Five Sure-Fire Cures for the ‘Summertime Blues’

Sometimes I wonder, what I’m a-gonna do. There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

We can empathize with the premise of the “Summertime Blues.” It’s quite simple: summer is hot. Summer is sweaty. And while you’re sitting around trying to not be hot and sweaty, summer can be really boring.

And when you get hungry in the summertime, you have to feed yourself (duh). But cooking is hot. And sweaty. And unless you jazz it up with something new, interesting, and tasty, it’s also boring.

It’s enough to bum you out.

And it pains us to have to say this next bit, but it’s true.

Roger Daltrey was wrong.

There is, in fact, a cure for the “Summertime Blues.”

Five ways to beat those summertime blues:

  1. Jam on it. Cascina Marchesa’s Balsamic Jams take delicious fruits (figs and strawberries), and adds a touch of balsamic vinegar (the very same balsamics that we sell here at AllSpice) to create a jam that is equal parts sophisticated and sweet. The  tangy balsamic creates a delicious depth of flavor, a slight tartness, to counterbalance the incredible sweetness of the strawberry and fig. Choose from Fig Balsamic Jam, or Strawberry Balsamic Jam, and liven up everything from crepes and cheeses to green beans and… yes, even toast! Cascina Marchesa’s Balsamic Jams are $9.50 each.
  2. Raise a little hell.  Hellraising Hot Sauces are here! Made in Minneapolis by a Des Moines native, AllSpice is the exclusive Des Moines purveyor of these hot-hotter-hottest sauces.  In order of fiery flavor, they are Green Fever Hot Sauce, Sweet Suffering Hot Sauce, and (ooh boy) Triple Inferno Hot Sauce. Hellraising Hot Sauces are $7/bottle.
  3. Leeks on fleek; mint condition. We’ve got two new ingredients to expand your culinary skills: Leek Flakes($3.50 for a 1/2 Cup jar) and Crushed Peppermint Leaf ($4.20 for a 1/2 Cup jar), both in the Herbs section of the AllSpice online store.
    The Leek Flakes are go-to ingredients for all manner of soups, stews and casseroles, and make a great substitute for any recipe where you would normally use green onions (think potato soup!).
    Use Crushed Peppermint to create your own ice cream, yogurts, jellies, and teas. Mix it into your couscous or tabbouleh salads or into your next marinade. Perfect and refreshing for the hottest of days with its cool and crisp flavor profile.
  4. Double tap(enade). The Provençal word tapenade means capers, and a tapenade, traditionally speaking, is a Provençal dish made of puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. In modern culinary terms, though, a tapenade is a thick spread made from olives or olive oil, with some other delicious pureed fruit or vegetable (not necessarily capers and anchovies).  Delizia makes two wonderful tapenades that we’ve just begun stocking here at AllSpice: Delizia Smoked Artichoke Spread, and Delizia Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade. Both tapenades are made with same extra virgin olive oils that we stock here at AllSpice.
  5. Slap it up, flip it, rub it down. (oh no!) Four new exclusive spice blends have joined the AllSpice Rubs and Blends menu, and each of them takes your cooking in an exciting new direction: Ammazza Suocera ($5.50), the spicy Italian “kill the mother-in-law” blend; Truffled Parmesan Rub ($11.75) for an earthy blend of Black Truffle and Parmesan; the masculine, coarse, gritty rub Smoked Peppercorn Sage Blend ($5.50); and Adobo Seasoning (coming very soon), a piquant spice blend that is spicy without being overly hot.

Come on down to the (wonderfully cool and air-conditioned) shop to taste (and smell!) all these new AllSpice ingredients. You are sure to find one that will liven up your warm-weather cooking, and cure your summertime blues.