Maybe it’s because I’m a June baby… but I love a good outdoor summer party. Growing up in California, I don’t remember having a single birthday party indoors. They were all in the backyard — kids running around in bathing suits, eating watermelon and chocolate cake and having water fights or swimming. As I grew up, they turned into outdoor meals and drinks with friends that lasted late into the night… sitting in the backyard under an umbrella hung with twinkle lights.
And now? Now we’re back to yards filled with kids in bathing suits again, throwing water balloons and squirting each other with hoses and water pistols. We’ve thrown everything from last-minute barbeques with neighbors bringing whatever they had in the fridge, to a full-blown fiesta for my husband’s birthday that featured a 7-piece mariachi band. But my favorites are somewhere in the middle… dinners and drinks with friends that aren’t too fussy, but with a few special things thrown in for fun. We always try to make sure we have water balloons and things for the kids (and the parents, if they dare!). And we like to have glow sticks or necklaces for them to play with after dark.
We always try to have something to feed our guests, right when they arrive. Something to nosh on while we catch up and visit for a bit before dinner. Chips and salsa are perfect. Set out a few different bowls of chips and salsa around the yard or house, for different groups of people (or one for the kids and one for the grown-ups).
I love this corn salsa because it’s a little unexpected. It’s actually something between a salsa and a guacamole — a salsamole? Whatever — it’s tasty. The salsa recipe I have here is mild and kid-friendly, but if you want to kick it up a little, substitute 3 jalapeños for the Anaheim chile… take out the seeds for medium kick and leave ’em in for full-on heat. Pick a good, sturdy chip that won’t fall apart under the weight of all the corn and avocado and tomatoes — there’s some good stuff in there you don’t want to drop in your lap.
A Summer Corn Salsa Recipe
- 15.25 oz canned corn
- 1 Anaheim chile
- 2 lg diced tomatoes
- 2 diced pitted avocados
- 1 diced onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
- Combine the tomatoes and avocados in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until about half the avocado is mashed and half is still in small pieces.
- Add corn, chile, onion, salt, and garlic, and stir until combined.
- Serve with chips.