I suppose I am not unlike most people that I find myself making certain foods during a particular season, and it doesn’t feel like that season until I make that food item. For example, when I make apple pie in the fall, then it truly FEELS like fall. I have found that summer isn’t truly summer until I decide to make a couple of different food items. Last summer I was traveling a lot, and I was really too busy to cook a whole lot, so I never made my traditional “summer” items. So, really guys, I am still waiting for LAST summer to happen. Does that mean I can opt out of this 2020 one? Because if I’m being honest, it kind of sucks so far. Anyway, let’s talk about food that will herald that arrival of summah. (Not a typo – just introducing a different accent into my written words, which is totally normal. Right? RIGHT?)
The first “taste of summer” necessity is homemade ice cream. However, I will admit to being kind of picky about what I like in homemade ice cream. I am not a fan of anything with eggs in it, or anything that needs to be cooked before freezing it. I like simple. Many years ago I ran across this recipe on AllRecipes.com and it quickly became my favorite for several reasons. For one, it tastes like the base of a Dairy Queen blizzard – rich and creamy. Second, it is totally customizable. I’ve added Oreos or fruit halfway through the freezing process and it always comes out great. If you do not want to add anything to the actual ice cream, it is amazing served with fruit or with cookies crumbled over it. The one downfall, and it’s really not much of one, is that it freezes pretty hard, so any leftovers will need a few minutes to thaw a bit in the container before dishing it up. It is just going to challenge the instant gratification monkey in you. (What? You’ve never heard of the instant gratification monkey? Then you MUST read this and watch this Ted Talk. Hilarious!) Anyway, when this ice cream is fresh made, though, it is like soft-serve ice cream. You will have a hard time not going in for multiple “taste tests.” Not that I know anything about that . . .
The second “taste of summer” is homemade ranch dressing. I know what you’re thinking — how could anyone top the Hidden Valley brand? Well, I once thought that stuff in the green bottle was the nectar of the gods . . . that is, until I tried it homemade. I started with using Pioneer Woman’s recipe but I pretty much add all the ingredients to taste now, not worrying about measurements. I usually use fresh herbs (parsley, dill, and chives), but if you cannot get fresh herbs, I like to have some of the Lighthouse freeze dried herbs handy. (Go ahead, click on the link – I get nothing for it. LOL) Although I use fresh garlic cloves, I also like to add a little garlic salt. For whatever reason, garlic salt has become my “must have” addition to pretty much everything I make. Even ice cream! Kidding.
One taste of this stuff, and you will wonder how you ever ate boring ol’ salad with that substance in the green and white bottle.
Do you have a favorite taste of summer? Leave me a comment letting me know your favorite ones!