If you can't stand the heat, you can still stay in the kitchen.
August 20, 2021 5:48 PM   Subscribe

 
Reminder that if there's a mirror for those who can't get around the paywall, please post when available.

(Note to the people who told me about the extensions last time - I tried but they were wreaking havoc on my browser.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:03 PM on August 20, 2021 [1 favorite]


Follow a simple formula for colorful, satisfying dishes that don’t require turning on the oven or stove.

ok

Prepared proteins, such as rotisserie chicken

so, you avoid turning on your oven because someone else did?

perennial recommendation for Cucina Fresca

Simple, fresh, low effort recipes with many that are made and served cold.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:04 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


Who do the NYT editors consider their audience?
posted by Ideefixe at 6:06 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


These are still too fancy for idiot people who don't like cooking. When I saw the word "macerate," I noped on out. These all involve "dishes" with a lot of ingredients, some of which sound quite fancy.

This SOUNDS like I'd be the audience for it, but I'm not.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:08 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]


Seconding the recommendation for Cucina Fresca! I've had that cookbook for YEARS and it's fantastic.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:08 PM on August 20, 2021 [1 favorite]


Mirror link for the NYT article.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:08 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]


Who do the NYT editors consider their audience?

I dunno but this article is extremely Alison Romanesque.

And the takeaway is more or less "eat salad, dip and other appetizers for dinner."
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2021 [9 favorites]


so, you avoid turning on your oven because someone else did?

Not sure why you're finding this odd? That's also what people do when they order take out or go out to eat (offload the actual cooking onto someone else). This "assemble a salad" approach is just suggesting an alternate middle ground between "heat up your kitchen by turning the oven on" and "hit up Grubhub again".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 PM on August 20, 2021 [19 favorites]


And the takeaway is more or less "eat salad, dip and other appetizers for dinner."

Mermaids was a sad-maker tho
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:20 PM on August 20, 2021


These are still too fancy for idiot people who don't like cooking. When I saw the word "macerate

I don't think the goal of this article was to advise people who "don't like cooking." It was to give ideas to people who like to cook but don't want to heat up their home from a cook top or oven. In which case it actually is a decent article. Got me thinking about some different combinations I haven't thought about.
posted by nestor_makhno at 6:22 PM on August 20, 2021 [25 favorites]


I was confused for years and years until I realized that when some people say a recipe is easy they mean "doesn't require a lot of skill" whereas when I say a recipe is easy I mean "doesn't require a lot of effort." This explains all the "easy" recipes that require chopping six cups of vegetables (or macerating a nectarine.)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:27 PM on August 20, 2021 [45 favorites]


"without cooking anything" seems wrong here. Without heating up your kitchen, sure. But most of these involve a lot of work, multiple ingredients, and so on, which I'd call cooking whether or not heat is involved.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:28 PM on August 20, 2021 [4 favorites]


/searches for "sandwiches"

Methinks they're missing something.
posted by tclark at 6:35 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


this is all so pedantic
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:38 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


Not sure why you're finding this odd?

I guess I just expected more from "easy dinners without cooking" than "buy pre-cooked food and plate it attractively" or "eat appetizers instead."

These aren't really so much dinner recipes as permission and/or a reminder that you don't actually have to bother with Making Dinner if you don't want to.

And I totally agree with that, but it's a lot easier as a single person. With two people (let alone with kids) on any given night someone is likely to want more.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:41 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]


just order takeout, y'all
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:44 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]


Methinks they're missing something.

Nah, a "topped toast" IS still a sandiwch. And they have little bread things with dip, which counts as a sandwich too.
posted by FJT at 7:00 PM on August 20, 2021


I have the cookbook Cool Kitchen, which MeFi definitely recommended to me, which has recipes where you don't turn on any heat. And which mostly do not involve incredibly complex steps! One of our favorites involves buying focaccia bread from the supermarket bakery, marinating mushrooms in vinagrette, and putting the mushrooms, a cheese, and thinly-sliced deli roast beef on the focaccia. Delicious, and all the kids eat it!

Our most-favorite summer meal is spinach salad with watermelon, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette. We usually add shredded supermarket rotisserie chicken. But yeah, it's cool and refreshing and filling, all very important for not heating up your kitchen!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:15 PM on August 20, 2021 [8 favorites]


For all the times I ate hummus and Chex mix* for dinner in the summer, it's never occurred to me that I could dress it up and wring an article out of it. I guess that's why I've never been a great content provider on the internet.

-----
* Chex mix isn't big enough to dip? Not with that attitude
posted by Countess Elena at 7:35 PM on August 20, 2021 [19 favorites]


Yay, we've quickly arrived at the good part of the thread!

I tend to lean on cured meats for this sort of thing. Salami and prosciutto primarily. Other cold cuts too, but I don't like them as much.

Prosciutto on arugula with some parm, pepper, lemon, capers, olive oil, your preferred vinegar and any other dressing you like is the easiest entrée salad that checks the meat box that I can eat regularly without tiring of. It's a bit cliched, and you have to like arugula which can be divisive like cilantro.

Tuna Niçoise is a good option, you can skip the potatoes if needed.

Tyler Florence's gazpacho recipe comes out great. The smoked paprika is important if you can get it. You pretty much have to have the food processor (or vitamix style blender I guess).

It gets pretty hot here (mid to upper 90s lately, sometimes more) but I'm still willing to sous vide, which requires some heat, but less than other methods. And I could do it on my porch if I really wanted to keep all the heat outside.

This was the latest drop-dead simple thing from when I didn't care, it was quite good:

-slather lightly salted pork tenderloin in Huy Fong chili garlic sauce from the jar.
-seal in bag and sous vide for 90m plus
-remove, rest, pat dry, sear.
(can be done with a hand torch on a thick plate, or on a grill outside).

The other thing is to make extra when you do heat up your kitchen, strategically. but that's the whole world of weekly meal-planning.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:36 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]


I'd offer up the best hummus recipe but it invovles heating up your kitchen (slightly)
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:36 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]


(ice is key to good hummus)
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:41 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]


My favorite low effort no cooking summer meal is berries with cream-- it can be dressed up a bit with spices. Mint, cardamom, tarragon are good. I've experimented with black pepper, but I think the more conventional choices are better.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:42 PM on August 20, 2021 [1 favorite]


OH YES MACERATE SHALLOTS AND NECTARINES! HOW SILLY OF ME I DID NOT EVEN CONSIDER MACERATING! OF COURSE!

i'm crappy and i eat some cheese and crackers and then decide if i am still hungry. i am not the audience for this. clearly.
posted by capnsue at 8:03 PM on August 20, 2021 [7 favorites]


They could have said "crush slightly and mix with sugar, then allow to set," but that wouldn't have been NYT style, would it
posted by Countess Elena at 8:06 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]


If you have a Wegmans near you, they have 2 lbs tubs of pretty good hummus for, like six bucks, in several flavors. They also have 20 oz bags of pea crisps for five bucks. Put the two together and you get a lot of protein and fiber from what some might consider snack, or dare I say, ultraprocessed, food.
posted by mollweide at 8:10 PM on August 20, 2021


Is the problem really “cooking”? For me the problem is “preparing”.
posted by knownassociate at 8:12 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


Is the problem really “cooking”?
For some people at some times, yes.
For me the problem is “preparing”.
Then I guess this article isn’t for you.
posted by neroli at 8:21 PM on August 20, 2021 [4 favorites]


Is it possible that the audience for this sort of article is people who like reading about food prep, but aren't necessarily going to do it?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:22 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


For some reason this article reminded me of Tim's Kitchen Tips.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:22 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]


I want to hear about the hummus
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:23 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


My wife and I are the audience for this article. I am pretty comfortable with cooking and doing everything from multi day food projects to long prep of mincing and slicing a ton of mise-en-place before a.stir fry or saute, but also live in a condo without AC in summers that are hot and muggy AF. my steady go-to's this year

+1 on toasts with avocado or hummus and various sliced vegetables (radishes, peas, cherry tomatoes, etc) and olive oil. Also goat cheese is great swap for hummus

+1 on cheese and cold cut boards. I also like slicing some mushrooms and tossing them with a vinaigrette and leaving them to sit in a bowl and marinate for 30 min. Can do the same with bell peppers. Toasted nuts are also nice for a crunchy salty thing and don't heat the apartment a ton

Par cook some couscous or orzo and toss with oil and keep in a container then mix with canned tuna, olives, herbs, sundried tomato and oil. Alternatively make a pesto with mint, parsley or basil pureed with a bunch of oil, garlic, nuts and parmesan and toss this with your couscous or orzo.

Cucumber soup. Puree cucumber with greek yogurt and lemon juice and dill. Such a refreshing cooling thing when it's grossly hot out.
posted by bl1nk at 8:45 PM on August 20, 2021 [12 favorites]


Also salad ideas that aren't just toss things with greens:

Shuck some corn, slice off the kernels and place into a bowl. Dice a couple of tomatoes and add to the bowl. Squeeze in lime and add some minced mint.

Take a bunch of asparagus. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off slivers of asparagus and place these in a bowl. Toss with lemon and olive oil, and a grated hard cheese. Sprinkle crushed walnuts or slivered almonds or whole pine nuts.

Also fresh tomatoes , sliced thick and drizzled with olive oil and sea salt, are another fabulous thing to have on a cheese and charcuterie board.
posted by bl1nk at 8:56 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


People do know that macerate just means let it sit in some liquid for a bit, right? I don't understand the reactions this is getting.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:03 PM on August 20, 2021 [18 favorites]


Someone recommended "Cooking is Terrible" a couple of MeFi posts ago and it's incredibly on-topic so I'll re-recommend it. A whole third of it is dedicated to "Food That Requires No Cooking, At All", no macerating needed.
posted by simmering octagon at 9:03 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]


macerate just means let it sit in some liquid for a bit

it has a general sense of "soak" but with fruit means specifically a sugar solution and then the fruit softens and it releases more of its own juices.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:10 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


Even with AC, after walking home in swampy furnace weather there is no way I'm turning on an oven or standing over a stove top. If I absolutely wanted a hot meal, the forman grill was handy for making quesadillas or paninis. The instapot also isn't too bad.

If I plan ahead for a hot week, I'll make big batches of pasta salad and gazpacho on Sunday.

We make something like your cucumber soup, bl1nk, but we call it cucumber salad, but we slice up the cucumbers and drain instead. Then sub in vinegar for the lemon and sour cream for the yogurt. And no matter how much dill I use I always feel like I could have added a touch more. May or may not add onion.
posted by ghost phoneme at 9:10 PM on August 20, 2021 [1 favorite]


In the context of the article, it's just "Macerate shallots and tangerines in lemon juice." No sugar solution required.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:12 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


I don’t understand the reactions this is getting.
I feel like MeFi is usually good with reminding itself to let people enjoy things unless it’s an article on the NYT or it’s about Democrats, and then it’s always open season and there’s points to score.
posted by bl1nk at 9:14 PM on August 20, 2021 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not sure that doesn't intend to call for sugar but I'd probaly leave it out too. I don't like overly sweet dressings.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:15 PM on August 20, 2021


macerate just means let it sit in some liquid for a bit

I'm glad the definition was mentioned here, because I had assumed it meant something like "finely chop or shred," mostly because the word sounds kind of like "masticate."
posted by Dip Flash at 9:18 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


Once you mentioned it I went back and checked the recipe because sugar did seem like a plausible ingredient. But I agree it's probably nicer without.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:20 PM on August 20, 2021


I didn't know what macerate was, I assumed macerate was some kind of fancy chopping.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:26 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


Me too
posted by flabdablet at 9:41 PM on August 20, 2021 [6 favorites]


Ha, I had never heard it used in that context, flabdablet. I guess it is sort of jargony.

Anyway, here's my go-to veggie sandwich when it's hot out: baguette, mayo, dijon mustard, avocado, swiss cheese, thinly sliced red onion, cucumber, tomato, lots of salt and pepper.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:49 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


i imagined "macerate" meant something like "chop up with a machete." i guess like, you should chop up the nectarines and shallots with the machete before you soak it in a sugar solution though. i guess. sorry for the derail. i could have just looked it up.

Fruit can be marinated by soaking it in a mixture of sugar and liqueur or fruit juice. The mixture is then set aside to soften and release its natural juices. This is known as macerating.
posted by capnsue at 9:59 PM on August 20, 2021 [1 favorite]


Except that maceration also refers to blending or other mechanical grinding of lumps to make slurry, both in sewage treatment and in industrial food production! With no context, I would read "macerate an orange with lemon juice" as an instruction to get those two things in a blender and let rip.
posted by Dysk at 10:07 PM on August 20, 2021 [9 favorites]


Another member of the "hot climate and no A/C" squad checking in that I liked these recipes and it gave me some ideas of new meals to make when it's just too hot to turn on the stove or burner.
posted by Emily's Fist at 10:24 PM on August 20, 2021 [4 favorites]


I read the article, thought it all sounded delicious, and then poured myself another bowl of cereal. But in my defense I feel bad about it.
posted by Justinian at 12:34 AM on August 21, 2021 [16 favorites]


In the interest of promoting Spanish cooking, whenever it's too hot to cook anything the go-to recipe is the self-descriptive melón con jamón: cut up some melon, put serrano ham on melon, done.

For the vegetarians and kosher/halal eaters out there, there's gazpacho if you have a blender, olive oil and some vegs.
posted by sukeban at 1:32 AM on August 21, 2021 [7 favorites]


Salmorejo is my favorite summer recipe -- similar to gazpacho but thicker and creamier because you blend in a good, dense bread (a baguette works well too). Sometimes if the tomatoes aren't super flavorful I'll cheat and pour in a little passata. Serve cold and garnish with serrano ham, crumbled hard boiled egg, and a drizzle of olive oil.
posted by theory at 2:32 AM on August 21, 2021 [3 favorites]


In my experience, some people need permission to make a simple cold dinner, and I could imagine some NYTimes readers are like that, judging from the comments section.
That said, this time of year I can't stop myself from buying stuff at the produce section of the grocery store, or at the farmers roadside stand when I am in the countryside. So I think it's nice to see some ideas I hadn't thought of. I like fruit in savory dishes, and I often forget the joy of using nuts and seeds in my salads.
Finally, In my family, a beautiful platter of food is much appreciated. I know it will all turn into mush in my stomach, but I still find joy in seeing a colorful, or even elegantly beige dish on the table. If that is a stressful concept for you, don't do it. But I think everyone in my family enjoys those few moments of painting a pretty picture when we cook dinner together.
posted by mumimor at 5:58 AM on August 21, 2021 [4 favorites]


Gazpacho is often thickened with stale bread, my understanding was that Salmorejo omits all the other veggies that go into gazpacho.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:26 AM on August 21, 2021


There was a really nice thread a few weeks ago about how everyone has different levels of ability and time in the kitchen for various really good reasons, and that should be respected. This strong reaction against a recipe writer writing a recipe and - gasp! using a word you don't know - feels almost like anti intellectualism.
posted by Think_Long at 7:17 AM on August 21, 2021 [12 favorites]


Another book worth mentioning for when not heating up the kitchen is the priority is Microwave Gourmet (which really needs a reprint or kindle release, here's the hardcover listing too).

One of the takeaways is that veggies you would steam and then sauté do pretty well in a tray sealed with plastic wrap and nuked (such as asparagus or green beans in garlic and butter). Sometimes you need to add a little water to make the steam, sometimes what's in the veggies is enough.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:58 AM on August 21, 2021


>I'd offer up the best hummus recipe but it invovles heating up your kitchen (slightly)

Then it's a total derail and how dare you

Just kidding, please share!
posted by Easy problem of consciousness at 8:58 AM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]


We've been leaning a lot on the toaster oven I bought last year. Once a week I'm still heating the whole damn house with the oven so I can bake sourdough, but then we have a few days of fresh bread and a few days of delicious toast before I have to do it again. We keep a wide variety of tinned fish on hand now for quick meals that don't involve the stove.
posted by fedward at 9:28 AM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]


Rice cracker plus real peanut butter plus ketchup. No maceration required.
Pretty sure some avocado would like to join that party also.
posted by storybored at 12:38 PM on August 21, 2021


What I don't get is why people who aren't in the audience for the article complain about its existence.

I'm kinda-sorta in the audience because I love reading this kind of stuff, in limited quantities (this will do me for the week, thanks).

And yes, I am absolutely all about letting other people heat up their commercial kitchens to help feed me, because that is what I am paying for when I buy their stuff.
posted by lhauser at 12:55 PM on August 21, 2021 [7 favorites]


macerate just means let it sit in some liquid for a bit

I thought macerate involved beating something with a heavy club until it’s smashed and pulpy, in its own juices.

Kind of like Metafilter.
posted by waving at 1:46 PM on August 21, 2021 [6 favorites]


People do know that macerate just means let it sit in some liquid for a bit, right?

People who've had experience cooking do. People who don't, don't. Both kinds of people are in this thread.

....Enough of you have invoked gazpacho in this thread that it made me realize "hey, yeah, that's what I can do with some of the CSA excess this week, sweet." So thank you for that.

And I am cooking for only myself 99.9% of the time, so that gives me free rein to go with "I am not going to 'cook'-cook tonight, I will just assemble some shit on a plate and be done with it" some nights; and so a good deal of my cooking is not so much "cooking" as it is about "arranging for things to be in the fridge to assemble that way". Dinner tonight is probably going to be some steamed green beans and a leftover piece of this funky quiche I made that has hardboiled eggs embedded in it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:37 PM on August 21, 2021 [2 favorites]


People who've had experience cooking do. People who don't, don't. Both kinds of people are in this thread.

As someone who has extensive kitchen experience, both personal and professional, and who did not recognise this meaning of the term, I cannot agree with this. People who've had experience in the sweet kitchen maybe, but I've never come across "macerate" cooking in the savoury kitchen, or baking bread.
posted by Dysk at 7:00 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]


I've never come across "macerate" cooking in the savoury kitchen, or baking bread
So I guess you can look it up then? I come across terms I’m sure unfamiliar with in threads all the time. I assume most people do. Don’t know why this is different.
posted by neroli at 9:04 PM on August 21, 2021 [2 favorites]


Why is that articles about food -- more than articles about computer programming or music or economics -- make people cranky if they're not pitched precisely at their own preferences and level of knowledge?
posted by neroli at 9:16 PM on August 21, 2021 [2 favorites]


I'm just a little puzzled about why they didn't mention Vanessa Seder's amazing new book, Eat Cool.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:02 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]


update: more cereal, but inspired by this article I added some raisins.
posted by Justinian at 10:40 PM on August 21, 2021 [10 favorites]


Mixed granola w/raisins into vanilla ice cream on Wednesday for the first time. Won't be the last.

neroli, I think it's probably hunger-related crankiness.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:22 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]


Why is that articles about food -- more than articles about computer programming or music or economics -- make people cranky if they're not pitched precisely at their own preferences and level of knowledge?

I think you're misreading me? I'm not angry, and I'm not complaining about the article? I'm pushing back on the assertion that anyone with cooking experience is obviously familiar with that usage of the term, when that isn't the case. Don't mind the article using it at all - do mind people insisting that of course anyone vaguely familiar with the subject matter already knows, because it isn't true and feels a bit gatekeepery.
posted by Dysk at 5:00 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


I'm pushing back on the assertion that anyone with cooking experience is obviously familiar with that usage of the term, when that isn't the case. [....] do mind people insisting that of course anyone vaguely familiar with the subject matter already knows, because it isn't true and feels a bit gatekeepery.

What you're reading as an insistence that "of course" people with cooking experience know that term was NOT an insistence, but rather a poorly-phrased pushback of its own against someone who seemed to think that EVERYONE knew what it meant.

I agree with you that there are people who don't know what "macerate" means and it's okay that they don't - I just fumbled the execution and gave things a different subtext. My bad!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:46 AM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]


more cereal, but inspired by this article I added some raisins.

next time photograph the cereal on a marble cutting board
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:13 AM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]


What you're reading as an insistence that "of course" people with cooking experience know that term was NOT an insistence, but rather a poorly-phrased pushback of its own against someone who seemed to think that EVERYONE knew what it meant.

Yeah sorry, I quoted and replied to your comment, but in talking about it, I was characterising the vibe of whole thread not your specific comment, that was my bad.

Misunderstandings all round!
posted by Dysk at 6:16 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


I think it's probably hunger-related crankiness.

TFA's framing also lends itself to comparing notes on what 'cooking' and 'making dinner' mean. Disagreement isn't always disagreeable. I thought the feedback on what 'easy' means to different people was interesting. Likewise, having hot food vs. a hot house.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:31 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


Feeding myself at (my non airconditioned) apartment on a hot hot day is chips and dip, with fruit as a dessert if I remembered to wash and cut the nectarines and pop them in the fridge. Somehow even using the cutting board is too much work when its over 85 degrees in the house. Now that the public library is open again, I'll sometimes drive myself there to enjoy the communal AC, get some work done and to revive my appetite/ability to contemplate food.

I've shifted most of my cooking to first thing in the morning, which really dents my work productivity but improves my meals. I'm feeling super virtuous today because I remembered I had some cooked penne (in a tub) and cooked kale (in a tub) and a tenth of a raw onion (just sitting in the fridge, untubbed) and made my default pasta for breakfast (canned tuna, capers from a jar, and balsamic vinegar). This part of Southern California has been overcast for a few days though, so cooking has been way more appealing. Perhaps I'll even use the rice cooker!
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:23 AM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]


As an idiot who doesn't love to cook, who associates cooking with screaming and judging, I want to spend as little time as possible doing it. I don't read much about cooking unless it appears to be some kind of "cooking for dummies" article. Most cooking articles are written for people who actually like doing it and understand this stuff. But once in a while I find something where even the likes of me can comprehend it.

I stupidly read the title of this and guessed this was more "cooking for dummies." Which I should have known better about because it was the NYT, duh. I apologize for being an idiot again and offending.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2021


You're not an idiot! I was feeling defensive because people were having negative reactions to a thing I like, and I should have figured out a way to express that without being judgy.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 11:03 AM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]


update: more cereal, but inspired by this article I added some raisins.

"Cereal and raisins, macerated in milk."
posted by Dip Flash at 11:42 AM on August 22, 2021 [10 favorites]


You! You are the audience for this article!

Phew.
posted by storybored at 8:49 PM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


Tomato sandwiches are my quintessential summer no-cook meal. Enjoyed with lots of salt and pepper and good blob of mayo. Put some chips and/or fresh fruit on the side and you've got a filling and delicious meal in less than five minutes. Now I've made myself hungry!
posted by pumpkinlatte at 1:50 PM on August 23, 2021 [1 favorite]


People who've had experience in the sweet kitchen maybe, but I've never come across "macerate" cooking in the savoury kitchen, or baking bread.

Definitely the flavor profile you work with, but I think it also depends on how you learned stuff in the kitchen: I personally have gotten most of my fruit desserts from family and learning by doing/helping. So I'll make sweet stuff in the kitchen, but haven't run across macerate a lot because they just showed me what to do.
posted by ghost phoneme at 1:53 PM on August 23, 2021 [2 favorites]


Today, I spent an hour sitting at our dining table taping the spines of my cookbooks. As my daughter pointed out: I could have done this during the long dark winter, or I could have done it in the shade of the apple tree. But I think that right now in my life, I sometimes need the comfort of walls more than I need freckles. Anyway, one of the books that needed spinal support was Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David. Like all of David's books it is more of a bed-side book than a cookbook. There are recipes and they are excellent. But it is also a work of literature, something to read for the pleasure of reading.
These days in the history of humanity, I think of how as a species once knew how to deal with summer cooking, regardless of where we lived. I hope that from now on, home design will build on the knowledge of our ancestors rather than depend on fossil fuel to make our homes livable. After all, people have lived and even thrived in tropical and sub-tropical regions before electricity and before the northern regions were developed. I think that to a large extent, the problems people have with warm weather cooking are about bad kitchen design.
A good kitchen (in the Northern hemisphere) faces north. It will be well lighted because you need natural light to evaluate the quality of your products. You need stone or brick floors and walls, for summer coolness, fire safety and heat retention in the winter. In summer, if you wash your tile floors daily, you can keep your kitchen cool. Actually, I just sprinkle some water out most days.
Cross ventilation is key. So even when your kitchen is north facing, you want to be able to open doors and windows throughout your home. Don't buy a one-sided apartment. I know how renting is a different thing.
If where you live is hot or fuel is expensive, think of recipes with short cooking time. Oftentimes a lot of chopping will replace long cooking time. Wok-recipes require finely chopped foods, as do many Southern Italian recipes.
posted by mumimor at 3:09 PM on August 23, 2021 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth David is a treasure.

I came across Olia's Hercules' Summer Kitchens browsing online, which is about traditional summer cooking in Ukraine; here's an interview segment.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:12 AM on August 24, 2021 [1 favorite]


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