We’ve been not exactly ‘cooking’ more but we’ve been doing must less ordering out as we’re a little less exhausted these days. Thanks to Ernie’s new drug regimen and the glow of the Black-Volk festival still buoying us, we are feeling a little stronger, if you will.

Also, it’s tomato season.

We’ve been cooking a few things but we’ve also been eating a lot of tomato sandwiches, tomato and cheese sandwiches, tomato and bacon sandwiches, etc.

Ernie goes with a classic Pepperidge Farm white for these but I am becoming devoted to my Canyon Bakehouse bread. It’s gluten free and is in the freezer section. I did get one loaf that was just full of holes. I actually went to the website and submitted info about it…not in a I want something kind of way but just as an FYI. I immediately had an email back and they emailed me a coupon for a free loaf. Very nice, as the stuff isn’t cheap (like much gluten-free stuff) but as always, you get what you pay for and it’s really good.

I’ve also been on a hell of a strawberry kick this summer. Just grocery store strawberries (although I do try to buy organic on these) but they have tasted SOOO good to me this summer. We’ve been serving them with all our various tomato sandwiches, with breakfast eggs, for a mid-afternoon snack. Give me strawberries!

We’ve done a few other things as well but have kept to the ‘keep it simple’ mode.

Steve brought over a huge bag of gorgeous purple beans. We had some and then left on our wander. I worried they might have gotten too old while we were gone but they were still perfect. I just blanched the whole bag of them and then we could just grab a handful as needed.

On one lazy night I ordered Ernie to peel some frozen shrimp we had. I chopped up a sweet potato and roasted them at high heat until they were tender and getting crispy. I tossed them on top of some of the beans and drizzled a teensy bit of olive oil and salt and pepper on it all. Then I dumped a few tablespoons (?) of cornstarch and sumac on the shrimp (oh, and salt too) and tossed it all together. I quickly sautéed the shrimp in olive oil, kind of a high heat as shrimp cooks quickly but I wanted a bit of color on the coating. We put the shrimp on top of the beans and sweet potato and it was just lovely. Sumac for the win yet again. I had some of the leftovers for breakfast the next day and the coating on the shrimp, although light, was still a bit crispy. Nice.

One of my standard summer sides is a homemade faux succotash…just summer corn, garden tomatoes, green beans tossed and barely cooked in a bit of olive oil with some fresh basil.

Another simple dinner. Yes, we do get a bit repetitive but when corn and tomatoes are in season, what else can you do? And 2022 is also our summer of sumac. Below: roasted chicken thighs (too lazy to grill) with sumac, salt and pepper on them.

Owen was over the other day doing a few different things. At one point he was hungry. I suggested one of my toasted cheese sandwiches. He held out for a grilled cheese. He’s good with the pleading eyes.

He went out to start washing his bug in the alley. I was in the kitchen puttering around, stealing some of Ernie’s dwindling supply of chips and some of my strawberries to go with the sandwich. I can’t even think of the last time I made a grilled cheese. I knocked on the window when it was done and he looked up and smiled before coming in. He gushed over the plate and I was so happy. It was the best cooking I’ve done in eons.

Onward.

Oh, and whenever I talk to much about strawberries my mind goes to Siouxsie and the Banshees. Christine, the strawberry girl. I can’t decide which video to share so I’ll share both. I know nobody ever looks at the videos I post but it makes me happy anyway!

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