Thanks to long slow days and a general refusal to face the triple digit temps outside our front door, we are eating well this summer. We literally sit in bed and night and thumb thru cookbooks, ohhing and ahhing at photos and ingredient lists. Then we make our own list to meticulously tick thru at the the store, picking out the best possible organic fruits and veggies, spices and oils, grass-fed meats and free range eggs (if I don't have any from my mom-which are arguably the best on the planet. No kidding.) And then we feast!
Here are a few of my favorite meals and dishes from recent days:
Zucchini Carbonara. Oh my. So rich and creamy.
Good quality parmesan reggiano. Crispy pancetta. Rich egg yolks. Fresh zucchinni. Gluten-free brown rice pasta.
Divine. I never wanted it to end. *sigh*
Late mornings look something more like this:
Golden, buttery, gluten-free pancakes. Crispy hash, pan-friend in coconut oil. Steaming hot tea.
Or maybe this:
Perfectly ripe organic avocado sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Millet bread piled high with deep yellow eggs, raw cheese, and sweet italian chicken sausages. Oh man.
Or sometimes this:
A sweet concoction of freshly whipped organic cream, dark chocolate chips, juicy red strawberries... all atop more pancakes. (Pancakes are a favorite on Sunday mornings before church.) Ice cold milk to wash it down of course, and the best cappuccino this side of the Mediterranean. I'm not kidding, my husband can seriously rock the perfect cappuccino.
We have lovely, sacred mornings together ;-)
And speaking of sweet, we also learned to make this recently, inspired by an organic strawberry sale at Whole Foods:
Perfect, quintessential strawberry jam. SO super duper easy. Who knew?!
But how to eat it? Ah! Of course...
Free-range egg whites whipped into submission and baked to perfection. Crumble it on top of sweet and creamy vanilla bean rice pudding swirled with strawberry jam. Um, YUM. And seriously, that meringue is so delish we wanted to eat it like candy, all by itself. Even before you bake it, hello marshmallow cream! That's almost exactly what it tastes like. SO. Yummy.
We also fell in love with a few new odds and ends, like this:
The perfect cole slaw, especially with roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. It's a meal all by itself. I could eat it by the truckload. In fact I picked up all the makings at Whole Foods just last night to make it again, though this time I'm doubling the recipe. (I'm concerned I might be addicted. I have nightmares that Whole Foods runs out of apples and cabbages and I'm forced to live without it. This could potentially snowball into a serious problem.)
We also made a HUGE batch of salsa, freezing several quarts to get us by for a bit. We seem to eat it with everything. And Josh has been smoking the most tender, juicy whole chickens we enjoy for days in fried rice, sandwiches, salads, etc. I've been utilizing my crock pot like crazy too, making chicken stock (from the yummy free-range bones) to freeze for soups and stews come fall, as well as huge pots of beans and lentils to chow on throughout the week. I adore my crock pot in the summer. It helps avoid using the oven and thus heating up the house.
I was so proud of all our freezing and big batches and putting away for later months, and then we went to my parents house this weekend and I peeked inside my mom's pantry:
I mean, really?? This is not to mention the buckets and buckets of produce from the garden stacked by the back door OR her already packed full deep freeze. Geez.
I've still a lot to learn regarding all things wisdom and frugality when it comes to food. Good thing my Moma's the queen and willing to teach me! Let's be honest, she's even more willing to teach than I am to learn. I do everything slow, ya know.
Why is any of this important though? All this food and feasting? Quite honestly, it's the symbolic essence of the season Josh and I are in. Cooking together. Examining ingredients. Nourishing our bodies. Lingering over the hard work of our hands. Feasting. It's so important, the act of nourishing. And for us, it's becoming more and more sacred.
The secret is, for anything we intentionally do in the natural, there's a direct parallel in the supernatural. But more on that later!
For now, just in case you want to try a few of these delectable recipes, just click on the links below!
Clearly we have an adoration for all things Jamie Oliver ;-)
Have you cooked any wonderful dishes lately? Care to share?