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SUMMER, ACT 2: The "Dog Days"

Updated: 5 days ago

In the first week of July we enter summer's sultry midsection... a.k.a. the "Dog Days of Summer."

Sirius-- a.k.a. the Dog Star-- is the brightest of all stars in the night sky.

So... what are the "Dog Days?" According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, they run from July 3rd through August 11th, the forty-day stretch of mid-summer when the Dog Star and our sun share the same part of the sky, rising and setting together.

This coincides perfectly with what I think of as Act 2 of Summer.

Act 1 of summer entails excitement or even outright giddiness at the season's first steam-bath along with the fireflies and strawberries and late sunsets (see Summer, Act 1.) But by Act 2 we've hit our summertime stride, merrily navigating a balmy stretch of calendar marked by cicadas and cookouts and pool parties. For many folks, the onset of Act 2-- smack on the eve of the July Fourth-- is the REAL beginning of summer... with neither residual springtime chill in the sunset breezes nor any hints of autumn crispness... with the "winter" pro sports seasons of NBA basketball and NHL hockey having finally concluded their interminable post-seasons, leaving only Major League Baseball and maybe a few golf tournaments to distract us amid the whirl of summer camping, family vacations, and all manner of outdoor music festivals.

And as always, unto every season there is a seasonally-correct menu, at least around Danny's Table. There are way too many Act 2 food options to narrow down for this essay... but by throwing a dart, of sorts, at the almighty Internet, I found this fabulous mini-compendium-- 31 Recipes to Make for July, from FOOD & WINE magazine.

A luscious-looking Caprese Salad (Photo by Matt Taylor-Gross for FOOD & WINE)

Sauvignon Blanc... the official wine of mid-summer?

And what about wine? No brainer... Sauvignon Blanc could well be declared the official wine of the Dog Days! Refreshingly light and crisp, yet serious and sturdy enough to stand up to veggies & herbs as well as just about every form of seafood imaginable.

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