triggers memories of a happy summer for our kids.

Did someone mention swimming?
What signifies summer to y'all?

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