© 2012 The Joy of Cooking Trust and the MRB Revocable Trust
If I could describe this summer with one word, it would be "parched." This is my third summer living in western Oregon, and while my family and friends back east seem to think it rains constantly, I've learned that Oregon summers are remarkably dry. Everything is brown and...crispy.
When I left home the winter of my junior year in college to study abroad, I don't think I could've been more ready. I had a yearning bordering on obsession to go beyond what I knew. And go I did. I lived with a French family in their attic apartment for six months. I went to classes with French students. I traveled around France and Germany and the Netherlands.
When you live without air conditioning, you learn to embrace the heat.
There are tactics for coping--always having a bottle of rosé in the fridge, keeping the ice cube trays full, or following the cat's lead and lying prone on the tiled bathroom floor (and trying not to think about how clean said bathroom floor actually is). You can also keep the heat down by not cooking.
As we get deeper into the process of writing the next edition of the cookbook, we find it difficult to think about anything else. We wake up in the morning and start talking about marination techniques and fall asleep with visions of chocolate chip cookies dancing in our heads. It's a little strange.
So it’s Memorial Day, which means it’s okay to talk about lobster rolls. Lobsters are available year-round, alive, throughout the United States. So why does summer get all of the lobster roll action? We think any time is the best time for gratuitous lobster consumption, wallet-permitting. Tax refunds come in spring, after all!
I find that when I'm trying to write recipes for our website, I'm conflicted about what to do. It's not that I don't have lots of ideas. It's that I'm never sure whether to be creative and spontaneous or traditional.
I have a startling confession to make. We don't plan our meals.
At the moment, we're in the editorial phase of sketching out the next edition of the book, and while we are maintaining the blog and doing a little bit of recipe testing and development, we're mostly in a pattern of just cooking what sounds good at the moment, using ingredients we get at the farmer's market.
March has been all over the place here in the Pacific Northwest... sunshine, showers, sun-showers, wind, humidity, short-sleeve days and bone-chillers. What to cook? Dainty aspargus dishes are a few weeks away and a winter stew or braise seems as appropriate as anything.
I have a soft spot for things that are hard to love. Spreadsheets, mom shoes, stubborn people. In fact, I tend to gravitate towards them, probably because I feel like it's worth it in the end. As if the satisfaction resulting from something is in direct proportion to how difficult it is to love.