I feel like I might take a break from elaborate cooking for a while. Like, maybe a day or two.

– R


Summertime Means…

Vine-ripened tomatoes. Beefsteak tomatoes for BLTs, grape/cherry tomatoes for Greek salad, Roma tomatoes for tomates a la creme.

Zucchini. First, squash blossoms deep-fried or on pizza, zucchini sauteed with bacon, grilled zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini ribbon pasta….

Blueberries. Blueberry muffins, blueberry buckle.

Corn. Confession: I don’t like corn that much, and especially not on the cob (needing to floss immediately afterwards always gets me), but last year I blanched sweet corn, stripped the kernels off the cob, and dried it. At the time, I envisioned chilis and salsa and stew, but now I’m thinking of grinding my own cornmeal and mixing cornbread with whole kernels.

Peaches. Sliced into sangria. Roasted in chipotle olive oil and served in tacos and tarts. Perhaps in ice cream.

This morning’s farmers’ market haul:

  • Purple bell peppers
  • Squash I don’t even know the name of
  • White, yellow and honey peaches
  • Roma and cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh mozzarella

Lunch became a variation on Vintage Mixer’s Stone-fruit and Burrata Salad:

  • White peach
  • Last of my second round of homemade bread
  • Shenandoah Sunrise Tomme, from Spring Gap Mountain Creamery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper to taste


A Favorite Salad + Post-Surgery

Hello, food enthusiasts! Our kitchen hasn’t seen much action on my end lately, since I recently had surgery and was not really up for standing in front of a hot stove for any length of time for about week. I am happily recovered now, however, and thought this would be a good time to tell you about a current favorite salad of mine. The flavors are bright and light and spritely, yet it’s still substantial enough for a whole meal. At this glorious time of year, I often try to stick to meals made from super fresh local seasonal ingredients lovingly picked by jolly farmers in overalls, but blast it, this is too good to not tell you about. The proportions below are for 1 individual salad.

Continue reading

Kitchen Essentials, a Partial List

Apartment Therapy just had a feature on ‘What Appliance Can You Live Without?‘ which reminded me that I had started a post on essential kitchen equipment but never finished it. I find these discussions of what is not necessary more helpful than definitive lists of Things You Must Have because everyone’s tastes, abilities, skills and lifestyles are different, and for a new cook (or someone stocking a kitchen for a first time), knowing when to depart from such a list is difficult. More often than not, at least in my experience, the novice ends up with extraneous equipment that eventually need to be gotten rid of. Starting with just a single saucepan or frying pan is a way around this, but also greatly inhibits the successful composition of meals. Continue reading

The Perfect Cup of Tea

“A Nice Cup of Tea” by George Orwell, originally published in January 12, 1946 in the Evening Standard

If you look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes. Continue reading