List Friday – Summertime

Pomegranates and Paper posts a "List Friday" each week – they give you a set of things to list each week (usually three lists of five things each), just for fun, and so people can get to know each other better. This week’s topic was about summertime – the things that get us thinking about summer.

5 drinks

  • Fresh squeezed lemonade. The best lemonade I ever tasted had the fresh squeezed lemon juice and dash of syrup for sweetness, but used sparkling water, plus a slice of jalapeno and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. YUM!
  • Iced Tea. I’m sure this is on everyone’s list. Summer is the only time I drink ice tea – just plain cold tea, no sweeteners or flavors.
  • Iced lattes. I only ever get these in the summertime. My taste bud just don’t think there’s a point to getting one any other time. They are SO good. It will take me all day to drink a hot latte, but I’ll gulp one down iced in 10 minute, if I’m trying to make it last.
  • Margaritas. When we were kids, mom would make us blended non-alcoholic margaritas that we thought were a really great treat. They had the salt on the rim and everything. Now occasionally we drink the real thing. I’ve only ever drank margaritas with my mom at her house, which is saying something because the first sip of alcohol she ever had in her life was on our trip to Italy in 1998. She is NOT a drinker. But she makes a great margarita, and is fun to drink one with.
  • Red wine. For some reason, I tend to enjoy more red wine in the summertime. Maybe is all those fresh, light foods enjoyed al fresco as the sun is going down, and its warm enough to sit outside for a while without freezing.

5 foods

  • Pico de gallo. I am completely addicted to this stuff, I can’t get enough of it. My favorite recipe initially came from my friend Moe, and it has (all fresh) tomatoes, jalapenas, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, salt and pepper. Sometimes I add a tomatillo or two.
  • Fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. I love them cooked into something, but when I buy them myself I can’t seem to do anything with them beyond scarfing them down by the handful, or sprinkle them on a salad.
  • Salad – Oh, I love salad, especially in the summer. I don’t really make my own salads, because I never seem to like them, even if it is the same recipe as someone else made. Anyway, all those fresh crisp veggies and fruits in their prime – mixed greens, spinach, tomatoes, sweet peppers, peaches, nuts, vinaigrettes, herbs. Sigh, I’m in heaven.
  • Caprese – anything caprese. That’s fresh whole-milk mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes. In any form really – grilled panini, wood-fired pizza, or alone on a plate drizzled with a little olive oil and basalmic vinegar. Droooool….
  • Ice cream. Of course! My home town makes some of the best ice cream ever. They can make any kind you want, and to prove it they’ve even made cedar chip ice cream! They have every kind of sorbet and sherbet too. I love the berry sorbets or any of the ice creams that have chocolate. When visiting my mom, we like to drive down to Hunter Farm’s and get ourselves a scoop, and they let us get half scoops of two different flavors. Then we browse all the plants on sale while eating it, and there’s always a kitten or puppy or cow somewhere to look at and talk to.

5 activities

  • Swimming. I really only ever swim in the summertime. Beaches, lakes, ocean, outdoor pool, I’ll take it all! I especially love wading in sunny glittering rivers and spending hours on the quiet beach up at Westport, WA.
  • Barbeque. Now is the time for hot dogs, hamburgers, and other grilled and fried foods I’d not normally eat. Right up here with BBQ is fair food, like corn dogs, elephant ears, funnel cakes, etc. Its not just the food, it’s the friends, eating it outdoors, etc…
  • Go to Outdoor Markets. I try to go to as many flea markets, farmer’s markets, and outdoor fairs and shows as possible. I love walking around all that sensory stimulation.
  • Go Camping. Again, it’s living outside. Sitting by a river sketching or journaling, hiking through a forest, sitting by a campfire for hours at a time.
  • Watch Fireworks. First, I love anything that brings me outdoors at night. Second, fireworks are such an amazing technology to me. How in the world did people figure out that if they mush a bunch of chemicals and goo together, it will fly into the air and make patterns and colors? That’s just amazing.

Holiday plans and traditions so far

My holiday plans aren’t really coming along yet, but they will be soon. We’ve been really busy at the store – lots of hustle and bustle during Christmastime! The place is so decked out with trees, lights, snowmen, Santas, holly, and hot cider, it feels like our home is already decorated, even though it’s just the store. There’s also been a lot going on with me personally/emotionally lately, so I’ve spent a lot of time at home after work just doing really monotonous but extremelytherapeutic things such as cutting words and images out of magazines to build up a stash. This means I’m probably not going to get as much done for Christmas as I wanted, or at least at the time I wanted to, but I don’t think I really mind right now.

Last night I spent an hour sitting on my couch listening to Christmas music turning those calendar pages into envelopes. I’ve been dealing with some heavy sadness for the last couple of weeks, and I have to say that particular art therapy was one of the most relaxing things I’ve done in a long time. Many of the calendars were pictures of Seattle, which I thought would makegreat RAK or Swap-return envelopes, since I live in Seattle.

We don’t have our tree quite yet, but we’re hoping to get one this weekend. We found a farm we really liked (I grew up on a tree farm, so I’m picky) last year, so we’re going back. We got what I think was a blue spruce variety (or maybe a noble?), and that darn tree was still perfectly greenand supple in February. I didn’t have the heart to throw it out when it still seemed so much alive, so we finally resorted to starving it to death and quit watering it, but even then it still took several more weeks to die. Ha! So we’re going back there again.

As far as traditions we do for Christmas, that remains to be seen. It has been hard for me to get into Christmas since I was married, because I always associated the season with things related to being in my childhood home with my family, so when I didn’t have that it didn’t feel like Christmas. So, for the last couple years we’ve been working on the transition of building our own traditions and associations, and this is the first year since we got married that I’ve really started feeling that warm fuzzy Christmas feeling. Thank God (literally)! I missed that feeling….

I did write a list of the things I’d like to do this month leading up to Christmas – some may seem silly, but here are some of them: go to a Christmas play, walk around Wights and gaze at all the eye candy (this nursery in Lynnwood, WA with a huge gift shop that is totally Christmasland), read Little Women (an annual favorite), make Christmas ATCs to hang as ornaments in our tree, make homemade hot chocolate with peppermint whipping cream, make English toffee, send out a Christmas letter (we haven’t done this yet!), attend all the candlelight advent services at church, clean my apartment so I don’t’ spend my entire vacation cleaning and organizing, and taste my first roasted chestnut.