ready for 4th of july?

taken by my friend Manon on way from NYC to NJ beaches 1999

When you live in a vacation spot like we do it's all everyone is talking about, but maybe it's just the same for everyone, because especially this year its been our first good weather of the summer really... Our kids just finished school yesterday, a late finish due to all the snowstorms this past winter, so we are adjusting ourselves to the new schedule (wait, what are you guys doing here in the middle of the day!?) I keep thinking it's Saturday!

I think that more and more people are keeping it simple, which has always been our life, but as a family we are trying to stay more simple in our daily meals and especially dinnertime. We got rid of large plates, and instead use smaller ones so that we don't have the feeling that we have to fill them up. Normally I do the macrobiotic plate style of cooking where I have at least three 'piles' (for lack of a better word) various sides and then a main protein. Lately, I am only doing one or two. So our dinner might be steamed kale, brown rice and condiments like sesame seeds or sunflower seeds and a slice or two of tofu or a meat. Or kinpira (see recipe here) and brown rice with sesame seeds and then cheese for desert. You get the picture and summertime is the perfect time to do this as our bodies do not need so much now.

So when it's time to have people over for summer weekends, I have also cut back... keeping meals simple and light, and maybe just granola for breakfast and coffee ready at the table and for dinner it's simply salads and corn and a few other small things.. We tend to get crazy as Americans and expect to lay out these giant meals (also in restaurants with their giant plates of food! crazy!) -- I think we should take a cue from our European friends and scale it back a bit, there is far too much waste.

Anyway, try it for a week and if everyone hates it you can blame it on me, but I think everyone will come to the same conclusion... it seems smarter this way!

That said... I wanted to remind you of my strawberry cake recipe (click here), it's perfect for 4th of July parties! (with a little whole milk greek yogurt!?)

Happy Fourth!