This weekend the training wheels came off. With the floor sealed, the sink up and running, the appliances in, it was time to let rip. And let rip I did! Saturday I tested the limits of my vegetable attention span by tackling a bit of my farm share, and gorged myself on a lunch of chard sauteed with home-grown garlic, beets (boiled, then diced and tossed with vast quantities of butter) and about 600 ears of corn (zippered, lightly buttered and salted). I was also a responsible summer cook and froze 4 cups of the corn. Then I whipped up a fallen chocolate souffle cake; the recipe for this came from a Gourmet magazine from 2004-ish, and it’s insane. The cake is crazy easy, and it’s got a smooth, light texture that looks kind of like a flourless cake but has none of the density issues of the flourless oeuvre. It seems, for all its collapsedness, to be light as air, and gets a thick, almost meringue-y crust on the top. I love, love, love this cake, and it’s basically foolproof.
Dinner Saturday was an involved affair: gnocchi with pesto (made with homegrown basil and garlic). I would have taken photos, except it looked like something they’d make Klingon characters eat on Star Trek. I have the worst oxidation problems when I make pesto, and this dish was unusually awful in that regard. But it was scrumptious, and we managed to pick a wine from our “cellar” that actually paired well with it, so that was an unexpected and delicious bonus!
Sunday was all about pretending it’s not 95 and wicked humid out; because I’ve missed having an oven for the last 3+ months, I wanted to live large, so we made like it was fall and had roast pork loin. I used a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s “Best Recipe” book, and ended up with a lemon-thyme jus, and a roasting pan full of honey-roasted carrots and fennel. Holy crap — the carrots and fennel! They would have been the best part of the meal (which is saying a lot because the pork turned out perfectly moist and flavorful), except we also had roasted Yellow Finn potatoes from our garden. We have now determined conclusively that the Yellow Finns are a far superior potato to the German Butterballs we also grew: they are sweet, buttery and extravagantly smooth. Quite simply the best potatoes I have ever eaten.