summer comforts

I’m not kidding that I find it incredibly difficult to think of and develop topics now that I’m on a two post a week schedule. I’d love to go back to five days a week, but right now is not the time. I’ll learn to make-do with this and come up with something. It is a fun challenge.

I recently posed a frantic question by email to some friends “what should I write about on Tuesdays”. One of the offerings was comfort food, a topic which I’ll expand upon below.

My first question of the day to you: What should I write about on Tuesdays?

Let’s return to that great idea comfort food; I define it as a dish that is filling, soul warming, often gooey, and not necessarily good for you.

It is summer. While I love comfort foods, most of my favourites are foods that either further heat up me or the kitchen, not something I’d like to do when the digital mercury passes 90.

Twisting it, let’s talk about summer comfort foods.

Mine aren’t anything elaborate and most are actually things that don’t require application of heat.

Carrots, berries, and watermelon all top my list with grilled corn closing in just behind. I didn’t say that all were heat-free. ;)

Oh and of course there is vanilla ice cream. How could I almost neglect that?

Question two of the week: What are your favourite summer comfort foods?

The super highly observant among you will notice there is one type of food missing from this list (excluding allowing the ice cream to melt). Yup! That’s it, something to keep me hydrated. This is something I’ve struggled with since forever. In general don’t like plain water, many other drinks turn me into Goldilocks. They’re either too sweet or too tasteless. One day I’ll find the one that is really just right.

Speaking of dehydration, I’m beginning to look into ways to preserve all the herbs I’m growing on the deck. I’m looking at two different dehydrators and my main impression is that they seem super big and bulky. Are they worth it? I’ve done close to zero real research on what I’m looking for, other than not to have the oven on when it’s hot outside, so I don’t know. It would be a shame to see my beautiful herbs go to waste. Yes, I could freeze all of it, but I’d like to give gifts of dried herbs come gift giving season.

My third and final set of questions for this post: How do you preserve herbs? Do you ever dry any fruit? Do you own a dehydrator and if you do what do you like and not like about it? Is Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook a definite addition to my bookshelf? Should I acquire it now?

Advice welcome.

Yes, I am recycling photos. I have some more I’ve taken but I haven’t processed them yet.

Reader interactions

4 Replies to “summer comforts”

  1. excaliber. a square is a much more efficient shape for drying food, because an 8″ square has a greater area than a circle with an 8″ diameter. Or, you could go the alton brown method and stack heater filters together and bungee cord them to a box fan.

  2. I’m interested to learn more about dehydrators, too. I’m thinking sun (ha!) dried tomatoes would be fantastic.

    I’ve been making a watermelon, cuke, mint, and feta salad that is quickly becoming comfort food for me. Quickly made, tasty, and refreshing!

  3. And the more-super higly observant among us will point out that watermelon does a significant part in maintaining hydration. And mighty tasty, too.

    I like lemonade in the summer. It’s funny, I much prefer plain water in the fall/winter/spring, but once it is really hot (humidity >50% and/or temp > 85F) I much prefer lemonade. DH also has a lemonade thing going, and has the same opinion on the subject. Iced tea is good, too, but if you’ve been out IN the weather too much, lemonade “hits the spot” better.

    For a 1/2 gallon bottle, I use a 7oz disposable plastic cup filled to the top with sugar, then the same amount of lemon juice, and fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Maybe slightly strong for some tastes, but that’s what I crave when it’s hot. It takes a good bit of shaking to mix in the sugar, but it mostly stays in solution fairly well after that. Nice and easy, no corn syrup or preservatives, etc. and way cheaper than store bought, I would think.

    I have several ice cream favorites other than vanilla, but a *good* rich vanilla is right up there.

    Chef salad varieties are good summer dinner – chicken breasts or steak cut bite size with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc. with or without eggs is good. Pairs nicely with mayo/ketchup based dressing (French, Russian) or honey-mustard varieties.

  4. My main comfort food is mac & cheese. My summer comfort food lately has been spinach salad with avocado, tomato, artichoke hearts, chicken with a bleu cheese viniagrette dressing. Very tasty!

    As for dehydrators, we got an excaliber last year and love it. It dries more evenly because the fan is at the back vs at the bottom. The only thing is it can be a bit loud while running and, depending on what you are drying, it can heat up quite a bit. I am thinking about using it on our back porch this year as long as it is nice and sunny out!

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