Summer is rapidly drawing to a close and all across the country, and people are starting to shift back into fall mode. However, there’s still a little time left before you pack up the citronella candles to squeeze in one more celebration.
The secret to end-of-season party planning is keeping it easy. No need for complicated cocktails or loads of decorations. It really helps that there’s so much amazing food in season right now. Here are some ideas to celebrate the labor of summer’s fruits (and vegetables).
- Call it a potluck. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to cater the entire thing.
- Your house doesn’t have to be picture perfect. This is about friends, family and enjoying the last moments summer. Folding laundry can wait for another day.
- Buy watermelon, corn on the cob and tomatoes. They are at their best right now and need nothing to be delicious. If you want to get “fancy” you can stir up the toasted corn and tomato salad below.
- Don’t fuss over the drinks. For the kids, float peach slices in jugs of water for virtuous fruit “punch.” For the grown-ups, buy some inexpensive lager and a carton of lemonade for an instant shandy.
Now all you have to do is fire up the grill, keep the bug spray close and finish up the summer in style.
Toasted Corn and Tomato Salad
Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups fresh corn kernels (approximately 6 ears of corn)
3 cups roughly chopped tomatoes (1 large or 2 small tomatoes)
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large skillet over high heat and add butter. As soon it has melted and is sizzling around the edges, add the corn. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the corn begins to caramelize and jump around the pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the toasted corn, chopped tomatoes and torn basil. Top with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Can be served warm or at room temperature.