Summer Rituals

Finally! It feels like Summer!! The weather has been unpredictable this year and a bit of a rollercoaster ride especially living on the north shore of Boston. There are days that are “summer like” for those who are inland but living on the coast means cooler days to start the season. Even the 4th of July presented a mix bag. It was cloudy and cool, some rain and then around dinner the sun came out and brought a bit of warmth. The fireworks went off and ever since it feels like summer around here.unnamed I thought I would write about the season that brings with it lots of memories old and new, fun and less structure. The days are longer and I have more energy. Life seems more carefree.

Blog writing for me becomes a bit more difficult and serious subjects require more focus. My house is full of activity and distractions with boys home for the summer and I have felt like waving my surrender flag. Surrendering to my normal routine and projects I have wanted to take on. Before I know it the house will be quiet and I will be missing the chaos.

What does summer mean to you?

Some of my favorite memories as a child are my days of  summer camp in the Berkshires and family vacations on Cape Cod. Catching fireflies. Swimming all the time. Making S’mores. Late nights. Going to Saratoga Race Track and the Chatham Fair. Summer theater and picnicking at Tanglewood.   Lots of corn on the cob. The list goes on and on.

Summer, for some reason, always makes me nostalgic. As I started writing I realized I have developed summer rituals throughout the years. These are constants I look forward to every year, regardless of my age.  What are some of yours? Here are some of mine.

Eating and lounging outside. unnamed

Bike riding FullSizeRender-26

Outdoor cooking. That means lots of grilling!

Lobsters and steamers (and of course, corn on the cob). unnamed

Traveling to the beach. Lots of swimming. unnamed 

Summer reading. My favorite is sitting on the beach with a book you can’t put down.

Visiting my hometown in upstate NY.


Farmers Markets and stopping at every farm stand I come across. I am a farm stand addict.

Best of all for me it is cooking. I know the summer brings less structure and potentially the desire for less cooking and more restaurant dining. But for me it is the time of year I want to cook with all the fresh produce available. Gazpacho is definitely a ritual. I make a huge batch and freeze what I don’t eat for the next week.


Other summer soups that I can use up my fresh produce like Zucchini Basil


Summer Salads for lunch. Skip the sandwiches and the chips. Make a huge bowl of fresh pesto with basil or arugula and fresh mozzarella from the farmers market.

FullSizeRender-24 IMG_4913

Fish and steak on the grill. Tuna with Avocado Salad and Marinated Skirt Steak.



Lots of fruit. I love cherries and have these memories of getting a huge box every summer as a kid. Rhubarb, strawberries and blueberries and peaches too.

FullSizeRender-32 FullSizeRender-18

And sometimes no cooking required. Just pizza on the beach.


These days for me the drinks are light. Spiked seltzer. Moscow Mule. Cucumber vodka.

spikedseltzer-3-flavors-copy Moscow-Mule-recipe

Ahhh. The days of summer. Days to be savored because they go so fast.

Summer a season like no other.

Recipe Resources

Gazpacho Recipe

Tuna Salad Recipe

Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Recipe


Spiked Seltzer

Moscow Mule

Cucumber Vodka

About Shari

I am a two-time cancer survivor and patient advocate. Diagnosed as a young adult, at age 25 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I had to quickly face the reality of life’s curveballs. My treatment offered a potential cure while at the same time, underestimated the long term side effects including a secondary cancer (breast cancer) nine years later. Shortly after my breast cancer treatment ended, my youthful, seemingly healthy mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and passed a year later. I have lived the cancer experience as a patient and a family member/ caregiver and understand both sides. Life after treatment is often challenging emotionally and physically and there is a gap in providing needed support. I don’t consider cancer a gift as it is not something I would ever want to give to someone. Rather, I view cancer as an opportunity; one I received at an early point in my life to live intentionally, understanding how things can change at any moment. I live without regrets, fully understanding the gift and fragility of life.
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