This summer, while we live–on extended visits–with various units of extended family, my cooking life has been tyrannized. Not by non-omnivores or picky children so much as by the need to please everyone. How to do so? In our family, it’s with the Square Meal. Protein, veg, “starch,” bev.
Last night, I said, “forget it, I’m making what I want and I’m not cooking.” Well, I did cook, but just two 8-minute eggs for Jack and a handful of green beans. We ate a cold and warm assortment of fresh, ripe, local foods. Remember those heirloom tomatoes I bought on Saturday? Black and pink brandywines. I sliced them thick and sprinkled them with fresh mozzarella, basil chiffonade, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I cooked the green and yellow wax beans just a bit, and tossed them with leftover sweet corn that had been cut off the cob, and with an assortment of chopped herbs from the back yard. We also had Tarentaise, the cheese made by the Putnams of Thistle Hill Farm in North Pomfret. A bowlful of mixed greens with mustardy vinaigrette. A King Arthur baguette. Vinho Verde, the effervescent, airy as seagrass Portuguese white that I love.
I know, doesn’t sound like a very adventurous escape. Ah, well. It was a good meal.
And escape from the tyranny of square meals is a topic that warrants discussion. We eat that way quite a bit more at home, and not just because we’re busy parents of a busy four-year-old. It’s refreshing to eat picnics inside, or to make a meal of the humble egg.