Perfect summer meal: Marinated steaks for grilling, Mexican beans and Basque potato salad

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junefoodpics 003Grilled Steak with Fresh Herbs, 1970s, Q. Merlo

  • 4-12 oz. steaks, 1 ½ inches thick
  • 4  tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Sprigs of rosemary tied together for a basting brush.

If using dried herbs, reduce rosemary, thyme and basil to 2 teaspoon each.

Place steaks in shallow glass dish. Mix the rest of the ingredients and rub one half of  mixture over both sides of steaks. Cover and marinate for one hour. Grill outdoors or broil in oven, four minutes on each side.  Baste with marinade reserve.

We called this barbecue steak for years, but that was before we were told the correct term was grilling. Lots of confusion over this term. Guess it depends on what part of the country you’re grilling or barbecuing. Tried ordering a tri-tip cut for grilling but was told that was a California cut.

Life’s not fair, get used to it. John Beagle, fourth grade teacher

junefoodpics 006Mexican Beans- Quickie 1980s, Pennsylvania

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 minced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cans (1lb 1 ½ oz.) red kidney beans
  • 2 cups drained canned tomatoes
  • ¾ cup dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses

Brown onion and green pepper with one slice chopped bacon. Combine all, cover with remaining bacon and heat 30 minutes in moderate oven or in heavy cast iron pot over grill.

Flashdance was the movie that introduced leg warmers to the 80s. Jessie’s Girl wore a new version of the miniskirts, and headbands came into fashion; even for NBA basketball players.  Who can forget the Miami Vice look? Too cool, guys! It was really the cars that caught our attention.

junefoodpics 011Potato Salad Basque Style, 1950s

6 large potatoes, boiled, cooled and cut in one-half inch squares. Marinate in one-half cup vinegar and one-half cup oil. Salt generously, pepper lightly and leave in refrigerator overnight.

Clean and drain one large can shrimp (or use half pound cooked cocktail shrimp).

Coarsely grate one-fourth medium onion and two stalks young celery and add this to 1 ½ cup mayonnaise and a dash of lemon juice. I prefer juice from a half of lemon. Fold the shrimp, onion, celery, mayonnaise and lemon juice mixture into the potato mixture. Put on a platter and sprinkle with paprika and garnish with parsley.

Basque is a little known country between France and Spain with a fierce history of survival. Many Basque people settling in the United States brought their skills in herding and raising sheep. Traditionally the workers received room and board for their labor. Even today many live in boarding houses and are served hearty and traditional meals. This recipe is a Basque classic and a great summer side.

Marigolds will prevent rodents.

Wash old powder puffs in soapy water, rinse well and dry thoroughly. Then use them for polishing silverware, copper and brass. Soak colored cottons overnight in strong salt water and they will not fade. Our Favorite Recipes, Damascus UMC, 1968.