19 July 2011
What To Do with Summer
Well, first you eat it. All the summer peaches and corn on the cob and tomatoes and the last of the lettuce in your garden that is wilting in the heat, you eat all that you can. And then when you're done with that, when you've abundantly bought too many things at the market, when your table groans with berries about to go bad, then you preserve it.
You look up every Christine Ferber strawberry jam recipe (here, here) and decide they are all too complicated and you don't have two days to spend making jam, and instead you improvise your own version. Skimming, skimming, skimming the foam off the jam as it cooks ever so slowly. Then canning and preserving for winter.
You shuck fava beans and freeze them, you make tomato sauce out of those pricey beautiful huge heirloom tomatoes, peeling them, seeding them, chopping, using an old Marcella Hazan recipe. And in the end you discover it tastes like .... tomato sauce.
Sour cherries are available about 4% of the year (yes, I calculated) and so you buy up all you can, and then you spend so long pitting sour cherries and listening to pod casts that you get a neck cramp. Paul would advise you that sour cherry pie is the "the best thing ever," but I also like sour cherries in savory things like rice pilaf and kebabs.
And speaking of preserving, this little piece via the New Yorker just lit up my day. The title alone is great: Suicide in the Garden, Murder in the Kitchen.
It's funny how some of the things I've been making are so vibrantly flavored that they almost taste fake--the strawberries so intense they almost taste like imitation flavoring, tomatoes so naturally sweet without any added sugar. Has anyone else noticed this? Back soon with a recipe....