We could live on toast if the bread was always as good as NYC’s Sullivan Street Bakery’s. We’re making our way through a big loaf of their addictive truccione saré—two slices at a time—for breakfast with salted butter and our new batch of peach jam. And for lunch today with fresh ricotta and cherry tomatoes with lots of olive oil, parsley, mint, and salt and pepper spooned on top, and for dinner tonight…not sure just yet, we’ll see what we are peckish for after the sun is over the yardarm. But it will probably involve toast.
Here’s what we have been doing all morning. It’s peach-time. We headed up to Manoff’s Orchard and bought a big box of peaches for jam. Now the windows are open, fresh air is blowing through the screens, Big Joe Williams is lamenting so beautifully on the “radio”, jam is bubbling on the stove, and we are cruising through the rest of this Friday afternoon. Cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.
The kids are starting to peel off for the summer and head back to school. Today we had a farewell lunch for MH’s daughter—cold steamed lobster, hot french fries, and mayonnaise doctored with preserved lemon for dipping both. It was lovely. We sat at the table lingering over lunch, exchanging presents, stories, hopes, and dreams. If you make delicious food, the kids will always return to join you at the table. From our lips to God’s ear.
We are avoiding the hot sun and ants today by laying out our picnic lunch of cold fried chicken and succotash salad (green beans, corn, potatoes, and red onion tossed with olive oil, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper) on the long table by the air conditioner in the corner of the studio. Try to catch a breeze and stay cool!
Tomatoes have hit their stride—each one sweeter and juicier than the next. So today’s lunch was a handsome heirloom “big red” sliced over a plate to catch all the juices, as we peeled and sliced them. A spoonful of vinaigrette, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a plop of good mayonnaise is all we needed. (The avocados and basil were like earrings and a necklace on a beautiful woman, nice but not necessary.) Savor the summer, dear friends.
We cooked a pot of Maureen Abood Market’s peeled chickpeas last night to serve with a piece of cod for lunch today. But when we went to grab the fish from the fridge this morning, we discovered it had, inadvertently, been stashed in the freezer. No matter, we switched gears and served the delicious legumes with other “treasures” from the fridge–the last of the vegetables and aïoli from our lunch earlier this week. We’ll have the fish tonight with the leftover chickpeas, best surf and turf around. Be sure to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
Seventeen years ago, we met over a grand aïoli, not in the south of France where it is a classic summertime feast, but, oddly enough, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (don’t ask). It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Today’s lunch is inspired by that memorable meal, all the vegetables gathered from local markets just across the Delaware River in Bucks County. We cooked the potatoes, zucchini, green and yellow wax beans, limas (not traditional), and eggs in salted boiling water and made a big bowl of aïoli to go with. A bowl of sugared blackberries for dessert made it in the photograph, but, alas, again, the platter of sliced tomatoes didn’t.
Today’s cool rainy weather made it feel like the first day of fall. Instead of panicking, we made soup. A warm cauliflower and chicken broth purée. We floated a piece of soft Gorgonzola piccante and cracked black pepper on each serving. It was a delicious first taste of autumn. But not so fast, please—warm sunny summer days return tomorrow.
It must be the height of summer—we’ve lost our taste for meat, just want vegetables, and the occasional piece of fish. Every meal these days involves corn and tomatoes. And now that the green and yellow wax beans in the garden are producing like mad, it’s succotash time. Thanks to a dear friend who stopped by with his sister and a lovely piece of fish, today’s lunch is the perfect summer meal: pan-seared pomfret, and a corn and bean succotash seasoned with chopped parsley, celery leaves, dill flowers, salt, pepper, good olive oil, and lemon. A platter of tomatoes showed up after we took the photo.