Porch Menus

By Michelle Plummer

Porches, Swings and the Dinner Bells Ring

As the warm spring winds begin to warm the yard and the aromas of flowers perfume those breezes, it is more and more difficult to bring ourselves inside to gather and make dinner.  So don’t!  Spring allows us to enjoy foods in a new setting…the Porch.  In the south, porches wrap around the house and it is easy to find a stoop to sit at.  Dinner time can really be family time by taking dinner outside.  The messes are easily cleaned up and the dishes discarded.  Tonight, let’s plan to meet on the veranda for a dinner that is enjoyable for everyone and no one will miss the sun and breezes!

Made It Through Monday– stuffed pita pockets, featuring, rotisserie chicken, whole wheat pita, lettuce, tomatoes, creamy cucumber sauce, hummus, celery dippers and cheese cubes.  For dessert, make a yogurt bar with fun toppings and enjoy them as you enjoy the rhythm of the porch swing.

Wednesday Wonder– make a salad, bring out all the salad fixing including the difficult ones like beets and spinach.  Just set them on the table and let the kids start talking and tasting.  Add shrimp (Creole seasoning), sliced steak, try a new flavor of cheese (horseradish is delightful with steak) and Jicama for a sweet new crunchy vegetable (they will think it is potato).  Bring out the salad dressing, crackers, bread from the deli and pull it apart with little hands, dinners on the porch, crumbs don’t matter.  For dessert, quick berry shortcakes.  Purchase little cakes and fill them with cut fruit and ‘frost’ with whipped cream.  The kids will have fun and the mess is minimal!  Dinner on the porch is a memory for all!

Dad’s Grilling– be creative, grill all the veggies; grill melon and pineapple it is incredible. Serve different cheeses on a platter with fruit and use cream cheese mixed with fresh herbs from your garden.  Grill burgers or chicken, hot dogs or sausages but do it as a family.  For dessert- grilled pound cake and fruit.  Slices prepared pound cake into 1” thick slices, stuff it with a piece of chocolate bar and grill on both sides, remove and top with fresh fruit and ice cream!  What a treat and I can hear the rave reviews from here….

Porches are for relaxing, sharing, dining and family.  Bring your family to the porch tonight.

Grilled watermelon and pineapple are delicious!  Add arugula and Parmesan for a quick dinner salad.

Watermelon radishes and yellow carrots are sweet and will keep the family guessing!

Porch dinners are for everyone.  If you make dinner inside go ahead and bring the plates outside.

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