the tastes of summer ~ river city days

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~The Tastes of Summer~

What flavors make you think of Summer? farmer’s market produce? heirloom tomatoes? fresh herbs from your garden? iced tea and homemade lemonade? berries melting on the vine, just begging to be baked into a flaky pie crust and topped with real whipped cream? grilled steaks, chicken and fish? zucchini? popsicles, creamsicle shakes, and banana splits? All of these treats say ‘summer’ to me.

I remember, when I was younger, going to the A&W drive-in and always ordering the bacon double cheeseburger with greasy french fries and ketchup and washing it down with a rootbeer float in a frosty mug. There was something wonderful about sitting in the hot car with fresh air blowing in the windows that made those cheeseburgers taste amazing, and the ice cold rootbeer so refreshing.

Now that we’ve traveled to both the east and west coasts during the summer months, another one of my summer food memories is eating super-fresh lobster, crab and shrimp. I love shellfish, and the stuff available in Minnesota just doesn’t cut it!

As we approach the end of summer, I thought it might be fun to share a few of my “tastes of summer” journal entries with you here on the blog. I welcome your comments here! I would love to hear your experiences and memories!

My first entry: Red Wing’s River City Days. We went over the weekend and enjoyed a few hours at the art and crafts fair down by the Mississippi river. We munched a few treats from some of the food vendors’ stands as we browsed.

Gracie had her usual, Spam Burger, which she likes slathered in ketchup. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture…next time!) Jeff and I had gyros, and we all shared a big bag of hot, cinnamony mini doughnuts. MMMM!

There was a little sun shower that day, and while it rained we stood under the Loretta’s Best food tent and sampled a variety of excellent barbecue sauces and mustards while we chatted with Michael, the creator of these delicacies. His sauces and BBQ ribs will soon be available for purchase at Kowalski’s grocery stores. Can’t wait to give them a try!

Stay tuned for future “tastes of summer” and “tastes of autumn” entries: Ellsworth’s Cheese Curd Festival, The Minnesota State Fair, Nelson’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Stillwater, a Door County road trip, and many others.

What are some of your summer food memories?


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  7 comments for “the tastes of summer ~ river city days

  1. Kimber Dunn
    August 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    LOVE these new entries!! My “taste of summer” is always fresh cotton candy from an outdoor vender, watermelon and the eggrolls from my favorite vendor at the Mahtomedi Farmers Market.

    • Melissa
      August 10, 2011 at 1:29 am

      Yes! Watermelon. One of the best tastes of summer. I agree. Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  2. Chantelle
    August 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    What a great day! Mini donuts! AAAAGGHHH! LOVE THEM! 🙂
    One of my summer food memories would have to be drinking ice cold A&W Root Beer in the frozen mug with the bear shaped straw on our family treks to the cabin. Yum.

    • Melissa
      August 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      I remember the bear shaped straws! Remember the tiny frosty mugs they gave away to little ones? My brothers each had a few 🙂

  3. Chantelle
    August 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I do remember those….at one point we all had at least one. 🙂 Wish I still had one.

    • Melissa
      August 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      When we were in Napa we stopped at an A&W for lunch. We were with Jeff’s bro Mike and sister-in-law Robin (aka. MY Robin) 🙂 We got each of the kiddos a mini mug. They only charge a couple dollars for them. Cool little piece of nostalgia to bring home.

  4. Chantelle
    August 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    That’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know. I haven’t been to one in so long, I guess I didn’t think they might still sell those. I will definitely be looking into it. 🙂

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