Summer no-recipe recipes, CSA-day slaws, a triple berry pie
Early on in the month, I decided to lean into the emotional cyclone that is June. Even in normal years, the Lasts fly at me fast —The Last Day of Grade School. The Last Recital. The Last Game. The Last Day Riding the Bus — which is so overwhelming I just end focusing on the plate of foil-covered baked goods I’m delivering to the various parties celebrating the end all of these things. This June, though, THIS JUNE! The universe has upped the ante on me, as I’ve watched my youngest graduate from high school, and those Lasts become something crazier… The Last EVERS. I really made a point to be present and celebrate every little thing, from the final soccer game to the senior in-person prom, to the flying of the caps at graduation. (Good Lord graduations make me weep.) And maybe not surprisingly I sprang up at 2:00 in the morning one night with this stanza in my head:
When to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?
It’s from the Robert Frost poem Reluctance, which I studied in a college poetry class eight hundred years ago. (The brain works in mysterious ways!) Anyway, it’s not easy, but I’m really trying to let my heart go with the drift of things this year because I’m so proud that we all made it, and there is just so much to be grateful for.
Thank you for listening. And now, your three things….
1. Chuck-Everything-Into-The Shredder Slaw
My daughter walked into the house last week after her first day of work at a local farm and announced, “Mom it’s Christmas!” She was holding a box of vegetables, given to new staffers as a welcome gift. (I know…nice work if you can get it.) Inside were carrots, kohlrabi, collards, parsley, scallions, fennel, a small bunch of gem lettuce. My joy was quickly eclipsed by stress, albeit the luckiest, most ridiculous kind of stress there is: What do I do with all of this? The seven or eight bulbs of kohlrabi in particular seemed to be staring with come-at-me-bro eyes. The answer came to me by accident — I was going to a potluck and charged with making slaw, so basically everything went into the Cuisinart with the shredding attachment: A red cabbage, the carrots, parsley, scallions, and three peeled bulbs of kohlrabi. (Plus dill that I just snipped with scissors.) I usually manually slice everything for a slaw (or use a mandolin) but I really loved the uniformed, minced texture of this one. I’ll be doing it again, CSA or not.
Basic Creamy Slaw Dressing: Whisk together 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 4 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon celery seed, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I’ll add a generous pinch of prepared horseradish.
2. Summer No-Recipe Recipes
I’ve been very into writing no-recipe recipes over at Cup of Jo and last week, I wrote about a few of the farm-market regulars that are starting to pop up here in our neck of the woods. Including (insert villain music here): Kohlrabi (!) and this stupid easy zucchini and burrata pizza. Enjoy!
3. Triple Berry Pie
I make this pie from Memorial Day to Labor Day on repeat, but it does sort of fit into the red-white-and-blue dessert mold if you’re into that kind of thing or just can’t handle another marshmallow-raspberry-blueberry shish kebab. Definitely serve warm with vanilla ice cream whenever possible.
Triple Berry Pie
For lattice instructions, see page 120 of How to Celebrate Everything or watch this extremely satisfying tutorial.
2 9-inch pie crusts (bottom and top), homemade or store-bought
6 cups combination of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
all-purpose flour, for the work surface
1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a pie dish with the bottom crust.
In a large bowl, combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon, tossing to coat the fruit completely. Add the berry mixture to the pie dish.
Lay the top dough on top of the berries, crimping it close around the perimeter with a fork or your fingers. Using a knife, make seven or eight slashes in the top to allow for steam to escape and berries to bubble forth. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if using.
Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. It’s not a bad idea to place a sheet of foil on the rack below the pie, just in case that bubbling gets enthusiastic. Serve warm with ice cream.
P.S. Who else is watching the Euros? It is half the reason I am so behind in everything this month (the other half: June! See intro.) Yesterday’s Switzerland-France game was one of the sickest upsets I’ve ever seen even though it’s always so nauseating to watch when a game comes down to PKs. (Poor Mbappé!) If you’re watching, talk to me about what you’re making for the games. There is now somehow always a pile of teenage soccer fans on our TV room couch and I need to know how to feed them appropriately.
P.S. Have you ordered The Weekday Vegetarians yet? :)