Come summer I like to eat, especially after a long day of writing tense thrillers that increase my appetite. Now, I like to eat year round, but summer eating holds a special place in my heart, er, stomach. So what do I enjoy eating after a long day of writing under the hot sun?
My son, who just graduated from college, once worked in a deli and used to bring home some tasty sandwiches. Lately, we’ve been having competitions to see who can make the best Reuben. But the best summer sandwich, for my money, is a real Boston Italian, which is different—and significantly better—than a Maine Italian. The Boston Italian is served on a crusty roll and has fatty mortadella, rich provolone, capicola—or gabagool, as Tony Soprano would say, two types of salami, lettuce, onions and lots of good olive oil drizzle over it, and pooling over the wax paper. Having a son work at a deli has made it easier to indulge in the summer sandwiches I love. After a productive day writing, a hearty Italian with Cape Cod chips hits the spot.
I live in Maine and we love our seafood. Now I know what you’re thinking. You believe I’m going to talk about a boiled Maine lobster. But no, I’m going to regale you about the singular deliciousness of fried clams done correctly. Good ones are hard to come by, as I’m very fussy about where I get my fried clams. But I have a secret spot that knocks fried clams out of the park. They are coated in unctuous crumbs—NEVER BATTER—with fat, juicy bellies that dissolve on your tongue. My secret place makes their own tartar sauce so that when you dunk the moist clams inside, they emerge with this glistening, yellowish dip that only enhances the intense, saline rich clam-belly favor. If you’re a Mainer, you understand what fried clams means to us folks Merely writing about it is making my mouth water.
Then there’s sweet summer corn from one of the nearby farms, slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt. Cold, decadent ice cream from one of the local dairies. Lobster rolls brimming with tended knuckle and claw meat (no tail) and mixed with just enough mayo to hold everything together. Then of course there’s pizza. Hot pizza on a hot summer night is something to die for. Then again I love pizza every season and for every meal.
And while we’re at it, I must say that all of the above goes splendidly with cold beer. And since Portland has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country, I’ll be quaffing a 20 ounce Foulmouthed, Munchen Klempen with my fried clams. This beer is a German style Marzen lager, cold fermented, amber, malty and quite delicious. And with my Lobster roll I’ll be tipping an On The Point Pilsner brewed by Fore River Brewery. And the great Alexander by my favorite brewery, Schilling out of Littleton, New Hampshire.
So now you know what I like to eat and drink during the summer months after writing my psychological thrillers. Admittedly, it’s a short list. So what foods do you enjoy come summer. Please leave a comment and add your two cents about the best meals to feast on during the dog days of summer.
Now, back to my coffee and writing.