Ever Since the Watermelon

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by: Carol Harrison; Carol’s Corner

I relish the memories of summer fun at the lake both when I was young and when we took our children to the lake. After a long day of play at the beach, we relaxed around a blazing campfire in the evening. Simple food, like hotdogs roasted on the open fire and s’mores, are part of those lazy summer days.

Even now when time at the lake is limited or nonexistent, and sitting around the campfire happens when I speak at kids’ camps, I still recall my enjoyment of those simple treats—especially s’mores with their ooey, gooey toasted marshmallows melting the chocolate. Sticky fingers, stringy marshmallow goo licked off the lips and the crunch of the graham cracker can’t be replicated by healthy summer food.

I also loved picnics with watermelon as the treat. It never mattered if the juice ran down my chin and seeds fell by the wayside when we enjoyed it in the great outdoors. The sweet and sticky fruit soothed a parched throat, catered to my sweet tooth and was refreshingly cool on a hot day. I still enjoy eating this whenever possible.

Yet there are other healthy summertime foods I think of as well. I loved going to my grandmother’s place with her huge raspberry patch. One berry for the pail and another to sample and fill my tummy as the juice stained my fingers and mouth red. Grandma just smiled. Strawberries picked ripe off the plants offer a sweetness not found in store-bought berries. My granddaughter brought some over the other day for me to enjoy.

The same scenario happened when I picked Saskatoon berries with my mom. I loved to eat more than I wanted to drop into the pail. Yet I knew by actually filling the pail to take home, mom would bake yummy Saskatoon berry pie or let us have a bowl full of plump bluish-purple coloured berries covered with some sugar and then drowned in cream.

Fresh berries are still summertime treats for me, whether to pop in my mouth, drown in cream or as toppings for a summer salad full of fresh-picked lettuce, almonds or pecans and maybe some snap peas, celery, baby carrots or even a bit of spinach.

None of these summer time favourites really need a recipe. They simply need to be enjoyed along with the memories they each evoke.

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