A new delicious salad and a pie

I am bushed tonight, y'all, but it's been a productive, good week. We received several letters from the boys; Jack sounds positively ebullient, and Oliver does too, in his own understated way. No one who knows him will be surprised to find that with all manner of found object -stones, cobwebs, pine needles, etc- he has erected Tent 7 Town Hall underneath his tent (they're raised structures) at camp and is running it in his down time. We know not who else participates in T7TH but perhaps that doesn't matter. 

I am really starting to miss them and will be beside myself with anticipation one week from Sunday when I first get to lay eyes on them. Aah!

In the meantime, a beautiful pie and a new salad to share.


The pie is a strawberry rhubarb balsamic. Because yesterday was so humid, I could take great liberties with my oil-based crust. It's often quite finicky but is a snap on a wet day. So, fleurs.

And this salad arose from a burst of creativity and a need to use up some produce. I shaved a bulb of fennel and a nectarine, halved a few cherries, and chopped some fennel fronds and mint. I had some pepper-crusted goat cheese and roasted pistachios too, so those went on, and then I drizzled the whole thing with salt, freshly ground pepper, peppery olive oil, and some pear balsamic. Dreadful photo, scrumptious salad. Summer on a plate!

not the prettiest photo, but alas

not the prettiest photo, but alas


Eating well and beautifully

I haven't the slightest idea what season it is or what season the season gods think it to be. Burning, cold, drenched, parched, hide the jackets, find them, confident blooms, meek ones. I desperately want to be able to count on temperatures north of 65. Want to be able to plant basil and tomatoes with assurances of growth. And yet.

There is, as a dear friend told me today, always room for practice. 

She told me that after I called her in tears, a tough morning having primed my ducts before she left a loving message that pulled the boy's thumb from the Netherlandish dike, and after I forced myself to pilates which was great minus the overly chatty women in the rear corner and the individual who farted stink bombs continuously throughout. 

Indeed. There is always room for practice.

For me at least, one balm for such trying times is a mealtime well spent. With friends or alone, cooking or dining out. I have told you many times that I hate wasting the opportunity granted in all of the three daily meals but especially lunch and dinner. Snacks are lovely, and I am a snacker, but a proper midday sup or after-a-long-day dine is sublime. It heals, sates, restores, and offers a new focus, even if for only a brief time.

Do you know of Molly Yeh? She writes My Name is Yeh and also has a recently-released cookbook, Molly On the Range. She has a megawatt smile, an affinity for backyard chickens, a loved one known as Egg Boy, and a real gift with marzipan. It is rare that I make her recipes and wish I hadn't doubled them. (Well, the funfetti cake was a bit much, but otherwise...).

Hers is one of the few blogs I subscribe to, and I recently received a missive about a carrot salad with feta, pistachios, and an orange blossom toss. OMG. That is so up my alley. Simultaneously, I rediscovered the recent New York Times Dining section in which David Tanis -with whom I have a real love-disappointment relationship- shared a gorgeous charred asparagus salad with chimichurri

In my opinion, both of those dishes plus some steamed new potatoes to dress in any leftover chimichurri seemed like a dreamy dinner. And so it was. 

Ribbons of freshly shaved, freshly plucked carrots. Just torn mint. Season's best asparagus. Chimichurri. Pistachios. Cardamom. I gasp at the memories (although I like my regular chimichurri recipe better). 

a beauty from my yard

a beauty from my yard

Good food and bad, a "Don't"

Sugar snap peas are hot off the presses right now, y'all. Are you eating them by the truckload? We are! While the boys love them raw and plain (indeed delightful), I like to play around and make summer veggies like the sugar snap into more substantial side dishes or salads. 

I haven't made my Sugar Snaps with Bacon, Feta and Mint in a while so did on Sunday night. Delicious again. Surprisingly, Tom thought the mint was distracting. I do not concur, but if you're not a mint fan, feel free to make a bad decision and omit it. 

Tonight, I'm gonna do something with this mess of fresh favas that Ol helped me pick out at the farmers market. I also have hull peas and corn, tomatoes, plums and peaches. A plum tart is coming and beyond that, well, the night is young.

I feel exceptionally lucky to have a babysitter today. Three hours of blessedly quiet free time. I left the house immediately because Oliver had donned the Hulk gloves and Jack was steamed. Tired as get-out, I stopped in at Starbucks to get a flat white before ambling over to get my stinky toes cleaned up and polished (see above for lovely result). 

Just before my order came up, Jack called me. Now, I am glad that he knows how to make a call, but I will tell y'all that he sometimes abuses the "call in an emergency" admonition. Today was such a day. Because I was so distracted by his Oscar-deserving tale of woe, I picked up the wrong drink. Might as well have thrown $5 in the garbage. 

Anyway, I beseech you to NOT order whatever this is. It was disgusting and this key is incomprehensible. What is 2R syrup? #adont