Friday, April 27, 2012

I Had a Midsummer Night’s Dream…

About Revisiting my Favorite Recipes for the Perfect Summer Solstice Party

The days are getting longer and home improvement shops are rolling out the outdoor pavilion sets. You know the ones—they have dreamy names like “Garden Oasis Gazebo”. Admit it! It’s fun to check out the plush cushions on the wicker patio stuff, and peek into hibachis where fake corn and steak adorn the grill. I like to picture a summer get together with guests roaming my backyard in cottony dresses, kids capturing lighting bugs, and happy campers of all ages queuing up at my buffet.
Though Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, I can think of an even better date, further out, for a grand summer party: the summer solstice, on June 20th. It’s the longest day of the year, and appeals to Extreme Party Planners the world over. As I planned my party, I focused my eyes (and taste buds) on Scandinavia, plenty inspired to sit down and create my own summer solstice party on Pinterest.

Did I Pique Your Pinterest?
You’ll see when you visit my newest pinboard, that I’ve given myself over to the idea of seafood. The Scandinavians got it right. Picture it: salmon, lobster, lightly roasted vegetables—loads of starchy, wonderful potatoes coated in enough fresh dill, you’d swear it was lawn clippings and not just an abundance of herbs on the table. It would have been good to be a Viking! Roasted Fingerling Potatoes Topped with Smoked Salmon and Dill were the first appy to pop into my head. Please let me know if they land somewhere in your summer buffet.    

Summer Solstice Menu; All Oldies But Goodies!
For the entrée. How about making LOBSTER the Maine Event? Click the punny link to read my personal experiences signing a FedEx receipt for still alive, still squirming crustaceans. I know that lobster is a tall order in the present economy—so if you want to save, or just spare your guests from those small hammers and bibs, this is your next best thing: the Barbecued salmon hoagie. You’re going to fall in love with it the minute you see it—and it absolutely must be served with Chili roasted corn on the cob with lime cream. Serve Rosemary Baked Potatoes as one side, and Six veggie slaw with tarragon as the other; it’s the crisp, cool counterpart to what’s hot.

Dessert has to be light, creamy (a difficult juxtaposition in food, I know) and make you hum along to Billy Ocean’s Caribbean Queen. I’ve gotten compliments on my trifles, and the Tropical trifle is among the best in my trifling repertoire.

Simple Moonrise Parties in Lieu of the Bigger Bashes
I wouldn’t worry too much about dessert if the drinks offered at your party are cool in every sense of the word. I’m serving  Bourbon minted tea, which brings me round to describing what one of my readers shared with me recently. She serves this beverage during her moon rise parties—small gatherings that involve she and her husband, a few friends and a toast in the hour or two before dusk, when the moon looks like a bouncy bluish ball in the sky. I like to picture this friend in a white deck chair, glass in hand, enjoying the remains of the day. Please bookmark these published Moon rise times for the summer months ahead.
Enjoy them all! Summertime is a celebration of new beginnings and vitality!  Walk barefoot through the grass, my friends!      

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