This is it people. The opening weekend of summer is upon us, and we need to be ready. We’ve got three months of picnics, drive ins, hikes, sleepovers, pool parties, campouts, BBQ’s, road trips, beach trips, lake visits, river running. In short, this is when you need to get your Bring It on!
You don’t just want to bring “something” to all these occasions. You want to bring the thing that keeps people coming back for more. Here are a few faves:
My number one recommendation is, of course, Hero Slaw, but there are other salads that will stand up to travel, and make you popular once you arrive. Panzanella and Shrimp and Bulgur salad are hard to beat for ease and deliciousness. If your numbers are smaller and you can handle a little on-site assembly, let them eat pineapple avocado salad.
Casually plunk People’s Choice Cornbread on the table and watch the kids move right on in. Use the same casual approach with a loaf or two of Easiest French Bread Ever, which you can also slice up for bruschetta or make in a well-buttered loaf pan and use for sandwiches (hellooo road trips!)
If you are on cocktail duty for a crowd, bust out your Tupperware pitchers and freeze up a big batch of frosé or frozen daquiris. Nobody’s going to send you away with a pitcher of watermelon sangria either.
And speaking of dessert…I recently met a totally Memorial Day worthy recipe. “Rubble,” is a creation straight from Squaw Valley, courtesy of Treas, the Squaw of Granite Chief. She made it for us with chocolate, vanilla, coffee and strawberry ice cream, and with chocolate and caramel sauce. (Overachiever!) Eminently adaptable Rubble can be made with any combo of ice cream and sauce, and it can be expanded to fit the size of the group. Perhaps best of all, it can be sourced at pretty much any market— even a decent mini mart.
Treas aspires to make this in more grown up flavor combos, but I can attest that the straight up chocolate, coffee, vanilla, strawberry is fantastic. As a bonus it can be assembled by kids or adults with no real regard for exact instruction or amounts.
You will need, from the bottom up:
- Parchment Paper
- Baking sheet
- Biscotti or any hard cookie (Treas uses Nonnis biscotti)
- Ice cream, in amounts and flavors you desire
- Fresh berries of choice
- Ice cream sauce, again in flavor or flavors of choice.
- Smoked almonds, roughly chopped (Treas holds the line here. Smoked almonds really make the difference, and yes they probably have them at the mini mart)
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Smash/break up a few biscotti (do not crumble them too much. You want to be able to identify them), and scatter them across the parchment.
On top of that, start layering up: scoops of ice cream, a good drizzle of sauce, a smattering of berries and a sprinkling of chopped almonds over the whole shebang. Depending on the size of your crowd you may need to make more layers. Use your best artistic dessert instincts on this.
Put your masterpiece in the freezer so it coalesces into one frozen pile.
A few minutes before serving take out the rubble and let it soften just enough to be penetrable.
Have at it!
Once frozen, rubble can take a short trip in the car with no ill effects. It’s not exactly tailgate fare though.
Happy Memorial Day all, and welcome to summer!