Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Food and Life and Summertime

Isn't it interesting how food can evoke such vivid memories? The taste, the color, the smell, the texture; it all brings us back to particular places and specific times in our lives. For me, summertime ushers in especially intense memories as seasonal fruits and vegetables take me back to my childhood growing up in the green, green forests of the East Coast, surrounded by my Mom's gardens and enjoying homegrown fruits and vegetables every day.

Vermont, Summer 2011 Vermont, Summer 2011 Vermont, Summer 2011

It's something as simple as the smell of rosemary that reminds me of the red skinned potato salad we would get from the small grocer down the street from our house, or corn on the cob that remind me of my Mom and Dad, sitting on the steps shucking corn- the silky fibers and rough, snappy green husks going everywhere. It's the snap of the green beans into the colander, the smell of red, ripe tomatoes on the vine, or even Ball Park franks, Heinz ketchup and Gulden's spicy mustard that remind me of nightly barbeques in our backyard.

Summer is a lot of things, but to me it's always that first trip up to Carvel, gelatis from Rita's, or the ice cream truck at the park. It's the way orange and cream anything instantly transports me to the boardwalk, seagulls squawking and swooping in the distance, the ocean sounds mixing with laughing children, the smell of sunscreen and salt hanging in the air, all while enjoying a special treat- an orange and cream ice cream cone from Kohr's. The beach will always remind me of Gouda cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread, and how amazing crisp green grapes can taste under a big umbrella, on a brightly-colored towel. Summertime is slurpees from 7-11, sub sandwiches from Wawa, and berries. Always berries, every summer, and the first ripe raspberries of the season will always evoke memories of eating them by the handful out of my parents' refrigerator.

New Jersey Shore, Summer 2011

kohl's orange and cream- a boardwalk tradition!

And so I think a lot about what we feed Henry and the experiences we give him through food. I look forward to having our own big garden he can help me plant and maintain. I am excited to shuck corn with him, pick our own berries from the bush in our backyard, and to enjoy experiences from the things we prepare and eat every single day, be it making homemade pizza in the kitchen, barbequing tofu kebabs out back, or taking a family trip up to Dairy Queen when the temperatures start to rise. Being a parent is great for a million reasons, but one of my favorites in the ability to make your child's environment as beautiful and magical as possible, in so many different ways. For me, summertime has always been a time full of adventure and enjoyment, filled with sweet treats and healthy, whole foods. And so I look forward to giving our boy as many of those ice cream-cone and fresh fruit-filled summers as I can, making memories from the simple, everyday things that somehow turn special in the shine of the summer sun.

29 comments:

  1. Yes! Subs from WaWa really made me smile. I always have and always will bring WaWa subs on the beach in Cape May, NJ!

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    1. WaWa and Cape May are two of my favorite things in the world! <3

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    2. I got to experience a WaWa for the first time three years ago, and man, I wished we had them in the midwest! Via la WaWA!

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  2. Henry is so lucky to have such loving and thoughtful parents who put his best interests first in every situation. This post was so sweet!

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  3. You had me at sub sandwiches from WaWa! My family is from Philly and we go to Ocean City NJ every summer. Thanks for this post.

    ♥ Rita's Water Ice ♥

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  4. I love this post and the memories. I too, grew up on the Ocean City boardwalk, still crave Wawa every day, and love the area! love it all! thanks for sharing!

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  5. Love your blog, it always makes me happy! Especially happy today to see pictures from the Jersey Shore! I have many a picture from Seaside Heights with the Sand Castle in the background!

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  6. I feel so similarly about summer! Loved this post!

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  7. Sub??!! That's a hoagie!

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  8. I know this is gonna sound cheesy...but u always make your post magical!haha i LOVE That about your blog<3 I Love the Kid/adult Recipes! i made your veggie baked zitti the other night and the whole family enjoyed it! I think you and your family rock! You also live in such a cute down and i really enjoy all the photos!
    xoxo
    Bre<3

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  9. I feel much the same way about summer. I'm lucky to have summers off with my daughter so we have been making magical memories for years (and for years to come.) Thanks for another awesome post. : )

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  10. This post reminded me of so many fond memories of garden smells and my teenage years down at Seaside. Once you stepped up onto the boardwalk you're just hit with sounds and smells that scream "summertime." Now I want some of that boardwalk lemonade! Great post!

    - Jessica V.

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  11. This is such a great post. I have such sweet food memories associated with the East Coast as well :)

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  12. It's so true. I have gone to Coney Island every single summer since I was born and Nathan's hot dogs on the boardwalk with a large lemonade, churros, coconut candy, candied apples etc. always makes me think of warm weather, the beach, and carefree days. Other summer favorites include piragua (Puerto Rican shaved ice) ice cream truck cones and italian ice from the pizza shop. Hooray summer!

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  13. "Being a parent is great for a million reasons, but one of my favorites in the ability to make your child's environment as beautiful and magical as possible, in so many different ways."

    I think that says it all.

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  14. I never really thought of food this way. I LOVE the garden idea for Henry, even though I'm only 19 I look forward to being a mom someday and keep a running list of ideas for it in my head! :)
    xx

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  15. You know I haven't really thought of food in this way before but it's completely true. I have this one memory of eating spaghetti after the beach when I was probably six of seven years old and it's always stuck with me, to this day I was crave spaghetti after going for a swim!

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  16. You just described every summer of my life...New Jersey summers are the best aren't they? Can't wait :)

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  17. Nothing like delving back into memories...especially about food! I want a garden so badly.

    Amanda Rose
    http://sewmuchtosay.blogspot.com

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  18. So sweet. Do you plan/are you raising Henry vegetarian? Or a little of everything?

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  19. I love how foods and smells become associated with memories. This post makes me miss summer and St Louis. Love.

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  20. i miss living near 20 wawas. and mmm.. kohrs. right next to lucky leo's in that picture! oh jersey. i miss you

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  21. I love this. You are so right that food and memories often go hand-in-hand. :)

    x

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  22. I LOVE your blog! your photos, your thoughts, your posts- you write beautifully! can't wait for more yummy recipies :).
    p.s.: becuase of you I'm reading "The Hunger Games" trilogy...

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  23. Summer always reminds me of my mothers garden and freshly picked produce as well. It was one of the best things about my childhood. Now that my husband &I moved into a rental house instead of an apartment, I can FINALLY have my own garden! I'm getting a late start on planting, but better late than never!

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  24. Love "knowing" a blogger who knows Wawa and Kohr's. <3

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  25. I am a long-time reader (longggg before Henry) but rarely comment. Just wanted to say I absolutely loved this post and your writing style really shone through. I know you've mentioned before that you love Rita's, and I hope to get to one someday...we don't have any in Canada :(

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