Happy Summer! I had that Joni Mitchell song, The Circle Game, in my head all day yesterday. It really is nuts to me that it's already midyear. That it's been 3 months since I've written a blog post. That I am one week away from being in my third trimester(!!!). The seasons, they go round and round.
I had the urge to celebrate the solstice this year with lots of kids and mud and fire and sunshine-y food, and my dear friends were kind enough to join me in making this happen. Some of my favorite moments:
Cousins making mud pies! Henry spent literally hours at this table. I love that little Clara is playing a wooden recorder in the background.
Ashley brought a beautiful craft- she sewed a loop into squares of linen, brought fresh flowers from her garden, and then the kids got to smash the flowers into the fabric with hammers and mallets. Then Ashley threaded some twine through the loop and used a fig branch to make a hanging rod for their flower art- so lovely! Needless to say, the kids really enjoyed smashing things with hammers.
How to roast food over a campfire when it's 95 degrees outside- get yourself some hole-y rocks! I had big plans for throwing fist fulls of stuff into the fire to make sparks (you can apparently use plain old sugar for this?) and change the color of the flame (epsom salts are made of magnesium and will make a white flame, and borax will make a green flame?), but forgot about my little tubs of combustibles until after the party. Next year!
My favorite was watching all the sweet kids run around outside on a summery evening. I am officially in full-on nesting mode.
Because I love food, and it's 90% of what I think about when planning a celebration, here's what we ate:
- Summer Rolls with Ginger/Miso/Carrot Dipping Sauce - I thought that picture of summer rolls was so lovely, but I didn't really follow the recipe. I just put all the veg I had into summer rolls (lemony sorrel, basil, grated carrots, peppers, and cucumber) and served it with one of my very favorite dressings. If you like the carrot+ginger dressing at Japanese restaurants, you will love this!
- Hummus with Vegetables - I follow Melissa Clark's suggestion of serving hummus in a shallow bowl or plate and liberally dousing the top with good olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper- it makes a huge difference.
- Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Skewers - I roasted some sausage from the farmer's market at 400 degrees, then sliced it and skewered it with peppers and onions. That way, I got to do it ahead of time and folks could reheat/crisp the sausage in the campfire.
- Peach and Yellow Tomato Salsa with Tortilla Chips - Peaches, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt. I was happy with how this turned out!
- Corn on the Cob- Henry is a huge fan of Boggy Creek Farm's corn. So much so that he took several bites out of each of the 8 raw corn cobs. Our fellow solstice-ees were very obliging and ate them anyway.
- Rainbow Fruit Skewers - This was Henry's passion project- he talked about skewering the "strawberry! mango! kiwi!" for days ahead of time.
- Lemonade Jelly with Mint - A grown-up take on jello. I subbed mint for the basil because my garden is overrun with it and it turned out nicely. In spite of it being a bit on the tart side, Henry loved it. He seemed to relish the feel of it too- he ran his hummus-y little hands all over the cubes! Also, after sitting out on the table in our 80 degree house for an hour or two, this melted into a vaguely jiggly puddle. I'll eat it faster next time!
- Hippie Crispie Treats - I made these without the extra chocolate on top and they were still wonderful. A lovely alternative to the traditional kind.
- S'mores. Naturally. Thanks, Joanna!
Wishing you a very happy summertime!