glimmers of summer: flip-flops, swimming and tomato soup

You may think I’ve forgotten about the good old bucket list of summer, seeing as I’ve neglected to mention it recently. However, it’s still on my mind, as I watch the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to tinge red. Knowing that fall is around the bend, I have been busy soaking up the last rays of summer, and checking more items off the list. Despite the fact that the first few weeks of September in Minnesota feel decidedly autumn-like, this year I will be living summer until the last official second. After all, I have enough left on the list to truly relish summer past-times for a few more weeks!

Today I’m checking off three more things.

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First up, let’s talk flip-flops. I love my Teva sandals. I buy a pair a year, and always wear through them. This year was no exception. Worn daily, from the yard, to the farmers market, to the mall, to walks on the north shore, these sandals have certainly gotten a workout. They have a couple weeks of life left in them, but just barely.

wear out another pair of teva flip flops


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Swimming in the cool, clean waters of a Minnesota lake is pure summer to me. I grew up on a resort in northern Minnesota, where I would roll out of bed and put on a swimsuit immediately, heading out to the beach after a quick breafast of blueberry pancakes in the lodge. A couple of my childhood nicknames were “the mermaid”, and “fish”. Yes, I love the water, and especially lake-swimming. This year, I really made an effort to spent hot days floating on a raft in the middle of the lake, or doing cannon-balls off my parents boat. When I wasn’t up north, I headed down a gravel road near the cottage, to a local swimming hole where the cool water glistened in the sun, welcoming me to dive in. This summer, more than any of the summers in the past few years, I became a fish again.

swim in lakes, as often as possible


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I mentioned a few weeks ago that my garden has been thriving this year. The bounty of the harvest is filling my kitchen, and just a few days back, I was inspired to make an entire meal using only my homegrown produce. I whipped up a salad using fresh cucumber, grape tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, baby onions, and banana peppers. Veggies sliced thin, with a bit of Good Seasons dressing drizzled over the top, this salad was the epitome of fresh, delicious summer cuisine. However, a salad isn’t a meal, so I got busy making the main course. I gathered up 5 or 6 of the largest, ripest red tomatoes my garden had to offer, determined to make a fresh tomato soup. Using onions, basil, oregano, and chives, also from the garden, I blended the ingredients, and then simmered my soup on the stove top. The result was divine. I made enough for a couple servings, and a day later, I am happy to report the soup is even more amazing, as the flavors have blended together. Today I ate it with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Yum!

Here is the recipe for anyone who has an abundance of garden-fresh tomatoes; home-grown or from the farmers market!

:: ingredients ::
5 – 6 large tomatoes
3 – 4 small (tiny) onions
1 tsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped oregano
1 tsp chopped chives
1 – 2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

:: directions ::
Peel and coarsely chop enough tomatoes to yield 4 cups pureed.
Mix in blender all ingredients, then simmer over stove until warm. Enjoy!

make a meal entirely from my vegetable garden

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There you have it, three more things off the list! Tomorrow I’m getting in the car with my mom and my best friend and heading to one of my five fave summer spots. Door County, Wisconsin, is one of those places where you instantly feel like you’ve traveled back in time about 50 years, to a simpler pace where days are filled with the lovely things of life. We will be hiking, wine tasting, watching the sunset, swimming in Lake Michigan, and exploring the many sleepy harbor villages that dot the peninsula. I won’t be posting again ’till next week, so here’s to one more perfect summer weekend! Enjoy it, my dears, because all too soon it will be gone.

  1. Hope says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Enjoy your long weekend.:)

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