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Summer Foods Bucket List

eating watermelon

Sweet summer watermelon. Get it while you still can.

Bad news: summer’s almost over. This means two things 1) it’s almost time for pumpkin pie, caramel apples and butternut squash soup and about a million more amazing fall foods, and 2) you’d better get your hands on the summer foods you won’t see for another full year.

Relax, there’s time to get your paws on the best of the season, but you’ll have to hurry, the clock is running out. Let us help — here’s our list of the top summer foods you need to make or buy before summer kicks the bucket. How many can you cross off?

Zucchini bread: You should make this one, and while you’re at it, make a few extra loaves; they freeze well and you’ll be glad you did when you thaw one out in February.

Tomatoes: Please try to eat as many as possible in various forms. Tiny, sweet cherry and grape varieties should be enjoyed plain and by the handful. With the bigger ones, make tomato salads, tomato sandwiches (plain, or, if you must, with bacon), oven-dried tomatoes and fresh salsa. And once you’ve had enough of that, make and save some tomato sauce for the winter.

Lobster rolls: With mayo or without? It’s a national debate, pick a side and devour your roll either dripping with butter or laden with mayo. This is one that you can make or buy . . . making is lots of fun, but I prefer to buy mine. In fact, I’ve had 3 so far since June.

Corn: On the cob, in a salad, a salsa or soup, there’s nothing in the world like sweet summer corn. Get it while you can.

Sangria: Make big pitcher and head out to the beach, porch or pool.

Watermelon: Does the quintessential food of summer need an explanation?

Ice cream: Make it or buy it, but either way, consume it at least weekly.

eating ice cream

Summer = picnic tables and ice cream.

Popsicles: Ditto for these: Make or buy, eat, repeat.

S’mores: You have to make these, of course. Half the fun is in finding the marshmallow stick, the other half is enjoying the gooey, chocolatey marshmallow sandwich by the fire.

U-pick: This is an activity rather than a food, but it makes the list because we know you’ll pick and eat. Have you picked already? Strawberry season is over in most parts of the country, but you can still pick some berries, peaches and apples. Find out what’s growing in your area and get picking.

Fair food: Street fair, county fair or amusement park — in a few weeks these will be gone and so will the funnel cakes, hot dogs, arepas, kettle corn and sausage and pepper sandwiches you love to eat there.

BBQ: Or any grilled food for that matter. Most of us will be putting our grills away soon, but there’s plenty of time to get out there and cook up some ribs, burgers, hot dogs, and a beer can chicken or two.

beer can chicken

Summer's really the only appropriate time to grill a beer-filled chicken.

Gazpacho: Red, white, Watermelon Vodka, or all of the above?

Pickles: Can your own if you’re feeling adventurous, but don’t be intimidated if you’re more of a novice chef. Quick refrigerator pickles are for everyone.

Peaches: Peach pie, peach cobbler, peach ice cream . . . or do you like to eat yours plain, with the sweet juice dripping down your arms?

Did we miss any? What can’t-miss summer foods are you gobbling up before they’re gone?

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