Too Many Cooks: Your Summer Bucket List

August 29, 2014

You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

Market Basket Challenge

Perhaps you swore to eat all the corn in your county before September rolled around but only managed to eat one cob all summer. Maybe you wanted to make some fancy jams, or bake a blueberry pie, but never got around to it. We all have high hopes for our food intake when summer begins and farmers markets fill up, but it's difficult to make it all happen. So, in an attempt to maximize our last moments of summer, we asked the Food52 staffers:

What foods (or experiences) are still on your summer bucket list, and how will you cross them off?

Will you finally make your favorite grilled food, or is there a restaurant you need to visit before summer vacation ends? Tell us in the comments!

Pickled Blueberries Recipe

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Emi: I'm going up to my family's house in the Catskills, where I love to go berry picking. I'm planning to pick some blueberries and blackberries and try pickling them -- because I really do like anything and everything pickled.

Peter: I'm going to put together a salad I haven’t made in two years: peaches, heirloom tomato, and mozzarella topped with brown butter, basil, balsamic, and Maldon sea salt.

Erin: I'm super picky about melon, so much so that I've steered clear of it almost entirely this year (save the occasional glass of watermelonade). If I could go anywhere for vacation, it would be to the third row of my mom's front garden -- just me, a knife, and all the melon I can handle.

Brown Butter Tomatoes Recipe

Marian: I'm going to eat brown butter tomatoes and schlumpf until I turn blue, Violet Beauregarde-style.

Hillary: Ice pops! I have the People's Pops book and a set of molds, but I have only made one batch so far. I'm currently on a tomato diet (one a day) so that I make sure I take full advantage of the season.

More: Make ice pops without a recipe.


Kenzi: I need more eggplant. As soon as I find myself an oven that works, I will make enough baba ganoush to feed a small army. (So, myself for like three days.)

Posie: I will make peach ice cream. And I will go to Maine and pick wild blueberries and eat them by the handful.

Lucy: 1. Juicy peaches on the beach, gobbled quickly to avoid sand in my teeth. 2. I'd like to make and freeze enough parsley, basil, and/or fennel frond pesto to last me through the winter. 3. A lobster roll with a butter-to-meat ratio roughly the same as the Atlantic Ocean to Rose floating on the door in the Titanic.

Strawberry Shortcake Bars Recipe

Gabriella P: I have yet to consume my annual Good Humor strawberry shortcake bar -- the best artificial treat the season has to offer.

More: Make a natural version of strawberry shortcake bars at home.

Merrill: Peaches from my mother's garden, which I spy hanging from their trees in orange clusters as I write this. I'm planning to help my mother pick all of them and then can, jam, bake, and gorge.

Peach Tartlets

More: Your next summer resolution? Bake a peach tart.

Haley: I started packing for our trip this weekend, and thus far, all that's in my bag is a pie plate. The farm stands have been overflowing with berries lately, and a mixed berry pie with homemade vanilla ice cream is at the top of my summer wish list.

Tell us: What is on your list to make before the sun sets on Labor Day?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Panfusine
  • AntoniaJames
I put chocolate chips in 95% of the things I make and am a strong proponent for lunch dessert.


Panfusine August 30, 2014
Need to seriously catch up on the season's produce after a month long holiday in India (of course, there was a lot of exciting new produce that I stumbled upon there, so not really whining too much).. Anyone for Kazi Nemu (Assamese Lime)?
AntoniaJames August 29, 2014
Before the sun sets on Labor Day? But our summer doesn't end for another month, or more. (September is usually our warmest month, in fact.) Before Monday night, I hope to put up the last of this season's local (as in, from the bushes in my front yard) blueberries, using a recipe I just discovered in Pam Corbin's "River Cottage Preserves" for "Blues and Bay" - blueberries in syrup with bay leaves and lemon. I'll also make (and can) a chutney made with Dapple Dandy Pluots, local apples and dried apricots. On my to-do list before summer winds down completely are: golden beets pickled in white wine vinegar with ginger; another couple dozen pints of kosher dills (processed, to enjoy through the winter and spring), also made with white wine vinegar using Paul Virant's superb recipe in "Preservation Kitchen"; and I'll pickle about ten pounds of damson plums -- they won't be in the markets for another few weeks -- using the recipe in the Pam Corbin book noted above. ;o)