You can’t let August go by without at least one fried chicken dinner finished off with blueberry deliciousness. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

What does August taste like? For me it tastes like crispy fried chicken eaten while sitting on a picnic blanket spread in the shade. It tastes like fresh-picked corn, juicy tomatoes, colorful bell peppers, glossy basil and, most of all, the indigo sweetness of wild Maine blueberries.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected] Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

The day my organic blueberries came in, I drove the 10-pound wax-lined box of blueness back to the cove and decided I was going to celebrate by simmering up a sauce and spooning it (while still warm) over vanilla ice cream (which I just happened to have in the freezer).

Before I ate blueberry-enrobed ice cream, however, I thought I should eat some dinner and since I was celebrating, I wanted the meal to be special. Chicken Drummies Deluxe and Corn Salad was what I ate that afternoon while sitting on the deck watching the water of the cove sparkle in all its glory.

Yes, this chicken is decadent. No, you probably shouldn’t eat it every day, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did, and yes, it’s a tiny bit fussy to make, but certainly not too complicated.

No, do not remove the skin on the drumsticks and please, for the love of all picnicdom, be sure the drumsticks are substantial. This recipe was not made for scrawny chicken legs.

Coat the drumsticks as described. Just be gentle when turning them over and removing from the pan so no tasty breading falls off. After you’ve gotten the chicken legs to the desired degree of doneness, you can turn off the oven and leave them in there for a bit until you’re ready to eat.

This corn salad is a favorite of mine and I love the way the basil takes this combo of summer vegetables up a notch. Way up. You can also experiment with dill or cilantro if that’s what you have in the garden. By the way, I use my favorite Olive Garden brand Italian dressing in this salad.

Blueberry sauce, simply divine and divinely simple, can be dabbled or slathered onto and into everything: ice cream, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, angel food cake, English muffins. Make it syrupy or jammy and if you want to put a rosemary sprig or a cinnamon stick into the pot, do it. You be you.

As for me, I’ll just pause from my writing for a moment to schmear a generous dab of blueberryness onto this leftover drumstick …

Oh, yes. That. Is. Good.

Chicken Drummies Deluxe

12 chicken drumsticks
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups dry breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together yogurt, sour cream, mustard and garlic in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate wide shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese and seasonings.

Coat drumsticks with yogurt mixture then roll them in breadcrumb mixture, pressing crumbs on with your fingers if needed. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil and brushed generously with canola oil. Bake until coating is brown and juices run clear, 45-75 minutes, depending on size of drumsticks. (Gently turn the drumsticks over with a pancake turner after 30 minutes or so.) If the chicken is browning too quickly, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. You can also tent the baking sheet with foil. Yield: 4-6 servings

Corn Salad with Embellishments

6-8 ears sweet corn
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup diced colored bell pepper
4 scallions, diced
3 tablespoons chopped basil
2-3 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing
Freshly ground pepper

Husk corn and cook it for 1 minute in a couple inches of boiling water in a large covered skillet. Remove from water and allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, scallion, bell pepper and basil. Cut corn from cobs and add to bowl with just enough vinaigrette to moisten. Add freshly ground pepper. Serve at room temperature. Yield: 4 servings

Blueberry Sauce for Everything

2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk orange juice, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer then cook until thickened and translucent.

Add blueberries and stir to combine. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until some of the blueberries have burst and the sauce has thickened. (The consistency can be adjusted by stirring 1 tablespoon each orange juice and cornstarch together and adding to sauce.)

Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. Cool slightly and serve warm or transfer to a covered jar and refrigerate. Yield: 1 1/2 cups

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