The Weekend and More

Posted on July 22, 2011

I have a few fun ideas to share before I get down to the business of  listing the area’s weekend events.

Fun idea #1

Remember last Sunday’s pretty green risotto?  Even though we all had seconds, I still packaged up a few leftovers at the end of the meal.  Next day risotto is not fabulous.  The starch that gives risotto its signature creaminess when served immediately after cooking turns the arborio rice dish into something else altogether stodgy after a night in the fridge.  You’ll never reheat a risotto to its original state.

But you can turn the rice into a completely new kind of fabulous by using the next day’s extreme starch to your advantage.  Scoop leftovers into arancini, or little rice croquettes, using a small ice cream scoop.

Dip each croquette in a little beaten egg, roll in either dry bread crumbs or cracker meal, then fry to a nice golden brown for a tasty little appetizer or amuse with cocktails or before a meal.  Crunchy on the outside, hot and gooey on the inside – so delicious.

You can make arancini using any leftover risotto, but these tiny ones are much easier to scoop and shape when you start with a risotto that isn’t chock-full of large pieces of ingredients.  The leftover pea puree risotto made the perfect base.

Fun idea #2

Head on over to the terrific Agrigirl’s Blog and check out her recipe for Paletas de Pepinos, or Cucumber Chile Lime Popsicles.  How refreshing do those sound?  One look at Tammy’s suggested recipe, and I headed out the door in search of popsicle forms.  What a great way to get the family into the kitchen to use the abundance of July’s cucumbers while also giving yourselves a treat on a hot, hot day.

Fun ideas for the weekend

Olde Fashioned Family Fair, Amesbury Sports Park, Amesbury, MA

Take a drive out to Amesbury Sports Park tomorrow (Saturday) between 10 am and 4 pm for a family fun time.  Go tubing down the park’s big hill, or participate in one or more of the many family-focused activity booths.  There will be face painting, carnival games, refreshments, and even a dunk tank.

Admission is free if passes are picked up in advance.  Passes may be found at locations across Amesbury and at the sports park itself.  If passes are not picked up in advance, admission will be $2 at the door.  For more information visit the park’s website or call 978-388-5788.

Maudslay Arts Center Concerts, Maudslay State Park, Newburyport, MA

The Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra performs outdoors on the Maudslay grounds on Saturday at 7 pm and again on Sunday at 2 pm.  Bring a blanket and a picnic and settle in to create your own little Tanglewood, only closer to home.  Tickets for Saturday’s show are $20 and $18, while Sunday matinee tickets are $10.  Children 12 and under attend free.

Maudslay Arts Center is located at 95 Curzon Mill Road in Newburyport.  For tickets, directions, and more information, please visit the arts center website, or call 978-499-0050.

Man Ray, Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Maybe you’re looking for an indoor activity?  You can’t do any better than exploring the galleries of the Peabody Essex Museum.  Inside these walls, there is something for every member of the family.  The current special exhibit features paint, photography, and sculpture from Man Ray and Lee Miller, “two giants of the European Surrealist movement,” but the entire museum plays home to much, much more.  A north shore gem.

The museum is located in East India Square, 161 Essex Street, in downtown Salem, and is open from 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday.  For ticket and collection information, please visit the PEM website, or call 978-745-9500.

Check out the rest of the North Shore Bloggers Consortium picks:

Seth of Lynn Happens has some great ideas for you here.