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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quintessentiallly Summer: Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

Isn't it mind-boggling how fast summer flies?  I am a warm/hot-weather girl. About 98% of my hobbies require weather that involves no snow, so as the calendar creeps back towards winter, I begin having almost palpable anxiety. Every year, right around August 1st, it seems I panic ~ wanting every day and night to be quintessentially summer. 

Well, two days ago, the stress set in. I realized I'd be turning another year older in a few weeks (eeks!), school would be in full swing - meaning my "free weekend time" would again consist of grading papers, and the weather would take a nasty (in my humble opinion) turn towards the bitter cold. I guess time gives us perspective. Perhaps if the weather were beautiful all of the time, I would take it for granted and not give each and every day the attention it deserves.

So, with all of this in mind, on Friday evening, we had a lovely, perfectly summer experience. We put a blanket down in a shady part of the yard, got Franklin the puppy settled, and snacked on cherries, veggies and humus, and melon...and, of course, sipped on wine. I read mindless magazines, and Andy took a nap. Then, we fired up the grill to make veggie sandwiches with cream cheese. This meal was an attempt at recreating my absolute favorite sandwich in Madison, the West of the Andes sandwich (don't forget to ask for cream cheese!) at The Weary Traveler.

What's great about this type of meal (if you're not going for absolute recreations) is that WHATEVER might be in season at the time works.

We grilled carrots and beats and topped them with fresh arugula, tomatoes,avocado, and cream cheese and squashed it all in the middle of a hearty burger bun for this night's version, but later in the year, perhaps it'll be grilled winter squash and beets with fresh spinach and blue cheese. Who knows? The fridge and the season will be the deciding factors.

On the side, we served grilled baby bok choy. Delicious.

Despite my all-things-good-end-with-summer fear, I do look forward to the tastes of each season. Fall  brings veggie chili. Winter brings black bean soup. I can get excited for those. I just need reminders! ...until cold temps, another birthday and another school year creep in though, I'm going to try and make each day quintessentially summer.

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