Summer Drinking

Have you walked into Staples lately? Well, I strolled in right before closing a few night’s ago and was struck with a whole in-your-face Back to School extravaganza. Yikes. How is July almost over? Thankfully we’re all about Indian Summers  here in the Bay Area. But it did get me thinking that I should do some planning to make sure I squeeze in everything I want to do before September shows its face.  I was inspired to make a Summer List by Molly who was inspired by Maria. Both jotted down things they wanted to eat, feel, and think about while the days are long and the evenings are warm.

So here’s mine. I encourage you to jot a few things down, too. And while you’re at it, have a drink. Isn’t that what summer’s for? I recently discovered Pimm’s and a quick and ruthless obsession was born. If you don’t know Pimm’s, it’s a gin-based liquor that’s a little bit citrusy, a little bit spicy, but extremely light and crisp. I sip it straight, I add it to bubbly water and squeeze in lemons from my mom’s tree, I throw a bit into ginger beer or iced tea and give it a brisk stir. So in addition to your list, you can mix yourself up a quick Pseudo Pimm’s Cup, my version of the original that’s a tad bit bubbly, less sweet, and a little stronger. Just the way I like my drinks, as you already know. So here’s to making lists, drinking summery drinks, wearing flip-flops every day, reading bad magazines, and not stepping inside a Staples until (at least) September.

Read Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Vietnamese iced coffee
Walk around Lake Merritt
Visit the Maira Kalman exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Preserve tomatoes … for the dead of winter
Go to the beach
Stroll the ‘hood more. For no reason.
Eat more quiche
Check out Big Sur Bakery with Danielle
Dust off my bicycle
Get to know a few farmers at the market
Meet Sherman
Boozy cherries: make some. quick….

 

Pseudo Pimm's Cup

Pseudo Pimm's Cup

  • Yield: 2 cocktails
  • Prep time:5mins
  • Total time:5mins

Ingredients

2 oz. Pimm's
2 oz. Gin
2 oz. carbonated lemon water
2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
sliced strawberries, cucumbers, and lemon for garnish

Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a small pitcher or very large glass. Mix, mix, mix. Fill two low cocktail glasses with ice and pour mixture to the brim. Garnish with cucumber, strawberry and lemon slices

Comments

  1. Stephanie

    Looks AWESOME! It's 4:46 pm in Minneapolis. Although, I have no Pimm's, which I keep meaning to buy... It's on my list for tomorrow, for sure, can't wait to make this. Yes!

  2. merry jennifer

    I love the idea of a summer list. Since I work full time, and all through the summer, summer to me is no different than fall or spring or winter. But it should be, right? Longer days and all that. I need to make a point of enjoying the season - and the list is a fabulous idea.

    Thanks for inspiring, and thanks for the drink recipe. I have no Pimm's, but I'm tempted to go buy some NOW.

  3. Rachael

    Sherman can't wait to meet you either- he sends his message in barks, and I deciphered it here:

    Well, I sure am glad I made it on that list! I've begun quite the new trick of prancing around when I'm about to eat. It's definitely hilarious I hear. I will make sure photos of me are sent soon! WOOOF!

  4. wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas

    Just found your blog...

    Love your beautiful photos! I'm especially jealous because I just lost my camera with a full memory card. Boo.

    I'll be visiting again soon! Your drinks pics made me thirsty...

  5. Janet

    Great list! I'm definitely going to co-opt some of these ideas. :)

    I got totally addicted to Pimm's Cup in London - can't wait to try your version!

    I can't wait for the weather to finally get nice here. Summer starts in September, right? ;)

  6. Suzanne T-H

    Hi Megan, I make boozy cherries by filling a jar with pitted fresh cherries and covering with maraschino liqueur. Stash in the back of the frig to last all year. When the cherries are gone the liqueur is still yummy in drinks or mixed in fruit salad.
    I'm with you -savor every warm, long day of summer and definitely don't acknowledge those slightly anxiety producing back-to-school displays. Love!

    1. megang

      Great idea, Suzanne! I'll try that. I so love you you always comment on the cocktail posts :) Hopefully someday we'll sit down together and have one. Have a great weekend.

  7. M.

    I fell in love with Pimm's this summer, what a great cocktail it makes!

  8. The Diva on a Diet

    Mixing it up with Pims has been on my "to-do" list forever ... so thanks for reminding me. Love what you've done with the drink, especially in toning down the sweetness and making it a bit stronger. Sounds magnificent!

    Loving the Summer List idea too ... hooray for flip-flops and bad magazines!

  9. Dana

    As my oldest gets ready to start kindergarten in September, the whole back to school thing is starting to have a whole new meaning. But! It's summer, let's celebrate where we are rather than where we will be before we know it. It's like the X-mas decorations that go up in October. Ugh. Anyway, I've never had Pimm's in spite of living in London for a year. Will you make it for us when we party together chez moi?

    1. megang

      Sure I can make them at Casa Dana! So looking forward to it! Wheeeee

  10. Danielle

    I *heart* Pimm's, although the last time I had some was on a chilly boat on the Thames....not exactly 'summer' :) You've got a very 'doable' summer list there....the book is very inspiring, and pairing that with some Vietnamese coffee might just make you want to start running straightaway! And yes, Big Sur Bakery is a must-do!!

  11. Nhiro

    Ha, awesome. I just had a Pimm's Cup earlier today. (: I like mine with lemonade and a splash of ginger ale.

  12. Michelle

    I feel exactly the same way about summer. It's just going too fast! So glad I've found your blog. Great photos and writing... can't wait to browse through your past posts.

  13. Mary

    LOVE Pimms Cups. Have never made at home - will do soon. Recently had one @ Thermidor with blackberry syrup. Fab list too, Megan. Saw Maira Kalman exhibit 2x - a creative genius. Had not realized how big her body of work is. Also not usually a fan of art work turned into merchandise but found myself trolling eBay for the Kate Spade raincoat featured in the exo.

    1. megang

      Glad to hear the exhibit was great, Mary. I'm so, so excited to check it out and find her--like you said--an absolute genius. Be careful with ebay...it'll suck you in! Happy weekend.

  14. Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef

    Is it weird that I can't stomach gin? I like Pimm's but have to go overboard the addition of lemonade. I love your list, totally and completely. Summer has FLOWN by and, though I adore fall, I need to fit in a few more lazy days. I think I'll need to write a list in my journal tonight.

    1. megang

      No, I used to hate gin, actually. Always reminded me of pine needles, so I don't think it's weird at all. Sort of suddenly grew on me. You could absolutely just leave it out and it'd be just as good...

  15. Christa

    Here's to Pimm's cups (and pseudo Pimm's cups)! They serve 'em here in Denver but they cost $10 a pop!! Nice to have my own recipe and I am going to buy a bottle ASAP. My friends just turned me on to your blog. They offered to make the cranberry pepita pasta the other night and I thought, that sounds gross. I am a Minnesotan though so I never say stuff like that out loud. Turns out it was great and my husband is vegan so we now have a new recipe in our arsenal. Your site and your positive attitude are delightful. Thanks for reinforcing the idea that healthy food is tasty food when done right. Can't wait to try the blackberry muffins! I'll be back.

  16. Alisa-Foodista

    My husband and I was just thinking the same thing, that July is almost over and it would be fall soon.I should get a bottle of Pimms too and make the most of this season.

  17. David

    I can't believe how, but this is actually my first time here – and I love it!
    Your pictures are very pretty and your stories are wonderful.
    That first picture of your drink looks perfect, it feels like I know how it tastes just by looking at it (although I've never tried Pimm's before).

  18. my spatula

    we've been searching for the perfect pimm's cup, and now we must try your lovely version too. thank u!

  19. Nicole

    I have heard all about Pimm's but have yet to try it. Sounds like I need it in my life! Love your summer list, too :)

  20. Mimi

    Refreshing drink perfect for the hot summer weather. There is still plenty of time for beach dinners, the race track, and midnight swims!
    Mimi

  21. Alice

    Some of us may want to forget the bubbly water altogether and just use simple syrup and lemon juice...
    It seems that our taste in drinks are polar opposite...although all your drinks looks delicious (once 3 tbs of sugar have been added).

  22. Denise | Chez Danisse

    I want to preserve tomatoes this year too. Your Pimm's looks very pretty. I've been writing a Not Someday List. A Summer List is a good idea too.

    Summer List

    1. Preserve Tomatoes

    1. megang

      Love it! The good news is that it's a little early for us, tomato-wise. I'm trying to grow them and it's a slow, slow start and I haven't fallen in love with the ones at the farmer's market yet...so I think we can stretch this one out at least a month if not two :)

  23. Chez Us

    Oh, I'd love to can tomatoes too! And, I'd love to invite myself along to the Big Sur Bakery outing! *wink*

Join the Discussion

Healthy Comfort Food

Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

People describe raising young kids as a particular season in life. I hadn't heard this until we had a baby, but it brought me a lot of comfort when I'd start to let my mind wander, late at night between feedings, to fears that we'd never travel internationally again or have a sit-down meal in our dining room. Would I ever eat a cardamom bun in Sweden? Soak in Iceland? I loved the heck out of our tiny Oliver, but man what had we done?! Friends would swoop in and reassure us that this was just a season, a blip in the big picture of it all. They promised we'd likely not even remember walking around the house in circles singing made-up songs while eating freezer burritos at odd hours of the day (or night). And it's true.

Oliver is turning two next month, and those all-encompassing baby days feel like a different time, a different Us. In many ways, dare I say it, Toddlerhood actually feels a bit harder. Lately Oliver has become extremely opinionated about what he will and will not wear -- and he enforces these opinions with fervor. Don't get near the kid with a button-down shirt. This week at least. He's obsessed with his rain boots and if it were up to him, he'd keep them on at all times, especially during meals. He insists on ketchup with everything (I created a damn monster), has learned the word "trash" and insists on throwing found items away on his own that really, truly are not trash. I came to pick him up from daycare the other day and he was randomly wearing a bike helmet -- his teacher mentioned he'd had it on most of the day and really, really didn't want to take it off. The kid has FEELINGS. I love that about him, and wouldn't want it any other way. But, man it's also exhausting.

Read More
Cheesy Quinoa Cauliflower Bake

Cheesy Quinoa Cauliflower Bake

I just finished washing out Oliver's lunchbox and laying it out to dry for the weekend. My favorite time of day is (finally) here: the quiet of the evening when I can actually talk to Sam about our day or sit and reflect on my own thoughts after the inevitable dance party or band practice that precedes the bedtime routine lately. Before becoming pregnant for the second time, I'd have had a glass of wine with the back door propped open right about now -- these days though, I have sparkling water or occasionally take a sip from one of Sam's hard ciders. Except now the back door's closed and we even turned on the heat for the first time yesterday. The racing to water the lawn and clean the grill have been replaced by cozier dinners at home and longer baths in the evening. You blink and it's the first day of fall. 

Read More
Stuffed Shells with Fennel and Radicchio

Stuffed Shells with Fennel and Radicchio

I'd heard from many friends that buying a house wasn't for the faint of heart. But I always shrugged it off, figuring I probably kept better files or was more organized and, really, how hard could it be? Well, I've started (and stopped) writing this post a good fifteen times which may indicate something. BUT! First thing's first: we bought a house! I think! I'm pretty sure! We're still waiting for some tax transcripts to come through and barring any hiccough with that, we'll be moving out of our beloved craftsman in a few weeks and down the block to a great, brick Tudor house that we wanted the second we laid eyes on it. The only problem: it seemed everyone else in Seattle had also laid eyes on it, and wanted it equally as much. I'm not really sure why the homeowner chose us in the end. Our offer actually wasn't the highest, but apparently there were some issues with a few of them. We wrote a letter introducing ourselves and describing why we'd be the best candidates and why we were so drawn to the house; we have a really wonderful broker who pulled out all the stops, and after sifting through 10 offers and spending a number of hours deliberating, they ended up going with ours. We were at a friend's book event at the time when Sam showed me the text from our broker and I kind of just collapsed into his arms. We were both in ecstatic denial (wait, is this real?! Did we just buy a house?) and celebrated by getting chicken salad and potato salad from the neighborhood grocery store and eating it, dazed, on our living room floor. Potato salad never tasted so good. 

Read More
Smoky Butternut Squash and Three Bean Chili

Smoky Butternut Squash and Three Bean Chili

If your house is anything like ours, last week wasn't our most inspired in terms of cooking. We're all suffering from the post-election blues -- the sole upside being Oliver's decision to sleep-in until 7 am for the first time in many, many months; I think he's trying to tell us that pulling the covers over our heads and hibernating for awhile is ok. It's half-convincing. For much of the week, instead of cooking, there'd been takeout pizza and canned soup before, at week's end, I decided it was time to pour a glass of wine and get back into the kitchen. I was craving something hearty and comforting that we could eat for a few days. Something that wouldn't remind me too much of Thanksgiving because, frankly, I can't quite gather the steam to start planning for that yet. It was time for a big bowl of chili.

Read More
To Talk Porridge

To Talk Porridge

Porridge is not the sexiest of breakfasts, it's true. It doesn't have a stylish name like strata or shakshuka, and it doesn't have perfectly domed tops like your favorite fruity muffin. It doesn't crumble into delightful bits like a good scone nor does it fall into buttery shards like a well-made croissant. But when you wake up and it's 17 degrees outside (as it has been, give or take a few, for the last week), there's nothing that satisfies like a bowl of porridge or oatmeal. It's warm and hearty and can be made sweet or savory with any number of toppings. The problem? Over the years, it's gotten a bad rap as gluey or gummy or just downright boring or dutiful -- and it's because not everyone knows the secrets to making a great pot of warm morning cereal. So let's talk porridge (also: my cookbook comes out this month! So let's take a peek inside, shall we?)

Read More