I kind of live for summer cookouts.
Did you know last Friday was National S’More Day? I hope you celebrated. I did.
Last Friday was great. Met friends and went to Bluemont Park, where we basically stumbled upon the Lost Dog 5K Series. Basically, the Lost Dog Cafe is a cafe that along with selling (amazing) sandwiches, also rescues, sponsors and finds homes for dogs, and created their own Lost Dog Rescue organization. Awesome, right? So they do this 5K series and it looks like SO MUCH FUN. Everyone meets up on Friday nights at a pretty park, enjoys all the fun race stuff (or, er, if you’re me, get a free chair massage and Larabar sample despite not running, nor ever planning to run, the race), and then runs a race for a great cause.
The best part is, DOGS CAN RUN THE RACE TOO, which meant runners raced past the starting line to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out” (along with actual barking). And those of us who were simply there to loiter around the park and toss around a frisbee still got to PLAY WITH THE PUPPIES WHO WERE UP FOR ADOPTION. Oh my Goddddddddddddddd if you are ever even slightly dissatisfied with any aspect of your life may I recommend picking up a puppy who then furiously licks your chin? Agh so great.
Then we had a spontaneous cookout. Lydia came too, and was in charge of arranging the cheese.
I grilled tofu.
Just sprinkled with Cajun seasoning. GREAT.
And potatoes (foil packet; olive oil salt and pepper), and WHOLE CARROTS. This is a tip my uncle Louie gave me. Grilling carrots whole is the bomb. You get the best of the cooked carrots and raw carrots world. You just roll them in a little olive oil (or a marinade, if you’re using one for meat or something) and then throw it on the grill whole. Like roasted carrots, the outside gets wonderfully caramelized and sweet and flavorful (win) and like raw carrots they still retain a wonderful no-mush crunch (win). Delish.
Also foil packet-ed zucchini (olive oil, salt and pepper), peppers (same), and okra (which I did with olive oil, cumin, and coriander- nice!).
Obviously my boyfriend ran out to buy 16 brats, too. Just in case.
And he bought smores fixin’s VERY IMPORTANT.
Then Lydia arranged them cause frankly these matters of arrangement and garnishing are important to her in a way they never ever will be for me. Thus her hand furiously arranging things in these first two pictures.
Here we go:
I had one. Then I had s’more.
Speaking of cookouts, my family does them well too. (Though there were not smores, there were- unpictured- brownies, key lime pie, and Pavlova. I ate all in copious quantities).
Do other peoples’ family events just involve ridiculous amounts of food? And is it all awesome? I hope so. That is something I love about my family.
In the appetizer department, I obviously went nuts on the above guacamole; white bean, garlic, and rosemary dip (so good Kathy!); and horseradish hummus from Trader Joe’s, which I always love and should just buy and/or make.
Once I made myself a proper plate, it was sort of eyes-rolled-back-in-my-head experience eating the watermelon, tomato, mint and goat cheese salad. So good my aunt Nan made it… then her sister arrived later… with the exact same dish. There is a reason, guys.
Note the blossoming black eyed Susans out the window in the background. I mean really. Can it always be summer?