By the time you read this the current heat wave will hopefully have passed, but expect more on the way this summer. When the heat hits eating heavy is out of the question. So is slaving over the stove indoors. It’s time for the BBQ or something cool and I guess you could say that fruit is the theme of the recipes this time around except for the fish and sausage (they still argue whether or not the tomato is a veggie or fruit. I’m told).

In any case, always have plenty of liquids around and put the fruit into the fridge. Nothing like biting into a chilled Georgia peach on a hot day. I remember a time in Mistissini when we would pick raspberries, mash them up a little, add very little sugar (use fruit sugar as it’s better for you) and put them in the freezer. A little messy but better than Popsicles or such for your health and they were tasty to boot. Today I still do it in the summer but I have one of those Tupperware jobbies now and can put them on a stick. Well enough reminiscing and on to the recipes.


Berry Salad

1 cup vanilla yogurt 1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 tablespoons milk (to thin out dressing)

cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

1 1/3 cups strawberries

1 1/3 cups blueberries

1 1/3 cups raspberries

fresh peppermint leaves, finely chopped

Wash, stem and sort berries.

In a small bowl combine yogurt and honey and whisk together. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk until well incorporated. Add milk to thin down.

Place berries in serving bowls and drizzle the yogurt dressing over the top.

Garnish with mint and serve immediately.


Chicken and Fruit Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

2 to 3 mangos

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper 6 cups torn mixed greens

1/2 medium cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, cut in 1-inch chunks 1 cup halved or sliced strawberries

1 recipe Mango Vinaigrette (see below)

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Pit, peel, and slice the mangoes. Measure 1-1/2 cups for use in the vinaigrette; set remaining slices aside for salad.

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels.

Stir together the curry, salt, and pepper. Rub chicken with curry mixture.

Grill chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals about 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and no

longer pink, turning once halfway through grilling. (Or, place chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once.)

Cool chicken slightly; slice into 1/4-inch strips.

Arrange greens on individual dinner plates. Top with chicken strips, melon, strawberries, and reserved mango slices.

Drizzle each salad with some of the Mango Vinaigrette.

Sprinkle green onion over all.


Mango Vinaigrette

In a blender container or food processor bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups mango, 1/4 cup orange juice, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey, and 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard.

Cover and blend or process until smooth. Cover and chill until serving time. Makes about

1-1/4 cups.


Smoke Sausage Kabob

1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage; sliced 1 inch thick 1 bottle of your favorite Italian dressing

1 bell pepper

2 ears of corn; broken into quarters 6 cherry tomatoes

2 zucchinis; sliced about an inch thick 6 large mushrooms

Marinate the sausage in the dressing for about 6 hours.

Build your skewers alternating sausage and vegetables.

Grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally.

Before grilling, submerge the corn in boiling water for 2 minutes.


Barbecue Salmon Steaks

2 tbsp light soy sauce 1/2 tsp sugar 4 salmon steaks Green sauce 1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup roughly chopped chives

1 /4 tsp ginger

2 tbsp capers

2 tbsp chopped onion 1/2 cup olive oil

1 tbsp lemon or lime juice 1 hard-boiled egg

Freshly ground black pepper. Combine soy sauce and sugar. Brush each salmon steak with soy sauce mixture.

Barbecue, turning occasionally until salmon is cooked. Serve hot with Green Ginger Sauce.

Green ginger sauce:

Place parsley, chives, ginger, capers and onion in the bowl of a food processor or blender.

Process until finely chopped. Add olive oil, lemon or lime juice and egg. Process until smooth.


BBQ Sauce for Beef and Fish

3 small cans tomato sauce 1/4 cup minced onion

1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. dry mustard 1 tsp. salt 1 tbsp molasses 1 tbsp corn syrup 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 tsp. garlic powder 2-3 tsp. liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients and simmer in a medium size saucepan for an hour stirring occasionally.


Fruit Punch

8 black tea bags, strings removed 4 cups cold water 4 cups apple cider

3 cups apricot nectar

6 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed 12 ounce can or bottle cherry flavor lemon-lime carbonated beverage, chilled

1 orange, sliced into rounds

4 ounce jar maraschino cherries

In a large pitcher, combine tea bags and cold water. Cover, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Remove tea bags, squeezing them gently against side of pitcher. Stir in apple cider, apricot nectar and lemonade concentrate. Chill until ready to serve.

Pour punch over ice cubes in a punch bowl. Add carbonated beverage, and garnish with orange slices and cherries.


Mock Champagne

This one is for the kids and non-drinkers out there. It makes a great look at a BBQ or birthday party also.

2 liter bottles ginger ale, chilled

46 ounce can pineapple juice, chilled 64 ounce bottle white grape juice, chilled

To make Ice ring: Fill a ring-shaped cake pan half-full with ginger ale. Freeze until partially frozen. At this stage you can place edible flowers, or pieces of fruit around the ring. Fill pan with ginger ale and freeze until solid. Place in punch bowl just before serving.

In a large punch bowl, combine 1 bottle ginger ale, pineapple juice and white grape juice.


Tips Section

Tips for freezing berries:

Sometimes you just end up with more berries than you can handle. Or if you’re like me you like to have some later on in the year. I also pick more than I can handle because I like to experiment with berry sauces. I am currently working on a gooseberry sauce but it needs more work so I go through a lot of them experimenting. In any case you don’t want them to go to waste. Here’s a tip for how to freezing the extra berries individually: Spread them on cookie sheets, not touching, and freeze. Then transfer quickly to self-sealing plastic bags and return to freezer.

Fruit please

I used to feed my son tons of fruit when he lived with me. I used to buy about ten or so pounds of apples, toss in a bunch of bananas and some oranges. Then I would buy whatever fruit was in season. This was instead of chips and other things. As a result he was thinner and healthier. You see the largest part of what makes up fruit consists of water just like the human body does. Eighty per cent of our body consists of water; so does 80

per cent of fruit. So if you think about it, it’s logical for the human body to consume food that contains as much as water as the body itself so that the body can replenish itself as it eats. The nutrition that meets that requirement is fruit. There is no other food than fruit on this planet that contains on average 80 per cent water. Vegetables also contain a lot of water and are therefore second best for the water rule. Also water is none fattening and fruit tends to pass through the body fast so it helps with those wishing to lose weight and still eat.

Fruit is 100 per cent cholesterol free. No doubt about this argument. Too much cholesterol is not good for our bodies and fruit doesn’t contain much cholesterol. Animal products like meat have and dairy contain a lot of cholesterol.


BBQ Tips

General Guidelines for medium

Meat type: Thickness: Grilling time:

Beef Burgers 3/4″ 5 minutes per side

Turkey Burgers 3/4″ 6 minutes per side

Pork Chop 1 1/2″ 14-18 minutes per side

Pork Chop 3/4″ 6-7 minutes per side

Fish 1 1/4″ 5-6 minutes per side

Fish 1″ 3-5 minutes per side

Fish 1/2″ 1.5-2.5 minutes per side

Steak 2” 10-12 minutes per side

Steak 1 1/2″ 7-8 minutes per side

Steak 1″ 5-6 minutes per side

No Blood Today!

Nothing is worse than the black flies and mosquitoes arriving unannounced at a BBQ or shore lunch. Here are a few tips to go along with insect repellent and bug zappers:

Insects are attracted to bright-and dark-colored clothing and shiny objects like jewelry. Wear white, tan, and other muted colours.

Wear long sleeves and pants, and consider tucking your pants into shoes or socks.

Don’t go barefoot.

Apply insect repellent to shoes, socks, and pant cuffs.

Fragrances attract attention from biting insects so skip perfume or cologne, and choose unscented hair care products, skin lotions, and sun block.

Citronella lamps and candles help to keep mosquitoes away. This lemon-scented Asian grass can also be found in skin lotions.

Use airtight containers for food to prevent aromas from attracting pests. Choose tubs with clear plastic lids so you can see what’s inside.

And don’t forget dusk is prime biting time for the insect world.