Country Kitchen: Swimming Fun and Summer Foods

Country Kitchen: Swimming Fun and Summer Foods

By Mary Emma Allen

As I watch my grandchildren frolic in the neighborÂ’s pool, I'm reminded of the summer fun my brothers, sister and I had in our brook on the farm or my daughter and her cousins did in the local river. Many of us have swimming holes of childhood, where we learned to swim and gathered with our friends.

These can vary from a pond on the farm to a neighborhood pool. They're places full of memories as we look back on our early days.

Swimming Hole in a Pasture

Our swimming hole was in the pasture at the junction of two brooks. Here Mother taught us four children to swim. Here we splashed upon the stones, watched bugs skitter across the surface, stood still and let tiny trout tickle our feet as they swam in the shallows.

The water wasn't too deep, only just above MotherÂ’s waist. But it was deep for us to learn to swim.

An Escape

As I grew older, I found the swimming hole an enjoyable place to escape for reading, doing homework, and writing stories and poetry. Our school end until late June, so during May and throughout June, the stream bank was a quiet place for studying on warm days, especially for final exams.

Even though I've swum in other places throughout the country, the swimming hole on the farm remains in my memory with fondness. ItÂ’s a place I sought out for recapturing memories when I visited the farm after many years of living away.

Swimming With OneÂ’s Children

When my daughter was young, I often took her and her cousins to the nearby river, to a sandy beach which had become a community gathering place.. Many summer afternoons I spent reading and writing on the beach while the youngsters frolicked in the water with their friends.

Here they learned to swim in our community where there weren't many opportunities. Here they, too, created memories of summer fun.

You, too, can create swimming memories with your children as you swim in the backyard, neighboorhood pools, the beach, or lakes and streams as you travel.

Foods For Summer

You need foods for quick and easy preparation when you spend days at the beach or watching youngsters in your backyard.

MOM ALLENÂ’S STRAWBERRY PIE - Mix together 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons white corn syrup; cook until clear and thick. Add 2 tablespoons strawberry flavored gelatin. Slice 1 quart strawberries into baked pie shell. Pour glaze over all and chill. Serve with whipped cream, whipped topping, or ice cream.

QUICK BEEF STROGANOFF - Brown 1 pound ground beef, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 diced onion and simmer until meat is cooked well, at least 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup sour cream. Serve over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or toast.

(To make a low fat dish, use very learn ground beef or turkey, low fat soup, and low fat sour cream.)

(C) 2002 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers and online publications for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a cookbook/story book, "Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

Click Here for The Country Kitchen Series Index


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