The Food We Eat: August
We are beginning to settle into a bit of a routine here in Wisconsin, and, with our boxes unpacked, knives uncovered, and measuring cups located, we finally made time in the last two weeks to get back into the kitchen. The menu this month consisted of a lot of vegetables, piles of dough that transformed into pizza and naan, and even our first soup of the season!
It already feels like fall up here with cool breezes, jean jackets, and flushed cheeks, so I kept a close eye on my weather app for the perfect day to break out my Dutch oven and begin simmering some soup. Then, on one of the coldest days yet, I headed to the grocery store for a bottle of white wine, a few pounds of onions, a tall baguette, a block of cheese, and plenty of beef stock. Sitting in my little cube, I counted down the hours until I could be home in the kitchen, standing over a mound of onions, watching them wilt into a translucent pile amid mingling puddles oil and butter. I’m convinced that slowly working through french onion soup is the truest gift that a cook could possibly give to herself. By the end of the two-hour process, what’s left is soft strings of onions that have melted their fragrance into a heavy broth that carries a few hidden secrets to happiness. And when ladled into small bowls, blessed with a thick layer of grated cheese mismatched on top of crusty bread, and broiled into crusty cover, silence hovers around the table save for slurps of gratitude.
Seconds are always in order.
We also dabbled in a vegetable-forward couscous with lots of lemon, drank beer over plates of egg and potato, ate tacos with abandon, tried a chickpea mash on top of naan, and dropped a fried egg on top of pasta pile coated in oregano and parmesan.
Another of my favorite meals this month was an accidental stumble upon the perfect summer tomato salad, inspired by A Cup of Jo. Here we get a “salad” that takes the grilled cheese sandwich that’s so widely cherished, treats it like an all-star crouton by pairing it with peak season tomatoes that drip down elbows and pool on countertops. Laced with ribbons of fresh basil, quality olive oil, and plenty of sea salt, it’s reminiscent of bruschetta but comes to you free from the guilt that too often accompanies a body that goes back for thirds, fourths, and fifths until the party plate is empty. We piled our plates high without any shame, dribbled some balsamic vinegar over the mess, and sopped up every last bite.
Summer is wonderful for its bounty of fresh produce and stall-lined farmer's markets, but I must say. . . I'm ready for fall and red wine and bonfires and more soup.
Until next month, may your belly and soul be fed at the table with food that delights your palate and conversation that holds your heart.
In your corner,