Friday, July 5, 2013

The Summertime Fridge

When I was a little girl, I went to sleepover camp for two months.  My mom used to mail me letters to let me know what I was "missing" in Hogtown.  Those letters were So. Boring. (Mom, if you're reading this, I apologize, but it's true).  In retrospect, it was probably done on purpose to make me feel like I wasn't missing anything and that I should be happy that I was at camp.  It worked...not once did I wish to come home to the hot, stinky, boring city. 

But the second I came home, the gig was up.  I would whip open the fridge and based on the contents, I could tell that there had been a lot more fun being had than she alluded to.  You see, over the course of eight weeks, our family-friendly school fridge had morphed into the Summertime Fridge. Gone were the juice boxes, processed cheese sliced and bologna.  In went the Bloody Mary mix, brie, and cured salami.

Is it possible that my parents could have a life that I am not the center of? A life that includes booze, stinky cheese, and  hors d'oeuvres? I cannot even begin to tell you how betrayed I felt. My mother. Having fun.  Without me. I swore I would never do that to my children.

But like most of the details of my adult life, things are not the way I thought they'd be. Hence, in addition to the skinny ankles, love of running, and her mad chicken soup-making skills, I have inherited my mother's summertime palate:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you (drumroll please) the Summertime Fridge:

I spy with my little eye...
  • Greek Yogurt (exclusively for dips and definitely NOT a substitute for sour cream on taco night).
  • Peppers, radishes, Swiss chard and other veggies that are wasted on my cucumber-loving kids.
  • TWO bottles of wine chilling
  • Grapefruit juice (for mixing purposes, of course)
  •  No less than three kinds of hummus: red pepper, olive, and au natural.
  • No less than three kinds of pesto: sun-dried tomato, basil, and spicy black olive.
  • Mini balls of bocconcini cheese for last-minute cocktail party emergencies.
  • Strawberries and mangoes, cut up and ready for slushie drinks
So what do I do with all these fancy foods and beverages? Have pool parties, of course.  As often as possible.  Take last night, for example.  I had all of my daughter's friends' moms over for cocktails to thank them for all of the lunches, play dates and lifts to-and-from school over the past 10 months.  We gossiped, laughed, ate, drank, and then gossiped, laughed, ate, and drank some more. 
And while I begged these women to come empty-handed and let me treat them for a change, true to their generous natures, they all brought me the yummiest non-kid friendly desserts: coconut and lime chocolate truffles, a lemon tart, and Mars bars Rice Krsipie squares.  Ok, so those last ones are probably kid-friendly, but because they are so much more decadent than their lunchbox staple cousin, I say we keep this one our own little secret. And I'm thinking that if one were to add a couple shots of Frangelico, Kahlua, or Bailey's, these little squares of heaven could secure themselves a spot in the VIP lounge.
Lesley's Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares
4 regular-size Mars bars                                    
1/2 cup butter                                      
2 cups Rice Krispies                                    
1 cup milk chocolate chips                     

Note: Lesley told me that she usually makes these using the microwave but since it broke on the exact day she was making them, she was forced to go all pioneer-woman and use the stove. Feel free to use whichever you're more comfortable with.

Directions: Melt the butter and Mars bars and stir until smooth (and booze, if you choose).  Mix in the Rice Krispies. Press into an 8 x 8 pan. Melt the chocolate chips and spread evenly.  Let cool in the oven until firm.  Cut into squares.  

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