The ACBN's taking a short break, but first, I've got some summer reading for you.
I find it incredibly hard to take a break.
This newsletter is a labor of love, and I firmly believe that consistency is a huge part of the success that I have had to date. If you’re paying for a publication, I feel like you should know when to expect it in your inbox. You have a lot of choices as a reader, and I don’t take it lightly that you’ve chosen to share some of your time with me.
Self-imposed deadlines are also an important part of my creative process; if I don’t have one, I’ll dither and stew about whether an idea is a good one or if it’s ready to be seen yet. If I don’t give myself the option of waiting, though, I produce. Some of my best work over the years has come moments after I’ve said “I don’t know what the [gosh-darn] I’m going to write about tonight”.
Anyways, I’m taking a vacation.
I will be taking the next two weeks off, and will return to a regular publication schedule the week of June 19th. In the meantime, my family and I will be in Europe (Denmark, Belgium and France, to be precise), and I’m excited beyond belief.
I haven’t been out of the country in ten years—something that seems utterly impossible to me until I look at my (nearly) eight-year-old son and do the math—and I haven’t been out of North America in even longer. After a tense spring waiting for my kids’ passports to arrive in the mail, I get to break that streak this weekend.
I’m optimistic that this trip will give me some great new ideas for food and drink, along with a chance for my brain to recharge for all the other things I do here at the ACBN. I’ve got some big things in mind for the second half of the year and beyond, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
But hey, it’s still Friday, right? Let’s get your summer menu set right.
7) Here’s what you should cook this summer.
Every season has its culinary delights. Fall brings pumpkin spice and apple cider. A winter afternoon isn’t complete without a pot of something bubbling on the stovetop, or fresh bread baking in the oven. Springtime offers the promise of fresh produce once again.
But summer? Summer’s the king. From June to September, I’m cooking as many meals as I can outside, and flavors just hit different at the picnic table.
Here’s some of the best summertime (or summertime-adjacent) recipes from the ACBN archive to get your outdoor eating on:
(Left to right, top to bottom)
6) Here’s what you could drink this summer.
For their part, summer drinks are a special challenge. The dark, rich flavors I prefer in the cooler months won’t play when it’s 90 degrees and humid outside. This time of year, I need fresh flavors, thirst-quenching refreshment, and easygoing summer vibes.
Here’s a few that fit the bill, with some tasting notes:
(Again, left to right, top to bottom)
Watermelon Agua Fresca - fresh, bright and delicious, with or without tequila
The Yellowjacket - beeeeeeeeeeees
Pink Lemonade Shake-Ups - a midway classic
The Surprise Lily - delicious, floral and light
The Two-Finger Fastball - the easy beer cocktail you have to try
ACBN Mai Tai - my take on a tiki classic
The New Fashioned - the best way to bring whiskey into the summer
The Noon Kickoff - an ACBN reader favorite, it’s an eye-opener!
The Filthy Toucan - who says you can’t put Tang in a cocktail?
The recipes and cocktails above—and many, many more—are available in the ACBN recipe archive and cocktail archive, both of which are available to paying subscribers. Paying subscribers also get more of my other writings, and they keep this place going strong. If you’re not one, consider upgrading your subscription now!
If you are, keep reading for some good music, great books, thoughts and recommendations on recent TV, lively discussion, fantastic pets and more!