Remembering When


Summer. Barbecues, road trips, flip-flops, rope swings, a new swimsuit, homemade popsicles or rides with the windows down and feet out the window. Reading outside. Doing just about everything outside. Gardening. Sprinklers. The list could go on.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the time when summer actually felt like an eternity. Remember that? The days right before you or your friends had a car and you came up with impossibly creative ways to pass the time–perhaps feeling bored and tortured, not realizing how you’d look back on those listless, empty afternoons with nostalgia and longing.

During those summer days, the above list would look quite different: making chocolate chip cookie dough and eating it straight out of the bowl. On the roof. In our underwear. Or walking downtown barefoot with my best friend Kristin to buy fried rice from the one and only decent Chinese restaurant in our small town. We’d wear cut-offs and put on lots of fruity lip gloss and hope to be noticed. We’d spend hours making mix tapes and sneak bottles of Zima and clove cigarettes into the garage for a smashing afternoon of pure daydreaming. The Cure. The Flaming Lips. Sublime. Tori Amos. Kristin and I would sneak out at night and traipse around the park with boys much too old for us. Those were the days. How little we knew and how much we thought we knew. But such is adolescence.  I don’t really miss that. The one thing I do miss is the cadence of the days, the way they literally folded into one another into a beautiful, long swath of months we called summer.

These were the days before stress, before worrying about health insurance or Amex bills or how to raise money for a bakery if you decided you wanted to open one. Yep, those days. I know you remember them, too.  I can’t seem to stop thinking about that simpler time, especially as my own summer days seem to be collapsing into one another like stuccato moments of work, rest, and more work. So I thought I’d bring back a little of the summer of ’95. Why not? Now I just baked chocolate chip cookies so that was out. A few other things we loved were pretty classy: gummy peaches, Toaster Strudels, Snackwell’s cookies, and peanut butter. Right out of the jar. Coincidentally, I haven’t grown out of peanut butter. So, it is.  Something with peanut butter. Lucky for me, my friend Hallie just emailed me a recipe for Buckeyes. I didn’t know what they were, but Hallie instructed that they were all about peanut butter and as easy as “dip and dive.” Sold.


Hallie’s spending the summer in Brooklyn and I trust that she’s eating her fair share of peanut butter out of the jar this summer. We used to work together until she made the awesome, spontaneous decision to move across the country and follow her passion for design and see what happens. So far, she’s running across the Brooklyn Bridge each morning, has two  awesome internships  and is settling in just fine. And if this recipe is any indication of her good taste, I’m sure she’ll keep on truckin’. This one’s a keeper.

So here’s to remembering teenage summers chock full of imagination, seeming eternity, a swish of naivety, and a little dash of magic—and hoping that just a teeny, tiny bit of that gets infused into a bit of this summer.

Hallie's Buckeyes

Hallie's Buckeyes

  • Yield: 10 Buckeyes
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Inactive time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 35 mins

If you do a quick online search for Buckeyes, you’ll learn two things: first, that they’re an Ohio favorite made to look like the fruit of the state tree, the Buckeye. Second, the traditional way to make them is to add a bit of paraffin wax to the melted chocolate, but that seemed a little odd to me. Apparently Hallie thinks so, too. To pull these off, you’ll need wax paper and toothpicks.

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
7 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. softened butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. sea salt (unless your peanut butter is already salted)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Mix the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt together with a wooden spoon. Add the powdered sugar in two batches, stirring until completely combined (I used my hands here to quickly incorporate the powdered sugar at the bottom).

Shape into 1″ balls and stick a toothpick in the center of each.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Microwave chocolate chips on high for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, or until completely melted. Gripping the toothpick, dip each ball into the melted chocolate until partially coated, and place on wax paper to harden. Store in an airtight container.

Comments

  1. Jessica

    Hi Megan:
    Lately, I've been in a similar reverie of summers past, as I dig in my heels of this summer present and aim to soak up every free moment. Love your blog - just discovered it in the last month, and nearly had a brain freeze as I read through your earlier posts one slow afternoon at work.
    Anyway, always a big fan of PB, so will try this recipe. Thanks!
    p.s. Speaking of summers past, I lived in Trinidad in my high school days. I assume you know where that is?

    1. megang

      Hi Jessica: Of course I know Trinidad! I went to Eureka High and we'd drive out to Trinidad to go to the beaches--so pretty!

      Kelsey-You know, that photo was on Martha's Vineyard somewhere...not exactly sure where.

      And Maddie, Evan, and Jennifer: Try them! Do it! You'll like them and thanks for stopping by!

  2. merry jennifer

    Fruity lip gloss, Zima, Snackwells, The Cure...Wow - you sure brought back a lot of memories for me with this post. It's really too bad we grown ups can't have at least one carefree summer every so often. I think it would be really good for the soul.

    The buckeyes look wonderful, but I'm a huge fan of peanut butter and chocolate so I'm easy to please.

  3. Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef

    I love buckeyes and always add wax to the chocolate to make it glossy. Is that a photo of Aquinnah?

  4. Evan

    Peanut butter and chocolate?? sold. I've never made these but I think you've just inspired me.

  5. Maddie

    You were clearly way cooler than me as an adolescent, but we're on the same page now. I want a summer vacation again!

    And...I really want to make buckeyes. It's the first time I've heard of them, and I'm always too impatient to let the chocolate set on dipped desserts before I dig in, but wow, I am sold on these.

  6. Staci

    Grandma Shultz makes buckeyes every year at Christmas, so I grew up on them. Grams even mailed them to me one year when I was living in Boston; I have to say they're only flaw is that they don't travel very well. And now that I live in Ann Arbor, I'm reluctant to say the word "buckeye" (damn Ohio State), but nevertheless I continue to enjoy these little balls of peanut butter and chocolate joy. :)

  7. Denise | Chez Danisse

    It seems remembering is in the air lately. I've been thinking about the past too. My father could not stand the smell of those fruity lip glosses. My sister and I loved them! We'd all get into the car together, my dad would smell the lip gloss, and then it would begin. Me oh my. I'm cracking up. The good old days...

  8. megang

    Too funny Denise! I remember having quite a collection of those lip glosses...seemed the whole tone of the day would be set based upon which one we'd choose (or so we thought).

    And Staci: had I known you had Buckeyes in your office, I would've stopped by more often :) I can imagine that they wouldn't travel well at all!

  9. A Canadian Foodie

    Yes... I remember when an hour took two hours... the hot cracked sidewalk burned by little feet and the hot melted tar on the road burned my leg when I fell off of my bike. A block seemed like a mile. I was bored. There's nothing to do. I had time to examine the grass, and the pattern and texture of the fabric on our couch and my bedspread. I would wonder down the alley to see if anyone was at home to play. I remember... the wash on the line, and the briquettes on the grill with heat waves over them. I can't remember food. Only that time was generous and the day was long.

  10. Dana

    I'm happy there is someone else who enjoys an occaisional spoon of peanut butter straight out of the jar. Ah, the simplicity of it.

  11. Anne

    Summer is wasted on the young, as is the ability to eat all those naughty foods. Still grown-up-hood (and buckeyes!) is soooo good.

  12. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    Gorgeous post, and makes me long for summers when you didn't have a care in the world. Those buckeyes - mmmmmm!

  13. Courtney

    I can still clearly remember the last summer that felt long and indulgent - those were heavenly days! As for the cookies, I can't wait to try this recipe. I first found your blog via ReadyMade when they linked to your chocolate chip cookie recipe, and that one has become one of my all time favorite cookies.

  14. Karen

    First time I've seen Buckeyes; can't wait to try making them. I miss long summer days too. It feels like an eternity since then. Days pass by faster as I get older. I can totally relate to reminiscing about those days, but appreciating the beauty in the present. Plus, it's great to unwind with a good glass of wine & dessert after a long day. If you're interested, Battledish & Sally's After Dark are hosting an event with desserts & port/madeira pairing on Jul. 13. Should be a blast! http://dessertdishcrawl.eventbrite.com/

    1. megang

      Looks like such fun, Karen! Unfortunately I have plans that night, but thank you for sharing and stopping by.

  15. Elle

    Clove cigarettes and sneaking Zima, The Cure and The Flaming Lips...you just reminded me of many an afternoon of the summer when I was fifteen years old...I love your blog, I just discovered it today. Oh, and Buck Eyes? Perfect, considering I don't have to turn the oven on. (Its been in the nineties all week here in Boston)

  16. kellym

    I love your picture of Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard. I was really surprised when I saw it. I love your site and your recipes, I am new to it. I used to live on the Vineyard in the summers and now I go back often to visit my Dad. That picture brought me back to my childhood vacation memories!

  17. Stacy

    Just stumbled upon your site today and am really enjoying it. Just wanted to share: my family makes homemade peanut butter Easter eggs every year and we always use the paraffin wax in the chocolate. Not only does it add shine as another poster mentioned, it also helps the chocolate stabilize better: not as much melted goo on your figners while handling it and makes it a little easier to travel with. ;-)

    1. megang

      Hi Stacy-
      Oh, this is fantastic. Thank you so much for the tip. Will absolutely give this a go next time. And hey, welcome to the blog!

  18. Trish

    LOVE this blog! I cried while reading this. I felt like I was reading my summer memories. I a Mom with two kids and I find myself reminiscing about my childhood and teenage summers and missing the complete freedom. Looking forward to trying this buckeyes. Thank you!

    1. megang

      Oh, thank you so much Trish. I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog -- it means a great deal that you took the time out to say hello and comment. All my best,
      Megan

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