Summer food is the best. Whether It’s your favorite pickle (see page 29), summer squash (see page 40) or a double scoop of Rocky Road, those sunny days and warm sunshine just make things taste better. And celebrating a summer birthday couldn’t be sweeter, or more extraordinary as friend, Breeze reader, chef and true foodie, Lena Leong describes:

“You would die if you saw what we had for my birthday dinner, but I swear it was sooo delicious! The flavors were so intense, without being too spicy. We had baby octopus tentacles on skewers, broiled and over a very tasty Korean GoJuGong sauce: red and thick and smokey with just a hint of spice. Then we had strips of fried pig’s ear – crisp and chewy and aromatic with a citrus, mustard, fish sauce, so fun and delicious! Then a broiled bone marrow to spread with red pepper jam over crisp toasted crostini. All that richness melting over the crunchy bread! Then we had Korean pickles: cucumbers, mustard greens, baby turnips, mung beans, shitaki mushrooms and a seaweed in miso to go with our steamed rice and aromatic broiled pork belly, pickled Chinese cabbage and a skewer of grilled sweet peas. To celebrate my birthday, they lit a sparkler to go with my buttery bread pudding with semifreddo and homemade caramel sauce. We were too full to finish dessert so most of it will be breakfast tomorrow.”

Whew! Just give me a slice of birthday cake with a scoop of ice cream and I’m happy.

In this July edition of The Mountain Breeze we introduce our newly designed web site and new digital edition (our web architect, Scott Baughman explains it all). Check it out at You will find that our digital edition appears on your screen, tablet and cell phone exactly as it does in this printed edition.

Thank you for your letters and comments. Keep sending them to: Having a family reunion at the lake? Send me your family photo so we can publish it in the next Mountain Breeze.

Enjoy your summer, and don’t eat too much!