Our neighborhood has a yearly block party. Block parties do seem to be coming back, although not every neighborhood does them. There's something cool about the sense of community that you feel after spending an afternoon with your neighbors. We are very friendly with quite a few of our neighbors, but at the block party we often get to meet newer neighbors who moved in during the past year and we all get a chance to catch up on what's been going on over the summer. The kids all enjoy having the run of a few yards to play in and the enormous amount of food just waiting for them to dig into all afternoon.
Our block party is something we look forward to every year, not only because we get to see some neighbors that we normally don't run into but also because everyone brings food to share! This year was no different since we had over 20 families participate. There was everything from hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, broccoli salad, potato salad, corn on the cob, chips and dip, and a wide range of desserts - just to name some of the delicious food that was there.
After a trip to a local farmer's market this morning, I was able to make a simple orzo salad that had some fresh vegetables in it. I had some beautiful green zucchini, fresh corn and heirloom cherry tomatoes in different colors. I didn't really follow a recipe this time. I sauteed the corn and zucchini in about 1 tablespoon of EVOO and then tossed it with some Italian seasonings before tossing with the orzo. Then, I added about 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and combined to allow it to melt into the other ingredients. Lastly, I added the halved tomatoes and did a quick toss of everything together. It was really quite tasty for something I made with really fresh ingredients. A bonus was how colorful and pretty it turned out!