Tuesday, August 18, 2009

After A Week Away

After a week in Los Angeles helping my sister after she underwent back surgery, I'm home. She had shopped at the wondrous Santa Monica Farmers Market before her surgery, and bought an incredible Mayer lemon olive oil, perfume of the gods. It immediately elevates the simplest salad to new heights and she promised to send me some when she's fully ambulatory. I returned home fairly late in the evening and had to restrain myself from instantly going out to the garden with a flashlight to inspect the tomatoes and green beans. My daughter, Rachel, had harvested immense zucchini while I was gone; my only option is to stuff them and perhaps use the least gigantic for a lovely cool soup - sauteed with onion and garlic, then an addition of chicken stock, yogurt added after it's blended and cooled, then a bit of mint. Today, before the heat and humidity launch a full attack I'll so some cleanup in the garden and plant a row of mixed lettuces. It won't take long for the little basket of peaches on the counter to ripen - I'm having friends to dinner Saturday and an Italian peach tart will star for dessert. Its crust is puffy,not thin and the tart is glazed with peach jam. The entire dinner will be room temperature - pasta with uncooked tomatoes, lots of lemon zest and , of course, basil. I love the leaves of the tiny piccolo basil, and they require no chopping. Along with the pasta, baked, lemony chicken thighs, and a green bean salad topped with toasted bread crumbs. Now, off to work out so I can get outside early.