Every now and then a reader or friend will ask me a cooking question about how to do this or that in the kitchen. I do not consider myself an expert and certainly not a chef. I have no desire to cook for anyone other than family and friends. My goal in writing about food and recipes is to tell stories and make food fun, approachable and easy. I promised at the beginning of this endeavor that I would never end up on the floor of my kitchen crying. Sure there can be frustrating moments. This is true with anything that is complicated enough to be rewarding.
Other than the simple act of getting off of the couch and into the kitchen, the only other requirement is confidence. Not a cocky “I can do this, it’s easy” but a “I have a good feeling about this, I can do it.” My friend Curtis once told a few of us that he wanted to learn to ski – he had a good feeling about it. We took him to the local mountain and with a little instruction- one in front and another of us behind – Curtis had skied the entire mountain by the end of the day. He did so well that his next excursion was by himself in Switzerland. That is the kind of confidence that I am talking about. It gives one the freedom from self consciousness and second guessing. It’s just a meal. Have fun and make a (confident) mess.
Here is one of the last salads of the summer. All of these ingredients are really fresh and ripe right now. This idea comes from my friend Stephen and Mark Bittman, who featured raw corn in the NY Times Magazine this past Sunday.
- 3 Ears Raw Sweet Corn
- 4 Tomatoes, diced
- 1 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced and broken up
- 4 Peaches, diced
- 3/4 Cup Feta Cheese
- 1 Small Bunch Basil
- 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Chef’s Knife
- Mixing Bowl or Salad Bowl
- Cut corn from cobs.
- Combine peaches, tomatoes, onion (careful, not too much) and corn in a bowl.
- Crumble feta over and combine.
- Tear basil and combine.
- Drizzle and stir in olive oil.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Serve right away.