The Summer Solstice has come and gone, but the long summer days and the meals that go with them continue. Freed from the shackles of school routine, and buoyed by some quality beach time (Sunshine! Sea swimming! Ice cream for dinner!) I am finding pleasure in later bedtimes, more time outdoors, and summer cooking. Whether it’s throwing a kilo of mussels on the BBQ, grilling courgettes and tossing them with rosemary-scented, bacon-y pangrattato, or firing up some good old-fashioned hot dogs, I do love the lazy days of summer.
Summer is also a time to relax the rules a little. During the school year, I’m pretty unwavering about healthy breakfasts – porridge, yogurt and muesli, whole grain toast, and, occasionally, banana muffins to motivate us on Monday mornings. We have a vacation tradition, however, of allowing the kids to pick the wildest, most-processed cereal they can think of. They often pick a Kellogg’s variety pack with Coco Krispies on the brain, but on our most recent vacation they surpassed prior efforts by bringing home an 800g box of Cookie Crisp from their expedition to the shops with their Dad. Ya know what? They were amazing. We ate them for breakfast every damn morning and I loved it. Along similar lines, no vacation is complete without a healthy dose of s’mores.
If you need the concept of the s’more explained to you, please refer here. It’s ok. I’ll wait…ok – we’re all on the same page now? Great! Gooey marshmallow, melty chocolate, crunchy biscuit – basically, all of the best things. Do you know what’s even more fun? S’MORES KITS!!! Yes, it’s a little Pinterest-y, which isn’t really my style, but I made them for recent 4th of July celebrations and they went over really well. Not much work involved aside from stuffing things into cellophane bags, and it made the whole process into a bit of an occasion, which is nice sometimes.
Things You’ll Need (per bag)
This is really not a recipe, just an assembly job.
- 1 2inx2in square of milk chocolate
- 1 big marshmallow or 2 medium marshmallows (mini marshmallows need not apply for this job)
- Graham cracker split in half, or 2 digestive biscuits
- Cellophane bag & some ribbon
Assemble the bags, produce them just when everyone is coming out of a burger coma at your next BBQ, and wait for everyone to lose their minds with joy.
Here’s to summer!
In other food-related news…
Mary Barry’s might just be the best restaurant on earth, but it is particularly amazing if you fall into the subset of People Who Holiday In Wexford And Have Two Active Boys And A Dog. The seafood is some of the best I’ve ever had (keeping in mind that I was reared in Maine and could eat half a pound of steamers and take a lobster apart at the age of 4…), and it is both kid-friendly (yes, I’m talking about bouncy castles in the beer garden) AND dog-friendly (our miniature schnauzer got a bowl of water at the same time that my Pinot Grigio arrived). My nutshell review? GO HERE. EAT ALL THE FOOD.
I found this article about one of my favourite meals fascinating.
On a hot day, there is nothing nicer than having a big pitcher of the Barefoot Contessa’s Herbal Iced Tea in the fridge. I like to use lots of ice and throw a few mint leaves into the glass.
If there is a Tiger near you, do pop in to check out their fun disposable picnic supplies. Tonnes of cute plates/napkins/cups/containers, etc. that add a sense of occasion to your picnic.