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Here's to summer. Maybe you went fishing. Maybe you swam in a large body of water or a swimming pool, or maybe you just stood in a stream letting cold water rush over your feet.

Maybe you rented a cabin in the woods or a rundown beach house. Maybe you backpacked or day hiked or wandered aimlessly around your neighborhood.

I feel as though this recipe has been knocking around in my brain for some time now. Years, in fact. This was the first dish I ever made for my then-boyfriend, now-husband, John. I was out to impress--there's no doubt about that. And while I won't go so far as to say that this dish solidified our relationship, I will say it certainly didn't hurt a thing.

 

Generally, I find cooking to be a simple, fun task that I get to engage in almost every day simply because I have to eat. I know many people do not feel this way and approach it like radioactive material, cooking only when necessary and even then with the aid of a great many semi-prepared foods at the ready.

 

Some desserts evoke a visceral reaction in me. Namely, hunger.

Satay is one of the most-loved Thai dishes this side of the Pacific—coming in a close second behind Pad Thai. And why not? Who doesn’t love marinated beef, chicken, or pork, skewered and licked by flames until charred around the edges?

Capturing the flavor of fresh basil in baked goods is not easy or obvious. Certain herbs have strong, lasting aromas that lend themselves to cooking--rosemary and thyme are good examples. But others have fugitive flavor compounds that are all but lost during the cooking process--namely, basil.

 

Is cornmeal a southern thing? It totally is, isn't it?

I mean, I suspect people use it almost anywhere corn is grown, but the South seems to have a special relationship with corn.

Corn has acquired something of a bad reputation in recent years. It's one of the few genetically modified food crops, and a huge percentage of the nation's corn crop either goes into the mouths of feedlot livestock or into processed foods. Additionally, it is usually farmed in monoculture, and it requires vast amounts of water, pesticides, and herbicides to do well.

We spent the past week eating very, very well. And to be perfectly honest, I'm sick of it. I'll go ahead and acknowledge that I'm not cut out to be a restaurant reviewer. After a short while, the extravagance of it would wear me out.

There's nothing wrong with fine dining. It's just not my scene.

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