Every Wednesday night, Bon Appétit food director Carla Lalli Music takes over our newsletter with a sleeper-hit recipe from the Test Kitchen vault. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.
The new thing this week is for everyone to start complaining that summer is almost over. I’m not here to disagree. I’m a pessimistic-realist, so summer started being over for me right after Memorial Day. It became an urgent concern when we were planning our 4th of July menu, and now that my mid-August birthday has passed, it’s a national emergency.
The only thing left to do is cancel all of your commitments, cash in your remaining vacation days, go AWOL on adult responsibilities, and hightail it to the beach. Or the lake, or the riverbank, or a ding-dang swimming hole. I’d personally get to the beach a lot faster if I wasn’t so obsessed with packing the perfect things to eat while I’m there, but I take a lot of pride in my beach snacks. Here are my 10 favorites, ranked for your countdown pleasure.
10.) Cold watermelon is amazing and perfect. The triangular wedge is classic, but I really love to remove the rind and cut the flesh into fat planks before packing them into a quart container. Pro tip: bring lime wedges and a tiny jar of salt for seasoning al fresco.
9). Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are compact, tidy, and get exquisitely squishy when packed ahead of time. I’m an untoasted whole-wheat pullman, crunchy peanut butter, mixed berry jam person, with a sprinkle of salt before closing them up, and a diagonal cut obviously.
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8.) Cucumbers on ice are so nice. Thank our own Amiel Stanek for this one.
7.) Ham and cheese on a baguette. Good butter, good ham, good bread—good choices.
6.) Frozen grapes. Sorry not sorry. Put them in an insulated container so they stay icy for many hours and don’t you dare criticize me until you’ve tried it.
5.) Ice coffee shakerato in a to-go cup. This recipe in this vessel. Lots of ice. Shakey shakey every time before you take a sip.