Letter from the Editor
More than any other season, summer changes the way I cook. The oven is archived from early June to late September and I look at those who suggest its use as if they’ve gone mad⸺and of course they have.
The stove is reserved only for those mornings when a cross-breeze is abundant, and even then I walk around cautiously, afraid that the wrong move will invite sweat.
Inevitably, this changes what I eat during the summer. I turn to my grill most nights, and in the morning I turn to things that can be blended or eaten uncooked, like tomatoes and mozzarella, cream cheese and smoked salmon, or fresh fruit. For lunch I pray that the humidity hasn’t rob my appetite completely, because there is so. Much. Watermelon to eat.
To me, summer presents multiple challenges, including staying cool, eating more than just ice cream for dinner, and navigating the overwhelming amount of available and in-season produce⸺not wasting it, in particular. But as with every challenge, there are rewards, and nothing beats coming upon a bush of berries while you’re hiking or sipping sangria on a warm night.
Someone recently asked me to recall the best meal I’ve ever had, and the most memorable meal I’ve ever had. I challenge you to think about the same.
My best meal falls somewhere between smoked trout eaten straight out of its wrapping on the side of the road in Canada, and a warm, frothy lobster soup enjoyed a few months ago in Portland.
I’m stuck between two memories for my most memorable meal as well. One involves a lunch, had alone, on the patio of a restaurant in Prague. I think I ate pizza, but I honestly don’t remember. What I do remember is feeling proud of myself for navigating public transportation in a foreign city, tipping the waitress 150% because I didn’t know how to ask for change in Czech, and being slightly chilled by the breeze, but thankful that sweating on the crowded trolley had ended.
I’m reminded of the second every time I see my youngest sister, who always asks when I’ll make it for her again. On our first female-only camping trip, it sits in a charred metal pot caked with burned rice, a can of diced tomatoes, left-over kielbasa, and some other vegetables. We really earned that one.