Yummy Summer Food to enjoy with family and friends

A couple of days ago our friend Menagerie said this:

We need a summer recipe post. I’m craving summer salads with chopped vegetables. Maybe fruit dishes as well. We get so many delicious fresh fruits and vegetables and I’m looking for new ides on how to fix them.

Maybe that could be one of your summer posts, maybe even combine it with stories. I don’t have lots of memories from my childhood, but I do remember cookouts, family reunions, a few church events, trips to my friend’s grandmother’s house for a big family lunch after church, then all the kids played outside for hours. Churning ice cream. Watermelons that my dad kept cold in his big walk in freezers at the farmers market. Selling peaches on a stall at the market when I was about ten or twelve. The excitement of the first days when the truck farmers would show up with their pickup beds full of corn, panel trucks loaded with all kinds of homegrown vegetables.

The farmers and their sons would often stay in their trucks until they sold all their produce, occasionally even their wives and a small child or two would stay too.

I guess summer will always take me back to the farmers market I grew up on.

Sorry, I got off on a trip back in time.

I have a lot of memories about food too – especially family gatherings.

  • Reunions at the farm, at my Aunt Flossie’s house and at our house one year too. Flossie’s baked beans, my mother’s potato salad, lots of corn on the cob (roasted or boiled), and fried chicken and ham.
  • Hamburger cookouts, with all the trimmings.
  • Trips to the state park to swim, cooking breakfast and lunch over a charcoal or wood fire.
  • Road trips with a picnic along the way, usually at one of the “Dodge Parks”.

  • Sunday dinner at the farm. Fried chicken, and whatever vegetables were ready in the garden. New peas and potatoes, cucumbers and onions sliced in vinegar, tomatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, pickled beets, cucumber pickles, homemade chili sauce.
  • Lovely summer desserts, usually involving fruit. Strawberry shortcake, angel food cake stuffed with strawberries and whipped cream, cherry pie, rhubarb pie, peach cobbler, apple crisp! My mother’s applesauce cake, made with home canned applesauce, raisins and nuts, and topped with her “penuche” (brown sugar) frosting.  And just plain fruit – watermelon and cantaloupe, all kinds of berries, cherries, peaches and plums.

Now I’m hungry.

What do you remember? What are your favorite summer recipes, especially those with the bounty of the season – lots of lovely veggies and fruit?


This entry was posted in baking, cooking, Family, Nostalgia, Recipes, The Culture, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Yummy Summer Food to enjoy with family and friends

  1. lovely says:

    One of my favorite, simple summer snacks is a cucumber quartered, squeeze fresh lemon over it, sprinkle with sugar and enjoy.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. nyetneetot says:

    I remember as a small child, our family would go to a cabin on a lake to catch rainbow trout.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    Oh boy, I can’t wait for this thread to fill up. I have a busy day ahead. If I don’t get to post recipes today, I’ll be back tomorrow. And that first picture looks just exactly like the stalls on the farmers market where my dad had a permanent wholesale business located. Sometimes he would buy a farmer’s whole load of peaches, cheaper than the farmer would have gotten if he stayed and sold them himself, but then he risked competition on years where there were lots of sellers, driving the prices down, or losing part of his peaches to rot if they didn’t sell fast enough. So they would sell out and my dad would rent stalls then sometimes I would spend the day selling peaches. Or watermelons.

    I still remember all the colors and smells. It seemed you could buy anything there. Corn, squash, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onions, okra, beans, beets, cabbages, melons, peaches, berries of all types, bananas and oranges and lemons brought in from Florida. Honey, relishes made by the farmers’ wives. Sorghum molasses.

    For four or five weeks every summer, the market was a bustling hive of activity. It was exciting to be a part of all that. My dad also sold baskets and boxes, so while his business of wholesale tomato sales was slow due to the home browns coming in, he made money off basket and box sales.

    Thank you Stella, this is going to be a great thread!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Menagerie says:

    This recipe has become a favorite. I keep I think to put in my salads.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Menagerie says:

    Here’s another one I haven’t tried yet, but I’m I going to, but I’m going to soon.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Menagerie says:

    One more.


    Several times during the summer I will cook a big pot of pinto beans (a staple meal for us all year) along with corn casserole, fried okra and squash, sliced onions, fresh tomatoes, relish, and often, mashed potatoes, along with a big skillet of cornbread. Last year that was our 4th of July meal. Lots of work, but oh, so good!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. auscitizenmom says:

    One of my summer favorites is something that gets a lot of scorn from most people. It is a Lime jello, cottage cheese salad. You make a package of lime jello, let it thicken a little, put in a pint of cottage cheese and a can of shredded pineapple and maybe a tablespoon of mayo, along with some chopped celery and pecans. I love that on a pile of lettuce.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

    Asparagus with Curry Dip

    Snap tough ends off of Asparagus (about 1 1/2 Lb.) stems. Save stems for soup or broth.
    Blanche Asparagus in boiling water for 6 minutes, plunge in ice water till cool, Place in container lined with paper towels to absorb extra water. Refridgerate till ready to eat.

    1T. grated onion
    1 lemon, juiced and zested
    1 T Curry powder
    1 C. Mayo
    Salt and Pepper to taste.

    Chill in fridge for one hour or more. This dip is good for lots of other vegetables as well.

    I think this is my DH’s fav vegetable in the world. I have to elbow my way in to get any!

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Menagerie says:

    It seems I have a fixation with corn today. Here’s another one I’m wanting to try.


    Liked by 3 people

  10. Menagerie says:

    I looove potato salad too. I don’t have a recipe and I make it by “feel” depending on how many I’m feeding, but it does always come out the same, which is rare for me, as I cannot seem to stick to a recipe.
    I use red skinned potatoes, vidalia onions, with chopped green onions as a topper, chopped hard boiled eggs (lots of them), chopped celery used sparingly, chopped bread and butter pickles. I mix mayo (preferably Dukes here in the South), sour cream – about 1/4 ratio to the mayo, a splash of pickle juice, salt, cracked pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, smoked paprika. Stir in cooled potatoes and other ingredients, top with green onions, part of the boiled eggs, and a sprinkling more of the paprika. If I’m in the mood I add dill.

    Here in the south we also have cornbread salad. I love it! I make exactly the same mayo-dressing mix as above, and add in day old crumbled cornbread, it is better in large chunks, chopped tomatoes, a little celery, onion, and white corn. You can add eggs and black eyed peas or another bean if you want, and I like a little vinegar in it too. Served with ham this makes an awesome summer meal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • stella says:

      My mother’s potato salad was similar to yours, except for the garlic powder and smoked paprika. Here it is (as recorded by my daughter):

      Cook 8 medium sized potatoes with the skins on (she probably used red; I use Yukon gold). When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters long way and slice. Pour 1/4 cup cider vinegar or pickle juice over warm potatoes and let stand for a little while. Then add:

      1 medium onion diced or grated
      1/4 cup diced celery
      2 TB parsley, chopped
      1/4 cup pickle relish (or chopped sweet pickle)
      2 hard-boiled eggs chopped or sliced.

      1/4 cup sour cream
      1/2 cup mayonnaise
      A little vinegar or pickle juice
      1 tsp sugar (optional)

      Liked by 2 people

    • ZurichMike says:

      Needs bacon bits.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    🍉 🌞 🍇

    Liked by 1 person

  12. stella says:

    This cake is great for reunions, potlucks etc. I got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman.


    1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
    1 stick Margarine, Softened
    1 can (14 Oz. Can) Mandarin Oranges, Drained, 1/2 Cup Juice Reserved
    4 whole Eggs
    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    1 package (4 Oz. Box) Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
    1 can (20 Oz. Can) Crushed Pineapple, Juice Reserved
    1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
    4 ounces, fluid Frozen Whipped Topping (such As Cool Whip)
    Extra Mandarin Orange Slices, For Garnish

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cake, combine cake mix, margarine, 1/2 cup juice from the mandarin oranges, eggs, and vanilla. Beat for four minutes on medium-high. Add drained oranges and beat again until pieces are broken up and small. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Remove from oven and cool completely. If desired, turn out cake onto a large platter.

    Once cake is cool, blend juice from drained pineapples with the vanilla pudding mix. Add powdered sugar and mix, then mix in whipped topping. Stir in drained pineapple. Spread on cooled cake and refrigerate several hours.

    To serve, cut cake into squares and top each square with a mandarin orange slice.

    PS: I accidentally used an 8 oz container of Cool Whip the first time I made it, and it was awesome! I always use the larger container now.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. auscitizenmom says:

    My mother would make an plain angel food cake, then slice it crosswise into about 6 layers and layer vanilla ice cream between the layers, and freeze it. It was so refreshing and cool. I liked it best plain, but you could put strawberries or any other fruit on it when it was served if you wanted to. I noticed that people who didn’t care for desserts loved that cake.

    Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      Some people frost the angel food strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. I prefer it with sweetened whipped cream. Much less sweet and more refreshing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.