While the calendar says that summertime doesn’t begin until June 20th or 21st, for me, summer starts June 1 (and autumn starts Sept 1).
I’m usually a fan of autumn; I love everything about fall. I don’t care much for winter (2 days of snow goes a long way for me) or even spring. And I usually don’t get excited about summer. But this year is different.
After shivering all winter and most of the spring, it feels so good to be able to open up the sliders on the deck and let the warm 75-degree air come in and circulate around the house.
So while I can’t get out and about much anymore, I will celebrate the sunshine and warm weather and memories of the beach, roasted hot dogs, macaroni salad, and those hot summer nights’ music.
When I was a kid, we would often go next door to the elderly neighbors to swing on their glider and eat cold green grapes and sliced watermelon.
When I got my first apartment when I turned 20, I celebrated summer with all of the windows open, music blasting, and making my grandmother’s recipe for fried chicken, generally eaten with mashed potatoes and gravy, but this time of the year, it was served cold with macaroni salad.
Grandma’s Fried Chicken and Cream Gravy
One whole white onion
Chicken pieces (I usually use thighs, wings, and legs)
salt and pepper
Paprika, sage, and turmeric
Put enough olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until the bottom is covered, add a cube of butter, and melt into the oil.
Slice onion and cook in the oil until translucent and slightly crisp. Remove from oil and keep warm in a 300-degree oven.
Put about a cup of flour in a bowl and add the salt, pepper, and spices.
Put about 1/2 cup of milk in another bowl.
Dip each piece of chicken into the milk, then into the flour mixture, and then put into the hot oil/butter. Don’t crowd the chicken pieces… Let cook on one side until crispy and brown, and then turn. Cook the same on the other side.
Put a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet with a ledge (or a cake roll pan) and remove each piece of chicken from the oil and onto the sheet/rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold.
Mom’s Macaroni Salad
2 cups of salad macaroni cooked for about 10 minutes until translucent
1/2 cup (or more) chopped green olives
1/2 cup (or more) chopped black olives
1/2 cup (or more) chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup of shredded or chopped cheese
1 cup of mayo
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
Cook macaroni; drain and rinse in cold water.
Mix dressing; add the sugar to mayo and mix well; add vinegar and whisk until blended.
Add dressing to macaroni
Fold in olives, onion, and celery and mix well
Add the cheese
Chill for several hours and add salt and pepper to taste
Serve with ice-cold sliced tomatoes, sliced watermelon, fresh fruit or a fruit salad, and ice cream for dessert.
What I would Wear:
And since my graduating class celebrates our 52nd year since graduation…..
I imagine when kids see these photos they look as antiquated as my grandmother’s picture do to me.
By the way, Mackelmore attended the same school as I did, although 30 years later.