IVP - Strangely Dim - The Sausage of Summer

July 10, 2009

The Sausage of Summer

A few weekends ago I saw a billboard that almost begged to be blogged about on Strangely Dim as we contemplate summer. Huge letters imposed over a peaceful, scenic picture of . . . something (I don't actually remember the picture because I was distracted by the letters, but I know it was peaceful. And green.) boldly said "VACATIONVILLE." And then, much smaller but still large enough to read from the road (which is, after all, the point of billboards), I noticed "Johnsonville®" (read: "Sausage is all we do.") in the corner. Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of vacation, I think of lounging by a beautiful lake or lying on a comfy couch with a stack of books next to me, or maybe eating homemade black cherry frozen yogurt. Call my crazy, but sausage doesn't come to mind. When I think of sausage, memories of youth-group pancake breakfasts and . . . well, only fundraiser pancake breakfasts emerge. Not vacation.

And, if we're talking about escaping (which is what we are talking about at Strangely Dim this summer), we have to bring up the topic of comfort food. But when I'm feeling particularly down, meat is not generally what I reach for. Chai and peanut butter cookies? Yes. Sausage? Well, maybe I'm in the minority here, but no.

However much their sign doesn't resonate with me, though, they raise a good point: Summer (like every season, admittedly) has special food--some of my favorites. I eagerly wait for strawberries and peaches and blueberries to appear and relish the taste of fresh fruit on yogurt, or in salads, or in desserts like shortcake which my sister and I make for dinner some nights using our grandmother's recipe. Fresh markets pop up in the suburbs, easing my homesickness for the farmstands of my growing-up days and offering us suburbanites an easier way to buy local. And, granted, the nicer weather offers barbecuers a plethora of opportunities to show off their skills with tongs and beef, chicken and, yes, sausage. There are new flavors to savor and try.

So whether you're traveling or staying home on these summer days, escape from your regular recipes and fast-food stops, and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of summer. Support local farms if you can. Try a new recipe with friends. Grill sausage if you like. Just make sure to savor what you eat.
Posted by Lisa Rieck at July 10, 2009 12:36 PM Bookmark and Share


Happy birthday, Lisa!

Comment by: Dave at July 11, 2009 7:04 AM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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