Okay. I have another confession to make. I can’t stand being in the kitchen lately. I say this after I bought five pounds of roasting tomatoes and two and a half pounds of pickling cucumbers the other day. The tomatoes grow soft and impatient on the counter. The cucumbers offer a few more days to get myself together, collect my thoughts, straighten my rumpled clothes thrown on in haste. I say this with starry eyes and muddled thoughts. Cooking isn’t in my vocabulary. At all. What’s going on?
Summer. I’m absolutely smitten. I can’t stop talking about it. Eighty degree days, cartwheels in the grass, county fairs that fill every nook and cranny in me with the scent of sweet fried dough (or elephant ears as we always called them growing up) and the twang of bluegrass from the next tent over. Library book sales. The Book of Photography. Empire Falls. Long country drives with The Rolling Stones (Hot Rocks 1964-71) blaring from the tape deck.
I’m not usually one to lose track of things, like keys, umbrellas, or film—but lately, I’m in a summer stupor. Tripping over my own feet and words. Losing rolls of film right after they’re shot. Days at the lake, wading in the shallow murk, pebbles wedged in my toes, Luke pushing into deeper waters on the verge of staying afloat. Writing into quiet mornings and late evenings.
A casual photographed snapped here and there. Freedom before cooler days settle in and the oven and stove work in simultaneous rotation.
For the moment, I surrender to everything ripe and plump and bursting with sweet tang. To daily stops at roadside farm stands. Cantaloupe, white peaches, purple plums, red pears. Lighthearted fare made throughout the day.
p.s. Speaking of simple summer treats, my recipe for frozen honey-hazelnut mousse is over at The Huffington Post’s Kitchen Daily column today. So if you’re lost in summer love and too lazy to make ice cream, find your honey bear and be prepared to sink deep into frozen goodness.
Cantaloupe Wedges with White Wine and Black Pepper
inspired by Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit
1 ripe cantaloupe
a few sprinkles of good drinking sweet white wine
freshly cracked black pepper
Cut melon in half, remove pulp and seeds. Slice into wedges, then into chunks and gently slide the knife underneath the chunks along the rind. Leave the cantaloupe chunks on the rind.
Serve the wedges on a plate. Sprinkle with wine and pepper.