Essentials for the perfect Summertime Gathering

If you’re like us, you’re getting into the leisurely summertime spirit – and although most of us no longer get summer breaks, our lives can still take a breather with a few fun warm weather essentials. (Read: San Franciscans can dream of warm weather too, okay?)

Add to the temporary slow pace of life a medley of in-season produce, and you have yourself a party. Here are some of our recommendations for warming your kitchen (and backyard) up even more…

Barbeque Magic
Spend some special quality time this summer with your favorite meats and veggies over the fire. Or head on out to your neighbor’s house with the kick ass backyard for some grilling.

Big Green Egg BBQ is our current grilling/smoking combo obsession. This baby is the gold of the BBQ world. You know you’ve struck it when you smoke a pork shoulder and grill up some wings “kamado” style on a separate rack all under the ova of ceramic perfection. This baby means business, and will kick up your Q’n skills to seriously serious levels. For those of you who can’t afford or justify spending a grand on a BBQ, Costco has a decent copy for around half the price.

Weber Baby Q-100 Portable Gas Grill is the ultimate in portable party making. It’s Weber 3000 but in baby form. The grill is made of cast aluminum which proves to be both lightweight and durable, while the cooking grate is porcelain-enameled cast-iron. Perfect for those rare San Francisco beach days or for lugging to the park.

Summer Fruit
June is our favorite time of year, when the peaches, plums, apricots, and even the plums and apricots who make babies called pluots are all in season and ripe for the picking at the local farmer’s market. The canning may not begin for another couple months, but for now it’s time to enjoy some fun recipes with local and organic produce.

Strawberry summer cake is great for when you buy way too many crates of strawberries and run out of options. Smitten Kitchen and Martha Stewart both have equally delicious recipes. Add a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of vanilla and you’re in for a real treat.

Fruit salad with limoncello is an Ina Garten masterpiece. The recipe pulls together berries, lemon curd and the infamous Italian liqueur in scrumptious servings and tops it with mint sprigs for presentation to boot. We love all things Italian and all things Barefoot Contessa.
Summer Concoctions
No summer is complete without a fine alcohol potion sure to stave off the brisk impending fall season. Our recommendations pair well with both heavy meats over a fire and light summer fruit fare.

The Michelada goes well with that pork shoulder you’ll smoke in your new egg grill. Our favorite recipe is from a NYC bartender and featured on epicurious. The recipe suggests using Pico Piquin pepper sauce, Valentina salsa picante, and Modelo Especial lager for authenticity. We just suggest you pair it with pork.

For those who want a lighter version of summer fun in a glass, mixologist Gina Chersevani‘s drink the Marg and Melon, featured on NPR, stays away from the sugar and opts for cointreu and melon to bring out the sweetness of the drink. Brilliant.

Now you have no excuses to get outside and enjoy the minimal bay area sunshine. So go on… get fired up, get fruity, get saucy, get on with your merrymaking revelry and have yourself a summertime jam!