What is it about the combination of kids and summer that screams for simple food that you can eat in motion? My kids will eat something on a stick that they wouldn't touch on a plate. Here's an example:
This is what we had for dinner last night. I took some bamboo skewers and soaked them in water while I marinated a pound of (deeply discounted, thank you) rib eye steak that I'd cut into one-inch pieces in some vinegar. About a half hour later I cut up mushrooms, zucchini, red bell pepper and kale. I put some water on to boil while I assembled the kabobs, then put the orzo in to boil. I brushed the kabobs with a little olive oil and broiled them about five minutes, turned them once, then another five. The kids kept theirs on the stick, pushing the food up and biting it off one bite at a time. It was so much fun they even suffered through that "leafy green stuff" to get to the chunks of veggies they much prefer. We adults pushed the goodies off on top of the orzo, as is pictured above (on the Christmas plates, Christmas in July? Didn't think about that.)
One of the difficulties I'm finding with local, seasonal eating is the lack of variety. We have been very spoiled by the grocery store: I can serve asparagus in November as easily as May. But in June, where I live, it's kale, kale, kale, kale and collards, collards, collards, collards. Coming up with ways to eat the same old thing in a new way has been a real challenge for me. Kale is not as bad, I have steamed it, braised it and boiled it, all with success. But this kabob thing was wonderful! The kale came out almost as substantial on the tongue as a meringue, and crispy like a chip! I'm going to try broiling some large leaves today: flat and sprayed with a fine mist of olive oil. Sprinkled with a little salt it should make a really yummy afternoon snack!
We have been notified by the CSA that today is our last shipment of collards, and just in time. I finally found a single recipe that doesn't involve hocks, garlic and lemon juice, and I will be making that tonight. I hope it will be as successful as the kabobs.