While the gusting winds, and the overnight rainstorm remind me more of winter, it is offically summer. The stores have all of the grilling and barbecuing supplies on display. It is officially Memorial Day weekend. Therefore I want to write about the cooking, the eating, the time spent with family. I think about chips, sodas, and beer. I also think about the colorful table decorations that are pulled out of the backs of closets and put on display to brighten our spirits.
While I’ve never truly experienced a coming out of an extreme winter into summer, part of me knows that this is the part of the year we all begin to shed ourselves of the literal or metaphorical winter gloom. Even here on Maui, upcountry you can smell the change from the fireplaces to the grills. The neighborhood pools open, and the sounds of laughter and squeals take us all back to our time as keiki (children). We’re younger, lighter, and more full of energy. Perhaps we’re solar powered.
During the winter months we often read magazine articles about how to not eat too much at all of those holiday parties, but we must remember that there are holiday parties and just because parties going on all through the summer season. So, the same rules of moderation apply. Sure, indulge a little but don’t go overboard. There will be another cook out, bbq, or luau next week.
Even though summer is usually a time of lighter foods like salads, chilled soups, and fresh fruits, it is also a time of potato chips, sodas, beers, and many many bowls of ice cream and pieces of pie. So, what can you do? Well, when you’re asked to a potluck, bring a salad, chilled soup, or some fresh fruit. Maui has such a bounty of the produce you need to make all three, so why not dive into them? When you’re at the party, stick to those lighter dishes, and maybe have just a small handful of the chips. Instead of having a whole six pack of beers, stick to one or two. To replace the sodas, try some sparkling water (you can buy it at Costco relatively inexpensively) and pour some 100 percent juice into it. Just make sure the juice doesn’t have any added sugars. If you are a wine lover, try pouring your wine into the sparkling water for a little wine spritzer. You’ll cut the calories and be hydrating out in the summer heat. For dessert, hit the fruit salad and if you must, have a sliver of pie or a scoop of ice cream.
I’m not here to tell you what to do, I’m just making some suggestions. Don’t expect me to not break these suggestions myself sometimes, because I will. However, I’ll try to do my very best.
My first party of the summer is tomorrow. I’m hosting. So, I’m making some delicious organic grass fed Maui beef burgers, Applegate Farms gluten free hot dogs, and homemade baked beans (they’re much more healthful and less expensive compared to the canned kind). My friends are bringing salads, vegetable side dishes, and one friend is bringing some cookies. I haven’t figured out a dessert I can eat yet, but maybe I’ll see if someone brings some fruit salad. Oh, and I’m having blueberry juice in some sparkling water instead of sodas. I may have one gluten free beer with my burger.
The best part of it all will be the time I get to spend with my friends, and next month I’ll be able to spend some time with some family members when they come to visit. That’s the best part of summer. That’s the best part of everyday living. It’s about being with people you care about and spreading the love around.
Happy Summer everyone!