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SIMPLE SUMMER By: Sharon Abra Hanen

The sweet simplicity of summer is recaptured with reminiscent memories and recipes.


And ultimately, that is so much of what sustainable eating is about. What will sustain us as individuals, communities, and the world we live in is food that connects us to our hunger, to our history, to the land and people who grew and prepared the food, to stories and culture. Soulful food. Food with a sense of poetry and play, however simple that might be. For me, some of that simple playfulness comes from reconnecting with the long-gone childhood sense of endless summer. I want to eat things that connect me to summers past, that let smells and tastes pull happy memories into the present moment. As a small child, I was bundled into my cotton pajamas, given a blanket and a pillow, tucked into the corner of the backseat with my sister, and driven off, literally into the sunset, to watch a double feature at the local drive-in movie theater. That theater is long gone, as are any memories I have of what we saw there. But the air smelled sweet and salty and the crackling of the movie speaker only made my dreams all the better. simple, sustainable, and slightly sophisticated I still love the retro feel of the drive-in theaters and classic neighborhood cinemas. And I'm not the only one – the current proliferation of urban outdoor film screenings builds on much the same fascination. And most of the time, if I were to choose my ideal old-school movie snack combo, I'd pick popcorn, chocolate, and a creamy shake. My super-simple homemade takes on classic movie food each have just three ingredients, can be made in 10 minutes or less (not including chilling time), and offer many possibilities for memorable variations.

summer issue TWENTY-ELEVEN

photo by Jen Persons,

Warmth and wanderlust make me want to feed on tapas and tiffin, little plates and street food, munchy-crunchy things that can slip into backpack pockets to fuel urban explorations or country rambles, and small sweet treats to accompany an afternoon stolen with a much-anticipated book or a muchmissed friend. That is what I crave in summer. Miniature memories of fairgrounds and festivals, beaches and ballgames, travel and tea-time. Little bites with just a few flavors. Simple food with playful possibilities that satisfy soul and stomach simultaneously—as Winnie-the-Pooh said, “a little smackerel of something.” Full meals have their place—lingering lunches and dinners that flow into the dimness of late evening. But I love a little this, a little that—something small enough that even in this dripping-with-distraction world invites my full attention to it, hearing the story the flavors are telling me. I come to this naturally—my father was a skillful snacker. He didn't cook. He did try. He manned the grill at birthday parties but only seemed able to produce food with an asphalt-black exterior and a puzzlingly raw interior. He did, however, know how to assemble a snack. A little of this, a little of that, not much altogether, but a combination of flavors that marked a particular moment. He could make a one-time pairing of party leftovers and pantry staples sing, or elevate a forgotten slice of cheese and a lonely cracker with a sculptural sliver of fruit and a stripe of something spicy. Professionally, he was an architect, and in his way, in those quiet kitchen moments, he was designing and building experiences. Small edible ones, but soulful experiences nonetheless.

Profile for Sashay Magazine

Sashay Magazine  

No matter where they live, women can be inspired by one another and united in the building of character, mind and body. Sashay Magazine is a...

Sashay Magazine  

No matter where they live, women can be inspired by one another and united in the building of character, mind and body. Sashay Magazine is a...