Summer is a time for getting into bed with the fresh, favouring the best and savouring the succulent. Sarah Bacon shares a few of her favourite summery things.

-¢ Ripe avocado fork-mashed with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne and serve on crackers, crackerbread or rice cakes topped with sun-warmed sliced Italian tomatoes.

-¢ Fruit salad with a combination of chilled rockmelon, strawberries, passionfruit and pineapple with a splash of Cointreau.

-¢ Icy-cold lime margaritas -“ shaken (definitely), not stirred. Best recipe: two parts each of tequila and fresh-squeezed lime juice, one part Cointreau and crushed ice. Shake, strain and serve in a glass with a salted rim.

-¢ Blood plums squished and warmed in the hands. Bite a hole in one end and inhale the goodness.

-¢ Seafood in all shapes and sizes. Fresh is definitely best. Take your pick of the huge selection on offer at the markets -“ peel, barbecue and serve with a spritz of lime juice. Team with icy-cold chilli vodka shots or chilled sparkling wine. Lick the seafood dregs from your fingers, lie back and watch the sunset.

-¢ More of the same with crustaceans. Peel and de-vein a few kilos of medium green prawns (leaving tails intact) and toss in equal parts of chilli sauce and lime juice. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Thread prawns onto pre-soaked bamboo sticks and barbecue for three to five minutes or until opaque in colour. De-thread and melt in your mouth.

-¢ Just-warmed quiches and frittatas -“ mushroom, bacon, spring onions, fresh herbs, new potatoes and rosemary, smoked salmon et al. Pack for a picnic and serve in wedges.

-¢ De-husked corn boiled for 15 minutes in one part milk to one part water. Slather with melted butter and Maldon salt.

-¢ Vegemite toast on a veranda -“ just toasted fresh muffins or bread with lashings of butter. Find a blistering dawn view and crunch on.

-¢ Eggs Benedict with chopped leftover Christmas ham and creamy hollandaise.

-¢ Iced coffee (tea with mint is good too). Brew yourself a pot of great coffee and sweeten to taste. Chill some in a jug and freeze the rest in ice cube trays to add to your tall glass. Add milk, top with whipped cream or ice cream or serve as is with a cinnamon or nutmeg stick stirrer.

-¢ Tanqueray and tonic -“ one part gin to two parts tonic, a slice of lime and (at least) four ice cubes.

-¢ Spritzers -“ one part each of dry white wine and soda water on ice in a tall glass.

-¢ Fresh rice spring rolls. While you’re dripping from the lack of air conditioning, these babies will take you to Vietnam and beyond.

-¢ Buy the best lettuce you can in different varieties. Wash, tear, chill and then, just before serving, toss with the best homemade dressing you can rustle up. Top off with sliced cucumbers, chopped spring onions, minced garlic, green pepper and chopped fresh herbs.

-¢ Toss your best steak onto a burner and seal for three or four minutes. Turn and do the other side and remove from the heat. Rest for five minutes before slicing thinly and layering the meat on a hot rosette roll. Add your choice of barbecue sauce, salad, mustard, fried onions -“ or the works.

-¢ Take a litre tub of good quality vanilla ice cream from the freezer and soften for about an hour. Smash a few Violet Crumbles or Crunchies and fork the crumbs into the mix and refreeze.

-¢ Chilled mangoes peeled and sliced and eaten in a pool, bath or at the beach. Let the juice run down your arms or into another’s mouth.

-¢ Fresh herbs -“ rosemary, basil, coriander, marjoram, thyme, parsley and the rest -“ crushed in the hands to garnish fresh pasta and meats, poultry and fish. Smell those fingers!

-¢ Dark fizzy wines of the burgundy and shiraz variety served in flutes and partnered with cold vegetable crudites and aioli.

-¢ A whole side of smoked salmon with which to drape your body and line your tummy. Who could ask for anything more?

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