M Is For… Midsummer!

2015-04-15 MMidsummer is coming in June, the solstice when the day is longest and night shortest.  To many, this is a special time – if for nothing else than to enjoy the sun.

Of course, this is just for us Northern Hemisphere types.  If you’re below the equator, it’s Midwinter.

My favorite way to celebrate Midsummer is with a barbecue.  I like going to a beach, and here in Chicago my favorite one is Lunt Street Beach.  In researching it for a link to show you, I just discovered it’s called Leone Beach.  It’s a lovely place, where you can relax, play in the water and, of course, barbecue.

My favorite side dish for barbecue is potato salad, and my favorite recipe for it has apples and sweet onions.


3 lbs red new potatoes

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia or Maui are best)

1 large green apple (Granny Smith are yummy)

12 green olives, sliced

1.5 C mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon-style mustard

2 T distilled white vinegar

1 t steak or soy sauce (HP Sauce is good too)

salt and pepper to taste


Cut potatoes in half or quarters and boil.  Cover pan and cook until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes).

Drain and let cool.

Dice into bite-sized pieces and put in a large mixing bowl.

Slice onion thinly and add to potatoes with the cubed apple and olives.

In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and steak or soy sauce.

Pour sauce over potatoes and toss gently (I find a wooden spoon works best).

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and refrigerate for up to one day.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.


What about you, Dear Reader?
What’s your favorite barbecue or potluck dish?

Sunday Box Talk: Gardening

I’m over at the lovely Nice Girls Writing Naughty blog today with a recipe for Mint Syrup.  It’s the last day of our contest, so please stop by and enter to win several awesome prizes, including a book from yours truly AND a gift certificate for $50 USD.

Apropos of that, I thought I’d chat about gardening a bit for today’s Sunday Box Talk.

I saw a button once that said, “Gardeners plant gardens to relax and then spend all their time working in them.”  There’s a lot of wisdom in this saying.  The “in the moment-ness” of gardening, or any hobby, is what provides its sense of peace and “now-ness.”  By tending to the garden, we tend to ourselves and allow our bodies to experience grounding in a literal sense as we play in the dirt.

Do you garden? Even a potted plant can be magical if approached with the right mindset.  It’s a lot cheaper to by a pathos plan than it is to pour a drink, and the plant won’t pack on the pounds or make your mind fuzzy.

If you garden, what’s your favorite plant? If you don’t, yet, what would you like to have growing in your daily round?