Recipe For A Perfect Summer Day

pretty campI spent a lot of the day yesterday stewing. I thought about the things I should be doing and didn’t want to do any of them—I didn’t want to blog. I didn’t want to quilt. I didn’t want to iron linens or list them on Etsy. I didn’t want to thread the damn heddles on the loom. I didn’t want to follow Weight Watchers.

It was a thick and heavy stew.

Then it dawned on me—stewing in the summer doesn’t make sense. Stews are for winter and, even then, they taste good only occasionally. They have too much stuff in them. They weigh a person down.

I wanted a different concoction for summer. Something lighter, easier. I had just the recipe but hadn’t made it for far too long.

I needed to dig out my old favorite recipe for “camp,” and make a big batch.

I started with sunshine and a stiff breeze to blow the bugs away. These ingredients have been scarce this summer but I was able to find them when I needed them.

I added a book, a real book. A kind of heavy book, both physically and intellectually, because even a summer meal needs some nutritional value.

I stirred in a chaise lounge, in the sun, near the peonies, and a fleece blanket to tame the breeze.

I napped while it all simmered.

I finished the recipe with a smoky campfire, and seasoned it with some homemade music and a little bourbon.

It was a wonderful, restorative meal. And today I’m having leftovers. I’ll add a garage sale or two, just to spice things up, and go out for a deep-fried lunch, with family and a beer, two ingredients guaranteed to make leftovers better the second time around.

But the basic ingredients will stay the same. Because the recipe for “camp” is a classic and it never gets old. Something so good can’t be bad for me, right?

What are you cooking up today? I’d be happy to share my recipe.

35 thoughts on “Recipe For A Perfect Summer Day

  1. Good Morning Kerry, excellent recipe. My favorite for the summer. You and I will have an almost similar day, but instead of a fried dinner with family, I will go shopping with a friend and have salmon and salad, my fave summer food. xoxoxo and have a wonderful weekend, Johanna
    ps I hope you will share your sale finds again?

    • If yesterday was anything to judge by, my garage sales finds will NOT merit blog space this week! It was a pretty grim day of saling (but a grim day of saling is still more fun than lots of things I can think of!)

  2. Ahhh I’m doing WeightWatchers too and yes I have days like that! When you have one of those stewy days, it’s good to just have something you like, have a little break and then get back into the swing of things tomorrow!

    • When my husband I get into the WW mode, we ALWAYS have one “free” meal a week, where we eat whatever we want. It’s not so hard being good the rest of the week if you know you can give in to your cravings soon!

      • That’s what I love about the weekly reserve (if that’s what the 49 points are called in English), it means I can have a nice meal or something without feeling guilty!

  3. Clever. I like the book and nap part. I’m not a campfire type, although hubby and I relaxed with a bottle of wine on the deck last night and just took in the summer breeze. We feel like we’re in a private oasis out there.

  4. If you have a recipe to get rid of the great amount of mosquitoes we have this summer, I would love for you to post it 🙂

    • I would be rich if I had that recipe! We have mosquitoes but the real annoyance, right, now, are those teeny, tiny gnats. I don’t think they bite but there are clouds of them around my head some days!

  5. I am so glad that you gave yourself permission to just be. I think we all do too little of that. I have to say though, from what I know about you from your posts, you are a lady of routine and hard work. I can relate to that and I think that we will soon see you back on the horse again!
    And you know what? There are a lot of us out here relying on you to do that very thing. You have a voice in our lives and not allowing us to hear it is not an option!
    You are very loved and appreciated by your followers. Anyway, you can even turn a “stewing day” into entertainment for the rest of us.
    Thank you,

  6. I have recently been thinking about the way we live life – reading the ‘moneyless manifesto’ and the ‘barefoot man’ and other such things….. I am practising for retirement – now just three months away – and reflecting on how I put career, work, doing stuff ahead of my own personal needs, health, life for so very long. I applaud living life ‘at camp’ and ‘on holiday’. Every day should have, at the very least, elements of these things. I love your recipe and intend to cook up a similar version for myself as often as possible from now on 🙂

    • Three months until retirement?! That’s so exciting! Retirement has been both what I expected and so much more–it takes some time to figure out what the new life means and how to make it meaningful. Some days, I realize I’m almost pushing myself harder than I was ever pushed by the university where I worked and have to give myself a stern talking to . . .

  7. Sounds like you have been having some nice days and taking a little easy. It is always good. We had a summer cold that was passed around the family. I was the last to get it. I am just now getting over it. So now I have plenty of catch up to do with my blog.

  8. oh, bliss. lovely recipe, we all need to indulge more often. garage sales and consignment stores are bleak here. I wonder, with all the recycling etc. will we run out of treasures??

    • Run out of treasures?! Something new to worry about . . . But I don’t really see it happening. People’s tastes change and they get rid of something they collected, or they decided to downsize. People die and their families get rid of all that “stuff.” And new things become vintage every day–I see people getting all excited about things that are “vintage” from the 1980s!

  9. Apart from gnats (which were not really invited to be part of the recipe), that sounds like a splendid recipe for a summer day. I have had a couple of “please myself” days and as a result I felt like making bread again today. Yay! Because I love my own bread. Next step is to get back to making my own yogurt which I also love. Or, I may, instead, be rash and take a small road trip to visit my one and only uncle and his lovely wife.

    • You sound very chipper! Making ones own bread seems to have a way of setting things right. And a small road trip sounds like a fine way to spend some time, too–you should do what your heart desires.

      • Mmmmm….my heart is rather naughty and has me staying up way past any sensible bed time. So time to put the bread in the bread tin and hasten away to the land of Nod. 🙂

  10. I agree, stews are for winter. This time of year, we put the crock pot (meat + garden vegetables) out on the deck to keep the heat outside, or cook on the grill… new stove or not. Our garden calls for lots of weeding & trimming currently, as picking is just starting up. We had fog-rain most of yesterday, but that did not stop us from digging gravel out of the culverts to put on rutted parts of the road, and hauling two truck loads of leaves out of ditches to use as mulch. A thundershower rinsed us off while unlaoding the last truck load of leaves to hill up our potatoes. Then we put our feet up, while shelling peas and watching DVD lectures (which lead to ordering four more art books this moring). Ah, summer leisure!
    P.S. Had to wake up at 4:45 to be up before sun-rise this morning.

    • You’ll have plenty of time to use that stove when winter comes back, as she always does. I remember my grandmother, sitting in the shade and shelling peas–it was one of the few chores she could do sitting down and she loved it! And, yes, I was here for sunrise, too–I love how early it’s coming!!

  11. Love this post, and your way with words! Today I’ll mostly be doing things around the house, that was kind of neglected throughout theweek. My reward will be dinner with a friend.

  12. I thought only I suffered form the affliction of simply not wanting to do certain things that on most days would give me a ton of joy. It’s an odd feeling, maybe it’s just getting up on the wrong side of the bed but personally it feels like I have my shirt on backwards, totally uncomfortable!

    Now to let yourself just take in the day, I love it. I do think we need to allow ourselves to just enjoy the moment, reading, napping, sipping bourbon, have a campfire! Such good thoughts!

    • The good thing about those days when we have our shirts on backwards (perfect description!) is that they tend to be fleeting. All I needed was one day of complete vacation on my lawn and I bounced right back (the venting I did here helped too!)

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