So Many Meals I Want to Make: CAS Week #14 – 9/11/19
You know how that sweet potato dish you have at Thanksgiving, and only at Thanksgiving, is one of the things you look forward to in November? You know that feeling of eating the sweet potato dish and feeling flooded with memories and familial associations connected with that flavor?
This happens to me all year round, and I enjoy that so much. It brings a whole different dimension to my experience of eating and cooking.
Some meals I can make anytime if a) the ingredients can be flexible to the seasons – like tacos or b) the meal uses veggies available year round (either due to storability or the fact that I preserved it) – like chili. These meals I don’t have a strong association around because I make them throughout the year.
But so many meals are only possible during certain times of year. And for this reason, I savor them.
The first category of meals are ones that feature an ingredient that has a short season. Peas, celery, radish, salad turnips, cilantro, are all examples. There’s this radish egg dish that I love and I only get to make it in the spring. Same with this pea, gouda, pasta dish – June only.
The second category of meals are ones that feature vegetables whose seasons only cross over for a short time. There are SO MANY meals I love to make that feature sweet peppers and corn, or sweet peppers and tomatoes, or sweet peppers and eggplant. The sweet peppers, however, only really start to be ready right as the season for eggplant, tomatoes, and corn is ending.
We are entering mid-September, where the cross over of eggplant, beans, corn, tomatoes, and sweet peppers is happening. This time of cross-over is so brief, yet I have so many meals I want to make! Grilled Veggie Cornmeal Crepes, Eggplant Parmesan, & Zaalouk! And I can still have a salad with cucumbers too.
I do feel a tiny bit of stress at this time of year, because there are just so many more meals I want to make and eat before the heat loving crops are gone. It’s like having that never-ending list of books you really want to read, knowing you’ll never read them all, and then trying to choose one to start. It’s a good problem to have.
So I cook and cook, savor, savor!
I hope you will too.