What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Postcards from summer (clockwise from top left):
Mom's muffaletta, a spicy cocktail recreated, raw New England clams on a boat, home boiled peanuts, steamed NC clams, a sandy afternoon in Martha's Vineyard (those are not my feet, thank you)
It feels like the first day of school to me. My summer vacations are all behind me (boo!), and instead of a backpack full of new school supplies, I have a brand new site (yay!). I can almost smell the freshly sharpened pencils.

In the spirit of back-to-school show and tell, I'm reminiscing over the especially tasty moments of summer when I managed to escape the heat of the concrete jungle and eat well. Very well. And sing "I'm on a boat." A lot.

Here's what was good:

• My mom's muffaletta with Central Grocery olive salad on fresh baked focaccia, eaten by a swimming hole at my sister's place outside Durham.

• The spicy Clementine Kicker cocktail at Top Chef contestant Kelly Liken's Vail restaurant, which I tried to recreate practically the minute I got home. Here's my recipe.

• "Hi, my name is Amanda, and I'm a clam addict." And it was a good summer for my clam habit from heaps of fried and raw clams on a quick weekend trip to Martha's Vineyard to plump steamed clams fresh out of the North Carolina sand at Wrightsville Beach.

• Freshly boiled peanuts. After finding raw peanuts at an NC farm stand, my husband turned this roadside Southern treat into a DIY kitchen project thanks to the Lees Bros. recipe.

Goodbye fleeting summer, and thanks for feeding me so well.