Remember when I said I couldn’t wait to get back to making food and writing about it in this little space I have here? Yeah…so as it turns out, I don’t do that much baking and cooking on vacation without really making an effort to do so. I had no idea: in years past, it seemed like the natural thing to do.
This year was different; I blame the Amish. Hear me out.
The Amish really messed this up for you people this year, because they opened a brand new, enormous, barn-housed farmers’ market just down the street from where we stay. It’s phenomenal. The fruit and vegetable selection is so vast that it’s like walking through bins of rainbows. They have a much-sought-after meat and cheese counter, a fresh fish counter, tons of bulk nuts, seeds, and grains, and then…then, friends…they have what everyone is really there for: the Amish bakery. As soon as you make your way past the fruit rainbow, you find yourself smack in the middle of a cinnamon forest of baked treasures, still hot from their precious Amish ovens. Last time I calculated it, our purchases on average are 74% fresh produce, 26% hot buns.
Anything I wanted to bake? The Amish baked it for me. Cooking projects? All quite boring from a blog perspective; place me in the tropics, and all I crank out is fresh fish tacos with slaw, burgers, and some chips and dip. As for the fruit, we just eat it. Look at it. Fruit.
Who’s going to screw up fruit that nature so lovingly assembled? Not this girl. Okay, sometimes…sometimes we galette the fruit. “Galette” is actually a food verb, by the way. Derivations including “pie the fruit” and also “tart the fruit.” For vegetables, I employ my “olive oil toss / season / roast until crispy and I can smell them” technique; not exactly something you need step by step instructions for.
And honestly, who wants to look at the inside of a kitchen when – if you turn around – you can look at this:
I didn’t think so.
So much has been made and even more has been eaten and enjoyed, but nothing (literally, not one thing) to write home about from a recipe standpoint. Also, sometimes I make ugly food simply because I am under zero obligation to photograph it. Like I made this one artichoke / walnut / basil / parmesan dip which looked very much like wet concrete. My grandma very tactfully asked me “now…what exactly makes it this color, honey?” because it’s simply, utterly hideous. The answer? Freedom. Freedom makes it that color, because food doesn’t have to look delicious if it’s only for yourself. I’m still convinced the proliferation of so many fruit crumbles during the summer is at least partly due to fruit making a pretty alluring subject, just saying.
So back to work, officially this time: we head home today, and after 3 1/2 weeks, I feel thoroughly vacationed and anxious to head back to my own kitchen with my own stockpiles of ingredients and nothing to distract me. I miss the ease and familiarity and fun of my non-vacation life, which includes all of you; see you in a few days.