Toys of Summer

It’s amazing how quickly we seem to jump from the lazy bliss of early summertime straight into fall harvest. I can’t help but be slightly dumbfounded at the idea that, as if overnight, some seasonal kaleidoscope has rotated its dial without even the slightest dialogue – or at least a courtesy heads-up. Storefronts are now molting into shades like persimmon, merlot, nutmeg. And though the temperature here in Florida won’t dip below 80 degrees for another two months, clearance racks overloaded with strappy sundresses and cutoffs already signal the inevitable: sweaters. Lots and lots of sweaters.

Growing up in Southern California, August and September meant grass stains and sandy bare feet, watermelon seed-spitting and barbecued chicken, a garden abundant with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and green beans. We caught grasshoppers in jam jars and splashed in the ocean until the daylight waned to a thin, velvety coolness and ate ice cream bars past bedtime.

In defense of these simple kicks, I’m officially boycotting Autumn’s premature arrival. There’s still plenty of summer left to be had. And lucky for us, a full range of kitchen gadgets and cooking tools keep this season fresh and fun. Here are my current Top 5 favorites. More to come, but feel free to add your own!

1. The Cuisinart Brushed Stainless-Steel Ice Cream Maker churns out two quarts of frozen, creamy goodness in just 25 minutes, as well as sorbet and fro-yo – all in pretty much any flavor concoction you can dream up.  And it’s just so pretty. Of course, frozen pops are just as much a of a treat for a fraction of the price tag, especially when they come in fun shapes like stars and rocket ships. Check out popsicle molds by Tovolo and Orka.

frozen pops with a twist by Orka

frozen pops with a twist by Orka

2. Behold, the KitchenAid

KitchenAid Stand Mixer - Artisan Series

KitchenAid Stand Mixer - Artisan Series

3. When it’s hot outside, cold drinks are a must. Love this artsy pitcher from Crate & Barrel for everything from sparkling water to mojitos or sangria. With its sweet-tart and slightly menthol afterbreath, a little limoncello goes a long way; tote this Italian liqueur to the picnic in one of World Market’s glass bottles and you’re instantly in a seaside trattoria on the Amalfi coast.

Picture 4

4. These aprons from Anthropologie are just too cute. How can you not feel summer sunshine all over?

Apron

5. With scents like fig & savory flower and lime zest & cypress, Cucina soaps and lotions bring the Mediterranean right into my kitchen. Gotta love that all are made with natural olive oil and herb extracts. Put the olive & coriander body butter at the top of your wish list.

Cucina

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2 Responses to “Toys of Summer”

  1. G-Man Says:

    Sorry about that , Kerry. I’m sure thegregogirl will think of you while picking the most tasty Kadotas in Montenegro.

  2. Kerry Says:

    Funny you mention fig-scented soaps…. WHERE ARE THE REAL FIGS? The last time I went shopping, my grocery market had ONE package of real figs.. for SIX DOLLARS!

    People who live in climates with fig trees just don’t know how lucky they are…

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