Here in Seattle, we take summer very seriously. When you’ve had eight straight months of the exact same gloomy overcast drizzly weather, when the warm sunny days start to pop up between the rainy ones, you get out your checklist of stereotypical summery things to do and fit as many in as you can. Of course, when summer actually gets here in July, there will be plenty of time for such things, but we so desperately want it to be summer in June that we force it in where we can. Which brings us to todays dish: Caprese and Beaujolais on the stoop (what a great word, Beaujolais. This one is called “Le Pot” and looks like something a professional European wino would approve of). We made a round at the farmers market this morning and there were some marvelous greenhouse-grown heirloom tomatoes. Yes, two of them set us back twelve dollars (those were some big tomatoes), but such is the price of maximizing a summer day.
Salt and Pepper
put together. sit on the stoop, drink wine, eat, and watch your dog harass passers-by.
Of course, tomatoes don’t make a meal for hungry folks like us, and we had a quart of raw milk from the market, so Marie made chocolate chip cookies for an entree.
What? You have a problem with cookies for dinner?
I don’t want a recipe for bread. I want the ability to call the bread forth from the Platonic sphere, without any thought of particulars like amounts or times. Of course baking does not really work this way, so I tend to alternate between actually measuring things and following recipes and just sort of throwing something together. This bread was produced in the latter vein, and the results were predictable: fine but not perfect. The frustrating part is that the only time I’ve made what I consider to be a perfect loaf of white bread, I was also just throwing things together, and I thought I was imitating myself perfectly when I made this one. Alas, the journey continues.
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To be at peace with one’s stir fry technique is a fine state of being indeed. After four years on regular weeknight rotation, my version has finally approached something stable and consistently edible. Ingredients? Broccoli has never left its place in my mind as the finest stir-fry vegetable. It holds up to high heat, acquires a yummy nutty roasted flavor when fried, likes to keep its crunch, and the crown is an inviting nest for delicious sauce. Eggplant is a more recent addition, at Marie’s recommendation, and its richness and delicate texture after frying compliment the broccoli perfectly. The rest is whatever is lying around: here, an onion, a red pepper, peanuts. Other times, tofu, cashews, mushrooms, kohlrabi, cabbage, zucchini, or chiles.