Your Perfect Summertime Meal

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you know I have a thing for food. I like it. I like food a lot. I like making it, I like growing it, I like eating it. Which may seem like a normal thing, but there are people around who don’t really seem to care about food.

One of my sisters loves food and cooking food, the other one could probably be fed liquids through a feeding tube for the rest of her life and see it as a convenient and all around practical solution.

Around this house, with the change of seasons comes a change of food. Partly from eating locally and what’s fresh and available and partly because … um … helloooo …. potato salad MEANS summertime.

Potato salad means summer, Chili con Carne means winter.

So now that the garden is planted, the backyard is finally cleaned up and I have a new patio set courtesy of Ikea (not as in courtesy they gave it to me, as in I bought it there) this weekend I’m going to make my ultimate summer meal. Potato Salad, cheeseburgers, grilled vegetables and maybe even some cole slaw. Maybe. No onion rings.  I realize there’s onion rings in the picture, but that’s from a winter time hamburger dinner.  Duh.  Onion rings are winter, potato salad is summer.





To me, that’s the ultimate summer meal. The meal I dream of all winter long. I know I can make it in the winter, and sometimes I even do. But BBQing a hamburger just isn’t the same in a parka when it takes the BBQ an hour to heat up.

There are other classic summertime options around here like a cold steak salad, or day long smoked ribs with baked potatoes and corn on the cob but nothing says summer to me like potato salad and hamburgers.

So now I throw the question to you … what is your ultimate summertime meal?

The best answer wins a BBQ. No they don’t. But they will get an acknowledging nod from me, sitting here at my computer.

Have a great weekend!



  1. ruth says:

    The same meal as yours! Seriously, I just don’t get people who don’t just love food.

  2. Manisha says:

    Pan fired fish and corn on the cob. And since I just got better at making the fish, I’m super excited about it for this summer!

  3. Maggie says:

    Steaks on the grill, grilled fresh corn on the cob, grilled veggies from the garden,…are you seeing the trend here? Summer means grilling, both for the crazy awesome yummy grilled tastes and for the convenient fact that grilling effectively removes the heat from my kitchen. I will heat the oven for a few things…layered fresh squash casserole and tomato pie. Which segues nicely to the other fabulous thing about summer foods…tomatoes. But only tomatoes from my garden. Period. I go all year without eating tomatoes, waiting on my summer garden to yield up its yummy goodness. This year we have 20 tomato plants, so there are plenty to share!

  4. Melanie says:

    Fish and chips wrapped in paper at the beach on a balmy summer’s evening…sounds good right now sitting here on the couch in my polar fleece and nanna rug on my knees!

  5. Ginny says:

    BBQ pork ribs, potato salad, steamed green beans and fresh corn on the cob. For dessert, snacks, breakfast or just because I really love them blueberry muffins with big, fat fresh blueberries.

  6. Patti says:

    oh yum. I don’t get those feeding tube people. My mom is like that, too. She’s also much thinner than I am. :)

    The epitome of a summer meal to me is:
    chicken on the bbq, smothered with “Memories of Dad’s Kitchen” bbq sauce, with a side of grilled veggies, marinated in sesame thai dressing, rice, corn on the cobb and a super cold coca-cola. Ohhhh yum.

  7. cred says:

    bbq chicken, corn on the cob and grilled vegetables (that’s for the fella- I understand that shortening to veggies would be unacceptable)… with zucchini included. Zucchini is a truly summer vegetable to me.

    This is making me hungry. But as to be expected in Ontario (as in, you never know what weather to expect), today is too cold to bbq without a parka.

    Fella- please forgive the use of bbq for barbeque- given that it’s an acronym rather than abbreviated, I hoped it could be accepted.

  8. BBQ pork ribs, potato salad, baked beans, French bread, and flag cake (lemon cake with whipped cream for icing and blueberries and strawberries to make the flag) :)

  9. Gail says:

    Grilled grassfed burger, homegrown potato salad, ear of corn, homegrown lettuce salad, homemade lemonade or a brewsky!

  10. Jodi T. says:

    Cold fried chicken, potato salad, (semi-pickled) cucmber, onion and tomato… WATERMELON :)

    When I was a kid, my grandmother would always pack up a huge cooler with what is listed above. It didn’t matter if we were going to Six Flags (30 minutes away) or Sea World (6 hours away), we weren’t going to “waste” money on food. We’d eat some killer cold fried chicken and potato salad…

    Now on to more serious matters… How do you make your potato salad? Do you use russet or red potatoes? Is yours more mayonaise-y or mustardy and do you put pickles in yours?

    Have a great weekend, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Jodi T. – Russet, but you have to be careful or it’ll go grey, mayonaise-y, no pickles, yes green onions. ~ karen!

  11. Diana says:

    I’m from Maine, so without a doubt it has to be steamers (steamed clams to those from away), lobster, corn on the cob, and strawberry shortcake (with biscuits, not angel food cake). A bit messy, but that’s part of the appeal.

  12. Terry says:

    Well for me it would be grilled beef tenderloin, homemade BBQ sauce,a side of mushrooms, and grilled tomatoes. Foil wrapped baked potato with onions and spices. Maybe a homemade hot apple pie and a slice of cheese for desert.

  13. Meagan says:

    At home: sausage on a bun, potato salad and watermelon. Out: Perch dinner and an orange glow from Dover!

  14. Rondina says:

    Shiskabobs. I have been known to eat shiskabobs for dinner for two straight months. I brush everything with Girard’s Italian Salad Dressing. But I would have to agree that Gloria’s is probably the ideal summer meal here in Texas also.

  15. Amanda says:

    Pork tenderloin with a cayenne pepper/brown sugar rub, cooked on the grill, topped with a relish of corn, grape tomatoes, red onion, and parsley. With watermelon for dessert, if I’m feeling brave enough to wield a chef’s knife that day… :)

  16. Sarah In Illinois says:

    Hamburgers on the grill, sliced tomatoes from the garden, corn on the cob, bean salad.

  17. christine says:

    The only thing my mother-in-law and I agreed upon was that corn on the cob was a complete meal.I didn’t really agree but went along with it so I didn’t have to cook every night in August.

  18. Kim says:

    ooh ooh …. pulled pork bbq sandwiches courtesy of an 18 hour smoke on the Big Egg Grill !!!

    you know its done when you can see the meat falling off the bone…YUM!!!

    And sauce of course. Southern style with vinegar base!

    The “tops” of my potatoes look great, but thinking I’ll have to buy taters to make tater salad. Red ones are good for that. With onion.

  19. Reg says:

    It was late summer years ago, and my late husband and I took a day trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. On the way home we stopped at a roadside kiosk selling fresh corn and tomatoes.
    When we got home we tossed the corn on the BBQ along with some very garlicky kielbassa, sliced the fresh tomatoes, poured some beer and had a glorious feast.
    I’ve made the same combination every year since then at least once and remember that lovely day.

  20. Emily B says:

    My favorite Summer meal is tacos with fresh guacamole and salsa, chips for dipping on the side, and a Margarita to wash it all down with!


  21. Becca says:

    Dirty Loins (pork tenderloin in a deliciously carmelized marinade), grilled veggies and a caesar salad. I don’t think it’s going to happen tonight though… my porch thermometer reads 1 degree C at the moment.

  22. ev says:

    Grilled hamburgers, fried potatoes (I know, wintery!), and wonderful corn on the cob! Ice cream, later.

  23. Erika says:

    radicchio salad, topped with pecorino cheese, grilled green asparagus and grilled gambas (last both marinated with italian herbs and garlic)!

  24. amyfaith says:

    1. Slaw! Oh how I love thee slaw. There are an infinity of delicious ways to dress up thinly sliced cabbage! (pro tip: glopping on a cup of mayo is not one of them. However, a mere tablespoon of mayo added to a dijon-dressed slaw makes for a lightly creamy delight).

    2. Juicy, slightly charred on the outside/pink on the inside, lightly salted before grilling flank steak Or skirt steak; I’m not picky. But it’s got to be flank or skirt; none of that sirloin or t-bone, thankyouverymuch.

    3. G & T (Hendricks, GOOD tonic, lots of lime, or a spear of cuke, if I’m feeling adventurous)

    4. And finally, anything with strawberries.

  25. Sylvia says:

    Fried chicken, potato salad, wilted lettuce salad, sweet tea and chocolate cake with chocolate icing. My mother made this every year and we knew it was officially spring when she did!

  26. Debbie W. says:

    I’m going to have to say that I’m with you on this one. Burgers are the ultimate summertime food – we took it one step further for the May long weekend and cooked them over a campfire, served with bbq kettle chips – on paper plates of course!! Marshmellows for dessert.

  27. Thera says:

    Anything BBQ’ed (steaks, hamburgers, hotdogs), any creamy salad (potato, macaroni, pasta), corn on the cob, cold cuts and strawberry short cake!

  28. Beckie says:

    summer food:

    hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, fresh lemonade and some sort of berry shortcake for dessert

    this weekend!! CAN’T WAIT!

    (even though Mother Nature seems to be feeing nostalgic for Fall around here)

  29. marilyn says:

    i love a great pasta salad and a nice bbqed steak..sliced tomatoes and fresh cukes in vinegar

  30. Karen Anderson says:

    BLT’s and corn on the cob. In August–gotta wait from homegrown tomatoes!

  31. Maureen Locke says:

    Ultimate summer meal?? For home it would be burgers and the macaroni salad with the sweet red sauce and corn on the cob. (My hubby won’t eat any salad with mayo). :(
    My “ultimate” meal would be a pot luck with friends that includes all of my favourites.. burgers, cheddar sausage, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, broccoli salad, carrot salad, coleslaw and corn on the cob. :) I like to have a little bit of everything :)

  32. Su says:

    BBQ ribs cooked S-l-o-w-l-y over coals and sweet corn!

  33. karol says:

    BBQ’d pulled pork tenderloin sandwiches with cole slaw on the sandwich (yummy) potato salad, chips, watermelon, and the ever present southern sweet tea.

  34. Suanne says:

    Ahhhh, summer means BBQ chicken,hot off the grill, grandma’s homemade potato salad,(there was NONE better)corn on the cob slathered with real butter, raspberry jello with black raspberries picked from the woods, sweet,red watermelon, (with the seeds, thank you very much)fresh squeezed lemonaide,rhubarb cobbler with homemade vanilla-bean ice cream, hand-cranked on the front porch! All served on the backyard picnic table covered with a red-checkerd tablecloth. YUUUUUUUM-YUMMMMMM! :)

  35. Jody says:

    Every long weekend between May 24 and Labour Day I make grilled Cajun shrimp with lemon linguine. It is soooo good. It may sound a bit fancy but it is quick and easy to make. I got the recipe from a Susan Branch book and I have been doing this for 18 summers now

  36. Erica Filpi says:

    Hawaiian hamburgers, homemade mac and cheese, and better than sex cake. Yum, totally summer.

  37. Gwennie says:

    Brats, simmered in beer, garlic and onions, then grilled. Topped with stone ground mustard and cooked sauerkraut. With a side of the world’s best baked beans and my mom’s potato salad. Ah… summer.

    • susan says:

      I totally agree with Gwennie!
      I would add watermelon for dessert. Otherwise, she has posted the absolute ultimate perfect summer meal.

  38. Ann says:

    burgers on home made buns and tabouli. Watermelon or home made ice cream for dessert

  39. John C says:

    Brussels sprouts…

  40. Amie Mason says:

    Szechuan Chili Chicken wings and watermelon salad!

  41. Annie says:


  42. Susa R says:

    Fresh mozzarella with roasted peppers, red onion, Kalamata olive tapenade, fresh basil, shredded lettuce and vinaigrette on toasted foccacia; my Mom’s potato salad, fresh fruit, S’mores with vegetarian marshmallows.
    And, iced tea. Or an ice cold Pepsi, if I’m throwing health concerns to the wind.

  43. rktrixy says:

    I make a really great potato salad with hard boiled eggs, mayo, sour cream, mustard, onions, celery, a little vinegar, salt & pepper. And I love it. Mom’s recipe. Everyone loves it and requests it often.

    But on a really hot day, it’s just… heavy. On a day like that I like a potato salad with olive oil & vinegar dressing, lots of chopped parsley and basil, lighter salt, pepper, and sliced black olives. A dollop of garlic aioli on top for those who want it.

    With grilled sausages on crusty rolls. And a blackberry/lemonade. After all that has settled – pie!

  44. Cathy says:

    Gazspacho. Cold, a touch spicy, and chock full if crunchy veggies. A dollop of sour cream on top, a lovely baguette with choice of dipping oil or fresh butter, a selection of hard cheeses, perhaps some meats, wine for those who partake ( pink lemonade for me) my Sweet Babu, that time of evening when the garden begins to glow, soft jazz. A few friends and some lively conversation and you have the recipe for summer!

  45. Mondo says:

    grilled lamb, pasta salad with cucumber and feta cheese, Hawaiian rolls, coffee ice cream and an ice cold beer…preferably, Alaskan Amber.

  46. Karen says:

    Huge fruit salad with sherbet. And mint iced tea.

  47. Raymonde says:

    At the beginning of summer, the perfect meal is Lobster!!! Lobster with garlic butter, lobster rolls, lobster anything!

  48. Kathline says:

    BBQ beef ribs, red potato-sweet pea salad and sangria. Ooh, guess what’s for dinner this weekend!

  49. gloria says:

    Cold fried chicken, deviled eggs, watermelon, and sweet tea. (don’t let your girls see this comment)

  50. Sarah N. says:

    Hot dogs and Watermelon. Hot dogs can be replaced by Corndogs

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