Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just Getting Out of Town Could Kill Me
What's cooking? Minted Honeydew Sorbet

Once again, I’ve made the trip north for the summer. Closed up the house, stopped the newspapers, forwarded the mail, and turned the thermostats up to 82º. Threw out strange leftover bits of sauces I once thought surely I’d use, a few cheeses that were already rock-hard and one or two that appeared to be turning into early life forms. Ironed two sets of sheets and half a dozen shirts I won’t wear until September, and spent more hours than I should have watching the finals of the trials to choose the U.S. teams for the world bridge championship. Then I made minted honeydew sorbet, after which I stayed up half the night packing.

Why the sorbet? you ask. Because I had this lovely, ripe honeydew melon in my kitchen, and I just couldn’t see carrying it on the plane north. Throwing it away was not an option, and I couldn’t offer it to my neighbors at that hour. I’ve never tried freezing melon, but by the time you’ve cut it up into small enough pieces for that, you’ve done most of what you need for the sorbet, and I do love sorbet.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Who’s Always in Your Corner? Dad
What’s cooking? Grilled Apricots with Raspberry-Rhubarb Compote

I don’t know why I picked this image – neither my father nor my husband have ever been much in the DIY department. Maybe it was the cookie cutter. One of my favorite photos captured my husband – in his capacity as Santa’s helper – puzzling over the directions to one of those big plastic playhouses, while my father sat in a nearby chair offering helpful hints.

But both of these men in my life excelled at fatherhood. Not models of perfection, of course, but good, decent souls who would do just about anything for their children, and the kids knew it. When I failed to graduate from college in the standard four years, my dad said nothing but “Do what you have to to finish.” For my brother, who gave us all a few gray hairs, my dad made it to every court appearance or police station necessary. And with my own sons – why is it always the boys who end up at the police station? – when Officer Bob called late at night, my hubby would retrieve them, of course, then talk to them at length about why they’d done whatever stupid idiot crazy thing they’d done that landed them in the hands of the police.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Season of Salads
What’s cooking? Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and more

I love my husband, but I sure do have a great time in the kitchen when he’s gone. I get to try all kinds of weird foods, play in the kitchen late at night, and if I don’t feel like cooking, I might open up a can of Campbell’s Pork and Beans for dinner. Straight out of the can. Mmm-mm. Feels just like my single days in New York.

So tonight, I’m trying a fried tofu recipe from Melissa Clark in last Wednesday’s NY Times. I’m not sure I’m going to like it, but I’ll let you know. The tofu was only $1.48 at my grocery store, so if it’s too strange, I’m out less than a buck fifty.

I’ve been experimenting with condiments this week – mustard and mayo. I know, the grocery stores stock lots of perfectly good mustards and one good mayo (Hellman’s, what else?) on their shelves. But aren’t you ever a bit curious to see what the homemade stuff tastes like?