WEEK #28 JULY 8th, 2024

Dear Customers,

With the month of July now in full swing, there are certain annual events that I look forward to as an integral part of summer.  I’m talking about vacations, family picnics, fireworks over the Lake, fireflies blinking on and off in a nighttime meadow, and visiting with people who were once from here – moved away – and made the trek back to Smethport for a visit!  Nowadays, the trick at least for me is remembering their names.  Sometimes, I can see a face I haven’t seen in 50 years and the name pops immediately into my head like it was yesterday when I last saw them.  Other times, I rack my brain in vain for the name of someone I see every week!  Old age!  You gotta love it!

One other favorite event this month is our July Meat Bonanza.  With July’s higher temperatures, the less we have to fire up the oven in the house, the better I like it.  That means cooking (when we get around to it at all) is best done outdoors!  Whether it be chicken, beef, pork or some of our famous sausages, you can’t go wrong over a hot charcoal or gas fire.  When I was a boy, propane or natural gas grills weren’t a thing yet.  You could always douse the charcoal in lighter fluid which speeded up the process but that often imparted a distinct petroleum taste to the burgers.  Instead, my mom would get a fire started with charcoal and a metal loop kind of heating devide that had to be plugged in.  And if she got busy and forgot to plug it in an hour before she needed to start grilling, well dinner was just delayed.

As much as I enjoy a well-cooked piece of meat, there are something called “sides” that balance out a meal quite nicely and often involve vegetables – even if it’s just potatoes!  We have a dish involving sweet peppers that has become a family favorite for its delicious and savory taste.  GRILLED SWEET PEPPERS

2 LBS SWEET PEPPERS: red, orange, yellow 3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup X-Virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon course salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese And/or ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Core and seed the peppers, then slice into quarters. Place chunks into large resealable bag.  In a small bowl, combine oil, garlic, vinegar, salt & pepper. Mix well.

Pour over pepper chunks in back and reseal – shake to distribute sauce.  On preheated grill place pepper chunks smooth side down.  Turn occasionally, until charred lightly on both sides.  Top with either or both of the crumbled cheeses and cook a while longer with lid closed to melt the cheese.