My Summer in Food
The passing of Labor Day marks, for me, the official close of summer. As of today, all three of my kids are back in school and I’m back at work. Having skipped over more than a month of “My Week in Food” I thought I’d catch you up on what the latter part of the season looked like in my kitchen, and out.
We skipped town for the better part of August and holed up on Shelter Island with extended family, where we shared almost every meal here on the front porch.
Each week, we raided the small farmers’ market in town to stock up for meals to feed a crowd. This vegetable Slab Pie from Sarah Copeland’s cookbook Feast, was a hit; even better on Day Two for lunch.
I do believe I ate my weight in burrata and mozzarella over vacation. Both eating out.
And layered up with eggplant, tomatoes, and summer squash in these colorful roasted towers. I was happy to read here that LA Times Food Editor, Russ Parsons, seconds my notion that unless fried, eggplant needs no salting ahead of time. Cooking short cuts are always welcome.
Developed a maternal crush on the fisherman at the farmers’ market, who couldn’t have been more than 18. Each week he sold a cooler-full of seafood he’d caught earlier that morning. This wild striped bass, done in a pan with butter and lemon, was a delicious reminder of how good food can be when it’s mega fresh and local.
We tried our own hand at bringing in food from the sea, but felt a meal of minnows wouldn’t really cut it.
More successful was digging for clams. These went into a pot with loads of garlic and white wine. (On the subject of seafood, if you missed this NPR Fresh Air story on the fish industry from July, it’s well worth a listen).
Among the meals on our front porch was a birthday lunch for a favorite auntie, which ended with a newfangled sort of Fruit “Cake”. You’ll find a how to here on Weelicious.
Speaking of family, we had the privilege of sharing our time on Shelter with a brand new family member, nephew Charlie, pictured here with my sister at a week old.
The two of them needed nourishing, especially after some sleepless nights that go hand in hand with newborns. I stewed plums and other stone fruits over low heat with a little brown sugar or honey for sweetness. Along with yogurt and homemade granola, it was worth waking up for.
Since new moms and babies (and their aunties) need ice cream, we did up these sandwiches with mint chip on thin and chewy Canal House chocolate chip cookies. Make!
Tried to balance out the ice cream with plenty of activity, including sweating off my burrata belly in spin classes. Got hooked on this song with a pretty catchy message about body acceptance. Minus a PG-rated word or two, it’s become my new groove for hauling my kids around town.
I took a pause from cooking for about two days of vacation because I was completely obsessed with this book (and am currently stalking its author). It’s in my all-time Top 10. You?
Arrived home from our holiday with a shiny new juicer waiting for us. It was Mr Mom’s Kitchen’s reward for 15 years at his company (beats a fountain pen or paper weight any day). It was what just the doctor ordered for a post-holiday reboot. Any and all favorite juicing combos most welcome.
This was one of the first meals I cooked once home: Sunshine Soup (how cute is that?). It’s a beautiful thing. Just roast peppers and tomatoes, whirl in a blender and season. You’ll find the recipe by Yummy Supper over on Turntable Kitchen.
Speaking of beautiful things: my sister-in-law’s rattatouille was our Labor Day Weekend star. It celebrates everything that’s dreamy about this time of year and everything we will miss come the chill of Fall.
Now, onto the school year and the 180 some-odd school lunches that brings (what!). I’m pulling this off the shelf to give me a kick start.
So, how was your Summer in Food? Hope your school year is off to a spectacular beginning.