One of the better byproducts of a mid-August cool-down is that I can resume cooking. I’m not a big fan of elaborate, or even warm, meals in our kitchen with no air conditioning, so for many midsummer weeks, we survive on Joe’s Pizzeria and homemade gazpacho. The girls are home this week, though, for their birthday and also some quality time before things get crazy this fall. Even if it had still been 90 degrees out, I’d probably cook.
There’s just something about mom-made food that signals caring, compassion, and a need to clean out the fridge, or at least the freezer. Last night, we had ham, green beans and tomatoes from our garden, new potatoes, and cucumbers. Tonight was grilled corn on the cob, barbecued pork, sweet potatoes, more tomatoes from the garden, and Suz’s fruit sangria.
It’s late, only two days left before I have to think seriously about freshman comp., my Beloved and I just finished cleaning the kitchen, but it’s so worth it. We have family dinner around the table on the back deck, and we sit and laugh until the last of the sun drains away and the bats start their hunting. It’s what I think of, when I think of summer – the table, the kids, their significant others and friends. It doesn’t matter what the actual meal is – to me, it’s soul food.
Cut the leftover corn off the ears and chill it. Next day, mix in half of a medium onion, chopped fine, a can (or two, if you have a lot of corn) of black beans, rinsed, a jalapeño pepper, chopped, and a tablespoon or so of chopped fresh cilantro. In a small bowl, mix equal parts canola oil and lime juice (this is not the time for olive oil). I usually use three tablespoons of each. Whisk in a teaspoon of cumin and a half-teaspoon of chili powder, or to taste. Don’t overdo it. Dump that over the veggies and serve at room temperature. Fabulous!