A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.
I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:
We can dramatically increase global food availability and environmental sustainability by using more of our crops to feed people directly and less to fatten livestock.
â€”Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN
Donâ€™t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldnâ€™t recognize as food.
Cooking is at once childâ€™s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.
People who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than those of us eating a modern Western diet of processed food.
Cold Pea Soup: Catching up with Summer Flavor & My Move
My summer started mid-season, about July 20th, a little more than a month after my move to a new home â€“and a new kitchen. In the process of catching up with summer, I also caught up with summer flavor.
Â To bring you all up to speed, I returned home from my trip to Paris in April to discover that my landlord of seven years had sold the home I’d almost called my own, while I was gone. It was a blow, especially since Iâ€™d been hoping to buy it myself, with plans for renovating the kitchen, to accommodate my new series of private cooking classesâ€¦.Instead, I immediately found a new home, one with all the renovation done, not only to the kitchen but also a luxurious bathroom with a large soaking tub. It was the tub, even more then the kitchen that kept me going in the weeks that followed as I negotiated a price, found a mover and finally closed on June 13th.
Â Welcome home, my new house said to me, as I wearily closed the door on the last moving person and dragged myself to that estimable tub.The next day and for several weeks going forward, the soothing waters were my welcome every evening after the moving-in work was done for the day.
Â What Did I Eat?
What did I eat in the month of packing and unpacking? Honestly, I canâ€™t remember, except for the first night in the new house â€“ a gorgeous pizza shared with my good friend Janet who had intuited my hunger and hauled me off to, â€śEat Meâ€ť one of those terrific small, organic food emporiums that dot Burlington like raisins in a bread pudding. I canâ€™t remember anything tasting so good! Thin crust, light fresh tomato sauce and fresh herbs, some homemade goat cheese and the lovely, sweet taste of garlic from a local garden. Perfect for an exhausted new homeowner who hadnâ€™t thought of food for 12 hours.
Â That was June, a month that went by in a blur, as did the first half of July, but somewhere during those halcyon summer weeks, I began to think of cooking. Inspired by a dear friendâ€™s surgery and long recuperation period, I found myself at the local organic market buying peas. Cold pea soup was on my mind. A gift for a rehabilitating friendâ€¦
Â Our summer here in Vermont has been one of bright sunny days and higher then normal temperatures. Most of my packing and unpacking was managed wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt. Nights proved to be tropical, with all the windows open to catch whatever breeze was available. I couldnâ€™t imagine anything better then a cold soup. In fact I longed for it and what could be better for a friend in need?
Â Warm Weather Treats
Along with the soup, my thoughts ran to more warm-weather treats. The days filled with the singing of cicadas and the mistral-like winds inspired me to think of Provence. The dim memory of an onion tart,Â came to mind and I opened my copy of â€śMastering The Art of French Cookingâ€ť. Was I right? Did Julia Child have a recipe for this quintessential Provencal recipe, she did– calledÂ Pissaladiere Nicoise. Â It had been twenty or more years since Iâ€™d made an onion tart, but Julia did not disappoint!
Â When I arrived at my recuperating friendâ€™s home with soup and tart in hand, I was greeted by the perfect setting, Christineâ€™s lovely marble terrace, shaded by trumpet vines and views to the top of Mount Abe with bees buzzing among the lavender and herbs in the garden borders was the perfect venue for my Provencal lunch.
Â It was the beginning of my summer. As I spooned the bright green icy-cold pea soup to my mouth, caught up with my friendâ€™s story of surgery, I also caught up with myself. That first bright taste of pure peas cooked in a homemade vegetable broth brought me home to myself, home to the delights of summer flavor. With that cold soup, accompanied by the spicy anchovy-decorated onion tart, I found myself deeply happy that summer still had legs. I was ready for the adventure ahead of pursuing more tastes of summer!
Â A Bientot!
Posted: 9-24-2012SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG’S FEED
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