End of fair signals summer’s halfway mark


Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist



For all of you who put off going to the Madison County Fair until the last minute this year you better hurry. Saturday, July 22 is the last day. There’s still time to eat a Texas Tenderloin, followed by a funnel cake or maybe a big ol’ scoop of ice cream. You can still tour the barns and see the rabbits, chickens, Guinea pigs, cows, horses, goats, sheep, and Lord knows what all.

The rides are still going strong and the multi-colored flashing lights along the midway will be clearly visible from Elm Street. Sunday’s haul out day and Monday’s back to normal until next year.

For the kids, half of the summer’s left for summer jobs, swimming, trips to Cedar Point and King’s Island. Band Camp, 4-H Camp and Boy Scout Camp await for those so inclined. Mission work has a prominent place in a lot of kids summer plans. And don’t forget time to be a kid — just hanging out with friends, exploring, reading and visiting with family out of town. Some of the more ambitious kids are taking summer classes to position themselves for the start of school in August. It makes me tired just to think about it.

We still have lots of sun drenched 90 degree days left in the summer of 2017. Yet to be enjoyed are sun-ripened local tomatoes, lots of local corn and the rest of baseball season not to mention a few awesome summer thunderstorms.

The heat and humidity of July are turning our back yard into a summer jungle. If I look back there for a few minutes, I’m convinced I’ll see the tomato plants actually grow. My daughter Jenny contributed some Elephant Ears (plants, not the kind you eat) this year. They have popped up and I love watching their “ears” get bigger by the day. They may not be native to our area, but they are undeniably cool looking as a background to the more recognizable foliage.

Thinking about meals one typically prepares in the summer the salads always come to mind. When am I not thinking about food? I often make my chicken salad from rotisserie chickens to save time and add flavor. Chicken salad is always good and a welcome taste of summer.

I tend to get a little more adventurous when I make tuna salad. There’s a fair amount of difference in the flavors of canned tuna. For lots of reasons (flavor, calorie count) I have favored water packed tuna for many years. This summer, I’ve gravitated to albacore tuna. The flavor’s gentler, the meat is chunkier and holds its shape in the mix, and it lends itself to a wider variety of ingredients to mix in and use for edible garnish.

Take a basic tuna salad recipe and try turning it into something a little different. I bet you’ll like it.

TUNA SALAD

Basic

2 6 1/2 ounces cans water packed albacore tuna, drained

1/4 cup mayonnaise, light or regular

2 large ribs celery, chopped fine

1 1/2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

juice of half a fresh lemon

In a large bowl, fold gently until well mixed.

Additions to mix in

2 chopped hard boiled eggs

2 green onions, green tops included

Edible garnishes and toppings

capers (drained)

toasted Parmesan cheese (available packaged in small rounds)

toasted pecans, English walnuts or almonds

Serves four.

Serve on lettuce leaves, on bread for sandwiches or on crackers.

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Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.