It is the unofficial start of summer
Memorial Day weekend is here. It’s time for women to break out the white shoes, linen skirts and cropped pants. It used to be the weekend men started wearing their straw boaters (hats), but you don’t see too many of those around anymore.
It’s a time to pay tribute to the military and their huge and ongoing part in keeping our country free. It’s the unofficial start of summer. It’s also the time when warm weather festivals and outdoor art shows get cranked up for another summer season.
The Columbus Arts Festival is next weekend and, closer to home, the London Art Walk is coming up next Friday evening, June 1.
You could go to at least one festival or art show every weekend from now to Labor Day without leaving the state of Ohio. The chance to show and hopefully sell artwork is fun for most artists as well as for those who are out to see what they might like well enough to buy.
I’ve been on the walking and admiring side of art shows. I’ve also occasionally been on the artist’s side of things. I go in spurts. When crewel work was all the rage (in the 1970s) just about every family member got a crewel work wall hanging or a pillow. I had a brief, frenzied period when I made ribbon pillows — again, some are still around in the homes of cousins (who inherited them from my aunts and uncles). I guess oil paintings constituted most of my artistic output, both for fun and profit.
I’ve never been prolific enough to take dozens of paintings to populate a booth at an arts festival, but I admire those who do. The London Art Walk features artists and craftspeople of all persuasions.
There’s something for everyone, from handmade arts and crafts to extended hours at many of the downtown retailers. And don’t forget the “psychic income” you get from just walking around town on a warm late spring evening and looking at all the wonderful things local artists create.
One of the finest parts of life in London is the multitude of opportunities right in the community for things to see and do. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to turn out and participate in all London has to offer.
The bonus is the chance to meet and greet your neighbors. Go downtown on Friday night and find out for yourself.
A quick meal is called for before you go out the door on Friday unless you plan to get food downtown. Quick and easy is even better.
DO AHEAD PASTA SALAD
3 cups pasta, cooked in salted water al dente
2 cups fresh vegetables, blanched in salted water just until crisp tender
3 green topped onions
1 cup lean meat
Vinaigrette of choice
Chill cooked pasta. Shells, bowties and little “stovepipes” work well.
Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a large saucepan, add chopped vegetables (green, red and yellow peppers, asparagus, snow pea pods and thinly sliced carrots all work well) and blanch (boil just until crisp tender, 3-4 minutes). Remove to a colander and cool under cold running water. Chill drained vegetables.
Chop onions (both white and green parts).
Chop meat (skinless rotisserie chicken or ham or shelled and deveined shrimp).
You can prepare and chill up to this point. When you get ready for dinner in a large bowl, gently mix pasta, meat and vegetables. Toss with a vinaigrette you like. Serve with crusty bread and butter or flavored olive oil.
Serves five or six.
Add-ins for the salad: crisp bacon, chopped parsley, chopped or sweet grape raw tomatoes, sliced cucumber, olives of your choice.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.