A stolen summer day: eating

stewarts happy camper ice cream in cup

"Happy Camper" ice cream from Stewart's got a mention.

By Deanna Fox

Seasonal foods are one of summer's pleasures. Fresh berries, salads, corn on the cob, and ice cream from a favorite seasonal stand are the stuff of many summer memories.

So if you could have your favorite summer treat from anywhere in the Capital Region, what would it be?

Deanna Fox asked a few local food lovers that question.

Alyssa J. McClenning
writer and visual storyteller | Instagram and Twitter

Alyssa McClenning for AOA.jpg

Summers for me are wonderfully hectic. Between hopping planes for foreign adventures, trains to the city, and in the car to enjoy all the amazingness we have going on here in the Capital District, I would take full advantage of the ability to stay close to home on an extra summer day. I'd wake up early and carefully wrap chocolate chip zucchini (grown in the family garden) bread and blueberry (picked from the Winney's Farm just down the street) scones in parchment paper; and pour homemade iced coffee in a Mason jar, adding a splash of Battenkill Creamery half and half. In the bike basket it would all go as I'd pedal slowly down the dirt road that winds from the farm straight to the Hudson River. There's a small, grassy path hidden by low hanging tree branches that gives way to a stony overlook, jutting out in a bend of the river. After unwrapping all the baked goodness, I'd sip my coffee, and settle in to watch the sunrise and last bit of fog rise off the water.

Michele Patsos
team mom for Siena men's basketball and food enthusiast | Instagram and Twitter

michelle patsos caprese salad

One hundred percent, my ultimate summer food is Caprese salad. Although you can get this dish year round, it really shines in the summer with fresh local tomatoes. I like mine with lots of basil and generously dressed with extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar. If it's on a menu during the summer months, I get it every time -- just had it at 15 Church in Saratoga Springs last Friday night. It was delicious!

Craig Gravina
beer history nerd and co-founder of the Albany Ale Project

Craig Gravina for AOA.jpg

If I could steal away a summer day I'd probably grab the fishing poles, pile the kids in the car, and swing into Ragonese Italian Imports on New Scotland Avenue for a couple sandwiches -- salami and provolone, lettuce and tomato with banana and hot peppers and spicy mustard. Oh, and potato chips piled right on top, too! We'd head down to the Onesquetha Creek in Selkirk -- or even Buckingham Pond in Albany -- for a late afternoon fishing picnic. That sounds about perfect for one last summer day.

Nick Rovazzini
ice cream aficionado and reviewer for On Second Scoop

Nick Rovozzini for AOA.jpg

If I had an extra day of summer, I would eat Stewart's Happy Camper ice cream while wandering around Troy with my girlfriend. We've done it a few times already this summer and they were some of the best memories we could've asked for this year.

Kate Otis
vice president and director of community relations at Key Bank

Kate Otis for AOA.jpg

I'd want to be on an island in Lake George & have lobster, champagne, corn from the Carrot Barn, watermelon, and this awesome avocado salad my husband makes. And obviously s'mores. In fact, I might have to do this, thanks!

Mary Rosch
social media manager at Good Food Jobs | Instagram and Twitter

Mary Rosch for AOA.jpg

The Super Belgian Waffle (waffle, eggs {poached}, bacon) at the Gateway Diner for breakfast, Bombers (on Lark) tacos eaten on my favorite thunderbird blanket from Fort Orange General Store in Washington Park, and cooked-out steak washed down with plenty of Nine Pin ciders in my parent's backyard.

Joe Bonilla
managing partner and senior media director at Relentless Awareness

joe-bonilla-for AOA.jpg

The challenge with having food in the summer is the dreaded heat (which, so long as we remember snow is likely right around the corner -- I can't complain that much). However, to combat such heat, a day at the beach is always a great idea. Whether it's locally at a lake, or beyond at an ocean, you can't beat the feeling of first entering the water -- asking yourself: It's 100 degrees, yet the water feels like it's 10 below. A tuna salad sandwich with wheat bread, with some locally-grown tomatoes (if the season is right, I can grow them in my garden), is always a great choice. Add in a can of Nine Pin cider and you have a great day ahead of you.

Earlier AOA: A stolen summer's day: wandering


Happy Camper makes me feel so sad, because they took away my scoops of Crumbs Along the Mohawk. But these are great inspirations to savor the remainder of the summer!!

Yum! Kate's husbands avocado salad is all I want right now. And to make some chocolate chip zucchini bread like Alyssa mentions. Now I'm starving! Nice ideas, all.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine