In one of her most recent Instagram posts, our beloved Ina Garten posted a picture of an empty stretch of sand in East Hampton, New York. "The beach before Memorial Day," she wrote in the caption, adding the hashtags #heaven, #calmbeforethestorm and #fastenyourseatbelts. (That last one made us hope she was about to climb in her dune buggy and start doing donuts on the beach).
We would go full heart-eye emoji if we were ever invited to a Memorial Day party at the Barefoot Contessa's gorgeously understated home in the Hamptons. We want to see The Barn where she perfects her recipes, we want to feel the cool stone of the terrace under our feet, and we want to quietly slide cookbook after cookbook off the shelves in her library.
"All my guests love to sit on the stone sitting wall before dinner, having a glass of wine," she told House Beautiful, adding that after dinner, they often roast marshmallows and make s'mores.
We've also come to the sad realization that, since the holiday weekend starts tomorrow, this probably isn't the year that we'll be accidentally spilling a glass of red wine on Ina's upholstery. Fortunately, she's released her Memorial Day menu, which will let us feel a little more East Hampton, even when we're waiting for the community grill at our apartment complex and GOOD LOORRRRD DEREK WHY DO YOU HAVE SO MANY BURGERS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT MANY PEOPLE.
She suggests that we start with refreshing Aperol spritzers while we watch Derek pass out those ketchup-slathered hockey pucks he just overcooked. The rest of the meal is pretty classic cookout fare: blue cheese burgers, tangy vegetable coleslaw, and old fashioned potato salad. Our cookout concludes with an ice-cream-topped strawberry rhubarb crisp straight from the pages of the Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? cookbook.
"Next year," we'll say to ourselves in-between bites. "Next year, we're gonna be in that dune buggy."