7.4.14 Born Free

American flag grunge flags x art hd 3441541 790 xxx
Well, the first thing I have to say is that you all are poets. Talk abut using your words! In telling me what summer means to you, you conjured up so many ripe images, so much nostalgia. (Those of you who have not yet had a chance to leave a comment on my last post, still have time to do so before midnight on Sunday 7/14 to be in the running for a box of summer treats from the Glutton for Life kitchen.) Turns out we all love being outdoors more. Swimming, gardening, visiting those green places we return to every year. School's out. We kick our shoes off. Everything loosens up a bit. How fitting then that on this day of high summer, on this Independence Day, we celebrate freedom. In this country, it's a bit tattered but there's always hope that we'll rally and reclaim our birthright. In the face of all that is so blatantly bleak, I choose optimism. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
Raccoon 790 xxx
baby bandit
Two baby raccoons have taken refuge in our garden. I saw the remains of a dead adult across the road earlier this week, and I fear it was their mother. They have found a tiny cave inside a big rock on our property and have been huddled there for a couple of days. It has caused me a great deal of anxiety, not knowing whether to feed them, how to help them. I kept hoping they would go away, but one is quite tiny—must be the runt of the litter—and I don't think they know how to forage for their own food yet. I actually became a bit depressed, thinking about the cruelty of nature and my own impotence. This is not a project I could take on, and my cat would not have it anyway. But we have since found a woman who rehabs wild animals, fostering them until they are ready to be reintroduced to the woods. So I think these little critters will make it after all, thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Sour cherries 790 xxx 790 xxx
pits and all
This post is a bit of a non-sequitur, i suppose. A few random thoughts cobbled together, but i do want to remind you of a few favorite recipes because I know you'll be looking for some delicious things to cook this weekend...

Kalbi, Korean-style barbecue, made with thinly sliced beef short ribs that you grill and wrap in lettuce

Vietnamese summer rolls

Flawless Thai grilled chicken, the ultimate in finger-licking good

Unless we're talking perfect Southern fried chicken

The very best baked beans, if I do say so myself (these can easily be made vegan)

Strawberry-fennel ice cream

And, speaking of strawberries: Ruby Sippers!

Some favorite salads: here, here and here

And cold soups: here, here and here

There's more, of course, but you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Get out there and enjoy your freedom! xo


Oh, I know what you mean about the baby racoons, Laura. How wonderful you found someone who knew what to do with them! Thanks for the recipe links to Kalbi, strawberry-fennel ice cream, and other delicious summer foods. Also, in relation to our Facebook dialogue, I have made custard less ice cream in the American style before. It was a Nigella Lawson strawberry ice cream recipe. Super good~! Happy July 4 to you.
Shalini on July 4, 2014 at 9:47 am —
Although I would love to win your summer treats i think it might be a bit too adventurous to send them to Denmark! I will suggest that you write about vinegar - in addition to you writings about olive oil. Vinegar is wonderful as a taste adjustment. Italians have a master of vinegar education - it takes 8 years to become a master! Have you tried to add a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar to your freshly picked strawberries ?
rita on July 5, 2014 at 3:27 am —
Rita, I am willing to ship internationally, so that does not exclude you! And, so funny—last night we enjoyed strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar, wildflower honey & fennel pollen! I do love vinegars of all kinds and will write about that soon. Thanks for the suggestion!
laura on July 6, 2014 at 7:34 am —