Salutations party people. Wow, what a summer. How do you spell whirlwind in multiple languages? Every weekend has been shaped by something. Beach trips, weddings, celebrating birthdays and whimsical gallivants in general. We cheered on the Americans during the World Cup and watched their triumphant final match. Thank you Tim Howard for inspiring us all and making soccer fans out of the masses. USA, USA! After the Yanks, our allegiance shifted to that of the Netherlands and finally Germany. We have been marinating and grilling a great deal of flank steak. Lean, healthy, delivers in the protein department and superbly delicious. We have deviated from tradition and started meeting friends for fabulous dinners mid-week. Note, this is an outstanding way by which to divvy up the work days. I joined a supper club and found a group of dynamic, inspiring women. I have sought out the time for lunches with bosom pals. Nothing like absorbing pearls of wisdom from very old friends. 

We had a big cookout recently and invited our motley crew. Some brought their children. A first for us and we will do it again. Matthew introduced me to his now world famous drumettes and I showed our friends how spectacular a simple salad with chopped herbs from our garden, braised raisins, aged goat cheese and toasted walnuts can be. I also made cupcakes for the first time. What a marvelous morning we had watching them rise in the oven and once cooled, decorating our beauties. We discovered Q Tonic water. Our cocktail hour will never be the same. I was also introduced to jalapeƱo infused tequila. Bonjour for sure. Summer can be the time for decadence or a bit of wiggle room at a minimum. We are eating lovely new as well as purple potatoes prepared in a myriad of ways. Roasted or boiled, and simply dressed with a generous glug of olive oil, chopped fresh mint and kosher salt. My new favorite recipe is a no mayonnaise potato salad that calls for minced white onion softened in the pan, diced raw green scallions, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and fresh dill. Recipe coming soon. I am still besotted with my corn salad. As per Matthew's request, we prepare it on weekly rotation. Sometimes I substitute feta for the bleu cheese.

I have become a wing aficionado. Now that I work in South Carolina, the world is truly my oyster in this regard. We ate at the Peach Stand last week. What a scene! I will be returning soon to procure bison steaks from their famous butcher. Did I mention in addition to pickled vegetables, fresh peaches, homemade cake and other such goodies, you can fill up your car with gas? A pair of weeks ago, Matthew and I embarked upon an uptown moveable feast. We grabbed appetizers and drinks at four favored haunts before closing the evening with al fresco dancing. Another evening, I finally made it to Fahrenheit. Nice view. We visited the Buddy Bear on the corner of 6th street and Tryon. It is a fantastic representation of the strong ties between the Queen City and Deutschland. We have officially become enamored of the 7th Street Public Market and its offerings. Morning coffee there following a night on the town is where it's at in our world these days. They know us at Bad Daddy's now thanks to our regular Saturday or Sunday lunches outside. I heart tradition. Matthew celebrated a birthday midweek. We toasted the evening with wedge salads, steaks and cheesecake with his family. Halcyon times.

This weekend, we are off to take on the world, literally. We are fortunate to be embarking upon an adventure across the Baltic Sea. Upon my return, I will share news of what we saw, ate, drank, heard and experienced - the works. After intensive due diligence and valuable feedback from peers, I procured a new camera. With it, I promise to deliver visuals marking gastronomy, libations, livery and far off sights from far off places. Let's write a new chapter in August. Danke schoen for your patience. Enjoy your amazing summers until then and don't be a stranger! Bis dann! 

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