It cooled off wonderfully last night, allowing for some actual cooking. And the variety of…
Month: July 2010
This hardly merits a post, but it’s one of those quintessential summer dishes that one…
The makings of a pretty damn local (and very damn good) fajita: 1. Grass-fed, local…
We had a birthday party to go to yesterday, so the afternoon was not as domestic as I wanted. It was leisurely, though, so when we did get home I had lots of energy and got right to work in the garden ripping out the spent peas and replanting the bed with radishes of all sorts. Some dried peas had already begun to sprout, so I gently moved them under the sunflowers at the end of the bed so they’ll have something to climb. Peas in the fall are nice, but daikon are better.
I made three big jars of pickles, which I’ll post as soon as I photograph them. Dinner was a combination of several dishes prepared separately and eaten all together; a bit more time could have turned this into an elegant multi-course meal if the occasion had called for such. As it was, we enjoyed it out on the screened porch with the breezes and the chirping birds.
I started by seeding and mandolining a couple of cucumbers into a bowl, then kneading them with salt until they gave up their liquid. I squeezed them out, then dressed them with the local soy sauce and cider vinegar. I took a sweet potato and steamed it, then made a variation on our beloved tahini-miso sauce using black sesame paste, white miso, and raspberry vinegar in place of lemon juice. I used the same pan with the steamer in it to cook a small head of local cauliflower that a friend gave us since their CSA had given them too much. I tossed it in olive oil, cider vinegar, and a bit of leftover green mash once it was tender.
Another hot-weather dinner, and another round of homemade sushi for the clamoring tribe. Sockeyes are in season, and though very not local, they are sustainably caught and most delicious. This has become somewhat of a weekly ritual for us while our local-ish source is out of town; we get the best fish we can and I make a variety of sushi while the family sits and devours it all. I eat mine intermittently throughout, sometimes with a nice plate at the end after they’re sated.
The combination of heat and burgeoning garden have made cooking pretty simple lately. I make the rounds, picking what needs it, and that’s what we eat, with as little actual cooking as possible. But I still feel motivated to mix it up a little, since it definitely makes the family happier and more engaged with dinner; heat saps appetites and the boy is obsessed with catching butterflies so he’ll dash from the table if he sees one out the window.
The humidity and temperature are creeping up again, and in a day or two we’ll be back at full swelter. I took maximum advantage of the cooler spell to do a bunch of outdoor chores, and now I’m back inside with the A/C on 77 (and on the economy setting) in my little office, working on the next article. Once it’s done, though, I have to clean out the wood shop, which is going to be an orgy of filthy misery. (It’s important that you all understand just how horribly hard it is to be me).
To begin, I took a cucumber, four small tomatoes (they’re coming in early), nasturtium leaves, a big purslane plant, and half a zucchini (every meal includes zucchini in some form or another; I’ve been picking them small to avoid overload) and blended them all smooth with a bit of Brother Victor’s sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt. I put the blender jar in the fridge for an hour to chill, then blasted it one more time before serving.