Monday, July 12, 2010

Back from Vacationland

I am back from a weekend visit to Maine, to check up on one of the children at camp. This trip came just as I was getting into a bit of a summer cooking rut. There's nothing wrong with serving blanched sugar snap peas, roasted new potatoes, and boiled corn seasoned with olive oil, butter, and sea salt night after night! But it was fun to eat out and shop for cookbooks in Portland, getting a few new ideas about what to do with some of the beautiful produce I'm buying at farmstands and picking at Quail Hill. I won't cook anything Maine-inspired until tonight, but I've already done some Maine-inspired shopping. On Saturday I sampled a dish of thinly sliced raw squid drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil at Miyake, the place for sushi in Portland. Notable was the way the chef had scattered pink peppercorns over the squid, exactly one peppercorn for every slice. It was delicious. So I picked up a jar at the IGA (some online research reveals that they're not peppercorns at all but the berries from Baies roses; who knew?). I'll try them on top of very thinly sliced raw zucchini dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Or maybe I'll slice some of the tomatoes we'll be able to buy any day now, drizzle them with some thinned creme fraiche or sour cream, sprinkle them with a little chopped tarragon, and artfully scatter the peppercorns over the dish. Stay tuned.

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