The Pantry

The 2013 Summer Food Bucket List

While there are strict limitations on white shoes, leather boots, and that classic long sleeved T-shirt and shorts pairing, food is something that is always in style. But certain experiences must be savored in the brief three-month window that the earth’s rotation allows for optimal enjoyment. Pour a piping hot bowl of baked potato soup and then curl up with a good book next to your pool? Don’t be ridiculous. Curl up next to your pool with a hand-squeezed margarita? Now THAT should be on your summer food bucket list.

You can have a healthy attitude about food and still get in all of those pleasurable food moments that kind of make summer – summer! We’ll help you get started, but hope you’ll let us know what your must-do summer food bucket list items are!

Hand-squeezed margaritas. Yes, do us all a favor and do this at least once. It’s worth the hand-cramping that goes in to squeezing 12 lemons and 12 limes to create our 10-Calorie Sour Mix.

Shrimp Peel. Go elbow-deep in butter and don’t waste a moment feeling bad about it. Invite your most patio-friendly pals, line the table in newspaper, and pile it high with shrimp, corn on the cob, and baby red potatoes. Don’t forget the Old Bay and you’ll have served a perfect summer night.

Read It and Eat. Find at least one foodie novel and bring it to life by creating the featured dish within its covers. Our Summer Reading and Eating List will help you get started with pairings like Kate Christensen’s “Blue Plate Special” and our Turkey Meatball Subs.

[photo by Dana Shultz,]


Grow Your Own. Plant at least one edible item this summer and enjoy the fruits, if the case may be, of your labor. Tiny urban apartment? Herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint will thrive on your windowsill and make tasty cocktail additions. A little more room to work with? Try a tomato plant or jalapeño peppers and whip up these Jalapeño Cheddar Burger Bite Kabobs.

Pick Your Own. In every part of the country, pick-your-own-farms are becoming a popular leisure activity that supports local farmers and puts the freshest produce on your table. You’ll pay by the pound for strawberries, blackberries, and even early peach crops and walk away with a juicy summer memory.

Pack a Picnic. If you go no further than your own backyard, spread out a blanket, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy light finger-foods while soaking up a summer breeze.

Get Roasty. From s’mores to hot dogs, everyone should roast at least one meal over an open fire this summer. Bonus points if you do this just outside your tent in the woods or over a bonfire at the beach.

– By Brandi Koskie, for


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