A few weeks ago, we asked you to enter All Thing's Considered's Found Recipes' Taste of Summer contest with a great recipe that had a compelling story behind it. Among the many responses we got were recipes for all varieties of potato salad, crab and grilled pizza.
Lauren Steinberg of Lemont, Pa., loves making the latter in the summer. She says it's quite simple. Take pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) and coat one side with olive oil. Put that side down on the grill and brush the other side with olive oil. Flip when the dough is light brown and add the toppings of your choice.
Leslie Winner of Durham, N.C., longs for something a bit more unusual during the summer — "fruit soup," something her grandmother made every summer. It involves cooking peaches with plums and blueberries. The dessert is then chilled and served with sour cream.
Winner says she always thought the recipe sprang from her family's Lithuanian roots, until she asked her mother. Turns out it had its origins in America — Good Housekeeping magazine, to be exact.
For Jennifer Sander of Shingle Springs, Calif., the taste of summer isn't so much about the food, but the memories surrounding it. She started crabbing with her sons in the Puget Sound years ago, something she would never have tried if not for the high price of crabs and her sons' penchant for them.
"Step No. 1 was to buy a book that taught us all about the habits and the habitats of Dungeness crab — that's the kind of crab that you find on the West Coast," Sander says.
They got a lot of help from fishing store employees who would give them advice on where to plunk down their traps. The same employees also tipped them off to something called "smelly jelly," which is rubbed on the bait to better attract the crabs. Once caught, Sander says the crabs are delicious when eaten chilled, with a side of mayonnaise and lemon.
Out of these and other entries, we've chosen three finalists. But before we pick a winner, we'd like you to weigh in. Browse through the three recipes listed at right. Once you've been through them all, tell us which one you liked the best and why. You can write in the comments or email us here (make sure to address to All Things Considered and put "Taste of Summer Vote" in the subject line).
We'll announce a winner on Friday, July, 26.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
A few weeks ago, we asked you to enter a contest. Our Found Recipes Taste of Summer contest. We asked for a recipe and the compelling true story behind it. We got well over 100 submissions. And joining me now to go over some of them is series curator and ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer Melissa Gray. Hey there, Melissa.
MELISSA GRAY, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.
CORNISH: So what's on the menu?
GRAY: Well, fruit soup, summer sandwiches and something that I have never encountered in my exotic mom in Capri lifestyle, grilled pizza. Have you ever heard of this?
CORNISH: I mean, it's, like, not in an oven? You're saying it's...
GRAY: On the grill.
CORNISH: On the grill, okay.
GRAY: Yeah, we had several people write in about it, including Lauren Steinberg of Lemont, Pennsylvania and she says it's pretty easy. You just take pizza dough, you coat it both sides with olive oil. Put one side down. Once that gets nice and brown, you turn it and then you put the toppings on it. It sounds like something we definitely should try, don't you think?
CORNISH: Yeah, definitely. I mean, a little pepperoni. But actually, I want to hear a little bit more about this fruit soup.
GRAY: Oh, yes, this fruit soup. You know, you hear fruit soup and you think, oh, gazpacho. But no, no, no, this is not made with tomatoes. This is made with peaches, blueberries and plums and it's stewed down and then served chilled with sour cream. And it comes to us from listener Leslie Winner of Durham, North Carolina. She said her grandmother would make this every summer.
And she always thought it was a recipe from the homeland, you know, a Lithuanian family recipe and then she asked her mom.
CORNISH: And it sounds like there's some question here. Where did it actually come from?
GRAY: Oh, you'll love this, Good Housekeeping magazine, the fount of all good Lithuanian traditions.
CORNISH: All right. What else did we get?
GRAY: Well, Jennifer Sander of Shingle Springs, California - you try to say that five times - told us about crabbing in the Puget Sound. It's something that she never would have done if not for the fact that her kids developed this taste for crab. And you know, crab's expensive, right? So they have to figure out a way to get it cheaper.
So she gets a book, she gets a boat and then she gets some advice.
JENNIFER SANDER: We got a lot of help from all of the guys who work in the fishing stores and they would give us lots of advice about where to go and also about something called smelly jelly, which you rub on your bait in order to greater attract crab.
CORNISH: Smelly jelly?
GRAY: Yeah, that's apparently a crab's taste of summer. You don't want to know, Audie, trust me, you really do not want to know.
GRAY: Anyway, as for Jennifer, she foregoes the smelly jelly and she just enjoys her crab simply chilled with a little side of mayo and lemon.
CORNISH: All right. So that's a sample of some of our Taste of Summer entries. But you've actually settled on three finalists, right?
GRAY: Well, yeah, yeah, we have. But before I tell you about them, you know, I need to explain that we have a little bit more work to do on this contest thing.
CORNISH: You just said we.
GRAY: We - we, yeah. So before we choose the winner of our Taste of Summer contest, we want our listeners to weigh in. And it's very simple. You can read about the three recipes and the stories behind them on our Found Recipes page at NPR.org right now as we speak.
CORNISH: Yes. I see, have them open on my screen right here. Nice pictures.
GRAY: Thank you. And starting Monday, we're going to hear their stories on the radio and listeners can help judge. So you can leave you comments on the Found Recipes Webpage or you can write us by clicking on Contact Us at NPR.org and putting Taste of Summer winner in you subject line.
CORNISH: So listeners have a week to actually complete this assignment.
GRAY: That's right. That's right. I'm going to be back next Friday with the winner.
CORNISH: And what does the winner get?
GRAY: Bragging rights.
CORNISH: All right. Tell us about the finalists. I want to know.
GRAY: Okay. Well, before I do that, I need some cheesy game show music. Can we have the cheesy game show music?
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GRAY: Perfect, thank you. Marti Olesen of Ponca, Arkansas has a curious summer sandwich made fresh from the bounty of the garden and with crunchy peanut butter. Patricia Mulvey of Madison, Wisconsin has her Ensenada slaw which came out of a vacation from hell worthy of a Chevy Chase movie. And finally, Susan Jones of New Carlisle, Indiana cannot cook, but she can assemble and her strawberry trifle, a true Found Recipe, came to her on a breeze.
CORNISH: All right. The stories behind those dishes next week. Melissa, thank you.
GRAY: You're welcome, Audie.
CORNISH: That's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer and Found Recipes curator, Melissa Gray, talking about our Taste of Summer contest. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.