Blume · Summer Sisters

Abby’s Simple Summer Meal

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Author: Blume, Judy
Book: Summer Sisters
Difficulty rating: Little Women
Deliciousness rating: Poor

 “Abby served a simple summer meal of grilled swordfish, island-grown corn, salad, blueberry pie.” (Blume 214)

See our loving ode to Summer Sisters on the first post of the day here. More Summer Sisters dishes: Trisha’s Melt-in-Your-Mouth Muffins and Caitlin and Vix’s Spaghetti with Green Stuff.

Abby’s Simple Summer Meal

Grilled Swordfish

 

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Off to Catalina Offshore Products in search of good swordfish!
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The place is full of cool knick-knacks and strangely has what it known on our Convoy Conquest blog as “X factor.”
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While we were waiting for our number to be called, we got a sushi roll to snack on from this guy.
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Only $6.50!

Ingredients:

  • Swordfish steaks
  • Juice from Meyer lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Kerrygold butter

Directions:
1. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.

2. Pat dry the steaks with a paper towel.

3. Brush all of the surfaces of the swordfish steaks with lemon juice. Then brush on another coat of olive oil.
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4. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
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5. Put it on the grill and cover. Cooking times must vary a ton, depending on the kind of fish, thickness of the steak, and the grill. Ours was already pretty much done after 4 minutes.
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6. Top the steaks with slices of butter while they’re still hot.

Corn

Ingredients:

  • Corn
  • Water

Directions:
1. Put 2 inches of water in a big pot. Bring to a boil.
2. Put corn in the steaming basket in the pot over the water.
3. Steam the corn for 15 minutes.

Salad
Adapted from Shredded Rainbow Salad from The Splendid Table
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Ingredients:

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  • Goddess Dressing from Annie’s or Trader Joe’s
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 bag of shredded green cabbage (comes bagged from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 cups kale, shredded
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 diced Persian cucumber
  • 1 cup edamame, tossed in 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • Half a handful of sunflower seeds
  • Trader Joe’s Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces

Directions:
1. Put Goddess dressing 1/4-1/3 cup on the bottom of a mixing bowl.

2. Add carrots, cabbage, kale, avocado, cucumber, edamame. Mix together.

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3. Top with sunflower seeds and fried onion pieces.

Blueberry Pie
Adapted from The Bitten Word’s Best Blueberry Pie with Foolproof Dough

Ingredients:

  • Trader Joe’s pie crust, thawed
  • 6 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled
  • 2 tsp grated Meyer lemon zest
  • 1.5 tbs Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs ground instant tapioca
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbs Kerrygold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water

Directions:

1. Roll out the dough, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely onto the rolling pin and unroll into the pie plate, leaving at least 1 inch hanging over each side. Working around the circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate until firm.

2. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Put 3 cups of berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.

4. Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Add to pot, along with remaining 3 cups of uncooked berries, lemon zest, sugar, tapioca, and salt. Toss to combine.

5. Pour berry filling into the pie plate and scatter butter pieces over the filling.

6. Roll out second disk of dough, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1/2 inch overhang on each side.

7. Crimp the edges of the pie.

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Jenne is masterful at crimping pie edges.

8. Cut slits in the top of the pie.

9. Brush the pastry top with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.
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Ah, this outfit I’m wearing reminds me of a Summer Sisters quote: “Caitlin, in a tiny Lycra dress and thigh-high boots, her hair cut stylishly short, looking like she’d stepped out of the pages of Elle, greeted Vix outside Lamb’s house” (Blume 241). Yes, I know I’m not wearing a tiny Lycra dress or thigh=highs, but i AM wearing an Elle apron. That counts.

10. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

11. Place pie on heating baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juice bubbles and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

Did it measure up?

Sadly, no!!! The swordfish had a very unpleasant, mushy, paste-like texture — a bit of Googling suggests that it might be due to incorrect freezing processes. If the fish itself is bad, there’s no saving swordfish steaks. (We do think the actual seasoning itself was pretty good — simple is best!) Pretty disappointing, since the steaks cost $35 for 2 lbs. Sigh. We might never trust Catalina Offshore Products again, despite the fun we had on our little outing.

February is obviously not corn season, and we had some doubts about whether we’d be able to find any at all, but luckily, a friend who works for a specialty produce company got us corn for our cause! It is probably the best corn you can get off season. That said, we do miss harvest corn.

We had a lot of leeway with the salad because the book gives no specific description. Hannah reports that it was remarkably tasty (she gave it a 10 in deliciousness). Miko brought the rating score down, mainly because she, being a stereotypical Midwesterner, is not a big fan of salad in general.

The blueberry pie was pretty tasty! The crust was a bit underdone, especially on the bottom — Mary Berry would not approve. Also, it IS tastier with crusts made from scratch (the pie dough from the recipe from The Bitten Word is terribly good), but at the same time, who wants to make their own crusts after a whole day of cooking? Not us!

Blume, Judy. Summer Sisters. New York: Bantam Dell, 1998.

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