With the temperature in the high nineties for 5 straight days, I guess you can say that summer is definitely here! The weather outside is hot! Depending on where you live, there’s most likely a lot of humidity along with the natural heat.
Air conditioners are running at full blast to make people’s days more comfortable. Electric companies are smiling as we use their services at higher rates.
With this new change in seasons, come new cravings. I previously talked about my fall cravings. Now it’s time to dwell in on the opposite of that spectrum. Let’s dive into my personal summer cravings.
Your cravings will differ depending on your childhood experiences and what part of the country you lived at. I grew up in Northern Virginia and spent most childhood summers in Cincinnati. I also spent my college years in the hot muggy streets of Philadelphia as a struggling college student.
Those three locations have pulled me in several different directions when it comes towards my summer cravings.
You mean to tell me that premade baked beans came in a can? I had no idea because my family always made our own baked beans. It’s blasphemy to see a person just scoop the beans out of a can and heat them up without spicing them up.
If there’s a BBQ going on, I’m bound to get a taste of some non-watery baked beans.
When the weather turns warm, I instantly think of banana pudding. It was a specialty that’s been passed around from both sides of my family. I remember as a child my Grandma Gardner and my Aunt Pam (see How I Finally Understood The Importance Of Leaving A Legacy) making this dessert quite often. My other grandmother and Mom would also make this dessert during summer events.
The secret was always the wafers! As my brother use to tell me “You could never have enough wafers!” as he started perfecting his own version as well!
Being a young kid, I didn’t really put much thought into the fact that Cincinnati was known for it’s chili. That information was lost to me because my family didn’t really go to the famous chili restaurants. We would just make our own.
A nice warm meaty bowl of chili just seems to perfectly blend in with my summer nights. This was one of my dad’s specialties.
For some reason I associate this food with summer. Maybe it was because my Aunt Pam knew how to make this from scratch. I didn’t’ really eat cheesecake year round; it was more of a summer dish. Since my Aunt Pam made it, and I only saw her in the summers, this brings back summer memories for me.
When peaches are in season, that’s when these pies are the best! Of course you can have this fruit year round, but there’s something magical about this fruit when it’s at its peak.
Out of all the pies, peach pie has crossed my lips the least. That is why I like to eat it whenever it’s being served during the summer.
Everyone’s favorite simple summer picnic fruit! A couple of weeks ago, I talked with my wife and realized it had been 2 years since I had watermelon! How could that be?
I think it has to do with the fact that I’m African American and when at the grocery store…. I don’t want to give into stereotypes. I didn’t even think about that, so I was sure to get some yesterday!
No matter what ANYONE had to say!
If it’s a dessert and it’s summer, I have to have my whip cream! I typically go with Cool Whip instead of regular whipped cream just because that’s what I was exposed to as a child. I know the ingredients are awful, but this is about summer cravings right!
Something so simple to make yet how many times do we go to parties and the potato salad is just awful! Luckily I grew up in a household that knew how to make good potato salad. It wasn’t until my older years that I started understanding why people were worried to eat other’s potato salad.
The worse thing you can do is buy it from the store! 9/10 it’s going to be terrible!
Due to my family knowing how to make good potato salad, I rarely had macaroni salad. I remember the first time my Aunt Pam created it for me, I was shocked at how simple and tasty the salad is. I like to get my hands on some at least for one meal every summer.
I had pasta salad more than I had macaroni salad growing up. The difference is salad dressing (mayo) vs. salad dressing (Italian vinaigrette). It’s something about the vinaigrette and pasta that makes this a delightful dish. Once I have one helping, I’m normally back for seconds!
I spent a good five years of my life in Philadelphia during my college years. Four out of the five years, I actually stayed in Philly for the entire summer. For those unfamiliar with Philly, you can get a cheesesteak on almost every block.
For me, I just remember working and sweating my butt off during those summers. In particular a UPS type delivery job at Temple University Hospital. During my lunch breaks or on the way back to my apartment I remember being exhausted and eating a piping hot Philly cheesesteak.
There’s something about having a cheesesteak in a blue-collar town after coming from YOUR blue-collar job during a HOT muggy day that brings back good memories of how far I’ve come in life.
Of course I saved the best for last. Without a doubt, ice cream is my #1 summer treat. Like the song says:
“I want it all…I WANT IT ALL…AND I WANT IT NOW!!!”
Where did my obsession with ice cream begin? Was it derived from my genetics? You see my mom is an ice cream connoisseur and always had to have two different stashes of ice cream in the freezer. One with nuts and another with opposite flavors. Nothing simple either, the more toppings the better.
Could it be the ice cream trucks? There was a time in which ice cream trucks actually SLOWED DOWN AND STOPPED to let kids get ice cream. I didn’t frequent the trucks, but I’ll admit that that sound makes me want to start sprinting down the street even as an adult.
As I’ve gotten older, I’m more mature in ice cream pursuits. Just give me a gallon and 30 minutes, and I’ll show you an empty container!
Obvious ice cream is one of my trigger foods (see Release The Beast) so I try not to go overboard. But during the summer, it’s always on my mind when it’s time to have my treats.
I’m a simple Vanilla man, but let me go to the ice cream aisle and I swear it would take 20 minutes for me to make a decision. Don’t believe me, ask my wife!
So there are my summer cravings, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments below.
In today’s post, I want to help you overcome that nagging voice inside your head. You know the one……….
NO you don’t….
Get out of here…
It’s my TURN!!!…
I won’t let you…
This is so much better!
There’s been a change in plans people! I’m here to interrupt your normally blah blah positive MicVinny blog to tell you the truth.
You see..I’ve been watching Mike closely every day since 2016 kicked off. I know all his dirty secrets.
He’s not as wise as you think he is. He’s just a little weak man that thinks he can get rid of people like myself!
Every month he has several ups and downs. And when that boy is down, that’s when I come in to steal his positivity!
You see I’m the beast Mike’s been trying to run from for all his life. You can say I’m his out of shape alternate ego.
I’m like Gollum to Mike’s Smeagol.
Call me Bubba The Beast.
Our Early Life Together
You see I first arrived in Mike’s life back in the eighties.
Back then Mike was nothing but a lazy coach potato and life was good. It was easy to gain access to sugary treats, processed nuggets and other fried snack foods! It brings tears to my eyes when thinking about those glory years.
I made sure we stayed our butts glued to the couch. There were no long bike rides in the park or daily interactions with the other neighborhood kids. The lazier we were, the more power I had in Mike’s life.
I was Mike’s best friend. All the kid needed was me plus a supersize bag of chips and a TV. What a perfect partnership. From elementary through middle school, we were BFFs.
Once high school stated, Mike tried to join the high school’s football team. Did that coach potato think he could actually be athletic?
How dare he!
I ended up having the last laugh. Mike got a dose of reality two weeks into practice. My years of sabotaging his body paid off because he injured both his knees. I put that idiot in so much pain that he never attempted another team sport while in high school.
Life got even better once that magically new invention called “the Internet” made it’s way into our house in the form of AOL. That led to late night video game and online chat room sessions. Mike had no need to venture out of the house! All his needs were meet. If only I could take care of that annoying thing called school, then I would have had all the power!
Enter College Years
Eventually Mike decided to be all smart and go to college. I didn’t know how to handle it. He was going to be exposed to stuff outside of his comfort zone, which meant he was going to go away from me.
In less than one semester he started to abandon his dependence on me. He started watching less TV and actually socialized.
Every now and then I got him to binge on some good old-fashioned sweets but it seemed he discovered this awful place called ”the gym”.
He flirted with the gym in his late high school years, but something lit a spark in him. I’m not sure if it was his track star roommate, or his sport loving college friends.
SOMETHING made Mike want to start working out more often.
That’s when I realized my life was in jeopardy!
You Can’t Abandon Me!
19 years together and he wanted to change the game! I was always there for him and now he was abandoning me. All those years of feeling overweight, who was there for him?
Me that’s who! I was always there to help him get over it by making sure he knew about the latest flavor of Doritos.
It was ME who was there when he was heart broken and told him to put that cheese on those fries!
We could have been living the dream while living in Philadelphia for college. Every corner had a sandwich shop. How dare we not binge on cheesesteaks, buffalo wings and pretzels every day!
To stay in greater shape this guy walked everywhere in that city. His two feet helped him burn tons of calories outside of the gym. He even got a job lifting heavy boxes so he could burn extra calories.
What the…Who was this guy??!!
I remember seeing his 185-pound 6’ 3” frame in the mirror and being disgusted. This wasn’t part of the plan. Mike was changing the pain by being so thin and in shape. That’s when I packed my bags, and walked out of his life.
Guess Who’s Back!
Sometime in 2008, Mike got a new job. That job required him to travel often. What Mike didn’t realize was that I was secretly getting him back under my control.
You see the genius thought he knew everything there was about getting into shape. He had been reading the best fitness articles for almost a full decade. He thought he would know how to handle his new environment.
I remember during the first weeks of his new job, he was talking nutrition to some colleagues. They gave him a look like “what do you know?”
He was flabbergasted.
It wasn’t until that night that he did a double take in the mirror. That’s when our eyes made contact again!
That’s when I was back baby!
Those years of hiding were over. I was able to get him from that 185-pound frame back into a 250 lb. behemoth.
I finally figured out what to do. All I had to do was make Mike think he was becoming muscular.
What an idiot! He didn’t notice the love handles I had strategically placed.
Oh it felt good to be back!
I wasn’t going anywhere this time. For years he kept talking all this healthy eating mumbo jumbo. With all that talk, here I was back and bigger than ever.
Release The Beast
But like in the early 2000’s, Mike decided to try to get rid of me again. It took some years, but that goodie two shoes put me back in the closet by the time he got married.