I’m headed to the outer banks of North Carolina for my annual beach vaca (picture G & T’s, squished squash and cobalt blue hydrangeas) and have loaded up my Kindle with new beach books. I thought I might share what’s on my reading list and what I have recently enjoyed. Sarah and I love hear what you all are reading, book worms unite!
On tap for this week… (a bit ambitious when you factor in G&T’s)
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson
Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
Persuasion by Jane Austen (I have a tradition of rereading one Austen book on my vacations)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Freedom by Johnathan Franzen
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Any book by Ken Follett (especially Pillars of the Earth)
Any Pat Conroy but Beach Music is my fav (when in Rome…)
What have you been reading this summer?
It’s Beach Week at A & O! Sarah is investigating the beaches in Fiji so we’re celebrating all things sand and sun. First up is a FABULOUS meatless addition to any summer dinner. Squished squash takes plain old yellow summer squash and turns it into a “pass the seconds” star of any dinner. Serve them along side grilled vegetables (or meat Tues-Sun), cold cucumbers doused in vinegar and fat slices of fresh tomato for an authentic Southern beach dinner.
This recipe comes from my mother in law, Janice Howerton, she learned it from her mother in law who learned it from her mother. A method more than a recipe for turning sweet and mild squash into a creamy pile of golden goo akin to mashed potatoes but lighter. We always have this dish on our Howerton-Ristine family beach vacation in North Carolina, usually twice because someone has to have it one more time before going home.
Beach Dinner 2010
I must warn you that Squished Squash is a vintage “non-recipe” that 3 generations of Howerton women have learned from cooking with each other and then “just made to taste”, not following any notes or recording amounts. Hopefully my written version will capture the same magic, don’t be afraid to just add more of this or that if you think it needs it.
Beach Dinner 2011
Hope y’all enjoy it as much as we do!
8-10 yellow summer squash, cut into large cubes
2-5 tablespoons butter
2-5 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper
Remove the top and bottom ends from the squash and cut into large chunks. Place into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and squash and bring to a boil. Cook until the squash are soft and pierce easily with a knife. Drain very well in a colander and return the squash to the pot and place over a low heat. Add 2 tablespoons each of butter and cream and mash it up well with a potato masher. Squash should be totally mashed, no visible chunks remaining. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to add more butter and cream if needed for flavor and texture, this is a Southern dish after all. Serve warm and with love.