What I’m doing during my summer slacking season:
-Making random-ingredient salads on weeknights. Here’s a tomato-brie-scallion-sausage-and-crouton creation with balsamic vinegar. I also made a tomato-bacon-pea salad that was surprisingly good. Sauté some chopped bacon, add a few handfuls of frozen peas and cook until the peas are just done. Let cool a bit, mix with sliced tomatoes. Chop up some scallions or parsley, if you have them on hand.
-Making fake Mexican huevos rancheros: Heat up some refried beans in a small pan. Add an egg or two, sunny-side up. Cover pan with lid; cook 3-4 minutes (see the Beyond Salmon blog for more guidance on cooking eggs). Eat with salsa, chopped red peppers, scallions and sour cream.
-Making iced tea with fruit flavorings: lime juice, lemon juice, whole strawberries (add strawberry chunks to the pitcher).
-Checking out farmers markets in downtown Milwaukee. Here’s my brief guide:
East Town Tuesday Market, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Cathedral Square Park. The crowd: office people and various East Side types. This market is new in 2011, and, judging by the small turnout, I'll be surprised if it continues next summer. Atmosphere: Sparse. Chill. Buy: Necklaces, hand-made soap, art prints, baked goodies. I haven’t seen a single fruit or vegetable for sale here. Bring: A wad of cash for the $50+ handmade jewelry.
Westown Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ziedler Union Square. Crowd: Office workers. Atmosphere: Company cafeteria. Buy: Flowers for your desk, lunch from the many food vendors and trucks, cookies for the afternoon slump. Bring: Your co-workers.
East Town Saturday Market, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Cathedral Square Park: Crowd: Crowded. Students, young professional types, young families. Atmosphere: Festive. Buy: Hey, this place sells produce, so buy a vegetable that’s in season. Bring: Kids, if you have them—the action’s at the playground.For addresses and a complete listing of Milwaukee-area farmers markets, see this guide in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.