I’ve been at a bit of a standstill in the kitchen this month. It’s not really a lack of ideas vexing me, but a lack of desire to spend any time in front of a stove or oven now that the weather is so delicious, I believe I at least owe it the courtesy of spending time out in it. Sure, there are savory tarts and summery salads and even another burger bun recipe on my agenda; there’s a cake in my fridge that’s so pretty I will not be the least bit offended if you mount a protest that I am waiting until next time to tell you about it, but I need to level with you: I have not cooked a real dinner for us in over a month. A month! Perhaps longer.
July, 2009 Archive
A few weeks ago, as I was going on about how much I like just about every color and shade of baked fruit desserts, the goofier the name — be it “grunt”, “slump”, “buckle”, or “betty” — the better, a reader named Shirley asked me if I’d ever tried anything called Blueberry Boy Bait.
Do you know what this is? This is It. This is the hamburger bun recipe I’d been obsessing, dreaming and fretting over when I had my Incident back in May, which was namely that I’d spent a ridiculous amount of time and ingredients fighting a no-good recipe with a decidedly average finish. Since then, my frustration has faded somewhat, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that perhaps they weren’t the end of the world, they just weren’t the thing I was looking for: they were more of a limp white bread bun — the kind so easily purchased at a store under any generic brand, it made little sense to eek them out at home — and I wanted something a little more moist and rich. I wanted something better, the kind of thing that you knew you weren’t going to get in any plastic bag.
As will happen from time to time (coughdaily), last week I got to longing for what I consider one of the greatest Cocktails Out There That Is Not a Manhattan, one that goes by the name Porch Swing as is served at Blue Smoke, a delicious mutt of a barbecue joint (Memphis babybacks, Kansas City spareribs, North Carolina slaw and Texas brisket, anyone?) on East 27th Street. The Porch Swing is a also a delicious mutt, with Pimm’s and Hendrick’s Gin and Lemonade and 7-Up and thin slices of cucumber (recipe over here) and omg is it October when mama can have a proper, strong drink yet?
I had a terrific and by no means life-altering discovery this weekend — er, unless you’re me, and the concept of ‘having a life’ is an abstract one, at best — which was that my favorite dead-simple green bean and cherry tomato salad was even awesomer when made with (I hope you’re sitting down this, people) a mixture of green and yellow beans. Really!