As if it wasn’t hot enough, then we got a hankering for fried fish and fritters. It must be 100°F here in the studio, even with the air conditioner cranking. But it is worth it—the cod is crisp and tender and the corn and zucchini fritters are delicate and delicious. We are very happy that we followed our bliss, even if we are bit dewy. Do yourselves a favor and do the same.

 

We’ve been away. No, not on vacation though it certainly was fun. We were in Kentucky throwing a Fiesta at Maker’s Mark Distillery for Rick Bayless. The Mariachi band played for four hours straight (with a little Bluegrass thrown in), hand cut Papel Picado (paper flags) strung between the trees fluttered, 650 guests drank Mark-aritas and ate tamales, tacos, grilled corn, ceviche, guacamole, and The Bent Spoon mango & tamarind paletas (that we drove down in car freezers!).

Back in the studio today and made a summer lunch of corn and zucchini with cumin spiced chèvre and lots of really good olive oil. We added a splash of good balsamic vinegar and some torn basil leaves, then tucked into it. It’s always good to be home.

 

It’s Day 4 of a week of cold summer soups. If not now, in the heart/heat of mid-summer, when would be a better time for a classic vichyssoise with a plop of sour cream and lots of chopped chives? Just sauté 2 chopped, well-washed leeks in 2 tablespoons of good butter, and add 2 quartered peeled russet potatoes and 2 cups chicken stock. Simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Purée in a blender, adding cold milk, half & half, or cream to thin. We like this velvety, smooth soup highly seasoned so we are liberal with the salt and white pepper—chilled foods require a little extra sodium to liven up their flavor. The poor old pomme de terre (along with a lot of carbs) has gotten a bad rap recently, but we stand by it. It has always stood by us, lifting any small slump in our spirits.

 

It’s day three of a week of cold summer soups. Today’s cold borscht, with roasted beets, cukes, yellow onion, a spoonful of Dijon, a splash of vinegar, some heavy cream, salt & black pepper, and a handful of ice cubes, came together in the blender lickety-split. Easy to make, easy to eat! Whirl up a batch for yourselves.

 

For day two of a week of cold summer soups, it’s chilled corn bisque for lunch today. Usually a bisque involves seafood, lobster specifically, and there is only corn, onion, and potato here. But if a lobster claw should happen to fall into our bowls, we wouldn’t kick it out! Happy Bastille Day!

 

Stopped by Tinicum CSA farmstand at Schneiderwind Farm & Nursery on the way to the studio today. It’s burgeoning offerings are piled high on makeshift tables—bi-color and white corn, frilly lettuces still wet from the field, ripe tomatoes, fat green beans, curly kale, blueberries, even foraged chanterelle and chicken of the woods mushrooms and much, much more. A bushel of sugar plums caught our attention. Of course we had to buy them. By the time we arrived at the studio and carried our vegetal bounty up the long steep stairs we had decided to make this the week of cold summer soups. And so we start it off with cold tomato & sugar plum soup garnished with olive oil and green onions. A little sweet. A little tart. A lot delicious.

 

Out early this morning shopping for the weekend. Landed on a holiday menu of cold lobster, potato salad, zucchini and feta salad, and bicolor corn, to be washed down with bone-cold rosé. While waiting for the lobsters, we grabbed two nets full of littleneck clams for today’s lunch. So we are starting off the weekend with linguine and clam sauce. Happy Fourth of July. Cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.

 

We are getting our Independence Day on. Today’s lunch—D’Artagnan’s duck hot dogs (yes, we said duck) slathered with Dijon mustard. A bit fancy, a little too French, but downright delicious. We’ll go all-American starting tomorrow. We are trying to decide our Fourth of July menus: fried chicken or spareribs or burgers and dogs? One thing is for certain, there will be potato salad and deviled eggs. Stars and stripes forever!

 

We made Chorizo-Stuffed Ancho Chiles with Sweet and Sour Escabeche from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen (Scribner, 1996) for lunch today. Then we found corn at our farm market, the first of the season and sweet as candy. Mid corn-chomping we noticed that MH eats her corn typewriter style, while CH goes round and round. It made us laugh right out loud. But either way, we got the delicious job done.