food and weather.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The other night I made Ina's pappa al pomodoro soup and that amazing buttery, oniony mac and cheese. Basically, the weather had turned, hardly below 70 (perhaps not below 70 at all, actually) but it was just enough for my comfort food wheels to start turning. It happens involuntarily. The moment a scarf is not just a fashion statement but maybe (a small maybe!) a necessity I am dragging the crockpot from its dusty resting place on the lowest pantry shelves, pinning chili recipes, and finally giving into William's request for the month of August: can you make fettucine alfredo please?
My friend pointed out, and she is absolutely right, that my dinner meals are in direct correlation with the weather. Summertime, for the most part, I'm feeling pretty uninspired. First, we have no A/C on the first floor so who wants to be working over a steamy stove on an already steamy evening? Not I. And more often than not, kids are off playing into the evening, we're wrapping up sandy days at the beach or the playground until sometimes 7:00. Now some big dinner? No. Plus, heavy foods in the summertime make me lethargic. Lethargy's already a summertime problem. That and sweaty armpits. Who wants to add a three hour digestion-slumber because of some heavy pasta meal to the list? But wait, as I write about heavy foods I'm reminded of burgers. Burgers are no light food and please, I'll take one July or February, come hail and frost or sunstroke and lethargy. Burgers always win. Cheese on mine, please.
So, my summertime meals are something like this: salad, salad, nothing, burrito bowls, hummus and various crudités, salad. Looking back I can barely even remember what I cooked this summer, but I know I didn't go three months straight without cooking. Remember those restless natives?
Thus, every fall, without a doubt, I get really excited about food. Just this morning I ran down to the basement freezer to see about a frozen chicken. There isn't one. It's on my grocery list. There's nothing like putting a whole chicken in your crockpot, a little water, and cooking it all day. That meat falls off the bone, so tender and flaky, perfect as an addition to so many recipes, not just chicken noodle soup (though did that really deserve a just in front of it? Chicken noodle soup is amazing.) And then you've got the bones and fat with which you can make the greatest stock ever. Your home's never smelled better as when a broth is cooking away in it. Throw in your otherwise discarded celery leaves, some peppercorns and garlic; it's not just full of flavor but nutrients too (broth-scented kitchen for days? Check out bone broth!).
It's really true though. On tonight's menu is that chicken parmesan over linguine fini (which is weaseling it's way to being my very favorite pasta type) and a salad. There's something so incredibly satisfying about putting a hot meal on the table and sitting around it, debriefing the day and breaking bread. I love food in this season. I really do.
P.S. I signed up with Passionfruit Ads yesterday and oh my does it simplify things. Now, more time for cooking! Check it out here.