Summer Menus

It is a little chilly today and the wind is blowing, but it still feels like spring so I’m thinking of the warm days to come.  As I hung clothes on the line today I remembered it was MAY!  Next month it will be summer vacation and shorts.

Last summer I tried hard not to turn on the air conditioner until absolutely necessary…and made it to July 4th.  This year I’d like to beat that record.  Problem is,  I don’t like the heat.  I’m hoping to come up with some good summer menus to keep me from heating up the house and getting frustrated that we don’t have anything “good” for supper.

Grilling is obvious. So I’ll make a list of the normal grilling fare.  Then I’ll add some interesting things to try.  We’ve never cooked pizza on the grill, so that would be a fun experiment.

The crock pot is a good way to cook a meal without heating up the house too.  I’ve seen people actually plug in their crock pot outside (garage or deck) to keep the heat out there.  That is an option.  But what is good in the crock pot in the summer?  My family does not like soup or real heavy food in the summer, so maybe the meat for sandwiches?  Filling for some Mexican dish?  A whole chicken?

Cold foods are always fast and easy.  Sandwiches are a summer staple.  Salads can be good on a hot day too.  Both pasta salads and lettuce/spinach salads.  There is also meat and cheese with crackers and fresh produce.

We eat a lot of fish too.  With a pretty good fisherman in the house, that is cheap and easy.  The kids like fried fish…maybe moving the deep fryer outside to the deck to cook the fish would be nice.  I think I have an electric skillet in the back of a cupboard too.  I could fry outside with that.  Hmmm… something to think about.

And then there is the microwave. I don’t cook in there as often as I reheat food there.  And that isn’t often either.  I like fish cooked in the microwave.  I could also use it to heat up portions of a meal too.  I’m kind of at a loss with the potential of a microwave.  What do you do in yours??

While I start putting meal ideas together that fit these cooking methods, please share some of your favorite summer meal ideas with me. Especially you Southerners…you have a way longer summer than we Minnesotans do.

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