© 2012 The Joy of Cooking Trust and the MRB Revocable Trust
There are a lot of obstacles to moving across the country. The obvious ones are logistics and schlepping. Lots and lots of backbreaking schlepping. But once most of the boxes have been unpacked and you're sleeping on your own bed at night (as opposed to a dreaded air mattress or a futon), you can start to dip your toes into your new surroundings.
It's farmer’s market season: fresh herbs, full-flavored greens, and myriad produce is ready to be eaten and relished. Now is the time to take advantage of bright berries and tender baby squash, as well as a time to make chilled dishes that will not weigh you down with starch.
Something about summer makes me crave light, flavor-packed meals. Refreshing, satisfying, usually spicy. We plan to travel to the coast with friends of ours this weekend to harvest mussels and cook up a classic moules-frites—mussels steamed over garlic-herb-infused wine and served alongside crisp, salted fries.
We all pay a lot of lip service to the idea of "home." Images of well-made beds and flowers in vases. People eating together around a big table. But often, especially for people of my generation, home is fraught with complications.
Much is made of authenticity in food. We speak of "authentic" ethnic food as if we have some idea of what we're talking about--as if we could tell the difference between the real thing and an impostor if both were presented to us simultaneously. Has a blind taste test been conducted on authenticity? If so, I would like to know the results.
Our gluttonous ramp-age continues as we scramble to exploit our last locally-foraged (and free!) crop of fresh ramps before moving to the Northwest. Ramps are traditionally served with ham, potatoes, eggs, or a combination thereof.
One of my favorite things about the Joy of Cooking, even way before I became part of the family and started working on the book, is that the recipes are always a great place to start. Say you want to make a chicken casserole, but with your own touches. All you really need to do is find the basic recipe in JOY, then improvise a little.
Sadly, this is the last spring we will be within foraging-distance of ramps. This is a total bummer, as store-bought ramps have skyrocketed in price ($24/pound in NYC). Needless to say, in between packing boxes we have been plotting how to make the best use of our last local ramp harvest.