Vacations this year are different, but summer isn’t cancelled.
Some people are still in lockdown, some only travel within their region/country leaving exotic destinations for better times. No matter if you are at the tropical island, family cottage house or your balcony, food can help you travel and create a vacation mode. If you have a dream destination start preparing yourself for the adventure by researching and experimenting with typical dishes from that place. Or remember great vacations you had in the past by throwing a theme dinner. You can also just go to some big supermarket or specialty store and get some exotic ingredients which will get you inspired. Options for vacation cooking are endless. You can do it alone, with your friends, family members or kids. Which might turn into a fun and educational vacation project for them. So put on your creative chef hat and have fun, I challenge you to try at least 3 of the below this summer:
- Go to a specialty grocery store or market in your town you haven’t been and get some ingredients which are new for you.
- Use your imagination or research online and cook dinner using those ingredients.
- Summer is abundant and generous with produce – try pickling, fermenting, conserving, making jams, anything to capture flavours of summer in the jar.
- Great time to detox – try having green juices or green smoothies (with not too sugary fruits) at least a couple times a week.
- Make a cold soup for lunch – gazpacho, tarator or even fruit soup!
- Create your lemonade for the season. Play with unusual combinations of fruits and herbs or just polish to perfection homemade ice-tea or good old lemon lemonade.
- Cook a throwback dinner to honour vacations you had or a special restaurant you attended last summer.
- If getting ready for a barbeque party go out of the box and try grilling something you don’t usually grill, prepare unusual marinades, sauces, salads.
- If you manage to travel (doesn’t matter if it is a different country or village next door) try some typical dish from the area and try to recreate it adding your signature touch.
- Make some ice cream, sorbet or popsicle. Any frozen treat will do, you do not necessarily need an ice cream making machine for it. Mixed frozen bananas with other fruits and flavourings create delightful “nicecream”, for example.
- Have a month or week or a specific cuisine in your kitchen – research, cook and travel with flavors.
- Try some family recipe your mom or grandma were proud of but you never had a chance to actually make.]
- Go on a foraging trip – mushrooms, wild berries and fruits, herbs. And try to create a dish around your wild harvest (just make sure you know what you are picking).
- Eat as many seasonal fruits and veggies as possible! Try new veggie dish every week based on what is in season. Also bake a fruit pie (cobbler, crumble, cake etc) with seasonal fruit.
- Learn to make a classic cocktail or invent your own. It doesn’t have to be an alcoholic cocktail. Learn about the history of the drink you are making, play with the presentation, serve to loved ones and friends.
- If travelling, go to the local market and get the nicest looking vegetables. Make a dish with this vegetable as a centrepiece.
Have a great summer everybody, full of sun, fun and culinary adventures! ☀️