What's for Dinner #107 - the Almost Sum-Sum-Summertime Edition - June 2024

Kids are almost out of school.
It’s almost vacation time (or camp time or summer sports league time!).
It’s almost time for LOTS of suntan lotion and superb beach weather.
It’s almost time for those sunny days to stretch into long sunny evenings.
We’re almost at the start of the summertime CSAs and Farmers Markets.

This is the start of that time those of us in the colder states wait for every year. (Well, maybe not the kids out of school part!)

What new sum-sum-summertime meals are going on your pic-a-nic tables this month?


I might have roses just coming into bloom. And autumn flowering heleniums growing like crazy. And the revamped herb area is doing really well. But it’s nowhere near warm enough to be considering picnics - i needed a jacket this morning when I was pottering around outside. And the heating clicked on first thing.

But there’s a very seasonal, late spring, dinner tonight at Harters Hall. Scottish smoked salmon, capers, lemon juice. Roast chicken with an anchovy flavoured butter stuffed under the skin (a Gil Meller recipe), with local asparagus and Jersey Royal spuds. Rhubarb fool for dessert, with ginger nut biscuits for a bit of crunch (biscuits from the supermarket).


Public service announcement: If you have chives that just bloomed, use the blossoms while new and delicate (tough and seedy if you wait). We enjoyed our chive blossoms as a topping for ravioli stuffed with smoked mozzarella, ricotta, artichoke, and spring herbs.

I also like chive blossoms on salads, especially potato salad. Wondering if it’s worth infusing some in chive blossom vinegar?


If you have roses coming into bloom, you are well into picnic temperatures.
Your late spring dinner sounds lovely.


I make so much chive blossom vinegar and gift most of it.
The bottles make for such a pretty display.
Tonight I’m trying a new teriyaki chicken recipe (with tamari) and will add a few ‘allowed’ steamed veggies. I will rehydrate some dried shitake and put them in the mix. Dotter & posslq will get a care package to take home.


Roast chicken, taters and asparagus. A perfect meal!


Do you prefer a particular type of vinegar for your chive blossom vinegar?

I want to get to the blossoms before the neighborhood flock of wild turkeys start sitting in our chives. :laughing:


I usually make it up with regular white wine vinegar. I was advised to stay away from the distilled white vinegar. I have made it with rice wine vinegar, too.


Thanks! I have a gallon of distilled white vinegar that I use for household cleaning jobs but I figured that wasn’t the right type. I plan to try making this chive blossom vinegar.

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We are back in our Berlin pad after a few annoying delays. We were both craving something spicy for dinner, so we ordered delivery from the hand-pulled noodle place down the road from us en route home. The food showed up 10 min after we got in :heart_eyes:

Sadly, they were out of the lamb & cumin biang biang, but the beef turned out to be a more than a worthy substitute: tender AF, flavorful, and with the perfect amount of heat. The sauce is really complex and delicious.

The cukes were good, but the portion was on the smaller side this time – maybe they were running low, as we put in our order 20 min before the kitchen closes. In any event, it really hit the spot.

Happy Pride Month, everyone :rainbow_flag: :transgender_flag: :rainbow: :partying_face:


Ooohhh, one of my favorite combos. I miss the hand-pulled noodle place that used to be close to our house.


Rigatoni and meatballs(Kirkland frozen)in a spicy, spicy tomato/chorizo sauce with some diced pepperoncini and Parm/Regg. Saving half for another meal, should freeze ok :+1:t2:.


Swordfish with a casteltravano olive-caper-Urfa chili compound butter, fresh-picked asparagus from the farm.


T’was a lovely day.

A trip to Penzeys and Trader Joe’s (I was only going in for #2 coffee filters and canned corn at TJs but $58 later…!), then to Market Basket to pick up a few more items.

Had already decided on pizza tonight, so had to turn on the AC after preheating the oven to 450°.

Made a potato, bacon, and caramelized onion pizza with a lemon-rosemary cream sauce (using a large half of store-bought ball of dough and the other half of the baked potato from last night’s dinner).

V&L for the evening’s libations. T’was all very good.


Nice . Pizza Saturday. Yes


Spring vegetable soup with asparagus, shallots, scallions, kale, pasta, and leftover roast chicken - a drizzle of the chicken’s lemony pan sauce and parmesan cheese for serving. Freshly baked, sourdough-spiked focaccia with sage and chive.

Veggies and herbs all from the garden.


Night market in Chinatown was a success despite a misstep at the beginning. I started my evening in the Chinese grocer I frequent to pick up some Thai birds eye chilis and some sweet and sour chili sauce for a dish I will be making later this week. When I left my first plan of action was to find some bbq’d squid since I had some at the last night market I went to and it was the best squid I’ve ever had however there was only the one squid vendor that time. The minute I left the grocery store lo and behold right in front of me was squid! It was meant to be! Sadly it was fried on a flat top but I figured I better order some because who knows when I’ll ever get squid again. It was a little rubbery though. What a letdown.

I then decided to stroll around to see what else they had and discovered that they now have half a dozen other squid vendors now, all of whom bbq their squids. Oh well I know for next time.

Next dish was skewers in a cup. Six skewers were included as well as an assortment of pickled veggies. I picked two deep fried tofu (perfectly cooked with a slightly spicy dressing) as well as two pork skewers and two shrimp skewers (well cooked but flavour less. I had them with pickled cukes, lotus, and eggs.

The last dish I had was two ginormous pork baos, perhaps the best dish of the evening.

I was contemplating getting a bbq’d squid but I was quite full by then so I decided to head home. There’s another night market in September so I will try again at getting the right squid.

In addition to selling food they also had crafts for sale. Pictured below are some jewelry and live plants for sale as well as a stuffed toy dispensing machine.

There was also a dragon dance which I missed since I was talking to one of the vendors and they never came back :frowning: I saw this character though:

The only shortfall was the lack of garbage cans. Both of them looked like this:


We enjoyed another outstanding dinner at The Farmer’s Daughter, in Newton, NJ, including excellent surf and turf tartare with lobster; crispy asparagus and cheese stuffed arancini, topped with crispy prosciutto; cheesy stuffed mushrooms; crispy potato skins topped with caviar; crispy clam strips; wedge salad topped with crispy onions, bacon, and blue cheese; BBQ ribs with corn soufflé and citrus slaw. It all went great with an excellent Chateauneuf Du Pape and cabernet.


Homemade pasta with ricotta, parsley & broccolini. Balcony-grown Little Gem giving me a reason to live.


Does your community have Zero Waste guidelines for vendors?