the ice cream truck

Happy September, lovelies!

It really IS still summer and I know this because the ice cream truck is still frequenting our neighborhood right around dinner time. Evil, I tell you! And the little birdie has quite the ear for the ice cream truck soooo, yeah, dinner started out with a green apple-flavored Shrek popsicle last night. Before you go judging my parenting abilities, remember that we’re soaking up the remains of summer here. We’re on a mission, people! Truth be told, I get about as excited as Wren does when I hear the ice cream truck. Partly it’s the thrill of the hunt. We hear it, but can’t quite determine where the awful music is coming from so we begin our frantic, bare-footed search in its general direction. And then we catch a glimpse of it: There it is, I see the ice cream truck!!!, she shouts. We start running toward it, waving our arms and licking our lips, forgetting that the half-melted pops are ridiculously expensive. It doesn’t seem to matter in those jubilant moments. We stand around for a minute or two, letting the popsicle drip down our hands and onto our toes. Quiet except for the sound of the ice cream truck moving on to the next block. Priceless.

a late summer meal

There seems to be a steadily growing pile of tomatoes in our kitchen and my heartburn has really been feeling it. But it’s worth it (thanks, Tums) because fresh tomato season is too short. Last night I threw together some carrots and tomatoes from the garden, plus some of Grandpa Jon’s corn. Tossed on some cheese and some crunchy potato chip crumbs. Baked and enjoyed with friends. Perfect! What late summer meals have you been enjoying lately, lovelies?

farmer’s market bounty

The little birdie and I had a blast at yesterday’s Traverse City farmer’s market, which is open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Although it’s smaller, I prefer the Wednesday market because it’s not as crowded. As you can see, we loaded up on mid-summer’s bounty.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a quart of local strawberries because that’s all Wren could talk about on the walk downtown and I didn’t want to disappoint her by telling her there wouldn’t be any so I just kept saying, “what about cherries? I bet we can find some delicious cherries…” But we DID find some strawberries (actually Wren saw them first!) and they’re the best we’ve had all summer. Like little candied jewels.

I was happy to find some pickling cukes because we just ran out of the huge batch we made last fall and it doesn’t seem right to have an outdoor summer meal without that pickled crunch.

And the blueberries! I’m not a huge fan of blueberries hidden in pies, but a fresh, flowery blueberry? Yes, please and thank you.

To round out our color palette and crisper drawer, we grabbed some of the season’s first apricots, a quart of beans and, of course, cherries. You can’t live through summer in northern Michigan and not have a constant supply of fresh cherries, right?

Speaking (err, writing) or summer in northern Michigan… have you seen the article in Bon Appetit about Mario Batali and his love affair with the food, people and land/waterscape of northern Michigan? “Traverse City is the antidote to New York City.” Woah. Click here to read it. 

Grilled pizza? Check.

On my summer list, I threw on learning to grill pizza. It seemed like a great way to keep the heat out of the house, but it also seemed daunting. Wrong! I’ve already done it twice and I told Chris that I think we’ll be having grilled pizza every night this summer. It’s so easy, yummy, cheap.

I followed these simple directions from the kitchn, including the easy-peasy (no wait!) thin crust pizza recipe.

Bonus! I got to use more of the tomato jam via Food in Jars that I made from last year’s tomato bounty as a pseudo-bbq sauce for a grilled chicken pizza. Delicious.

I’m not kidding, lovelies. This isn’t one of those Martha-esque encouragements on “easy grilled pizza” that actually takes you four days with three gorgeous assistants and eight trips back to your local farmer’s market for fancy herbs. It IS easy. Really. Try it!