Hey, I cooked! The week of 105 degree temperatures followed by the week of 90+ degree temperatures has been chased by the pleasant partly-cloudy and low 80s that I can really get with. My garden is exploding with corn the size of my forearm and state fair tomatoes, my scarlet runner beans are hanging heavy on their vines and the peppers are nearly ready. I feel reinvigorated (being thoroughly sick of Vietnamese takeout gave me a much-needed kick in the ass, too).
A perfectly-cooked pork tenderloin surprised me after not having cooked meat in what feels like forever. I brined it quickly in Kumquat Dry Soda with a tablespoon of salt and a pinch sugar. I seared it on all sides and finished it in the oven, pulled it at medium (to the touch test), rested for five minutes and was delighted to find it rosy and juicy when sliced into thick medallions.
“Mmm…Heather cooking,” Scott approved as he dove into the succulent pork bedded down on a bowl of summer warmth: corn cut from the cob and sauteed with red cipolline onions, bacon and sliced scarlet runners (pods and all). When the beans were al dente*, I added some lemon zest and a fat knob of butter, some chopped thyme and summer savory, and a couple of handfuls of chopped black brandywines (the garden’s first!) and sliced cherry tomatoes. They brought a nice twang of acid to the fatty, creamy succotash.
*These scarlet runners were probably a week older than what would be ideal for eating with the pods – the waxy cuticle needed to be removed from the pod and the skins on the beans could’ve benefited from a longer cooking time. I’ll look forward to letting the rest of them completely ripen and shell them for cassoulet or feijoada. Never eat scarlet runners raw – they are high in phytohemagglutinins and can cause stomach problems like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.