Fort Mill Times

Cooking with Joy - June 11, 2008

• Joy Smith of Fort Mill has a long list of recipes to share.
• Joy Smith of Fort Mill has a long list of recipes to share.

Of all my childhood memories I think the summer ones are the most vivid. Summer was a time to enjoy the simple things in life. I went barefoot, searched for four leaf clovers in the yard, played on my swing, and carefully dissected honeysuckle flowers to taste the tiny drop of sweet nectar in each one. It's tantalizingly good, by the way.

My grandmother taught me how to tie a long piece of thread to a June bug's leg and let it go. The June bug flew around as I held the thread, fascinated by my new toy. It was sort of a primitive remote control airplane, if you will. When I got tired of it the thread was removed and the June bug was none the worse for the wear.

My friends and I rode our bikes everywhere and if we were lucky, chased a passing fire truck to its destination. We spied on people and then rang their doorbells and hid. On a good day we went to the public swimming pool with enough extra money to buy ice cream.

Just before 6 o'clock, mothers started calling them in for dinner. The Hardys across the street blew a whistle. Someone on the next street over rang a bell. My favorite was when Mrs. Irvin called her daughter, Francis. It was a two octave call going from low to high with the emphasis on the second syllable: "Fran-CIS!"

Mother just leaned out the back door and told me to come in.

A summertime dinner at our house always featured fresh vegetables from Daddy's garden. One meal that I liked in particular was called Ring Tum Diddy. It was a simple dish of sautéed vegetables and cheese served over toast. We usually had a small salad or just some chilled cucumbers and fresh tomatoes with it.

This meal sounds too easy but it's very satisfying and good. Keep your summertime simple. Go barefoot, catch a June bug or two and fix yourself some Ring Tum Ditty for dinner. Just be sure you eat at 6 o'clock!

Ring Tum Diddy

1/4 pound bacon

1 large green pepper, chopped

3 onions, chopped

3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 1 can tomatoes)

3 ears corn, kernels scraped off (or 1 can corn)

Salt and pepper

1/4 pound American cheese, grated

8 slices toast

Cook bacon and set aside. Drain half of the bacon fat from the skillet. Cook the pepper and onions in the remaining fat until soft. Add the tomatoes and corn and sauté for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving add the cheese. Serve hot on toast. Top with crumbled bacon.