The heat and laziness of summer have kind of left me without much inspiration to work on projects around my house. You’re not supposed to work in the summer, right? Most of the time I find myself just thinking about hanging out with friends. So last weekend I invited a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while over for dinner. The goal — something simple, refreshing and chock full of summer’s finest.
To start, a trio of cheeses — Cashel Blue, Port Salut, and Chevre — accompanied by crackers and a fig chutney.
For drinks, we had wine, sparkling water, and this growler of Derecho Common from Port City. Nothing says Summer 2012 like Derecho.
And speaking of derecho, right before the guests arrived, it was clear a storm was imminent. I quickly started up the grill where we would cook hotdogs for the kids, pork sausages from the Farmer’s Market for the adults, and zucchini for a salad.
Just as the dogs and zukes were done, the rain clouds broke overhead, sending me inside to finish off the sausages on the stove. We had two kinds — rosemary and sweet Italian. Both equally tasty.
The grilled slices of zucchini were mixed with fresh tomatoes, basil from the garden and some goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This is a summer staple in our house.
My friend Angela brought over a hearty green salad with cannellini beans and more vegetables which we enjoyed with a sliced baguette to sop up the juices.
Since we are at the heart of peach season, my other friend Liz brought over this large bowl of chopped peaches to mix with ice cream for dessert.
Liz brought Jeni’s ice cream, which is divine. It’s handmade from grass-fed cows and sold at Whole Foods. Happy cows make happy ice cream. We had vanilla for the kids and whiskey pecan for the adults. Worth every penny.
The rain continued through dinner. And though our dining room is small and our table is even smaller, we crammed all six adults around the table for a light, delicious meal and friendly conversation. That’s what summer is all about.