In some places, summers are this wonderful time that people look forward to. In others – a time of unbearable weather and physical discomfort. Whichever place you live in, don’t let the summer temperatures stop you from enjoying a lolita meetup. Whether you’re organising a picnic or opting for a tea party in your air-conditioned home, these treats will keep you cool and satiated. And you’re bound to receive many compliments from your community for your delicious homemade food!
Whilst technically not food, drinking enough liquids is crucial during a hot summer. Lemonade is very easy to make and rich in vitamin C, keeping you healthy as well as hydrated. You can also adjust it to your tastes, making it sweeter, tarter or even adding other flavours to it. For a traditional one all you need is a bunch of lemons, some water, sugar, a jug and squeezer. And some time, both for the making and to let the lemonade chill. Generally, you will need 2 lemons per every half litre of water, but experiment to your own tastes. For variations, try adding mint leaves, lime juice or crushed raspberries or using honey instead of sugar to sweeten. This one will go down a treat at a picnic, though indoors you could serve it in fancy glasses to make it extra special.
This one is a bit more of a faff to make, but I promise you that everyone will love it. June is typically strawberry season in the Northern Hemisphere, so perfect for summer. Simply make your favourite cheesecake mix (vanilla flavour is traditional, but again, do experiment), hollow out some strawberries, fill them, then dip the ends in crushed biscuits. Softer cheesecake mix and a piping bag will make the filling process easier and sprinkling some lemon juice on the strawberries will keep them fresh for longer. Still, this treat won’t keep too long, so eat on the same day. On the upside, it’s easy to transport, lower risk of staining your brand and it looks absolutely adorable. Matching with your favourite strawberry print is optional.
What food says summer louder than ice cream? You could just serve it in a bowl or glass, parfait-style, for a more elegant dessert. However, if your tea party is sugary sweet, then an ice cream sandwich will be more appropriate. If you’re buying ready-made cookies, this will only require assembly, which is perfect for a busy host. We still encourage you to make your own cookies for extra flavour though. You could also decorate these to suit your party’s theme, while true foodie pros could even try making their own ice cream. However you do it, it’s a people pleaser and will go down a treat! Unfortunately, these are not picnic-suitable, although some shops and cafes might sell it, so look out for it in your local area.
A classic British summer dessert, Eton Mess is both easy to make and incredibly satisfying. As the name suggests, it looks a little messy, but that’s where its charm comes from. All you need are some berries (traditionally strawberries), heavy whipped cream, meringues and a container. These can easily be wrapped in Clingfilm to transport to a picnic, as well as served in elegant glasses at home. You can also experiment with how the dessert is layered (a deconstructed or neatened version can be just as cute as the messy one) or with what’s inside (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or a mix). Although be a bit more careful eating this one, as the heavy cream can leave greasy stains.
Similarly to Eton Mess, Pavlova is a British summer favourite. And they do share the same basic ingredients: meringue, fruit and whipped cream. The only difference is in how they’re arranged. And in that Pavlova resembles a cake in shape. It may be a little tricky to transport to a picnic, but don’t be afraid to bring the ingredients and assemble it upon arrival. Whilst the traditional Pavlova uses strawberries, tropical fruit is a popular alternative. The tanginess of something like passionfruit is a great contrast to the sweet meringue. And while it may seem complicated, it is still easy to make, so impress your comm with your meringue making skills.
The key to a tasty summer treat for your meetup is in keeping it light and seasonal. Heavier desserts feel too rich in the heat, while fresher flavours are refreshing. Take advantage of whatever fruit is seasonal in your area at that time. This will maximise flavour, lower the cost, be nourishing as well as delicious and lower your carbon footprint, especially when shopping locally. Trust me, strawberries do not taste the same in mid-December and they are better in peak season. Always make sure to clearly label your ingredients, as some may have allergies. As for dietary requirements, many of the above can be easily made vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free, so that no-one has to miss out.